Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

July 23, 2017 Look More Closely, Think More Deeply: Experiences from the 2017 US Forest Service International Urban Forestry Seminar
Adrina Bardekjian,  Vancouver

One adage I want to share after finishing the US Forest Service Inaugural International Urban Forestry Seminar is: look more closely, think more deeply. This was something that one of the presenters said to us on our first day in Chicago and it stuck with me throughout our journey. Over the course of two weeks (4-17 June 2017), our delegation of...

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

July 19, 2017 Plants Do Not Care How Rich You Are: Anthropogenic Florstic Changes in Tehran’s Public and Private Green Areas
Maryam Akbarian,  Tehran

The city landscape, because of the holistic nature of city-forming factors and urban community, is like a book in which the various characteristics of the city and its citizens are visible: values and norms, economic conditions, tastes and aesthetic criteria, commitment to the living environment, and so on. Throughout history, the city, as a dynamic system, is a result of the...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

June 30, 2017 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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REVIEWS
PODCAST

July 10, 2017 Designing Urban Nature: The Domain of Ecologically Informed Planners or Landscape Architects?
Will Allen, Chapel Hill

A review of: Nature and Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning by Frederick R. Steiner, George F. Thompson, Armando Carbonell (eds.). 2016. ISBN 9781558443471. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 465 pages. Buy the book. As I opened this handsomely large book, I was pleased to see a quote from Ian McHarg near the front, even before...

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July 16, 2017 “Immigrants Don’t Like Trees” and Other Myths of Urban Nature Management in Multicultural Cities
Camilo Ordóñez, Toronto

In many cities, urban nature is managed in a multicultural landscape. The ethnic and cultural diversity seen in many western cities today, mostly driven by recent immigration, is unprecedented. For example, Toronto boasts a foreign-born population of about 50%. In Australia, 25% of the population is foreign-born. In many European cites, this is about 15-20%, or higher. One of the...

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July 9, 2017 Crossing the Design-Science Divide
Jason King, Seattle

Designers and scientists are different. We think, communicate, and interact with the world in vastly different ways. For instance, designers often develop evocative renderings of our creations, varying in style, but of a similar nature to the image below: a collage perspective showing a scene explaining a design concept. For a designer, this form provides three-dimensional shape to the design,...

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July 5, 2017 Building a Local and Integrated Renewable Energy Future: Brownfields to BrightGreenFields
Zoé Hamstead, Buffalo
Ryan McPherson, Buffalo

Post-industrial cities in the United States and elsewhere are implementing brownfields to brightfields programs that help develop local economies, generate clean energy and manage pollution. Brownfields are former industrial sites or landfills with contaminated soil. These sites pose both environmental and social challenges, as contamination must be remediated prior to redevelopment. Slow redevelopment processes can lead to or reinforce cycles...

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July 2, 2017 The Smart (Cyborg) City Needs Smarter Ecological Resilience Thinking
Stephan Barthel, Stockholm
Johan Colding, Stockholm

Recently, Colding and Barthel (2017) critiqued how the Smart City-model is taken more or less as a given good for creating sustainable cities. This view is deeply rooted in seductive visions of the future, where the digital revolution stands as the primary force for change (for a critical perspective, see for instance Luque Ayala and Marvin, 2015: March, 2016; Hollands,...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

May,2017 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,  New York City |  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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Mar,2017 What are we trying to accomplish with biophilic cities? What are ambitious goals and targets, and measures of success?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Tim Beatley,  Charlottesville |  Lena Chan,  Singapore |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Ian Douglas,  Manchester |  Dusty Gedge,  London |  David Goode,  Bath |  Bram Gunther,  New York |  Chris Ives,  Nottingham |  Tania Katzschner,  Cape Town |  Steve Maslin,  Bristol |  Peter Newman,  Perth |  Phil Roös,  Geelong |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Jana Söderlund,  Perth |  Fleur Timmer,  Bristol |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Ken Yeang,  Kuala Lumpur | 
22 Comment(s)
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Jan,2017 You say po-TAY-to. What ecologists and landscape architects don’t get about each other, but ought to.
Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Maria E Ignatieva,  Uppsala |  Amy Hahs,  Ballarat, Australia |  Jürgen Breuste,  Salzburg |  Susannah Drake,  New York City |  Marcus Hedblom,  Uppsala |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Steven Handel,  New Brunswick |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Ian MacGregor-Fors,  Xalapa |  Anne Trumble,  Los Angeles |  Christine Thuring,  Sheffield |  Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth |  Gloria Aponte,  Medellín |  Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto |  Sarah Hinners,  Salt Lake City |  AnaLuisa Artesi,  Buenos Aires |  Jala Makhzoumi,  Beirut |  Jason King,  Seattle |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Danielle Dagenais,  Montreal |  Mary Cadenasso,  Davis |  Veronica Fabio,  Buenos Aires |  Peter Werner,  Darmstadt | 
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

December 7, 2014 If We Plant the Plants Will the Insects Follow?
Denise Ford,  Christchurch
Glenn Stewart,  Christchurch

Remnants of indigenous vegetation in urban and rural areas often are the only remaining examples of ecosystems that were once more extensive before human settlement. They are therefore vital for preserving and promoting biodiversity. Remnant vegetation...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

October 14, 2012 Embracing Environmental Justice to Green Our Cities
Rebecca Bratspies,  New York City

The future of the environmental movement lies in the world’s cities. In 2008, for the first time in human history, more of us lived in urban environments than in any other setting.  This trend is only going to accelerate as human population approaches the 10 billion (!) mark by the end of the 21st Century. Indeed, almost two decades ago,...

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PLACE &
DESIGN

January 27, 2013 Historic Gardens – Where Nature Meets Culture – Can be Urban Biodiversity Hotspots
Maria E Ignatieva,  Uppsala

I was lucky to be born in St. Petersburg, Russia, the city of museums and parks.  My first scientific passion was exactly historical imperial gardens.  Traditionally gardens have been seen as very special places, as paradises where people can enjoy sounds of water and birds, can rest their eyes on green grass and bright flowers and delight in the fragrance...

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ART &
AWARENESS

January 2, 2017 Resolving to Act After the 2016 U.S. Election and the United Nations Climate Conference
Franco Montalto,  Philadelphia and Venice
Hugh Johnson,  Philadelphia

We attended the 22nd session of the United Nations Climate Conference (also called COP22) as “Observers” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. 2016 presidential election. Since 1995, the COP has served as the annual UN climate conference, providing an opportunity to assess progress, negotiate agreements, and disseminate information regarding global climate change action. This year’s COP was simultaneously exhilarating...

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