Ideas From People Worldwide, Working For Resilient, Sustainable, Livable, and Just Cities



August 21, 2016 Farmers, Chefs, and Lawyers: Building an Ecology of One
Patrick Lydon,  San Jose & Seoul

We live in an ecology of separation. Our human-built ecology is today so far separated from the earth’s ecology that it is impossible for sustainability—let alone environmental and social well-being—to be achieved within it. This is where we are as a society, but we don’t have to be stuck here. In stark contrast to this human-built “ecology of separation,” the...

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Ismail Wambi and urban ecology class UCT
August 14, 2016 What are the unifying elements of an urban ecology of the Global South and geographic south? Are they different than those in the north?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Olga Barbosa,  Valdivia |  Timothy Bonebrake,  Hong Kong |  Bharat Dahiya,  Bangkok |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Sabina Caula,  Ibarra, Ecuador |  Shuaib Lwasa,  Kampala |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Colin Meurk,  Lincoln |  Sue Parnell,  Cape Town |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Luis Sandoval,  San José, Costa Rica |  Seth Schindler,  Sheffield |  Tan Puay Yok,  Singapore |  14 Comment(s)
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The Orange Cube, in Lyon, France, was designed by Jakob+ MacFarlane, Architecture as is a bird-friendly building.
August 10, 2016 Some Birds Love Cities—Can Cities Love them Back? TNOC Podcast Episode 9
Philip Silva, New York
David Maddox, New York City

Also available at iTunes. Story Notes:  House sparrows, rock pigeons, and red-tailed hawks are three bird species that have successfully—and very visibly—adapted to life in cities. Yet as the number and the size of cities across the globe continues to grow, more birds find themselves dealing with the challenges and the opportunities of urban life. While some species find ways to...

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August 15, 2016 Better Places Add Up to Better Cities
Traci Sooter, Springfield

A review of Good Urbanism: Six Steps to Creating Prosperous Places by Nan Ellin. 2012.  Island Press. ISBN 13: 978-1-61091-374-4. 141 pages. Buy the book. Many people have a desire to improve spaces in their cities and neighborhoods, but most don’t know where to begin or what steps to take to see a community project through to fruition. Most who have been successful at...

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Aten Women’s Group in Isiolo 2 PHOTO Valerie Gwinner
August 17, 2016 Chicks in the City
Valerie Gwinner, Nairobi

Urban livestock has long been viewed as dirty, unsafe, and decidedly un-modern by both policymakers and members of the general public. Yet, for many people living in and near the cities of developing countries, animals are a key source of food, nutrition, and livelihood. In Kenya, peri-urban chicken production has become a potentially lucrative business—especially for women—due to rapid urbanization...

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August 14, 2016 Citizen Science Facilitates Both Science and Engagement
Laura Booth, New York City

When I pulled up in my friend’s truck to the tunnel entrance to the Marin Headlands, part of San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, I entered what appeared to be a fine mist of white plant fluff. I turned off the motor and observed. Incidentally, the white plant fluff had wings, and was tumbling frantically in the early afternoon sun....

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August 7, 2016 Elephants in the City
Lynn Wilson, Vancouver

I recently spent a month in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and have been reflecting on my experience ever since. Chiang Mai is a beautiful and vibrant city, rich in culture and history. The Buddhist religion permeates every aspect of the city and surrounding countryside, with temples and symbols of Buddhism everywhere. Elephants are closely associated with Thai Buddhism, and nowhere is...

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August 3, 2016 Water as a Commons in Detroit, the Great Lakes, and Beyond
Rebecca Salminen Witt, Detroit

For a state surrounded by fresh water, Michigan, in the northern United States, certainly has had its share of water woes lately. Michigan’s water has always been our crowning glory; from our geography to our automobile license plates, the Great Lakes define us. As we hit the height of summer, you can hear the State’s “Pure Michigan” advertising campaign everywhere...

