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Timon McPhearson,  New York City

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Timon McPhearson

Timon McPhearson

Assistant Professor
The New School
New York, NY USA

Dr. Timon McPhearson is Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology at The New School’s Tishman Environment and Design Center in New York City where he teaches urban ecology, sustainability and resilience. He earned his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources from Rutgers University, held a postdoc at Columbia University, and worked as a biodiversity scientist at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. His research seeks to improve resilience and sustainability of urban social-ecological systems including the EU funded Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (URBES) project, the MillionTreesNYC Urban Forest Restoration study, the ICLEI Urban Biosphere (URBIS) Initiative, and the UN CBD Cities and Biodiversity Outlook (CBO), a global assessment of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services.

January 3, 2015
IMG_5_Drawing_Soil

Small-scale urban spaces can be rich in biodiversity, contribute important ecological benefits for human mental and physical health (McPhearson et al., 2013), and overall help to create more livable cities. Micro_urban spaces are the sandwich spaces between buildings, rooftops, walls, curbs, sidewalk cracks, and other small-scale urban spaces that exist in the fissures between linear infrastructure … Continue reading Micro_Urban: The Ecological and Social Potential of Small-Scale Urban Spaces

July 28, 2014
ImagesVacantLots

(This encore publication originally appeared at TNOC on 21 August 2012.) Walk through any major city and you’ll see vacant land. These are the weed lots, garbage strewn undeveloped spaces, and high crime areas that most urban residents consider blights on the neighborhood. In some cases, neighbors have organized to transform these spaces into community amenities … Continue reading TNOC Encore: Vacant Land in Cities Could Provide Important Social and Ecological Benefits

June 8, 2014
Aerial views of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen.

Cities around the world are making plans, developing agendas, and articulating goals for urban resilience, but is urban resilience really possible? Resilience to what, for what, and for whom? Additionally, resilience is being used in many cases as a replacement for sustainability, which it is not. Resilience and sustainability need to be linked, but with … Continue reading The Rise of Resilience: Linking Resilience and Sustainability in City Planning

May 19, 2013
CentralParkNYC

How do the benefits of urban green infrastructure stack up against the costs? We need to better understand the services and disservices generated by urban green infrastructure in order to build better decision support tools for improved planning and management of urban ecosystems that support human health and well-being. Urban disturbances In August 2009, a … Continue reading Getting Beyond Plant PR: Accounting for Both Services and Disservices of Urban Green Infrastructure

January 20, 2013
HurricaneSandyPhotobyMarkOlsen

We had a “wicked problem” on our hands when Hurricane Sandy struck the US eastern seaboard on October 29th, 2012.  Sandy was dramatic, destroying 72,000 homes, causing tens of billions of dollars in infrastructural damage, displacing thousands of residents (many of whom are still displaced), and completely disrupting one of the largest regional economies in … Continue reading Wicked Problems, Social-ecological Systems, and the Utility of Systems Thinking

August 21, 2012
ImagesVacantLots

Walk through any major city and you’ll see vacant land. These are the weed lots, garbage strewn undeveloped spaces, and high crime areas that most urban residents consider blights on the neighborhood. In some cases, neighbors have organized to transform these spaces into community amenities such as shared garden spaces, but all too often these … Continue reading Vacant Land in Cities Could Provide Important Social and Ecological Benefits