Many think of cities and nature as the antithesis of one another. We will, however, challenge this assumption by exploring the dynamic and interconnected relationships between the two. We will consider the ways that city builders drew on the natural world to prompt and sustain urban and industrial growth, and we will examine the implications of this growth on local and distant ecosystems. We will investigate the ways that Americans understood, imagined, and defined “cities” and “nature.” By examining the shifting cultural meanings of each, we will survey the aspirations and ideologies that guided people as they sought to build and manage the world around them. Throughout the course, we will take up the central themes of urban environmental history, including questions about the relationship between the local and global, environmental justice, and sustainability.