Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

How Can Religion Help in the Pursuit of Urban Sustainability?
Chris Ives,  Nottingham

Increasingly, urban nature is viewed not only as a scientific, technological or design issue, but a moral one. The recent TNOC roundtable “Ecosystems for everyone” rested on the assumption that provision of and access to ecosystem services and urban nature is a “moral imperative”. Indeed, Steward Pickett began his contribution with the statement “The availability of ecosystem services for everyone...

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

The Untamed City and its Indivisible Connection with Nature
Shuaib Lwasa,  Kampala

The impacts associated with city functions, economic, environmental, mobility, extend well beyond their administrative boundaries. But the contemporary and dominant frameworks and systems for managing cities have always determined what activity is allowable, where, and how the infrastructure and any developments pertaining to the function would be developed. Thus, functionality of cities has been defined by secondary activities—industry, transportation and services—which...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

Artists in Conversation with Air in Cities
Carmen Bouyer,  New York |  Tim Collins,  Glasgow |  Karahan Kadrman,  Istanbul |  Maggie Lin,  Hong Kong |  Patrick M. Lydon,  San Jose & Osaka |  Jennifer Monson,  Urbana |  Fanny Retsek,  San Jose |  Julia Stern,  Paris |  Cecilia Vicuña,  Santiago & New York |  2 Comment(s)
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REVIEWS
PODCAST

Rewriting the Book on Urban Transportation Design
David Bragdon, New York

A review of Global Street Design Guide. From the Global Designing Cities Initiative. ISBN: 9781610917018. Island Press. 442 pages. Buy the book. Streets are often the biggest share of publicly-owned land in a city. All too often, they’re conceived and managed only as thoroughfares for motor vehicles. A whole set of standards has been imposed to judge the effectiveness of streets solely on...

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RECENT ESSAYS...

What Can We Learn from Past Successes? Thirty Years of Urban Ecology Action in London
David Goode, Bath

Looking back over 50 years working as an ecologist some things stand out as real success stories. Camley Street Natural Park in London is one of these. On the day that I started work as Senior Ecologist at the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1982 I learnt that the Council had decided to convert a derelict coal yard at the...

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The Human Disconnect in Trash Management
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

We walk through Mashhad, Iran, and start giggling like children. “Look how clean everything is! There are trash bins, and parks with good exercise equipment, and wide sidewalks you can actually walk on without being sideswiped by motos, rickshaws, bicycles and cows! Oh, how nice… they painted the park benches! And, people are sitting on the grass, having a picnic,...

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Making the Invisible Visible: Mapping Civic Environmental Stewardship
Laura Landau, New York
Lindsay Campbell, New York City
Erika Svendsen, New York City

Worldwide, cities are grappling with aging infrastructure, shifting populations, and changing weather patterns, necessitating the use and expansion of green space in equitable and creative ways. Many are embracing a transition from the sanitary city—comprised of siloed functions and grey infrastructure—to the sustainable city—comprised of regenerative and distributed systems that require ongoing coordination. At the same time, municipal budget constraints...

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To Create a Movement to Repair & Unify our Fragmented & Disfunctional Urban Landscapes
PK Das, Mumbai

Broken and disparate urban landscapes are common experience. The multitude of issues and concerns that are causing such conditions are not new; neither are responses of those who are committed to ideas of sustainability. Yet, discussions of the causes and responses have to be repeated many times over, in order to strengthen our forces or build new ones where there...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

