Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.



George Barker 1940-2018: A Tribute
David Goode,  Bath

George Barker, who died on 1 May 2018, will be remembered fondly by all who worked with him. He was a modest man, always full of fun, yet he was one of the most influential figures in the development of urban nature conservation in the UK and was held in high esteem in many other countries. He was a visionary...

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Making Parks Relevant: Muir Woods as a Museum that Invites Multiple Narratives
Laura Booth,  San Francisco

At Muir Woods National Monument, an old-growth redwood forest a half hour’s drive north of San Francisco, more than a million people a year from around the world flock to visit ancient, giant trees. These visitors largely believe they are coming to a beautiful, living example of a thriving and timeless forest, protected forever by benevolent figures from the United...

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An urban planner and an urban ecologist walk into a bar. They chat about how (and maybe whether) “ecology” could play a bigger role in planning…
Will Allen,  Chapel Hill |  Juan Azcarate,  Bogotá |  Amy Chomowicz,  Portland |  Katie Coyne,  Austin |  Georgina Cullman,  New York |  PK Das,  Mumbai |  David Goode,  Bath |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Elsa Limasset,  Orléans |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Gil Penha-Lopes,  Lisbon |  Lauren Smalls-Mantey,  New York |  13 Comment(s)
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New Integrated and Actionable Urban Knowledge for the Cities We Want and Need
Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
Xuemei Bai, Canberra
Niki Frantzeskaki, Rotterdam
Corrie Griffith, Tempe
David Maddox, New York City
Timon McPhearson, New York
Sue Parnell, Cape Town
Paty Romero-Lankao, Boulder
David Simon, Gothenburg
Mark Watkins, Phoenix

A preview of the book, Urban Planet: Knowledge Towards Sustainable Cities. 2018. Editors: Thomas Elmqvist, Xuemei Bai, Niki Frantzeskaki, Corrie Griffith, David Maddox, Timon McPhearson, Susan Parnell, Patricia Romero-Lankao, David Simon, Mark Watkins. Cambridge University Press. Available as an open source download here, or purchase as a physical book. We are living on an urban planet. In the coming decades, about 2.6 billion more...

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Map and Explore: Hidden Hydrology
Jason King, Portland

Our cities are filled with hidden stories. Some of these tales are unlocked through conversations with long-time residents and oral histories, while others emerge through the written word, embedded in documents and biographies from the shapers and boosters that made our cities. Some hide in maps, a chronology of layers of changes over time, intimately spatial and tied to places,...

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Over the Years We Grow: National Scale Progress in Engagement and Research at Tree Canada
Adrina Bardekjian, Montreal

Over the past four years in leading the Engagement and Research portfolio at Tree Canada, I have had the opportunity to watch the organization grow, contribute to designing programs that move beyond tree planting efforts, and to create a network of knowledge sharing for Canada’s urban forests. I am pleased to share that our progress has made a significant impact...

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Enabling Efficient Urban Biodiversity Monitoring Through Modern Natural History and Citizen Science
Timothy Bonebrake, Hong Kong

The escalator that stretches from Victoria Harbour in central Hong Kong to the high-priced mid-levels neighborhood accommodates approximately 70,000 commuters daily. Surrounded by tall buildings, you would not at first glance expect to find much in the way of life other than never-ending humanity. However, even on this congested pathway on any given day you are likely to see red-whiskered...

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Neural Networks—A New Model for “The Kind of Problem a City Is”
Mathieu Hélie, Montréal

Jane Jacobs’ final chapter of Death and Life of Great American Cities, titled “The Kind of Problem a City Is”, remains its most misunderstood. The principal ideas of the book have become the mainstream of urban know-how and helped the triumphant turnarounds in the fortunes of American cities, most notably for New York City. But the last idea in the...

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Smart cities are coming. Can they be as much about nature, health, and wellbeing as traffic flows, crime detection, and evermore efficient provision of utilities?
Helga Fassbinder,  Amsterdam-Vienna |  Gary Grant,  London |  Pratik Mishra,  London |  Seema Mundoli,  Bangalore |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Vishal Narain,  Gurugram |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  Shaleen Singhal,  New Delhi | 
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What is one thing every ecologist should know about urban ecology?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Erik Andersson,  Stockholm |  Marc Barra,  Paris |  Nathalie Blanc,  Paris |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Niki Frantzeskaki,  Rotterdam |  Dagmar Haase,  Berlin |  Steven Handel,  New Brunswick |  Nadja Kabisch,  Berlin |  Timon McPhearson,  New York |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Philip Silva,  New York |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Weiqi Zhou,  Beijing | 
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Let go of some urban domestication: How would you convince the mayor to re-wild the city?
Juan Azcarate,  Bogotá |  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,  Helsinki | 
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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...

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Community Participation in Parks Development: Two Examples from Berlin
Katharine Burgess,  Washington, D.C

On a Friday night at the end of November 2014, nearly 200 people arrived in the departures zone of Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport for five hours of presentations, working groups and community-led exhibitions. A projection screen stood on the baggage carousel, and former glass-walled airport offices held bulletin boards and tables of sticky notes for brainstorming sessions. Exhibition boards in...

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School Partnerships are Key to Vibrant and Sustainable Cities
Polly Knowlton Cockett,  Calgary
Janet Dyment,  Hobart
Mariona Espinet,  Barcelona
Yu Huang,  Beijing

Urban schools—any public, private, or charter schools delivering formal primary or secondary education—are key institutions in the shaping of vibrant and sustainable cities. Imagining such cities depends on the assumptions and ideologies of those involved in the transformation of urban sites, and moving beyond perceiving urban schools as problematic institutions (Pink and Noblit, 2007). Globally, a steady process of urbanization...

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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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