Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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16 August 2017 Turning Rio Upside Down! The Baixo Rio Neighborhood Project
Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro

Leia uma versão em português aqui. About fifteen years ago I fell in love with watersheds. Then, my passion extended to the forests and ecosystems that sustain them. Then, I discovered the urban waters and biodiversity, and consequently urban ecology, when I started researching on urban blue-green infrastructure and how people related to their environment. From then on, the complex...

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

13 August 2017 For the Sake of the Common Good? “Gentrifying Conservationism” and “Green Evictions”
Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro

The “common good”—what an ambitious expression! As far as environmental protection is concerned, governments want us to believe that it is always performed precisely for the sake of the “common good”, or “public interest”. However, things are not that simple. From a socially critical viewpoint, environmental protection remains a dangerously vague expression, as long as the questions regarding which environment...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

16 August 2017 Imagine an “ecological certification” for urban design. What are such a certification’s key elements?
Ankia Bormans,  Cape Town |  Katie Coyne,  Austin |  Sarah Dooling,  Austin/Boston |  Nigel Dunnett,  Sheffield |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Sarah Hinners,  Salt Lake City |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Jason King,  Seattle |  Marit Larson,  New York City |  Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto |  Travis Longcore,  Los Angeles |  Colin Meurk,  Christchurch |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Mohan Rao,  Bangalore |  Aditya Sood,  Delhi |  2 Comment(s)
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REVIEWS
PODCAST

7 August 2017 Patrick Geddes’ 19th Century “Pocket Park” Inspires Art Installation
Allison Palenske, Edinburgh

A review of “Palm House”, a commissioned project on view at the Edinburgh Art Festival until 27 August 2017. The year is 1880; the place is Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh’s Old Town is internationally known for its squalid conditions; its tenement slums plagued by poor sanitation and overcrowded housing. The medieval infrastructure has proven inadequate for the demands of the rapidly...

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9 August 2017 Black Cockatoo Rising: The Struggle to Save the Bushland in the City
Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

Protecting remnant swathes of nature is not easy, and may often require concerted, vigorous community efforts. There are many threats: the most common of which seem to be highways and development, which are often backed by considerable financial resources and lots of momentum. So one takes notice when something unusual happens and a community effectively and doggedly organizes itself to...

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6 August 2017 Shutting Down Poletti—An Urban Environmental Victory
Rebecca Bratspies, New York City

In 2013, the New York Power Authority razed the Charles Poletti Power Plant in Astoria, NY. In doing so, Power Authority removed what local elected official Michael Gianaris had characterized as a “symbol[] of pollution that haunted [the] neighborhood”. The characterization was an apt one. The Poletti Plant had for years been the single-biggest polluter in New York City. In...

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2 August 2017 Wall Watching in Iran
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

We walked approximately 1,500 kilometers in Iran, and something was noticeably missing: Graffiti. Scribbled names or tags, spray painted symbols, and thought-provoking political commentary were absent in cities, towns and villages from Sarakhs on the Turkmenistan border to Astara on the Azerbaijan border to the sprawling capital of Tehran to the desert gems of Esfahan, Shiraz and Yazd. Instead, nature-based...

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30 July 2017 Urban-Rural Inequalities in Carbon Emissions
Jose Puppim, Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio
Mahendra Sethi, New Delhi

Cities have been recognized as key drivers toward the successful governance of resources and as the front line in combating climate change. But there is a huge urban-rural inequality in carbon emissions in the making, particularly in rapidly urbanizing developing countries. Thus, the political and economic divide between the Global North and South that historically has shaped debates on climate change could...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

