Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

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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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

2046, year of our lady The Fog
Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo

This is part of the TNOC poetry series “The City We’re In”. Lea el poema en español, su idioma original. Lisez le poème en français. 2046, year of our lady The Fog Poems by Claudia Luna Fuentes Translation from Spanish by Gerardo Mendoza Garza _____________________________________________   2046, año de Nuestra Señora la Niebla Poemas de Claudia Luna Fuentes _____________________________________________  ...

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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 |  4 Comment(s)
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REVIEWS
PODCAST

When a Korean Hillside Town Disappears, Who will Notice?
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

A review of “A Local Neighborhood Traveler,” an exhibition of painting and drawing by Korean artist Se Hee Kim at the Boroomsan Museum of Art in Gimpo, South Korea. On the outskirts of Seoul, tucked away into a traditional hillside garden is the Boroomsan Museum of Art. The museum sits on the edge of an enormous expanse of dry, dusty...

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Changing Green Cities from Myth to Reality
Sumetee Gajjar, Bangalore

New town development or new cities, being rapidly built across much of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, may be founded on the principles of green cities and are yet found lacking in their attention to the environment. Numerous articles on the smart cities mission in India also note the techno-managerial approach to ecological elements of urban design, whereby monitoring...

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Civic Coproduction = Counterinstitutions + People: Make Participation Work by Focusing on the Possible
Nik Luka, Montreal and Uppsala

There is a common refrain in liberal democracies: local government is where participatory action is most likely to happen. Indeed, we often presume that neighbourhoods and towns and cities are privileged—perhaps even natural—spaces for the deliberative coproduction of plans, policies, strategies, and projects for sustainability and the common good. By “deliberative coproduction” I mean meaningful participation in decision-making so that...

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Ocean Cities: The Power of Documentary Filmmaking to Tell Stories About the Nature Around Us
Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

At a recent film screening of our new documentary film Ocean Cities, about connecting cities and marine environments, the panel discussion and questions that followed demonstrated clearly the value of these kinds of films. Some of the comments reflected a sense of being inspired by what other cities were doing (“that’s a great idea, we can do that here also”),...

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Secular, Sacred, and Domestic—Living with Street Trees in Bangalore
Suri Venkatachalam, Bangalore
Harini Nagendra, Bangalore

In rapidly growing Indian cities, change seems like the only constant. Heritage buildings are torn down, roads widened, lakes and wetlands drained, and parks erased to make way for urban growth. Nature is often the first casualty in a constant drive towards development. Yet the street tree stubbornly survives across Indian cities—beleaguered by gasoline fumes, besieged by construction, but still...

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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 | 
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Who Want to Do Ecological Restoration
Steven Handel,  New Brunswick

The Nature of Cities website has advanced the understanding of cities as both harbors for biodiversity and as places where there are many opportunities for natural habitats and ecoservices. Steadily, ecological scientists and practitioners are restoring habitats within...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

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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PLACE &
DESIGN

A City That Is Blue, Green and Just All Over
Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro

Since humans settled about 10,000 years ago, we have significantly altered and explored the landscape to create the civilization we now have. The landscape has been a source of material and non-material resources, feeding us in all senses. Ecologically rich landscapes associated with technologies were essential for all societies to emerge. The shape of landscapes along our history, have reflected...

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ART &
AWARENESS

How Does Your Garden Grow? Stories from South African Gardeners
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town

Why do we plant what we do in our personal gardens? It turns out it’s driven by a complicated mix of personal philosophy and social posturing, which sometimes are at odds. And, it turns out, in South Africa and many other countries, we don’t even plant our own gardens. This is done by “unskilled” and immigrant laborers. We talk a...

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