The paper focuses on the "spread" of the ecological approach in the American urban sociology. The starting point is that the Chicago School heritage is not so evident in the urban studies, neither in the topics nor in the research tools. In the first part, some authors which have implemented the Chicago approach over the last twenty years are mentioned: Elijah Anderson in Philadelphia, Ruth Horowtiz in Miami and New York, and Mitchell Duneier in New York and Chicago. Then, the paper focuses on the Chicago Department of Sociology, where Terry Clark and Andrew Abbott dedicated a lot of work to the history of the ecological approach. If we consider urban sociologists, some of them used such approach also in their empirical research; Mario Small and Omar McRoberts are the most striking examples. So, the Chicago School seems to "survive", but it also seems to be limited to a few authors and universities.
Keywords: Chicago School, ethnography, participant observation, USA, ecological approach.