Urban spaces are complex as a result of their socionatural relations and histories, which are shaped by both physical and social processes. The complexity necessitates theoretical frameworks that can demonstrate how urban socionatural outcomes result from the combination of social actions and physical surroundings. Henri Lefebvre suggests,
Every social space is the outcome of a process with many aspects and many contributing currents, signifying and non-signifying, perceived and directly experienced, practical and theoretical. In short, every social space has a history, one invariably grounded in nature, in natural conditions that are at once primordial and unique in the sense that they are always and everywhere endowed with specific characteristics (site, climate, etc.). (Lefebvre 1991, 110)
Theory about urban ecology can potentially capture this complexity and contingency, but only if its evolution is taken seriously.
Ecology emphasizes site-specific characteristics and interactions between local environs and inhabitants of those environs. Tansley (1935) …