Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

ESSAYS

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Tree Inequality Is Worse in the Suburbs
Rob McDonald,  Washington, DC

Urban trees and their canopy cover provide many benefits for urban residents, reducing air pollutant concentrations, mitigating stormwater runoff, maintaining water quality, encouraging physical recreation, and improving mental health. But just as urban ecologists are quantifying more and more benefits of urban trees for health, other research increasingly shows that tree cover is unequally distributed in many cities, with low-income...

Documenting the Pandemic Year: Reflecting Backward, Looking Forward
Lindsay Campbell,  New York
Michelle Johnson,  New York City
Sophie Plitt,  New York
Laura Landau,  New York
Erika Svendsen,  New York

This essay is part four in a series. Since 13 March 2020, our team of social science researchers has been keeping a collective journal of our experiences of our New York City neighborhoods, public green spaces, and environmental stewardship during COVID-19. Read the essays from spring, summer, and fall here. I. Marking time, mourning, and spring rebirth After hitting the...

A Walk in the Park? Re-imagining Urban Environmental Conservation during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Kaja Aagaard,  Middlebury
Mika Mei Jia Tan,  Los Baños
Jennifer Rae Pierce,  Vancouver

The COVID-19 pandemic has established a moment of immense global loss. In the midst of this public health crisis, our concerns for our families and communities necessarily take priority. Yet, addressing these concerns demands a look towards the future: to the reevaluation of global systems that may produce or obstruct the conditions for the next pandemic. Emerging dialogue linking biodiversity...

Is Cali the City with the Most Birds in the World?
Rubén Darío Palacio,  Durham

The city of Cali in southwestern Colombia boasts a staggering number of 562 species of birds, and it probably has the longest bird list for any city in the world. But can we find out for sure? Birds are the link between the urban and the wild. A bird-friendly city can harbor an important sample of species found in the surrounding natural...

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLES

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What actions are successful in activating cities to implement urban biodiversity conservation policies, campaigns, and projects?
Eric Butler,  Portland |  Georgina Cullman,  New York |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Hayato Hasegawa,  Fukuoka |  Clara Holmes,  New York |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City |  Mahito Kamada,  Tokushima |  Marit Larson,  New York |  Gilles Lecuir,  Paris |  Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi |  Colin Meurk,  Christchurch |  Matthew Morrow,  New York |  Siobhán McQuaid,  Dublin |  Tomomi Sudo,  Fukuoka |  Pamela Zevit,  Surrey | 
We Need an Ethical Code for Water
Gloria Aponte,  Medellín |  Katherine Berthon,  Melbourne |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Paul Currie,  Cape Town |  PK Das,  Mumbai |  Meredith Dobbie,  Victoria |  Casey Furlong,  Melbourne |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Gary Grant,  London |  Juliana Landolfi de Carvalho,  Curitiba |  Tom Liptan,  Portland |  Sareh Moosavi,  Brussels |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  André Stephan,  Brussels |  Peter Schoonmaker,  Portland |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem |  Mario Yanez,  Lisbon | 
What’s Next? Learning From Nature During Lockdown
Elmaz Abinader,  Oakland |  Jane Ingram Allen,  Santa Rosa |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Anne Brochot,  Voulx |  Joyce Garvey,  Dublin |  Leslie Gauthier,  New York |  Frances Mezzetti,  Dublin |  Munira Naqui,  Portland | 
How is COVID-19 affecting caring for and researching urban ecology?
Christina Breed,  Pretoria |  Mark Champion,  Wigan |  Joy Clancy,  Twente |  Ian Douglas,  Manchester |  Pete Frost,  Cardiff |  Lincoln Garland,  Bath |  David Haley,  Ulverston |  Jane Houghton,  York |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Christian Isendahl,  Gothenburg |  Philip James,  Salford |  Sarah Lindley,  Manchester |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Nancy McIntyre,  Lubbock |  Camilo Ordóñez,  Melbourne |  Stephan Pauleit,  Munich |  Joe Ravetz,  Manchester |  Graham Rook,  London |  Richard Salisbury,  Manchester |  Alan Scott,  London |  Richard Scott,  Liverpool |  Monica Smith,  Los Angeles |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Miriam Stark,  Honolulu |  Katalin Szlavecz,  Baltimore |  Joanne Tippett,  Manchester |  Piotr Tryjanowski,  Poznan |  Tim Webb,  London |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Phil Wheater,  Manchester | 

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

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The State We’re in Water: Constructing a Sense of Place in the Hydrosphere

An exhibition by Robin Lasser and Marguerite Perret Originally produced by Oklahoma State Museum of Art,adapted and digitally-curated for The Nature of Cities by the Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures (FRIEC).   Introduction “…from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” — Charles Darwin We human beings are...

