Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

Urban Habitat Management that Could Attract Species that Otherwise Avoid Cities
Luis Sandoval,  San José

In 2010, humanity reaches a historical milestone, because the majority of humans started to live in the urban areas for the first time. This milestone produces big pressure on remaining natural habitats inside urban areas, because those areas are the places that can be used to build more housing for people, and the factories, malls, offices, hospitals, or supermarkets that...

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

Farmers From the City
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

It’s a hot June day in rural Greece. We stop in a run-down gas station on a small secondary road cutting through wheat fields on both sides. We wipe the sweat from our brows. The gas station attendant opens the refrigerator and pulls out a crate of cherries.  “Take what you want,” he says, placing the crate in front of...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

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,  New York City |  Marguerite Perret,  Topeka |  Bonnie Sherk,  San Francisco |  Nadia Vadori-Gauthier Vadori-Gauthier,  Paris |  Aloïs Yang,  Prague |  8 Comment(s)
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REVIEWS
PODCAST

Nature after Nature and the Animal Internet
Rob Pirani, New York

A review of the book Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution by Alexander Pschera (English translation from German by Elisabeth Lauffer). 2016. 209 pages.ISBN: 9781939931351. New Vessel Press. Buy the book. Apply the sunscreen, fill the water bottle, and put the damn phone at the bottom of the pack. My (precious) time outside, in the woods or on the water, often...

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RECENT ESSAYS...

Ramsar COP 13: What can Artists Contribute to Urban Wetland Restoration?
Chris Fremantle, Ayrshire, Scotland

The Ramsar Convention (also known as Convention on Wetlands) is the first of the major intergovernmental convention on biodiversity conservation and wise use. It was signed in 1971, in the City of Ramsar in Iran. This October, the 13th Ramsar Conference of the Parties (COP 13) will take place in Dubai, with a focus on “urban wetlands”. The Convention has...

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Urban Metabolism: A Real World Model for Visualizing and Co-Creating Healthy Cities
Sven Eberlein, Oakland

Like the human body, cities are living, ever-evolving organisms. Just as diet, exercise, sleep, or laughter can be seen as indicators of our personal physical and emotional well being, the ways in which goods, water, commuters, or food move through the urban ecosystem determines a city’s health and sustainability within larger regional and global natural systems. The more knowledge we...

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Bangalore Pile Study: Curiosity and Intervention in the Margins of a Megacity
Daniel Phillips, Bangalore

To begin to grasp Bangalore’s frenetic patterns of urbanization, Google Earth offers an interesting place to start. Yet despite its much lauded reputation as India’s “Silicon Valley”, the “street view” function is still unavailable here. It appears to be the case that in a city which boasts among the worst traffic congestion in the world, the task of braving the...

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SALT: Restoration + Recreation = Water in California
Robin Lasser, Oakland
Marguerite Perret, Topeka

It is late June and we are up to our knees floating a small tent sculpture in a containment pond filled with a thick green milkshake-like goo. A combination of duck week and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), this overgrowth or bloom is probably caused by fertilizer run-off from the surrounding cemetery grounds. We are working on a photographic series exploring the...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

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 | 
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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 | 
4 Comment(s)
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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 | 
14 Comment(s)
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

Look Who’s Coming to Dinner…Bacteria that Eat the Gowanus Sludge—TNOC Podcast Episode 7
Philip Silva,  New York
David Maddox,  New York City

Also available at iTunes. Story notes: The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn is well known throughout New York City as a nearly two-mile-long trench filled with sewage and chemicals left behind by years of neglectful pollution. Though the canal...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

The Sheffield Street Tree Massacre: Notes from a Public-Private Partnership Gone Wrong
Christine Thuring,  Sheffield

Often described as Europe’s greenest city, Sheffield is reputed to have more trees per capita than any other, with over 100,000 trees spread across parks and open spaces, 10.4 percent woodland by area, and approximately 36,000 street trees. However, a public-private partnership (P3) is dramatically altering Sheffield’s urban forest. The various particulars of the situation have brought the northern English city into the national headlines,...

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PLACE &
DESIGN

Biophilic Benefits or Bio-baloney? (Probably) the Former
Lincoln Garland,  Bath

Regular readers of TNOC will be familiar with the biophilia hypothesis, which supposes an innate emotional link between humans and the natural world that positively impacts our psychological wellbeing. In other words, we feel most at home in naturalistic surroundings, as this is where we evolved and have spent the majority of human history. The concept has subsequently been applied...

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ART &
AWARENESS

Skin the City
Paula Segal,  Brooklyn
Daniel Eizirik,  Porto Allegre

The skin of the city shifts. Waves of residents come and go; meanings vanish. The longer I live here, the more I feel like I am a creature of many phantom limbs. Hungry, I walk to Jimmy’s hoping for fish and a chair to eat it in, but it is gone. In its place, a bodega expanded into a head...

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