Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.



Some Kind of Nature… But What Will We End Up With?
Yolanda van Heezik,  Dunedin

Whenever I listen to the song Some Kind of Nature by the Gorillaz & Lou Reed, it makes me think about what kind of nature we are going to end up with in our cities, even though the song isn’t actually about urban nature at all. From my perspective here in New Zealand, it seems as if there are some...

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Biophilic Benefits or Bio-baloney? (Probably) the Former
Lincoln Garland,  Bath

Regular readers of TNOC will be familiar with the biophilia hypothesis, which supposes an innate emotional link between humans and the natural world that positively impacts our psychological wellbeing. In other words, we feel most at home in naturalistic surroundings, as this is where we evolved and have spent the majority of human history. The concept has subsequently been applied...

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Let go of some urban domestication: How would you convince the mayor to re-wild the city?
Juan Azcarate,  Bogota |  Keith Bowers,  Charleston |  Katrine Claassens,  Montreal |  Don Dearborn,  Lewiston |  Ian Douglas,  Manchester |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Lincoln Garland,  Bath |  Amy Hahs,  Ballarat, Australia |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City |  Louise Lezy-Bruno,  Paris |  Jala Makhzoumi,  Beirut |  Juliana Montoya,  Bogota |  Daniel Phillips,  Bangalore |  Mohan Rao,  Bangalore |  Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth |  Kati Vierikko,   |  6 Comment(s)
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Where Did the Rivers Go? The Hidden Waterways beneath London
David Goode, Bath

A review of The Lost Rivers of London, by Nicholas Barton and Stephen Myers, 2016.  ISBN:1905286511. Historical Publications Ltd . 224 pages. Buy The Lost Rivers of London. …and London’s Lost Rivers, by Paul Talling. ISBN: 184794597X. Random House UK. 192 pages. Buy London’s Lost Rivers. The Lost Rivers of London by Nicholas Barton and Stephen Myers, was published in 2016 by Historical Publications....

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The New Urban Agenda: Is the Compact City Ecologically More Favorable than Dispersed Forms?
Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires

Some weeks ago I took part in a seminar in Recife, Brazil, where colleagues of Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Mexico met. The main queries to be answered were: How each professional from their individual specialities could collaborate to address the New Urban Agenda established by the Habitat III Conference, held in Quito in 2016? What are the remaining questions regarding...

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Re-naturing Cities: Theories, Strategies and Methodologies
Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira, Portsmouth
Heather Rumble, Portsmouth
Mark Goddard, Newcastle
Fabio Angeoletto, Rondonópolis
Pedro Britto, Goiânia
Silvio Caputo, Portsmouth
Stuart Connop, London
Karla Emmanuela Ribeiro Hora, Goiânia
Caroline Nash, London
Braulio Romeiro, Goiânia

There is strong interest in the theme of re-naturing cities, since “naturalizing” cities can help address multiple global societal challenges and generate benefits, such as the enhancement of health and well-being, sustainable urbanisation, the provision of ecosystems and their services, and resilience to climate change. But, what are the theories, strategies and methodologies that can be used to re-nature our...

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Getting Humans to Learn to Live in Harmony with Wildlife
Lena Chan, Singapore

Humans have been living with wildlife since time immemorial. But with the growth of cities, people have become so distant from nature and wildlife that many think there is no native flora and fauna left in urban jungles. This alienation raised such concern in the global community that the United Nations General Assembly has designated 3 March each year as...

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A Hymn to Nature in My City
Paula Vandergert, London

Warning: What follows is entirely personal and non-scientific. This is a good thing. I live and work in a global city. Here’s my justification for being here. I work on scaling up greening in cities across Europe. My global city—London—has been a leader in urban greening initiatives for many years. Both my work and my studies have given me the...

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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 | 
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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 | 
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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 | 
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A Matter of Scale: Connecting Human Design Decisions with Decisions Made by Wildlife
Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville

Ok, if you can look past my anthropomorphic statement that wildlife make decisions, the topic I would like to address deals with the adoption and use of ecological principles by the design community. Patch size, landscape...

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Closing the Gap Between Girls’ Education and Women in the Workforce
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

Nilofar* leans over to pour us more tea. All conversations in Central Asia seem to start with tea. She is asking questions about our trip, wondering why we are walking from Bangkok to Barcelona. She wants to know if we have always traveled, how we can afford the trip, if women can travel alone. She wants to visit London and...

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Let us champion “Biodiversinesque” landscape design for the 21st century
Maria E Ignatieva,  Uppsala

I started my research as a landscape architect and urban ecologist in St. Petersburg, Russia. My home town is one of the biggest European cities and it is famous for numerous historical landscapes. In that time (1990’s) investigation of urban biotopes was a novelty. Passion for the history of landscape architecture resulted in my concentration on biodiversity of historical parks...

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Are We Truly Connected in Today’s High Frequency World?
Chantal van Ham,  Brussels

In September last year, the IUCN World Conservation Congress—Planet at the Crossroads—brought together in Hawai’i more than 10,000 participants from 180 countries, including top scientists and academics, world leaders and decision makers from governments, civil society, indigenous peoples, and business. It presented a unique opportunity to discuss the unprecedented challenges facing our planet. The Congress made clear that our future...

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