Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.



Is Cali the City with the Most Birds in the World?
Rubén Darío Palacio,  Durham

The city of Cali in southwestern Colombia boasts a staggering number of 562 species of birds, and it probably has the longest bird list for any city in the world. But can we find out for sure? Birds are the link between the urban and the wild. A bird-friendly city can harbor an important sample of species found in the surrounding natural...


Putting Nature First: Driving Actions for Nature in Cities
Niki Frantzeskaki,  Melbourne
Cathy Oke,  Melbourne
Judy Bush,  Melbourne
Sarah Bekessy,  Melbourne
James Fitzsimons,  Melbourne
Georgia Garrard,  Melbourne
Maree Grenfell,  Melbourne
Martin Hartigan,  Melbourne

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how important urban nature is for our physical and mental health. As urban strategists embark on ideas and think of pathways for recovery and “building back better” our societies and especially cities, it is paramount that the green recovery include nature in the mix of options that cities consider. Nature (varying from remnant ecosystems, novel ecosystems...


We Need an Ethical Code for Water
Gloria Aponte,  Medellín |  Katherine Berthon,  Melbourne |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Paul Currie,  Cape Town |  PK Das,  Mumbai |  Meredith Dobbie,  Victoria |  Casey Furlong,  Melbourne |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Gary Grant,  London |  Juliana Landolfi de Carvalho,  Curitiba |  Tom Liptan,  Portland |  Sareh Moosavi,  Brussels |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  André Stephan,  Brussels |  Peter Schoonmaker,  Portland |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem |  Mario Yanez,  Lisbon | 


About the Festival

TNOC Festival pushed boundaries to radically imagine our cities for the future. A virtual festival that covered 5 days with programming across all regional time zones and provided in multiple languages: 22-26 February 2021, 2200 participants from 72 countries. Outputs and new emerging projects will appear in this space soon. Learn More About the Festival


Vegetation is the Future of Architecture
Gary Grant, London

Most of the inhabitable regions of the Earth were originally covered by forests, grasslands, and wetlands. These carbon-grabbing, biodiverse, spongy landscapes have been largely replaced by agriculture and urban development, which is drier, belches carbon, is erosive of soils, and which has lost most of its wildlife. Indeed, biodiversity declines continue apace. Cities and buildings, in particular, are designed and...

Knowledge Systems for Urban Renewal
Chris Ives, Nottingham

“Science is meaningless because it gives no answer to our question, the only question important for us: ‘What shall we do and how shall we live?’ ” — Leo Tolstoy  We know that our cities need to look and function differently. There is a wealth of scientific evidence showing that urbanisation has been, and continues to be, a global driver of...

Including Diverse Voices in Adaptation Planning
Marthe Derkzen, Arnhem/Nijmegen
Timon McPhearson, New York
Huda Shaka, Jeddah
Marion Lacourt, Paris
Frida Larios, Antiguo Cuzcatlán, Copán, and Washington

This contribution is the result of a thought-collecting Seed Session during the TNOC Summit in Paris, held on June 5, 2019. Pitches, group breakouts, and a facilitated discussion addressed the question: Including diverse voices in adaptation planning, how do we make it happen? Two illustrators, Frida Larios and Marion Lacourt, enriched the session by creating on the spot artwork to...

Making Spaces for Edible Gardens in Compact Cities: the Taipei Case
Wan-Yu Shih, Taipei
Che-Wei Liu, Taipei

Edible urban gardens have gained increasing popularity in the Global North within the narrative of nature-based solutions for cities and as parts of urban green infrastructure, which reintroduce greenspaces and associated functions into built environments, with the aspiration of leading to a socially and ecologically more sustainable city. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, edible gardens have seemed to become an even...


