Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.


December 7, 2016 Climate Resilience Means Meaningfully Engaging Vulnerable Communities in Urban Planning Processes
Zoé Hamstead,  Buffalo
Timon McPhearson,  New York
A. Adam Glenn,  New York City

Impacts of extreme heat are uneven across geographies and communities. People who live in micro-urban heat islands and who lack the capacity to cope with extreme heat are disproportionately vulnerable to heat-related health risks. Collaborative climate action planning processes should directly engage vulnerable communities in identifying neighborhoods with concentrated and multiple risk factors, as well as in co-producing strategies for...

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November 6, 2016 Resilience isn’t only about infrastructure. How can we better support community-based environmental stewardship in readiness, response, and recovery from disturbance?
Weston Brinkley,  Seattle |  Katerina Elias,  São Paulo |  Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore |  Jonathan Halfon,  New York City |  Heather McMillen,  Honolulu & New York City |  Luciana Nery,  Rio de Janeiro |  Raul Pacheco-Vega,  Aguascalientes |  Renae Reynolds,  New York City |  Hita Unnikrishnan,  Bangalore |  Paula Villagra,  Valdivia |  Karen Zumach,  Minneapolis |  3 Comment(s)
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October 16, 2016 It Takes a Village to Green an Alley
Philip Silva, New York
David Maddox, New York City

Story Notes: More and more cities throughout the world are turning to parks, gardens, green roofs, and other kinds of “green infrastructure” to soak up storm water and simultaneously create vibrant new patches of open space for their citizens. In this podcast, produced by Philip Silva, we explore three cases of green infrastructure that have popped up in alleyways and on...

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November 28, 2016 Morphology, Generosity, and the Nature of Cities
Stephanie Pincetl, Los Angeles

The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria. By Marwa Al-Sabouni. 2016. Thames & Hudson, New York. ISBN-10: 0500343179. 208 pages. Buy the book. I have been reading an extraordinary book by Marwa Al-Sabouni: The Battle for Home: the Vision of a Young Architect in Syria, who posits the critical importance of urbanism for the nature of a city—its feeling,...

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December 4, 2016 Dhaka’s Struggle with Traffic and Livability
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

Ding, ding, ding. Ding, ding, ding. Honk, honk. Hoooonk. Honk, honk. Toot, toot, toot, ding, ding, ding. Honk, honk, honk. This is the sound of Dhaka. All. Day. Long. There are only a few hours before dawn when there is quieter hum of traffic. But for the rest of the day, it’s a constant, maddening pummeling to eardrums and interrupts...

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November 30, 2016 From Biomimicry to Ecomimicry: Reconnecting Cities—and Ourselves—to Earth’s Balances
Olivier Scheffer, Paris

One reason we should care about biodiversity is that it might be the solution to our environmental impact: after 3.8 billion years on planet Earth, Nature certainly has some sustainability and resilience lessons to teach us—that is, before it gets driven mostly to extinction. Will we care to listen? As Janine Benyus said in the late 1990s: “Life creates conditions...

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November 27, 2016 Why Should an Urbanist Care About Biodiversity?
Olivier Scheffer, Paris

Let’s face the facts. Despite laudable international initiatives for climate change mitigation and environmental preservation [i], major changes in Earth’s balances have been set in motion and we’re starting to experience their consequences: heat records; increased droughts; increased wildfire intensity and frequency; melting of landlocked ice; increased sea level and coastal storm damages; ocean acidification; climate change-based migration flows of human...

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November 23, 2016 Linking Urban Science and Society—Putting Good Old Wine in a New Bottle
Harini Nagendra, Bangalore

India is experiencing rapid change as a consequence of 21st century urbanization. Making steady inroads into fertile farmlands, lush forests, thriving wetlands, and productive grasslands, urban expansion is steadily converting biodiverse lands in shades of blues and greens into swathes of gray concrete. The United Nations World Population revision estimates that by 2050, an additional 404 million people will squeeze...

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Oct,2016 Habitat III is finally a reality. From your perspective, what would be the single most important tangible outcome (not output) of the event—short or long term—and what will it take to achieve this outcome?
Yunus Arikan,  Bonn |  Xuemei Bai,  Canberra |  Genie Birch,  Philadelphia & New York |  Maruxa Cardama,  Brussels |  Bharat Dahiya,  Bangkok |  PK Das,  Mumbai |  David Dodman,  London |  William Dunbar,  Tokyo |  Anjali Mahendra,  Chapel Hill & New Delhi |  Jose Puppim,  Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio |  David Satterthwaite,  London |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Pengfei XIE,  Beijing |  Lorena Zárate,  Mexico City | 
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Sep,2016 How can we make urban nature and its value more apparent, more “visible” to people?
Simone Borelli,  Rome |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Sven Eberlein,  Oakland |  David Goode,  Bath |  Leen Gorissen,  Antwerp |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Seth Magle,  Chicago |  Polly Moseley,  Liverpool |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Jennifer Sánchez,  San José |  Richard Scott,  Liverpool |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels |  Gavin Van Horn,  Chicago |  Mark Weckel,  New York |  Mike Wetter,  Portland |  Niki Frantzeskaki,  Rotterdam |  Hastings Chikoko,  Johannesburg | 
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Ismail Wambi and urban ecology class UCT
Aug,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 | 
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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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Fig 2
March 3, 2016 Native Versus Alien Species in Fragmented Urban Natural Habitats: Who’s Winning?
Luis Sandoval,  San José, Costa Rica

According to the United Nations, the second biggest problem for humanity after global warming is disorganized urbanization—urbanization without planning and integration of natural environments. Since 2008, for the first time in history, the majority of people...

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February 4, 2015 The Bright Side of Indigenous Urbanization for Biodiversity 
Henrique Mercer,  Montreal
Viviana Figueroa,  Montreal
Andre Mader,  Montreal
Oliver Hillel,  Montreal

Over time, cities originated wherever indigenous cultures agglomerated and planned links between their settlements and peri-urban ecosystems for the provision of water, food and other goods and services. Not by coincidence, these settlements often occurred in biodiversity hotspots—and we know that historically cities were hotbeds for innovation of all sorts. Yet indigenous knowledge on the sustainable use of biodiversity has...

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November 20, 2016 A Barley Field Grows on Soviet Concrete
Andrea Tamm and Ann Press,  Tallinn

In the summer of 2016, the largest Soviet-era residential area of Estonia was living a new life. The district Lasnamäe, including Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, was built in the late 70s, but it has fallen into stagnation. Little has changed since its inception, and those big plans are still unfinished. A vast traffic channel to the city center is waiting...

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lake_bhattarahalli_shainaaz_PhotoBy_Arati Kumar-Rao
December 29, 2015 Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2015
David Maddox,  New York City

Today’s post is offered as a celebration of some of the content from 2015—a taste…a combination of TNOC writing from around the world that is a combination of diverse, widely read, a novel point of view, or somehow disruptive in an useful way. Certainly all 350+ TNOC essays and roundtables are great reads. What follows is a sample of some of the...

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