Ecosystems for everyone: Who should have access to the myriad benefits of ecosystem services and urban nature? Everyone. Does everyone? No. How will we achieve this moral imperative?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona  |  Georgina Avlonitis,  Cape Town |  Julie Bargmann,  Charlottesville |  Nathalie Blanc,  Paris |  PK Das,  Mumbai |  Marthe Derkzen,  Amsterdam |  Maggie Scott Greenfield,  New York |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Nadja Kabisch,  Berlin |  Jim Labbe,  Portland |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Flaminia Paddeu,  Paris |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Andrew Rudd,  New York City |  Suraya Scheba,  Cape Town |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Hita Unnikrishnan,  Bangalore |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota |  Pengfei XIE,  Beijing | 
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Imagine an “ecological certification” for urban design. What are such a certification’s key elements?
Ankia Bormans,  Cape Town |  Katie Coyne,  Austin |  Sarah Dooling,  Austin/Boston |  Nigel Dunnett,  Sheffield |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Sarah Hinners,  Salt Lake City |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Jason King,  Seattle |  Marit Larson,  New York City |  Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto |  Travis Longcore,  Los Angeles |  Colin Meurk,  Christchurch |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Mohan Rao,  Bangalore |  Aditya Sood,  Delhi | 
29 Comment(s)
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Are cities ecosystems—analogous to natural ones—of nature, infrastructure and people? Does thinking about cities in this way help us think about urban design?
Marina Alberti,  Seattle |  Erik Andersson,  Stockholm |  Sarah Dooling,  Austin/Boston |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm |  Nancy Grimm,  Phoenix |  Dagmar Haase,  Berlin |  Dominique Hes,  Melbourne |  Kristina Hill,  Berkeley |  Madhusudan Katti,  Raleigh |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris |  Clifford Ochs,  Oxford |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Stephanie Pincetl,  Los Angeles |  Rob Pirani,  New York |  Richard Register,  Berkeley |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Alexis Schaffler,  Berkeley/Johannesburg/Cape Town |  Vivek Shandas,  Portland |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Jane Toner,  Melbourne |  Yolanda van Heezik,  Dunedin |  Ken Yeang,  Kuala Lumpur |  David Maddox,  New York City | 
3 Comment(s)
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To whom does a city’s nature belong? Is it a common pool resource, or a public good? And who decides?
Amita Baviskar,  Delhi |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York City |  James Connolly,  Barcelona |  Sheila Foster,  Washington, DC |  Phil Ginsburg,  San Francisco |  Jeff Hou,  Seattle |  Marianne Krasny,  Ithaca |  Mary Mattingly,  New York City |  Oona Morrow,  Berlin |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Raul Pacheco-Vega,  Aguascalientes |  Michael Sarbanes,  Baltimore |  Philip Silva,  New York |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota | 
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

Should Bangalore Aim to Become a Smart City?
Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore

There is growing recognition that cities, which already house more than half the world’s population, require increased policy and development attention. India’s policy response to the need for sustainable, resilient and low-carbon cities is the Smart...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Southeast Asia’s Urban Future: A Snapshot of Kuala Lumpur
Chris Ives,  Nottingham
Alex Lechner,  Kuala Lumpur

We found ourselves scrambling along the slippery, vine-entangled slope, ducking under branches and contorting ourselves around fallen trees. The air was hot and thick with humidity, causing us to sweat after just a few minutes on the trail. As we walked, the noise of the busy highway slowly subsided and the sounds of the rainforest could be heard in the...

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PLACE &
DESIGN

A Spatial Overview of the Nature of Cities
Andre Mader,  Montreal

I like to simplify what constitutes urban nature in a given area. I therefore thought it might be interesting to provide an overview and to ask whether anything is missing, or erroneously included. This article expresses my view of the variety of forms that could be included under the “nature of cities” banner. On planning maps, nature is represented by...

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ART &
AWARENESS

The Strategy of Sanderlings and the Tactics of Terrapins: What Was Hurricane Sandy Trying to Tell New York City?
Eric Sanderson,  New York

Like an ancient prophet, armed with forebodings of doom and destruction, Hurricane Sandy bore down on New York City in the early hours of 30 October, 2012.  An extra-tropical cyclone, a thousand miles wide and armed with hurricane strength winds, Sandy was only eight days old.  A fitful infant terrible, Sandy had already visited havoc across Jamaica, Cuba, and the...

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