What’s Next? Learning From Nature During Lockdown
Elmaz Abinader,  Oakland |  Jane Ingram Allen,  Santa Rosa |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Anne Brochot,  Voulx |  Joyce Garvey,  Dublin |  Leslie Gauthier,  New York |  Frances Mezzetti,  Dublin |  Munira Naqui,  Portland | 
How is COVID-19 affecting caring for and researching urban ecology?
Christina Breed,  Pretoria |  Mark Champion,  Wigan |  Joy Clancy,  Twente |  Ian Douglas,  Manchester |  Pete Frost,  Cardiff |  Lincoln Garland,  Bath |  David Haley,  Ulverston |  Jane Houghton,  York |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Christian Isendahl,  Gothenburg |  Philip James,  Salford |  Sarah Lindley,  Manchester |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Nancy McIntyre,  Lubbock |  Camilo Ordóñez,  Melbourne |  Stephan Pauleit,  Munich |  Joe Ravetz,  Manchester |  Graham Rook,  London |  Richard Salisbury,  Manchester |  Alan Scott,  London |  Richard Scott,  Liverpool |  Monica Smith,  Los Angeles |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Miriam Stark,  Honolulu |  Katalin Szlavecz,  Baltimore |  Joanne Tippett,  Manchester |  Piotr Tryjanowski,  Poznan |  Tim Webb,  London |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Phil Wheater,  Manchester | 
What is the status and outlook for forested natural areas in your city? What actions are needed to help them thrive?
Novem Auyeung,  New York |  Weston Brinkley,  Seattle |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Lisa Ciecko,  Seattle |  James Duncan,  Miami |  Matthew Freer,  Chicago |  Keith Mars,  Austin |  Joseph McCarthy,  Chicago |  Karen Miller,  Chicago |  Sophie Plitt,  New York |  Clara Pregitzer,  New York |  Lydia Scott,  Chicago |  Michael Yadrick,  Seattle | 
Covid has upended all the normal routines in our lives and work. How do you imagine you might be changed by it, both professionally, but also personally as you negotiate a new post-virus “normal”?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Janice Astbury,  Buenos Aires |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Katrine Claassens,  Montreal |  M'Lisa Colbert,  Montreal |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Paul Currie,  Cape Town |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Emilio Fantin,  Milan |  Todd Forest,  New York |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Bram Gunther,  New York |  Dagmar Haase,  Berlin |  Annegret Haase,  Leipzig |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Alex Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Matthew Jensen,  New York |  Panagiota Kotsila,  Barcelona |  Gilles Lecuir,  Paris |  Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto |  Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Yvonne Lynch,  Riyadh |  David Maddox,  New York  |  Antonia Machado,  Portland |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris |  Rob McDonald,  Washington, DC |  Brian McGrath,  New York City |  Siobhán McQuaid,  Dublin |  Ragene Palma,  London |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman,  College Park |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Mary Rowe,  Toronto |  Andrew Rudd,  New York City |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Olivier Scheffer,  Bordeaux |  Huda Shaka,  Jeddah |  Laura Shillington,  Montreal |  Elisa Silva,  Caracas |  David Simon,  London |  Mary Hall Surface,  Washington |  Erika Svendsen,  New York |  Abdallah Tawfic,  Cairo |  Christine Thuring,  Vancouver |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem |  Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro,  Paris |  Andreas Weber,  Berlin |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota |  Darlene Wolnik,  New Orleans |  Xin Yu,  Shenzhen |  Carly Ziter,  Montreal | 



Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2015
David Maddox,  New York

Today’s post is offered as a celebration of some of the content from 2015—a taste…a combination of TNOC writing from around the world that is a combination of diverse, widely read, a novel point of view, or...


Orchards from the Forest: A Local Solution to Extinction
Alessandra Pavesi,  São Paulo

The destruction of Cerrado (Brazilian Savannah), the second largest biome in Brazil after Amazonia, has become the main concern of urban collectives focused on reintroducing elements of this important ecosystem in city landscapes and in the imaginations of city dwellers. In this essay, we look at urban farming for Cerradoregeneration from the perspective of cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) (Engeström, 2001,...


Mosaic Management: The Missing Ingredient for Biodiversity Innovation in Urban Greenspace Design
Stuart Connop,  London
Caroline Nash,  London

With a new stream of studies adding to evidence revealing disturbing declines in global populations of insects (Hallmann et al. 2018, Lister & Garcia 2018, Sánchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys 2019) and reports of an ecological catastrophe on the scale of a sixth mass extinction, there is an urgent need to do more to conserve these species that underpin our ecosystems. Urban areas...


Shaped by Urban History—Reflections on Bangkok
Richard Friend,  York

It takes distance to gain a sense of perspective, and so I find myself sitting in a small market town in the north of England looking halfway across the world at my time living in one of the world’s great emerging megacities, Bangkok. From this market town there is a sense of history that goes back over a thousand years,...