In the face of persistent change, the recurrent geological and biological metaphors in modern urban theories may betray a collective fear of not being able to produce an environment with the “second nature” feeling of the traditional city. But rather than dream of a brave new world we should reconsider our practice of “grafting” new spaces on the existing ones, because inevitably, the landscape of the new world will be a mixture of man-made and natural environments. The beauty of the city may overwrite that of nature but we can take comfort in its imperfection, however multiple, occasional, and fallible it may be. Reflections on these themes will frame a critical review of urban and architectural design experiences in Italy and Europe by Cino Zucchi Architetti (Milan). Cino Zucchi is the John T. Dunlop Visiting Professor in Housing and Urbanization.