Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

ESSAYS

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When “Good Commons” Create “Bad Commons”
Praneeta Mudaliar,  Ithaca

Can practices that produce “good” commons also create “bad” commons? In some instances, practices of commoning spaces that are neither public, private, nor common can also degrade these spaces. Mornings in my neighborhood of Wanowrie in Pune city, in the western state of Maharashtra, India are a charming sight. An undeveloped parcel of land also known as Kakade ground, approximately...

Dismantling Racism. Reimagining Richmond.
The Richmond Racial Equity Essays.

Ebony Walden,  Richmond

The world is indeed a different place than it was when the idea for the Richmond Racial Equity Essays project was conceived in 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the tragic murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests, activism and increased awareness of racial inequities and injustice, the need for a diversity of voices and solutions are even more timely...

The Wild Edges of Our Garden
Kirby Manià,  Vancouver

One morning before school, my father hurriedly interrupted my sister and me at the breakfast table, with a look of mischief in his eye, and an instruction to follow him, quickly and quietly, into the garden.1 It was a relatively chilly morning, at least by the standards of generally sunny and temperate Johannesburg. Our morning routines were usually quite rushed,...

GENESIS 2.0
Joseph Rabie,  Montreuil

In the end, Humankind reverse-engineered the heavens and the world. And while there had been some semblance of order before, Humankind turned it all inside out, night became muddled with day, and day with night. Humankind took the carbon lodged in the darkness of the earth and expelled it into the sky, setting it alight in a great suffocation. They...

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLES

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How can nature-based solutions (NBS) provide the basis for a nature-based economy?
John Bell,  Brussels |  Guilherme Castagna,  São Paulo |  Emre Eren,  London |  Susanne Formanek,  Wien |  Tiago Fritas,  Brussels |  Rhoda Gwayinga,  Kampala |  Simon Gresset,  Freiburg |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Mamuka Gvilava,  Tbilisi |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Antonia Lorenzo,  Málaga |  David Maddox,  New York |  Rupesh Madlani,  London |  Taícia H. N. Marques,  Lima |  Ana Mitić-Radulović,  Belgrade |  Hans Müller,  Kornwestheim |  Isaac Mugumbule,  Kampala |  David Simon,  London |  Audrey Timm,  Chilton |  Ellie Tonks,  Amsterdam |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem |  Domenico Vito,  Milan | 
Innovations from the Post-COVID-19 City CoLab Challenge
Amal al Balushi,  Aachen |  Georgia Bertagna,  Parma |  Thomas Beery,  Kristianstad |  Charlotte Britton,  Munich |  Jenna Cardinale,  New York |  Davide Geneletti,  Trento |  Eva Hoppmanns,  Aachen |  Dana Johnston,  Munich |  Vanessa Kucharski,  Aachen |  Audrey Leung,  Munich |  Mareeya Mitmana,  Munich |  Siân Moxon,  London |  Lea Schwab,  Aachen |  Colm O’Driscoll,  Dublin |  Anneliese Zausner-Mannes,  New York | 
Beyond equity: What does an anti-racist urban ecology look like?
Julian Agyeman,  Medford |  Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Anna Livia Brand,  Berkeley |  Jean-Marie Cishahayo,  Ottawa |  CJ Goulding,  Teaneck |  Morgan Grove,  Baltimore |  Derek Hyra,  Washington |  Laura Landau,  New York |  María Mejía,  Bogotá |  Polly Moseley,  Liverpool |  Amanda Phillips de Lucas,  Baltimore |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Charles Prempeh,  Accra |  Malini Ranganathan,  Washington |  Baixo Ribeiro,  São Paulo |  Amrita Sen,  Bangalore |  Suné Stassen,  Cape Town |  Abdallah Tawfic,  Cairo |  Cindy Thomashow,  Seattle |  Hita Unnikrishnan,  Sheffield |  Ebony Walden,  Richmond |  Ibrahim Wallee,  Accra |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota | 
What actions are successful in activating cities to implement urban biodiversity conservation policies, campaigns, and projects?
Eric Butler,  Portland |  Georgina Cullman,  New York |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Hayato Hasegawa,  Fukuoka |  Clara Holmes,  New York |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City |  Mahito Kamada,  Tokushima |  Marit Larson,  New York |  Gilles Lecuir,  Paris |  Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi |  Colin Meurk,  Christchurch |  Matthew Morrow,  New York |  Siobhán McQuaid,  Dublin |  Tomomi Sudo,  Fukuoka |  Pamela Zevit,  Surrey | 

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

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The State We’re in Water: Constructing a Sense of Place in the Hydrosphere

An exhibition by Robin Lasser and Marguerite Perret Originally produced by Oklahoma State Museum of Art,adapted and digitally-curated for The Nature of Cities by the Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures (FRIEC).   Introduction “…from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” — Charles Darwin We human beings are...

