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January 22, 2017 Future Cities Live Underground—And That’s Not a Pile of Schist
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

Winter is here in the north—not the slightest allusion here to any famous TV series or any recent election, of course. And in the wintertime, life goes underground in a literal sense: tubers and roots reign while most of the aboveground parts of plants are dormant; animals hibernate or at least seek shelter in holes and caves. But in the...

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PODCAST:
THIS IS TNOC

October 16, 2016 It Takes a Village to Green an Alley
Philip Silva, New York
David Maddox, New York City

Story Notes: More and more cities throughout the world are turning to parks, gardens, green roofs, and other kinds of “green infrastructure” to soak up storm water and simultaneously create vibrant new patches of open space for their citizens. In this podcast, produced by Philip Silva, we explore three cases of green infrastructure that have popped up in alleyways and on...

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REVIEWS
REACTIONS

January 18, 2017 Can a City Be Sustainable?
Paul Downton, Melbourne

A review of Can a City Be Sustainable? By Gary Gardner, Tom Prugh, and Michael Renner. 2016. Island Press.  Buy the book. This compact volume is an ambitious portmanteau of information on sustainable urbanism that covers an impressive range of issues and amply demonstrates how many of the essential initiatives needed to make sustainable cities are demonstrably achievable, with actions that can proceed...

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RECENT ESSAYS...

January 18, 2017 Linear Parks: The Importance of a Balanced, Cross-Disciplinary Design
Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires
Claudia Zuleyka Vidal, Cali
Florencia Gustelar, Buenos Aires
Romina Lopez, Buenos Aires

In a previous contribution to The Nature of Cities (Faggi & Vidal 2016), we wrote about linear parks (LPs) as an interesting green space typology and discussed some strengths and threats of these multifunctional areas in Latin America. Other contributions (Tsur 2014, Das 2015, Maddox 2016) explained that LPs are good answers to create more access to green and open...

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January 15, 2017 Celebrating the First Ecology Parks in London
David Goode, Bath

In November 2016 there was a celebration in London: it had been 40 years since the idea of creating an Ecology Park in central London was first suggested. The event provided opportunities to share memories of those early days and to see how the concept has taken root and proliferated. We met near Tower Bridge on the site of the...

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January 11, 2017 Building for Birds: An Online Tool to Evaluate How Different Development Designs Impact Forest Bird Habitat
Mark Hostetler, Gainesville
Jan-Michael Archer, Gainesville

Often, city forest fragments and tree canopies are overlooked by city planners and developers as important bird habitat. More often than not, people only regard large patches as beneficial. The message from conservationists is that we want to avoid fragmentation and to conserve large forested areas. While this goal is important, the message tends to negate any thoughts by developers...

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January 8, 2017 The Real Dirt on Urban Compost
Sven Eberlein, Oakland

“Why isn’t every city doing this?” Dave Vella asks as he intently massages a handful of succulent compost from the towering pile freshly deposited onto his vineyard’s gravel thoroughfare. Dressed in jeans and denim shirt, the veteran Grape Manager of Chateau Montelena is about as casual as can be for someone whose vineyard shocked the wine world in 1973 when...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

Nov,2016 Resilience isn’t only about infrastructure. How can we better support community-based environmental stewardship in readiness, response, and recovery from disturbance?
Weston Brinkley,  Seattle |  Katerina Elias,  São Paulo |  Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore |  Jonathan Halfon,  New York City |  Heather McMillen,  Honolulu & New York City |  Luciana Nery,  Rio de Janeiro |  Raul Pacheco-Vega,  Aguascalientes |  Renae Reynolds,  New York City |  Hita Unnikrishnan,  Bangalore |  Paula Villagra,  Valdivia |  Karen Zumach,  Minneapolis | 
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Oct,2016 Habitat III is finally a reality. From your perspective, what would be the single most important tangible outcome (not output) of the event—short or long term—and what will it take to achieve this outcome?
Yunus Arikan,  Bonn |  Xuemei Bai,  Canberra |  Genie Birch,  Philadelphia & New York |  Maruxa Cardama,  Brussels |  Bharat Dahiya,  Bangkok |  PK Das,  Mumbai |  David Dodman,  London |  William Dunbar,  Tokyo |  Anjali Mahendra,  Chapel Hill & New Delhi |  Jose Puppim,  Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio |  David Satterthwaite,  London |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Pengfei XIE,  Beijing |  Lorena Zárate,  Mexico City | 
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Sep,2016 How can we make urban nature and its value more apparent, more “visible” to people?
Simone Borelli,  Rome |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Sven Eberlein,  Oakland |  David Goode,  Bath |  Leen Gorissen,  Antwerp |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Seth Magle,  Chicago |  Polly Moseley,  Liverpool |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Jennifer Sánchez,  San José |  Richard Scott,  Liverpool |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels |  Gavin Van Horn,  Chicago |  Mark Weckel,  New York |  Mike Wetter,  Portland |  Niki Frantzeskaki,  Rotterdam |  Hastings Chikoko,  Johannesburg | 
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Aug,2016 What are the unifying elements of an urban ecology of the Global South and geographic south? Are they different than those in the north?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Olga Barbosa,  Valdivia |  Timothy Bonebrake,  Hong Kong |  Bharat Dahiya,  Bangkok |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Sabina Caula,  Ibarra, Ecuador |  Shuaib Lwasa,  Kampala |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Colin Meurk,  Lincoln |  Sue Parnell,  Cape Town |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Luis Sandoval,  San José, Costa Rica |  Seth Schindler,  Sheffield |  Tan Puay Yok,  Singapore | 
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

April 9, 2014 Natural Parks Define American Cities
Adrian Benepe,  New York City

With almost all of my career (and most of my adult life) spent working in or around city parks, I was recently surprised to learn an astonishing fact. In American’s largest cities, more than half contain...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

April 21, 2016 Shortcomings of the Paris Accord: We Need to Combat Air Pollution at Multiple Scales
Christopher Sellers,  Stony Brook

As world leaders gathered recently in New York to sign the momentous Paris accord to curb future carbon emissions, the air in Indian cities such as Delhi continued to scale alarming heights of befoulment, and Chinese cities such as Beijing keep struggling to curtail the roiling murk in their own skies. While this agreement deserves celebrating, we also need to be...

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PLACE &
DESIGN

November 20, 2016 A Barley Field Grows on Soviet Concrete
Andrea Tamm and Ann Press,  Tallinn

In the summer of 2016, the largest Soviet-era residential area of Estonia was living a new life. The district Lasnamäe, including Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, was built in the late 70s, but it has fallen into stagnation. Little has changed since its inception, and those big plans are still unfinished. A vast traffic channel to the city center is waiting...

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ART &
AWARENESS

May 17, 2016 Biophilic Urban Acupuncture: The Importance of Biophilia in Urban Places
Jonce Walker,  New York City

As our cities expand and densify simultaneously, there is a need to design places to connect people to nature. If we are not careful, our commute and daily experience within the city will be nothing more than glass, steel, and concrete. This post articulates the need for biophilic interventions in urban places, offers good examples found in NYC, and suggests...

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