Hidden Flows — photographers uncover the invisible flows in African cities

Introduction Welcome to our exhibition! It’s been a year in the making, and will keep evolving. We’d love to hear your thoughts: [email protected] The hidden flows exhibition emerged out of a need to enrich current conversations about resources, infrastructure and services in African cities. There is ongoing research, through the lens of urban metabolism, to measure and track how resources...

NYC Urban Field Station—Who Takes Care of New York?

Welcome! This interactive exhibition–originally mounted at the Queens Museum in 2019–highlights the stories, geographies, and impacts of diverse civic stewards across New York through art, maps, and storytelling. This is the Gallery Space’s “front door” and we are asking for a voluntary donation to support this exhibit—a tip jar, or pay-what-you-will ticket. During COVID-19, The Urban Ecological Arts Forum at...

Emilio Fantin—Dreams of Trees

Welcome to an exhibition and workshop that asks: how do we re-member what once rooted us in our own being and in the mutual being of the world around us? Fantin helps highlight a universal consciousness, and a relationship that affects not only the human being but all animated and non-animated things. This is the Gallery Space’s “front door” and...

EVENTS

TNOC Festival

TNOC Festival pushed boundaries to radically imagine our cities for the future. A virtual festival that covered 5 days with programming across all regional time zones and provided in multiple languages.

TNOC Festival Plenaries

TNOC Festival featured 18 plenaries, each with keynotes, panel dialogues, and art interventions. You can see them all here, both as complete plenary videos or segments.

TNOC Summit Outputs

This is a page for emerging outputs from The Nature of Cities Summit, in Paris 4-7 June 2019. New essays and roundtable appear here periodically, so keep checking back.

Conversations

TNOC operates three webinar series: Adventures in Collaboration, Stories of the Nature of Cities 1/2 Hour, and THE LEAF: Show and Tells from the Urban Arts Collective. After the scheduled live webinar, a recording will be made available to view.

PROJECTS

Fiction

We asked people to imagine future cities, in the form of a flash or short fiction. Our original prompt read like this: What are the stories of people and nature in cities in 2099? The result was a bopok of 57 stories from 23 countries.

Poetry

With SPROUT, we are curating a space for trans- and multi-disciplinary collaborations between poets, researchers, and citizens with a focus on geographical diversity, polyvocality, and translation. We are a creative project of The Nature of Cities, specifically interested in the character of green cities from many ways of knowing.

La Nature Des Villes

La Nature des Villes est un projet réalisé par The Nature of Cities. Cette une espace en ligne dédiée à la facilitation de la collaboration, en français, pour créer les villes qui soient meilleures pour la nature et tous les citoyens urbains. Nous existons à promouvoir les idées et les rassemblements multidisciplinaires entre divers acteurs urbains au monde francophone.

Food Water Energy

The IFWEN project stands for: Understanding Innovative Initiatives for Governing Food, Water and Energy Nexus in Cities. IFWEN is a Belmont Forum funded international team of researchers and stakeholders working to advance knowledge about urban governance related to FWEN, and Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) as its base.

MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

Regulating the Bee Buzz
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

Most people would agree that honeybees need help. Concerns about their dwindling numbers and the pesticides used on the food they eat have rallied environmental activists around the save-the-bees cause. That increased awareness, combined with a...

PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Of Wilderness, Wild-ness, and Wild Things
Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto

And I think in this empty world there was room for me and a mountain lion. And I think in the world beyond, how easily we might spare a million or two humans And never miss them. Yet what a gap in the world, the missing white-frost face of that slim yellow mountain lion! —D.H. Lawrence, Mountain Lion Humans are...

PLACE &
DESIGN

Move Slow and Connect People with Nature: The Economics of Happiness in Jeonju
Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka

A review of the International Conference on the Economics of Happiness, held on September 3-5, 2015 in Jeonju, South Korea. “We need to re-establish the link between city and land.” At the opening ceremony of the Economics of Happiness conference, we were happily greeted with this statement from the event’s director, Dr. Helena Norberg-Hodge, who called for everyone present (governments,...

ART &
AWARENESS

The High Line. Foreseen. Unforeseen.
Adrian Benepe,  New York

A review of The High Line. By James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofido + Renfro. 2015. ISBN: 9780714871004. Phaidon Press. 452 pages. Buy the book. New York City’s High Line Park, once a rusting relic of abandoned freight rail transportation infrastructure, has become arguably one of the world’s best-known urban parks, and possibly the single most visited park in...