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Jun,2016 Urban agriculture has many benefits. Is one of them a contribution to urban sustainability?
Jane Battersby,  Cape Town |  Katrin Bohn,  Brighton |  Christopher Bryant,  Montreal |  Easther Chigumira,  Harare |  Evan Fraser,  Guelph |  Kelly Hodgins,  Guelph |  Patrick Hurley,  Collegeville, PA |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris |  Idah Mbengo,  Harare |  Innisfree McKinnon,  Menomonie |  Leslie McLees,  Eugene |  Geneviève Metson,  Vancouver |  Navin Ramankutty,  Vancouver |  Kristin Reynolds,  New York City |  Esther Sanyé-Mengual,  Bologna |  Shaleen Singhal,  New Delhi |  Kathrin Specht,  Müncheberg |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem |  Andre Viljoen,  Brighton |  Claudia Visoni,  São Paulo | 
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May,2016 Common threads: connections among the ideas of Jane Jacobs and Elinor Ostrom, and their relevance to urban socio-ecology
Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Johan Enqvist,  Stockholm |  Sheila Foster,  New York City |  Lisa Gansky,  San Francisco |  Mathieu Hélie,  Montréal |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Michelle Johnson,  New York City |  Marianne Krasny,  Ithaca |  David Maddox,  New York City |  Michael Mehaffy,  Portland |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Raul Pacheco-Vega,  Aguascalientes |  Mary Rowe,  New York City |  Alex Russ,  Ithaca |  Laura Shillington,  Managua & Montreal |  Anne Trumble,  Los Angeles |  Arjen Wals,  Wageningen |  Abigail York,  Tempe | 
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Apr,2016 Visions of resilience: Eighteen artists say or show something in response to the word “resilience”
Juan Carlos Arroyo,  Bogotá |  David Brooks,  New York City |  Katrine Claassens,  Cape Town |  Emilio Fantin,  Milan |  Ganzeer,  Los Angeles |  Lloyd Godman,  Melbourne |  Fran Ilich,  New York City |  Frida Larios,  Antiguo Cuzcatlán, Copán, and Washington |  Todd Lester,  Säo Paulo |  Patrick Lydon,  San Jose & Seoul |  Mary Mattingly,  New York City |  David Maddox,  New York City |  E. J. McAdams,  New York City |  Mary Miss,  New York City |  Edna Peres,  Johannesburg |  Caroline Robinson,  Auckland |  Finzi Saidi,  Pretoria |  Keijiro Suzuki,  Yamaguchi & Nagoya | 
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Respect Graffiti_Bogota_2015_PhotoDavidMaddox(feature)
Mar,2016 Graffiti and street art can be controversial, but can also be a medium for voices of social change, protest, or expressions of community desire. What, how, and where are examples of graffiti as a positive force in communities?
Pauline Bullen,  Harare |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Emilio Fantin,  Milan |  Ganzeer,  Los Angeles |  Germán Gomez,  Bogotá |  Sidd Joag,  New York City |  Patrick Lydon,  San Jose & Seoul |  David Maddox,  New York City |  Patrice Milillo,  Los Angeles |  Laura Shillington,  Managua & Montreal | 
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July 15, 2015 The Rent is too Damned High: The Nature of Cities and the Original Gentrification
Eric Sanderson,  New York

“The rent is too damned high.” You hear it on the subway, you hear it on the news, and you hear it exclaimed even by mild-mannered conservationists while perambulating in the park. The rising cost of...

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April 14, 2016 Linear Parks: Meeting People’s Everyday Needs for Secure Recreation, Commuting, and Access to Nature
Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires
Claudia Zuleyka Vidal,  Cali

In previous contributions to The Nature of Cities (for example, Das (2015); Tsur (2014)), some authors have reported successful experiences or projects of linear open spaces providing green access to more people across neighborhoods or adapting old infrastructure to modern needs. Linear parks are longitudinal areas, both green and grey, including greenways/corridors and urban edges; blue ways/waterfronts and transportation infrastructure...

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October 5, 2015 Rah! Rah! for Rail: Solving Transportation in Cities
Eric Sanderson,  New York

A review of Rail and the City: Shrinking Our Carbon Footprint While Reimaging Urban Space, by Roxanne Warren. 2014. ISBN: 9780262027809. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 336 pages. Like a dog with a bone, some of us just can’t let go of the notion of rail in cities. I’m certainly one of them. Since most cities dedicate more than 50 percent...

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November 5, 2015 Opportunities and Challenges in Working with Volunteers in Local Parks
Lynn Wilson,  Vancouver

The urge to contribute one’s time, without compensation, to benefit a closely held cause or purpose appears to be a deeply rooted human need because volunteerism is found everywhere, in various forms and for every conceivable reason. For instance, every year, more than 13 million people volunteer in Canada, 63 million people volunteer in the U.S., 20 million people volunteer...

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