Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

What Cities Can Learn from Human Bodies
Nadine Galle,  Amsterdam

At any one moment, trillions of chemical reactions take place in the human body: a myriad of connections, enzymes, and processes that together make up our human metabolism. You might recognise this concept from health and fitness clickbait headlines that promise things like: “10 easy ways to increase your metabolism”; “7 daily habits that can boost your metabolism to burn...

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

Proposals for the Environment and the Future of Cities
Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth

A Brief History of Climate Change Issued in November of 2018 by a collection of 13 government agencies known as the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the environmental assessments of The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) present a deeply disturbing forecast and polarizing confrontation to most anyone reading the report. “Disturbing”, given the grave assessments and the magnitude and nature...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

What I mean when I talk about collaboration. What is a specific experience collaborating on a project with someone from a different discipline or “way of knowing”?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York City |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Lonny Grafman,  Arcata |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Britt Gwinner,  Washington |  Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City |  Madhusudan Katti,  Raleigh |  Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn |  Brian McGrath,  New York City |  Tischa Muñoz-Erickson,  Río Piedras, Puerto Rico |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Wilson Ramirez Hernandez,  Bogotá |  Bruce Roll,  Portland |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Tomomi Sudo,  Kyushu |  Dimitra Xidous,  Dublin |  2 Comment(s)
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REVIEWS
REACTIONS

French Landscape Painters and the Nature of Paris
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

A review of Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Moscow, an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Art in Osaka, Japan. If we learn anything from an exhibition such as “Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings”, it might be that French landscape painters have a thing or two to teach us about urban nature...

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RECENT ESSAYS...

From Wet Feet to a Tiny Food Forest—How These 4th Graders Transformed Their Schoolyard into a Tiny Food Forest
Marthe Derkzen, Amsterdam

A Tiny Food Forest? As in, an edible forest? At school? Driven and designed by a bunch of 4thgraders? Absolutely. This project became a reality thanks to a dedicated team of enthusiastic individuals (children, teachers, directors, policymakers, nature educators, parents, neighbors, designers, and scientists) in the mid-sized town of Ede in the Netherlands: A green schoolyard for the entire school...

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Cities’ Quality of Life, Health, and Sustainability Are Defined by Access to Nearby Parks
Adrian Benepe, New York
Benita Hussain, New York

Since the mid-nineteenth century, parks have always been deeply intertwined in the modern identities of cities. In the U.S., Central Park is less a feature of New York than it is a key component of its essential character, much as Prospect Park once similarly defined the emerging city of Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Bridge Park defines the “new” Brooklyn; Boston Common...

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Vegetating Tall Buildings
Gary Grant, London

In 1883, a rooftop garden theatre opened in New York City. The idea was to escape the city summer heat, whilst enjoying some evening entertainment, without actually leaving NYC. A decade later, the New York Times announced that, “New York is fast becoming a city of roof gardens”. In 1935, the Welsh landscape architect Ralph Hancock, saw his Garden of...

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From Biocultural Diversity to a Nature-Culture Alliance
William Dunbar, Tokyo

Since I was invited to start writing about biocultural diversity for The Nature of Cities in 2015, there have been a number of developments in both policymaking processes related to biocultural diversity and, recently, to the concept itself. Some of these developments have happened around the Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

What did you read in 2018 that moved you?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Marc Barra,  Paris |  Katie Coyne,  Austin |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Artur Jerzy Filip,  Warsaw |  Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo |  Russell Galt,  Edinburgh |  Ursula Heise,  Los Angeles |  Toby Kent,  Melbourne |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Pascal Mittermaier,  Boston |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Jay Valgora,  New York |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels | 
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Our goal is to empower cities to plan for a positive natural future. What is one specific action that should be taken to achieve this goal?
Graciela Arosemena,  Panama City |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Marlies Craig,  Durban |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore |  Gary Grant,  London |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Scott Kellogg,  Albany |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Emily Maxwell,  New York |  Colin Meurk,  Christchurch |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Jennifer Rae Pierce,  Vancouver |  Mary Rowe,  Toronto |  Luis Sandoval,  San José | 
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As a landscape architect, how do you interpret the word “biodiversity”? How does this meaning find expression in your design?
Gloria Aponte,  Medellín |  AnaLuisa Artesi,  Buenos Aires |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth |  Jason King,  Portland |  Victoria Marshall,  Singapore |  Daniel Phillips,  Detroit |  Mohan Rao,  Bangalore |  Sylvie Salles,  Paris |  Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota | 
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Artists in Conversation with Water in Cities
Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Antonio José García Cano,  Murcia |  Katrine Claassens,  Montreal |  Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo |  Nazlı Gürlek,  Istanbul & Palo Alto |  Basia Irland,  Albuquerque |  Robin Lasser,  Oakland |  Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn |  Marguerite Perret,  Topeka |  Bonnie Sherk,  San Francisco |  Nadia Vadori-Gauthier Vadori-Gauthier,  Paris |  Aloïs Yang,  Prague | 
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

Urban Sustainability and Resilience—Why We Need to Focus on Scales
Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm

Two of the most debated and challenging concepts in urban development are sustainability and resilience. How are they related? Do they mean approximately the same thing or are they distinctly different and can misunderstandings lead to...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Lessons from Tinseltown: Nature’s Role in Alleviating Homelessness
Rebecca Salminen Witt,  Detroit

We all know that nature in the urban environment can make our lives as city dwellers infinitely better, but can it create quality of life even for the displaced among us? Winter is here in the city of Detroit, Michigan. It’s cold, and people all over this northern city are scurrying to find a warm place to spend the season....

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PLACE &
DESIGN

Cities of Nature
Eric Sanderson,  New York

Many entries in this collective blog about the nature of cities will focus your attention on the nature that remains in cities, defined in terms of those patches of semi-natural habitat, the green bits, which are found in all cities, and which can be encouraged or discouraged by human action.  Consider for example Celicia Herzog’s recent post delighting in the...

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ART &
AWARENESS

Close Encounters of the Moose Kind
Bill Sherwonit,  Anchorage

Now a century old, Anchorage has at various times during its short history proclaimed itself the “Air Crossroads of the World,” a “City of Lights” and a place of “Big Wild Life” (the latter for the community’s “perfect blend of urbanity and wilderness”). But I have long believed—and yes, opined in my writings—that Alaska’s urban center could easily be called...

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