Cities are ecosystems of people, nature, and infrastructure



14 Eden Project domes
October 4, 2015 Why We Need Design Guidelines for Urban Non-Humans Paul Downton,  Adelaide

Earlier this year I had the good fortune to be invited to speak at a remarkable ‘Global Conference’ in Chantilly, France. The title of the session I was to contribute to was translated into English as ‘An urbanism built on a priority for fauna and flora’. This, it seems, was a slight mistranslation of ‘Un urbanisme construit sur une préséance...

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September 29, 2015 What is the insurance value of urban ecosystems and their services? Victor Beumer,  Delft |  Henry Booth,  West Chester |  Mitchell Chester,  Miami |  Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm |  Alexandros Gasparatos,  Tokyo |  Jaroslav Mysiak,  Venice |  Rob Tinch,  Brussels |  Henrik von Wehrden,  Lüneburg |  Francis Vorhies,  Divonne-les-Bains |  Koko Warner,  Bonn |  2 Comment(s)
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May 13, 2015 The City Bee. TNOC Podcast Episode 005 Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona
David Maddox, New York City

Also available at iTunes. Story notes: (See the companion essay here.) Bees have always been a part of the city landscape. But something is happening in the world today that’s making their presence more noticeable. Whether it’s because people love honey or want to better understand bee behavior or are looking for sustainable ways to support the vital pollinator ecosystem, people’s interest...

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September 28, 2015 Stormwater Management as Both Utility and Amenity Ben Feldmann, Los Angeles

A review of Artful Rainwater Design: Creative Ways to Manage Stormwater, by Stuart Echols and Eliza Pennypacker. 2015. ISBN 13: 978-1-61091-266-2 / ISBN 10: 1-61091-266-7. Island Press, Washington. 284 pages. Stormwater is a topic of great interest, especially now that the plight of water has been heightened by environmental pollution, dwindling resources, and growing frequency of severe storm events. What was...

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11_Hometown Memorial_Babylon FEATURE
September 30, 2015 September 11, 2015: An Event Ethnography of Living Memorials Lindsay Campbell, New York City
Erika Svendsen, New York City
Heather McMillen, New York City
Novem Auyeung, New York City
Rachel Holmes, New Haven
Michelle Johnson, New York City
Renae Reynolds, New York City

A reading of names. A procession. Placing flowers on memorials. Music. Moments of silence. Tolling of bells. Certain abiding symbols and gestures give structure to our memorial remembrances. In particular, we have come to expect a ritual formality and consistency at the World Trade Center site for remembering September 11, 2001. But how do we mark the day at the...

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September 27, 2015 The Nurtured Golem: A Nantes Neighborhood Transforms Environmental Bad into Good Francois Mancebo, Paris

 At the end of my last post, Unintended Consequences: When Environmental “Goods” Turn Bad, I raised the idea that sometimes environmental “bads” can also turn good, and that it usually works better when nobody “looks”. I mean that this process works better when the inhabitants take ownership of their living environment and transform it outside of any legal framework or...

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September 23, 2015 What Pope Francis Might Do to Advance Climate Justice During His Visit to New York Rebecca Bratspies, New York City

Pope Francis visits the United States in late September 2015.  He will speak in Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia, including an address at the United Nations and to a full Congress. His visit will be an opportunity for reflection and—who knows—might possibly be a turning point in the United States’ long, tortuous debate about climate change. The Pope’s recent...

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September 20, 2015 Shrink-ing Times Square Andrew Rudd, New York City

1. What’s the matter with Times Square?  Several years ago, Helle Søholt, CEO of Gehl Architects, said that New York would be the most sustainable city in the world if only it fixed its streets. Million Trees NYC is one effort in that direction, as is the CitiBike bike share programme and its corresponding—if slowly-expanding and inconsistently enforced—infrastructure of protected...

