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NYC Urban Ecosystem Toolbox: About

NYPL books, atlases, maps, and online content.

From the Digital Collections:


   The New York metropolitan area ecosystem is an important part of NYC's unique sense of place. Similar to its built environment the region’s natural environment has changed remarkably over the past 400 years due to decisions made by successive city administrators. It also continues to morph as the result of climate change.  As the city’s cityscape, landscape and waterways transform with each passing year, metro NY’s unique built and natural environments keeps on shaping the lives of tourists, commuters, and residents alike.

   To understand New York City’s history and its future it is helpful to examine its parks, harbors, rivers, topography, and land use zoning. NYPL's vast collection of maps, charts, atlases, reports, and books document the metropolitan area's evolution, and are essential to understanding the different ways in which NY’s urban biome has changed over time. This guide is designed to help researchers locate primary and secondary sources that describe the development of many of the best known natural (and in some cases man-made) features of the city.


Topics covered in this resource guide include:

Bronx River Central Park Climatic changes East River
Environmental pollution Fish, Fowl, & Natural History Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Fresh Kills Park & S.I. Greenbelt
Geography & topography Geology Gowanus Canal Groundwater & water supply
Harlem River Hudson River Inwood Hill Park Jamaica Bay
Land use & landscapes Long Island Sound New York Harbor Newtown Creek
Pelham Bay Park Piers and waterfronts Prospect Park Riverside Park
Street trees & flora Van Cortlandt Park Wetlands & coastal management  New York Botanical Garden


Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division Reference Librarians

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Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division Reference Librarians
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