Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

Restoring Indigenous Trees for Scaling Up City Resilience: The Role of African Millennials
Aliyu Barau,  Kano

Most of the narratives on the crises of development are woven around rapid population growth in developing countries. Yes. The number of world citizens is over seven billion. The challenges that this number raises far exceeds national and intergovernmental agencies’ abilities to address them. Rapid urbanization is but one of the key challenges in the developing countries. Many scholars and...

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

Singing in the Noise
Luis Sandoval,  San José, Costa Rica

Urbanization not only changes the landscape structure due to land cover change, fragmentation of natural habitats, and creation of artificial habitats, it also changes the physical patterns of the environment: temperature, wind currents, rain patterns, light levels, or noise levels. For example, urbanization increases average temperature by between 3°C and 5°C, in comparison to nearby rural or natural areas, because...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

Ecosystems for everyone: Who should have access to the myriad benefits of ecosystem services and urban nature? Everyone. Does everyone? No. How will we achieve this moral imperative?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona  |  Georgina Avlonitis,  Cape Town |  Julie Bargmann,  Charlottesville |  Nathalie Blanc,  Paris |  PK Das,  Mumbai |  Marthe Derkzen,  Amsterdam |  Maggie Scott Greenfield,  New York |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Nadine Kalisch,  Nockberge |  Jim Labbe,  Portland |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Flaminia Paddeu,  Paris |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Andrew Rudd,  New York City |  Suraya Scheba,  Cape Town |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Hita Unnikrishnan,  Bangalore |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota |  Pengfei XIE,  Beijing |  4 Comment(s)
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REVIEWS
PODCAST

New York’s Central Park as Muse, as Imagination, as Home
Mary Mattingly, New York City

A review of: Painting Central Park, by Roger Pasquier. 2015. ISBN: 0-86565-314-3. Vendome Press, New York. 197 pages. Buy the Book. For the past two years, I’ve invited people to pick free food on Swale, an edible public park built on a barge in New York City. Creating something unexpected is a technique that I’ve utilized on Swale to frame an engaging...

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Where Can I Dream? Eight Stories of Life in Bogotá
Diana Wiesner, Bogota

(Una versión en español, aqui.) In pondering the question: “Who should have access to the countless benefits and services that urban ecosystems provide?” We have put together a collection of eight first-person accounts that portray city dwellers’ dreams. This series of Sketches of life explores both individual and collective human experiences as participants narrate their lives and reveal their innermost...

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Thinking About the Concept of “Cultural Nature” while Walking the Gardens of Méréville
Louise Lezy-Bruno, Paris

The first time I visited the Méréville Estate and its Anglo-Chinese garden, created south of Paris at the end of the 18th century, I was struck by the interlinking of nature and culture in this amazing place. This National Heritage Site is the work of the Marquis de Laborde, who acquired the estate in 1784 and involved the greatest artists...

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The Sustainability Challenge of Feeding Cities
Graciela Arosemena, Panama City

The food system is not as evident as other aspects of urban development. However, it involves many aspects of cities, such as mobility and transportation, commerce, land use, waste management, and, of course, food security. The food system refers to processes that begin with agricultural production and continues with the processing, packaging and transport that is the result of food...

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Ecologies of Elsewhere: Giving Urban Weeds a “Third Glance”
Daniel Phillips, Bangalore

Volunteers. Exotics. Aliens. Weeds. Whatever happens to be your preferred nomenclature when describing the existence and behavior of spontaneous vegetation, it’s clear that many biases abound. We pluck, poison and mulch our landscapes to keep these decidedly untidy forces at bay. Yet have we also effectively mulched our mindsets?  Have we blunted our ability to see these ubiquitous features of our...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

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 | 
29 Comment(s)
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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 | 
3 Comment(s)
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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,  Washington, DC |  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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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 | 
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

The Nature of Universities and Sustainability
Lorenzo Chelleri,  Barcelona
Giulia Sonetti,  Turin

Through their educational and experimental roles in society, universities can play a unique and vital role in cities’ transitions to sustainability. Although life itself is a learning process and education can happen anywhere, from the streets...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Rock, Tree, Human
Erika Svendsen,  New York City

As a Brooklyn (New York) resident for over 15 years, I’ve never thought much about whether or not I was living on high ground, within a floodplain or an evacuation zone, or how I might secure my windows during a storm.  Recent hurricanes in my city have changed my perception of where I live and, ultimately, the places that have...

2 Comment(s)
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PLACE &
DESIGN

Ceci n’est pas une pipe: Unpacking Injustice in Paris
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

“We all know the sound of two hands clapping. But what is the sound of one hand clapping?” says a famous Zen Koan. At first consideration, it seems impossible to conjecture about the “just city” without having already in mind what is an “unjust city,” and vice versa. But my opinion is that this is wrong: It is possible to define what a “just...

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ART &
AWARENESS

Great Cities Grow from Great Spaces and Listening to their Citizens
Darlene Wolnik,  New Orleans

A review of: Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs, by Robert Kaniglel. 2016. Knopf. 512 pages. Buy the book. Garden Legacy, by Mary Louise Mossy Christovich and Roulhac Bunkley Toledano, with a foreword by S. Frederick Starr. 2016. The Historic New Orleans Collection. 268 pages. Buy the book. Ecocities Illustrated: the easily built visionary future of Richard Register, by Richard Register....

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