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Aug,2015 Why don’t all public buildings have green roofs? Or all large private buildings (e.g. businesses)? Would this be a good idea? What would it take to make it happen and to make it worthwhile? Maryam Akbarian,  Tehran |  Wolfgang Ansel,  Nürtingen |  Nathalie Baumann,  Basel |  Michael Berkshire,  Chicago |  Rebecca Bratspies,  New York City |  Amy Chomowicz,  Portland |  Andrew Clements,  Corinth |  Karla Dakin,  Denver |  Stuart Gaffin,  New York |  Dusty Gedge,  London |  André Gonçalves,  Goiânia |  Ulrike Grau,  Mexico City |  Angela Loder,  Denver |  Amosh Neupane,  Middlebury |  Matt Palmer,  New York City |  Kerry Ross,  Calgary |  Kaveh Samiei,  Tehran |  Julie Santos,  London & Buenos Aires |  Kate Scherer,  New York |  Mark Simmons,  Austin |  Kevin Songer,  Jacksonville |  Christine Thuring,  Sheffield | 
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Science-Practitioner Feauture
Jun,2015 10 scientists and 10 practitioners walk into a bar…what would they talk about? How can research and knowledge generation be co-created to better support practitioners and evidence-based decision making? Myla Aronson,  New Brunswick |  Georgina Avlonitis,  Cape Town |  Keith Bowers,  Charleston |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Haripriya Gundimeda,  Mumbai |  Bram Gunther,  New York |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Amy Hahs,  Parkville, Australia |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  John Hartig,  Detroit |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Maria E Ignatieva,  Uppsala |  Michael Jemtrud,  Montreal |  Deborah Lev,  Portland |  Louise Lezy-Bruno,  Paris |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Ian MacGregor-Fors,  Veracruz |  Charlie Nilon,  Columbia |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Jose Puppim,  Montreal |  Rebecca Salminen Witt,  Detroit |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Philip Silva,  New York | 
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NEW YORK (Nov. 4, 2012) Damage Control Fireman Louis Durante waits along Rockaway Beach in Queens, N.Y., for a dewatering team from the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17). Durante, from New York, was on leave when Hurricane Sandy struck and met the dewatering team to help dewater apartment complexes in Rockaway Beach. The U.S. Navy has positioned forces in the area to assist U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) in support of FEMA and local civil authorities following the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Terah L. Mollise/Released) 121104-N-GZ984-062
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May,2015 Taking “resilience” out of the realm of metaphor. How do you measure resilience in cities? How would you know if your city or your community was resilient? Keren Bolter,  Fort Lauderdale |  Cezar Busatto,  Porto Alegre |  Lorenzo Chelleri,  L'Aquila |  William Dunbar,  Tokyo |  Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm |  Antoine Faye,  Dakar |  Richard Friend,  Bangkok |  Lance Gunderson,  Atlanta |  Tom Henfrey,  Bristol |  Patricia Holly,  Barcelona and Nairobi |  Dan Lewis,  Barcelona and Nairobi |  Rachna Leveque,  London |  Shuaib Lwasa,  Kampala |  Timon McPhearson,  New York |  Franco Montalto,  Philadelphia and Venice |  Luciana Nery,  Rio de Janeiro |  Henk Ovink,  The Hague |  Elisabeth Peyroux,  Paris |  Catherine Sutherland,  Durban |  Pakamas Thinphanga,  Bangkok |  Claire Weisz,  New York |  Daniel Zarrilli,  New York | 
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Apr,2015 Imaging the urban wild: Fourteen photographers and artists show and talk about their work Joshua Burch,  London |  Emilio Fantin,  Milan |  Mike Feller,  New York City |  Andrés Flajszer,  Barcelona |  Mike Houck,  Portland |  Chris Jordan,  Seattle |  Robin Lasser,  Oakland |  Monika Lawrence,  Bemidji |  Patrick Lydon,  San Jose & Seoul |  David Maddox,  New York City |  Chris Payne,  New York City |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Jonathan Stenvall,  Stockholm |  Benjamin Swett,  New York City | 
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Image 8 - photo of the Golden Gate National Recreation Aea
May 12, 2015 Bringing Cities to Nature at the 2015 George Wright Society Conference Lynn Wilson,  Vancouver

A review of “Engagement, Education & Expectations—The Future of Parks & Protected Areas”, the George Wright Society’s 18th bi-annual conference, which took place in Oakland, California from March 29-April 3, 2015. A new energy is emerging around the importance and...

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Kee Gompa. Photo: Madusudan Katti
July 3, 2013 We’re Not In a Village Anymore Madhusudan Katti,  Fresno

“Your stomach is empty since yesterday. Let me make you some soup,” said the monk to me as I took deep breaths to try and get more oxygen to my altitude-sickened body, “it may help with your nausea too.” As I nodded weakly, he went back into the kitchen, in his home under the great Kee Gompa (Monastery), an 800-year...

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August 26, 2014 The ‘Equal Streets’ Movement in Mumbai PK Das,  Mumbai

Roads are a significant aspect of a city’s environment, both in terms of the area they occupy as well as their socio-environmental condition. In Mumbai for example, nearly 2000 km of roads occupy approximately 40 km2 of land. This is nearly 20% of the developable land area of 240 km2 and much more than the open spaces reservation of 24...

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Bald Eagle
September 18, 2012 Rediscovering Wildness—and Finding the “Wild Man”—in Alaska’s Urban Center Bill Sherwonit,  Anchorage

I have been getting quite the education on “The Nature of Cities” these past few months, while taking in the perspectives of academics, ecologists, naturalists, architects and urban designers, educators, and conservationists (some contributors wearing several hats). I have been impressed—and at times overwhelmed—by the scope of research, activism, and community programs dedicated to urban nature and our species’ connection...

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