Hidden Flows — photographers uncover the invisible flows in African cities

Introduction Welcome to our exhibition! It’s been a year in the making, and will keep evolving. We’d love to hear your thoughts: [email protected] The hidden flows exhibition emerged out of a need to enrich current conversations about resources, infrastructure and services in African cities. There is ongoing research, through the lens of urban metabolism, to measure and track how resources...

NYC Urban Field Station—Who Takes Care of New York?

Welcome! This interactive exhibition–originally mounted at the Queens Museum in 2019–highlights the stories, geographies, and impacts of diverse civic stewards across New York through art, maps, and storytelling. This is the Gallery Space’s “front door” and we are asking for a voluntary donation to support this exhibit—a tip jar, or pay-what-you-will ticket. During COVID-19, The Urban Ecological Arts Forum at...

Emilio Fantin—Dreams of Trees

Welcome to an exhibition and workshop that asks: how do we re-member what once rooted us in our own being and in the mutual being of the world around us? Fantin helps highlight a universal consciousness, and a relationship that affects not only the human being but all animated and non-animated things. This is the Gallery Space’s “front door” and...

EVENTS

TNOC 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.

TNOC Festival Plenaries

TNOC Festival featured 18 plenaries, each with keynotes, panel dialogues, and art interventions. You can see them all here, both as complete plenary videos or segments.

TNOC Summit Outputs

This is a page for emerging outputs from The Nature of Cities Summit, in Paris 4-7 June 2019. New essays and roundtable appear here periodically, so keep checking back.

Conversations

TNOC operates three webinar series: Adventures in Collaboration, Stories of the Nature of Cities 1/2 Hour, and THE LEAF: Show and Tells from the Urban Arts Collective. After the scheduled live webinar, a recording will be made available to view.

PROJECTS

Fiction

We asked people to imagine future cities, in the form of a flash or very short fiction. The series now includes two volumes: the latest is titled CITY IN A WILD GARDEN, a collection of 49 stories from 21 countries.

Poetry

With SPROUT, we are curating a space for trans- and multi-disciplinary collaborations between poets, researchers, and citizens with a focus on geographical diversity, polyvocality, and translation. We are a creative project of The Nature of Cities, specifically interested in the character of green cities from many ways of knowing.

La Nature Des Villes

La Nature des Villes est un projet réalisé par The Nature of Cities. Cette une espace en ligne dédiée à la facilitation de la collaboration, en français, pour créer les villes qui soient meilleures pour la nature et tous les citoyens urbains. Nous existons à promouvoir les idées et les rassemblements multidisciplinaires entre divers acteurs urbains au monde francophone.

Food Water Energy

The IFWEN project stands for: Understanding Innovative Initiatives for Governing Food, Water and Energy Nexus in Cities. IFWEN is a Belmont Forum funded international team of researchers and stakeholders working to advance knowledge about urban governance related to FWEN, and Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) as its base.

MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

Discovering Urban Biodiversity
Matt Palmer,  New York City

The world is losing its biological diversity – or biodiversity – at an alarming rate. The primary force driving this is habitat degradation. When the places where animals, plants, fungi, and the myriad other organisms live are...

PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Accessing Urban Environmental Education Opportunities Via Green Infrastructure
Laura Cole,  Columbia, MO
Timon McPhearson,  New York
Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro
Alex Russ,  Ithaca

The term “sustainable city” evokes images of green roofs, energy-efficient buildings, bioswales, bike lanes, urban forests, and other types of green infrastructure. These urban features clearly have value for ecosystem and human health, but they also have great educational potential. Green infrastructure can help urban residents improve their understanding of complex sustainability issues, provide opportunities for residents to interact with...

PLACE &
DESIGN

Climate Adaptation Plans Can Worsen Unequal Urban Vulnerability
Linda Shi,  Boston
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona

The Rockefeller Foundation announced its third and final set of its “Resilient Cities”, rounding out a group of 100 cities that have demonstrated success in and commitment to enhancing resilience to climate change and other natural or man-made disasters, among other urban challenges. These cities, along with hundreds of others without the designation, are experimenting with different ways to “climate...

ART &
AWARENESS

The Cities We Want: Resilient, Sustainable, and Livable
David Maddox,  New York

Resilience is the word of the decade, as sustainability was in previous decades. No doubt, our view of the kind and quality of cities we as societies want to build will continue to evolve and inspire a new descriptive goal. Surely we have not lost our desire for sustainable cities, with footprints we can globally and locally afford, even though...