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Stephanie Pincetl,  Los Angeles

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Stephanie Pincetl

Stephanie Pincetl

Director UCLA Center for Sustainable Urban Systems Los Angeles, CA Dr. Stephanie Pincetl is Adjunct professor and Director of the U.C. campus-wide Center for Sustainable Communities at the UCLA Institute of the Environment. Pincetl conducts research on environmental policies and governance and enjoys bringing together interdisciplinary teams of researchers across the biophysical and engineering sciences with the social sciences to address problems of complex urban systems and environmental management. Pincetl has written extensively about land use in California, environmental justice, habitat conservation efforts, urban ecology, water and energy policy. You can find more about her academic work at: She is an avid gardener, a devotee of the Sunday Hollywood Farmer’s Market, and loves to cook and have friends over for dinner.

December 17, 2014

We are not in the Age of Aquarius that had brought—to some of us—radical hope about societal change and a turn toward ecology, steady state growth, and different GDP metrics, including happiness. The age was about love, unity, integrity, sympathy, harmony, understanding and trust. The Age of Aquarius was about doing things differently, building the … Continue reading Magical Thinking in the Age of Green

May 18, 2014

My view of nature in the city is often informed by my own experiences in my part of the world: Los Angeles, California.  About 5 years ago I was given a Palo Verde tree which my husband and I planted in a strategic location to provide shade and beauty in the back of our four … Continue reading The Palo Verde in My Backyard

November 26, 2013
The ExUrban hills outside Los Angeles. Photo: Stephanie Pincetl

While we have been focused on the nature of cities in cities and its sublime paradoxes, one could perhaps also enlarge the city nature question to reflect on the gradual urbanization of planet Earth.  Whether it is global appropriation of Earth resources by humans — human activities now appropriate nearly one-third to one-half of global … Continue reading The Ironic “Nature” of ExUrbia

June 19, 2013
Photo: Stephanie Pincetl

Vroom, buzz, roar, hum, zzzz, whine, chuffa-chuffa, whir, putt-putt, growl and shriek. Acrid, penetrating, sweet, stomach turning, smokey, arresting. These are the sounds and smells of machines, the machines that fueled by petroleum and are ubiquitous in the urban landscape, seemingly indispensible and unavoidable to the maintenance of urban ecosystem services.  The smallest patches of … Continue reading The Sounds and Smells…and Costs…of Urban Ecosystem Servicing

December 12, 2012

It is interesting that we think of nature in cities only as fauna and flora.  Mineral nature—the rocks and inert resources—is the stage on which living nature is set.  In cities, this means that the embedded nature all around us, that has been extracted from the Earth like the processed aggregate that we use to … Continue reading The Invisible Urban Nature All Around Us: Beyond Green to Include the Built Infrastructure

June 18, 2012

This winter I had occasion to spend a few days in the city of Albuquerque, where it was cold, dry and brown. Winter in the Southwestern United States. Trees along the Rio Grande were bare; not too many trees elsewhere. Taking the taxi back home from the Los Angeles International Airport, fondly known as LAX, … Continue reading Reflections on Cities, Seasons and Bioregions