Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

The Green Cloud, A Rooftop Story from Shenzhen: A “Living” Sponge Space Inside an Urban Village
Vivin Qiang,  Shenzhen
Xin Yu,  Shenzhen

用中文阅读 Shenzhen, a coastal city located in Southern China, exemplifies the idea of  rapid urbanization. In just 40 years, Shenzhen has transformed from a fishing village to a bustling megalopolis. Today, about 50% of Shenzhen’s 13 million residents live in its urban villages. These urban villages are some of the few places left in the city that provide affordable housing. Urban...

ESSAY
CROSSTALK

What the Garden Belongs To: Sensorial Listening in Urban Space
Jake Nussbaum,  Philadelphia

On Emily Street between 7th and 8th in Philadelphia lies the Growing Home community gardens—two discrete plots of land separated by an assortment of old and new construction rowhomes that are the architectural hallmark of the neighborhood. Chainlink fences separate the gardens from the street. Through them one can see dozens of raised bed planters packed into a tight grid....

GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

TNOC Summit Dialogue: How can we provide living space for people?
Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Elisa Silva,  Caracas |  David Simon,  London |  Xin Yu,  Shenzhen | 

REVIEWS
REACTIONS

Nature in Korea’s Capital: The Magic Stops at the Car Bridge
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

A review of Min Joung-Ki, an exhibition of large-scale urban nature paintings at Kukje Gallery in Seoul, South Korea. Founded in 1982, Kukeje gallery is one of Korea’s most prolific exhibitors of international contemporary artists. Indeed, the institution is more of a small arts complex than a gallery, consisting of three modern buildings positioned gingerly within the fabric of an...

RECENT ESSAYS...

Design with Nature is not about Financial Return—It is a Recognition that Humans Rely on Nature.
Stephanie Pincetl, Los Angeles

There is no doubt that cities, especially since the industrial revolution, have by and large been built overriding local ecologies, obliterating topography, soils, streams, altering soils, ignoring seasons, breezes, sunlight. Nature based solutions, urban ecosystem services, however they are called, have emerged to try to remediate this historical modernist hubris which conceived of cities as technical systems to be placed...

Renewable Rikers as a Blueprint for a Sustainable City
Rebecca Bratspies, New York City

On 29 January 2019, New York City Council held a hearing on a trio of bills collectively known as “Renewable Rikers”. Rikers is currently home to the most infamous prison in New York City—the Rikers Island correctional facility an island penal colony with one lone bridge connecting it to the rest of the City. Introduced by the Council’s Environmental Committee...

Common Trends and Conundrums in Nature-Based Solutions: Greening at the Intersection of Urban Densification and Urban Sprawl
Filka Sekulova, Barcelona
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski, Barcelona
Francesc Baro, Barcelona
Bernadett Kiss, Lund

Traditional chinampa cultivation as a way to restore water-stressed ecosystem services in Mexico City’s artificial wetland areas conquered from the sea in Tianjin Harbour … a network of bug-friendly bushes and patches of green along cycling routes in Scotland … an urban forest strategy in Melbourne promoting the plantating of 3,000 trees of diverse species. You might wonder what these...

Toronto Harbour Cleanup: The Cornerstone of Waterfront Revitalization
John Hartig, Windsor

As Toronto grew into Canada’s largest city and a world leader in business, finance, technology, entertainment, and culture, there were unintended consequences such as water pollution and loss of habitat. Today, Toronto and Region are a leader in environmental cleanup and reconnecting people to their waterfront as a part of a city where humans can flourish as part of nature’s...

RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

TNOC Summit Dialogue: Demanding access to green space as a right for everyone
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Adrian Benepe,  New York |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  David Maddox,  New York City | 
National Park City: What if your city were a National Park City, analogous to what London created? What it would be like? What would it take to accomplish?
Alison Barnes,  London |  Méliné Baronian,  Versailles |  Maud Bernard-Verdier,  Berlin |  Ioana Biris,  Amsterdam |  Timothy Blatch,  Cape Town |  Geoff Canham,  Tauranga |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Luis Antonio Roman Diez,  Merida |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Sue Hilder,  Glasgow |  Mike Houck,  Portland |  Sophie Lokatis,  Berlin |  Aletta Bonn,  Berlin |  Scott Martin,  Louisville |  Sebastian Miguel,  Buenos Aires |  Gareth Moore-Jones,  Ohope Beach |  Rob Pirani,  New York |  Daniel Raven-Ellison,  London |  Tom Rozendal,  Breda |  Snorri Sigurdsson,  Reykjavík |  Lynn Wilson,  Vancouver | 
Why are we doing walking tours in African cities? To help us see and engage with small scale urbanism and urban tinkering.
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Celestine Collins,  Kisumu |  Julie Goodness,  Stockholm |  Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town |  Odhiambo Ken K'oyooh,  Kisumu |  Viveca Mellegård,  Stockholm |  Benard Ojwang,  Kisumu |  Aiuba Oliveira,  Nacala |  Semakula Samson,  Entebbe |  Ellika Hermansson Torok,  Stockholm |  Thandeka Tshabalala,  Cape Town | 
How is the concept of “stewardship” and “care for local environments” expressed around the world?
Nathalie Blanc,  Paris |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York |  Zorina Colasero,  Puerto Princesa City |  Kirk Deitschman,  Waimānalo |  Johan Enqvist,  Cape Town |  Emilio Fantin,  Milan |  Artur Jerzy Filip,  Warsaw |  Carlo Gomez,  Puerto Princesa City |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Michelle Johnson,  New York City |  Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Romina Magtanong,  Puerto Princesa City |  Heather McMillen,  Honolulu |  Ranjini Murali,  Bangalore |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Ferus Niyomwungeri,  Kigali |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Beatriz Ruizpalacios,   |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  Erika Svendsen,  New York |  Abdallah Tawfic,  Cairo |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota |  Xin Yu,  Shenzhen | 

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

Making Connections and Feeding Relationships: Reflections from a Biocultural Axiom of Aloha
Heather McMillen,  Honolulu

What if urban resource management and conservation reflected not just the politics and science of the day, but were rooted in creation stories, place-name stories, and personal stories about the relationships people have with place? This kind of thinking is at the heart of traditional ways of stewarding the environment in many remote and rural place-based communities around the globe,...

PLACE &
DESIGN

“Growing Place” Revisited: After 12 Years, Children’s Activity in the School Biotope Project
Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City

There has been a rapid decrease in the amount of open or natural space in Japan in recent years, particularly in urban areas due to the development of housing. Preserving these areas as wildlife habitats and spaces where children can play is a very important issue nowadays. I wrote about the creation of a school biotope project in a previous article,...

ART &
AWARENESS

Urban Landscape: Reading Nature from Big to Small Scales
Gloria Aponte,  Medellín

Cities start, grow, expand, and usually—mainly in developing countries—exceed their limits, overflowing into rural and wild lands. This city growth applies not only to the imposition of manmade facets on geographical extensions, but to increases in the city’s complexity and dynamics. Urban phenomena start and keep mistreating nature beyond the city’s official boundaries, not just in physical terms, but through...