Jun,2017 Are cities ecosystems—analogous to natural ones—of nature, infrastructure and people? Does thinking about cities in this way help us think about urban design?
Marina Alberti,  Seattle |  Erik Andersson,  Stockholm |  Sarah Dooling,  Austin/Boston |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm |  Nancy Grimm,  Phoenix |  Dagmar Haase,  Berlin |  Dominique Hes,  Melbourne |  Kristina Hill,  Berkeley |  Madhusudan Katti,  Raleigh |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris |  Clifford Ochs,  Oxford |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Stephanie Pincetl,  Los Angeles |  Rob Pirani,  New York |  Richard Register,  Berkeley |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Alexis Schaffler,  Berkeley/Johannesburg/Cape Town |  Vivek Shandas,  Portland |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Jane Toner,  Melbourne |  Yolanda van Heezik,  Dunedin |  Ken Yeang,  Kuala Lumpur |  David Maddox,  New York City | 
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May,2017 To whom does a city’s nature belong? Is it a common pool resource, or a public good? And who decides?
Amita Baviskar,  Delhi |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York City |  James Connolly,  Barcelona |  Sheila Foster,  New York City |  Phil Ginsburg,  San Francisco |  Jeff Hou,  Seattle |  Marianne Krasny,  Ithaca |  Mary Mattingly,  New York City |  Oona Morrow,  Berlin |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Raul Pacheco-Vega,  Aguascalientes |  Michael Sarbanes,  Baltimore |  Philip Silva,  New York |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota | 
5 Comment(s)
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Mar,2017 What are we trying to accomplish with biophilic cities? What are ambitious goals and targets, and measures of success?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Tim Beatley,  Charlottesville |  Lena Chan,  Singapore |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Ian Douglas,  Manchester |  Dusty Gedge,  London |  David Goode,  Bath |  Bram Gunther,  New York |  Chris Ives,  Nottingham |  Tania Katzschner,  Cape Town |  Steve Maslin,  Bristol |  Peter Newman,  Perth |  Phil Roös,  Geelong |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Jana Söderlund,  Perth |  Fleur Timmer,  Bristol |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Ken Yeang,  Kuala Lumpur | 
22 Comment(s)
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Jan,2017 You say po-TAY-to. What ecologists and landscape architects don’t get about each other, but ought to.
Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Maria E Ignatieva,  Uppsala |  Amy Hahs,  Ballarat, Australia |  Jürgen Breuste,  Salzburg |  Susannah Drake,  New York City |  Marcus Hedblom,  Uppsala |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Steven Handel,  New Brunswick |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Ian MacGregor-Fors,  Xalapa |  Anne Trumble,  Los Angeles |  Christine Thuring,  Sheffield |  Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth |  Gloria Aponte,  Medellín |  Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto |  Sarah Hinners,  Salt Lake City |  AnaLuisa Artesi,  Buenos Aires |  Jala Makhzoumi,  Beirut |  Jason King,  Seattle |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Danielle Dagenais,  Montreal |  Mary Cadenasso,  Davis |  Veronica Fabio,  Buenos Aires |  Peter Werner,  Darmstadt | 
43 Comment(s)
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

21 April 2016 Shortcomings of the Paris Accord: We Need to Combat Air Pollution at Multiple Scales
Christopher Sellers,  Stony Brook

As world leaders gathered recently in New York to sign the momentous Paris accord to curb future carbon emissions, the air in Indian cities such as Delhi continued to scale alarming heights of befoulment, and Chinese cities...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

7 June 2015 Living Plans and Resilient, Happy, Included Citizens
Diana Wiesner,  Bogota

(Una versión en español sigue inmediatamente después de la versión en Inglés.) Urban green areas and public spaces are key elements in urban infrastructure, mitigating environmental challenges, fulfilling social functions, and contributing to the ecosystems of the surrounding region. In Bogota, the concept of the Ecological Network (Van der Hammen and Andrade 2003)—green spaces integrated within and beyond the city—has...

4 Comment(s)
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PLACE &
DESIGN

19 December 2012 Natural Disasters and the Nature of Cities
Glenn Stewart,  Christchurch

Environmental traumas are here.  Global climate is a reality that is bringing extremes in weather as we have seen recently with the devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy in the northeast of the USA.  And in the last several years there have been massive earthquakes that have devastated cities in Japan, Haiti and New Zealand.  To manage the effects of these...

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ART &
AWARENESS

31 July 2012 Cyborgs, Sewers, and the Sensing City
Philip Silva,  New York

Cities have long been seen as the antithesis – or, at least, the absence – of nature. Yet in recent years, environmentalists started rethinking their long-held prejudices against urban areas. The rise of neighborhood-based environmental justice movements, beginning in the 1980’s, forced us to confront the human side of pollution and its relationship to urban poverty. The evolution of green building...

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