Cities are ecosystems of people, nature, and infrastructure

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February 7, 2016 Carbon Capture Gardens: A Nature-Based Solution for Managing Urban Brownfield Soils for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Mark Goddard,  Newcastle

I may have (just) missed the 2015 International Year of Soils, so please forgive me for jumping on the soils bandwagon somewhat belatedly. Before I go further, a disclaimer—I am no expert on soils, having only relatively recently begun working on a multidisciplinary research project on carbon capture in urban soils, so what follows is an ecologist’s slant on how...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

Hall_Mowing a Lawn
January 20, 2016 Can cities save bees? How can urban habitats be made to serve pollinator conservation? How can that story be better told? Katherine Baldock,  Bristol |  Alison Benjamin,  London |  Sarah Bergmann,  Seattle |  Mark Goddard,  Newcastle |  Damon Hall,  St. Louis |  Tina Harrison,  New Brunswick |  Scott MacIvor,  Toronto |  Denise Mouga,  Joinville |  Matt Shardlow,  Peterborough |  Caragh Threlfall,  Melbourne |  13 Comment(s)
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PODCAST:
THIS IS TNOC

BarcelonaBeesPhotoJennBaljkoFEATURE
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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REVIEWS
REACTIONS

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February 8, 2016 Nature in Chicago: Surprisingly Wild, Surprisingly Human Chris Hensley, Fresno

A review of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian. 2015. ISBN: 978-0-226-19289-5. University of Chicago Press. 377 pages. Buy the book. Normally, in these book reviews, I do my best to present a fair, unbiased account of what a book does well, as well as what it doesn’t do so well....

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Figure 2
February 4, 2016 A River Cresting in New Orleans: A Complex Choreography of Water, Technology and Bureaucracy that Only Sometimes Serves People and Nature Josh Lewis, New Orleans

The sustainability and, indeed, future existence of New Orleans and the Mississippi River Delta depends upon a complex choreography of water, bureaucracy and infrastructure. The quandary for New Orleans can be summed up like this: how can we manage North America’s largest river in a way that mitigates seasonal flooding, while simultaneously making use of the river’s fresh water and sediments...

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February 2, 2016 The Elephant in the Room: Amazonian Cities Deserve More Attention in Climate Change and Sustainability Discussions Eduardo Brondizio, Bloomington

Justifiably, the Amazon region has been at the center of climate change discussions and negotiations since the late 1980s. It is not difficult to explain ‘justifiably’ when one is referring to a region of continental proportions, with unparalleled biological and cultural diversity, and whose biogeochemical cycles and atmospheric circulation processes influence the entire hemisphere and beyond. Few regions have changed...

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January 31, 2016 The Value of Urban Trails Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

Mindy Fulllilove, Columbia University psychiatrist and author, likens pedestrian pathways and urban trails to arteries in the circulatory system of a city: essential conditions for creating a healthy city. There is much to be said for neighborhoods that are physically connected, and where it is possible to move across a city easily (and joyfully). A coherent sense of one’s entire...

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1. An advertisement for a 'woodsy' apartment near Bellandur lake, frothing with foam
January 27, 2016 The Revalorization of Urban Nature, for Good and Ill Harini Nagendra, Bangalore

An image of expanding cities is associated, in most people’s minds, with the shrinking and gradual disappearance of urban nature. Yet, as life in cities becomes increasingly stressful and challenging, a gradual revalorization of urban nature is taking place across the cities of the world. The importance of urban nature is begin redefined with new values: of recreation, relaxation and, ultimately,...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

Goal
Dec,2015 An explicitly urban Sustainable Development Goal has been adopted by the UN (#11). Now what? Where could it go wrong? Genie Birch,  Philadelphia |  Ben Bradlow,  Boston |  William Dunbar,  Tokyo |  Peter Head,  London |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Hui Ling Lim,  Singapore |  Shuaib Lwasa,  Kampala |  Jose Puppim,  Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio |  Andrew Rudd,  New York City |  Karen Seto,  New Haven |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Bolanle Wahab,  Ibadan |  Lorena Zárate,  Mexico City | 
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Nov,2015 Green Form and Function versus Green Nativism: In changing urban spaces full of novel ecosystems and natural assemblages, is native purity a viable option? Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Erle Ellis,  Baltimore |  Leonie Fischer,  Berlin |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Madhusudan Katti,  Fresno |  Ingo Kowarik,  Berlin |  Mark McDonnell,  Melbourne |  Colin Meurk,  Lincoln, NZ |  Matt Palmer,  New York City |  Bill Toomey,  Sandy Hook |  Yolanda van Heezik,  Dunedin |  Paula Villagra,  Los Rios | 
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HurricaneSandyPhotobyMarkOlsen
Sep,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 | 
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GreekGreenRoofPhotoAndrewClementsFEATURE
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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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

PradoMarti(Havanna)(PhotoDMaddox
November 28, 2012 We’re Number 1* (*Depending): The Values Embedded in “Most Green City” Lists David Maddox,  New York City

Who doesn’t love a list? The 100 richest people in the world. The best guitar players of all time. The most beautiful beaches in the world. The world’s “greenest cities”. The USA’s most livable cities. The...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Slide02
May 8, 2013 The Cities We Want: Resilient, Sustainable, and Livable David Maddox,  New York City

Resilience is the word of the decade, as sustainability was in previous decades. No doubt, our view of the kind and quality of cities we as societies want to build will continue to evolve and inspire a new descriptive goal. Surely we have not lost our desire for sustainable cities, with footprints we can globally and locally afford, even though...

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PLACE &
DESIGN

14. Spencer
October 23, 2015 The Long Ride Scot Spencer,  Baltimore

If you have never been to Baltimore, you should come to visit. From Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, you can ride the light rail to downtown in 25 minutes for one of the best deals in the country. If you ride the train between Boston and Washington, you can walk out of Pennsylvania Station and board the Charm City...

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ART &
AWARENESS

Marambaia 23 Set(64)
February 2, 2016 The Elephant in the Room: Amazonian Cities Deserve More Attention in Climate Change and Sustainability Discussions Eduardo Brondizio,  Bloomington

Justifiably, the Amazon region has been at the center of climate change discussions and negotiations since the late 1980s. It is not difficult to explain ‘justifiably’ when one is referring to a region of continental proportions, with unparalleled biological and cultural diversity, and whose biogeochemical cycles and atmospheric circulation processes influence the entire hemisphere and beyond. Few regions have changed...

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