Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.



A Fractal Solution to Regional Complexity and Governance
Mathieu Hélie,  Montréal

Could we construct a new image of what the political boundaries of an urban landscape could take shape as? Instead of the hierarchical approach that is commonplace, with cities governed by layers of neighborhood, urban, regional, and state-provincial levels through different electoral or appointed bodies, I propose to approach the problem geometrically, by using the principles of scaling and iteration...


Placing Equity at the Center of the Urban Greening Agenda
Peleg Kremer,  Princeton
Annegret Haase,  Leipzig
Dagmar Haase,  Berlin

Equity and Sustainability: a history of ideological convergence vs. practiced indifference The idea that equity is an important and indispensable part of sustainable development has been there from the early days. The intellectual basic for and actions taken towards sustainability are thought to be fundamentally fair and just—a world in which all have access and means to the resources needed...


TNOC Summit Dialogue: Demanding access to green space as a right for everyone
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Adrian Benepe,  New York |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  David Maddox,  New York City | 


City as Nature Festival, Osaka, Japan
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

Co-sponsored by The Nature of Cities and FRIEC, the inaugural City as Nature Festival took place from 11-22 October 2019 in Osaka, Japan. Featuring interactive, place-based art, workshops, concerts, walks, talks, and storytelling events, the festival aimed at cultivating our awareness of urban environmental landscapes. The works and activities within the City as Nature Festival represent not only multiple disciplines...


And, Now What? Exploring what happens after a 16,000-kilometer walk across two continents
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

Those last few days in June, we could see Barcelona’s shape in the distance. The three chimneys from the old power plant. The slanted roof of the Forum. The towers from the Olympic village. The long stretch of beach reaching to the glass sail that is the W hotel. The blue of the Mediterranean that always stirs a “Come to...

Paseos Verdes: The Story of a Morning Walk and a Partnership for Greater Community and Watershed Health
Bruce Roll, Portland

Since its beginning fifteen years ago, the landscape conservation program called Tree for All (TFA) has found a home for more than 10 million native plants in the 750 square mile Tualatin River Watershed of  Northwestern Oregon. Over 700 projects have been completed along 140 river miles across 30,000 acres. TFA owes its success to more than 30 partners who...

Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2019
David Maddox, New York

Today’s post celebrates some of the highlights from TNOC writing in 2019. These contributions—originating around the world—were one or more of widely read, offering novel points of view, and/or somehow disruptive in a useful way. All 1000+ TNOC essays and roundtables are worthwhile reads, of course, but what follows will give you a taste of 2019’s key and diverse content. The Nature of Cities...

Tree Planting in Green Urban Infrastructure
Graciela Arosemena, Panama City

Lea esto en español. The functions of today’s green are defined mainly by the needs that were conceived in the hygienist movement linked to the industrial city of the nineteenth century. Environmental pollution was the driving force behind public open spaces at that time, and at that time, the need for socialization and recreation was recognized. Today’s green space is...


National Park City: What if your city were a National Park City, analogous to what London created? What it would be like? What would it take to accomplish?
Alison Barnes,  London |  Méliné Baronian,  Versailles |  Maud Bernard-Verdier,  Berlin |  Ioana Biris,  Amsterdam |  Timothy Blatch,  Cape Town |  Geoff Canham,  Tauranga |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Luis Antonio Roman Diez,  Merida |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Sue Hilder,  Glasgow |  Mike Houck,  Portland |  Sophie Lokatis,  Berlin |  Aletta Bonn,  Berlin |  Scott Martin,  Louisville |  Sebastian Miguel,  Buenos Aires |  Gareth Moore-Jones,  Ohope Beach |  Rob Pirani,  New York |  Daniel Raven-Ellison,  London |  Tom Rozendal,  Breda |  Snorri Sigurdsson,  Reykjavík |  Lynn Wilson,  Vancouver | 
Why are we doing walking tours in African cities? To help us see and engage with small scale urbanism and urban tinkering.
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Celestine Collins,  Kisumu |  Julie Goodness,  Stockholm |  Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town |  Odhiambo Ken K'oyooh,  Kisumu |  Viveca Mellegård,  Stockholm |  Benard Ojwang,  Kisumu |  Aiuba Oliveira,  Nacala |  Semakula Samson,  Entebbe |  Ellika Hermansson Torok,  Stockholm |  Thandeka Tshabalala,  Cape Town | 
How is the concept of “stewardship” and “care for local environments” expressed around the world?
Nathalie Blanc,  Paris |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York |  Zorina Colasero,  Puerto Princesa City |  Kirk Deitschman,  Waimānalo |  Johan Enqvist,  Cape Town |  Emilio Fantin,  Milan |  Artur Jerzy Filip,  Warsaw |  Carlo Gomez,  Puerto Princesa City |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Michelle Johnson,  New York City |  Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Romina Magtanong,  Puerto Princesa City |  Heather McMillen,  Honolulu |  Ranjini Murali,  Bangalore |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Ferus Niyomwungeri,  Kigali |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Beatriz Ruizpalacios,   |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  Erika Svendsen,  New York |  Abdallah Tawfic,  Cairo |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota |  Xin Yu,  Shenzhen | 
The spirit of Dada welcomes you to TNOC Summit: What is the nature of the city of our dreams?
Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Katie Coyne,  Austin |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Timon McPhearson,  New York |  Andrew Rudd,  New York City |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels | 



Planning Under Uncertainty: Regime Shifts, Resilience, and Innovation in Urban Ecosystems
Marina Alberti,  Seattle

Cities face unprecedented challenges.  Global environmental change is placing increasing pressure on ecosystem functions and their ability to support human activities.  The exponential growth of human activities is a key driver of such change, so much...


Nature in Chicago: Surprisingly Wild, Surprisingly Human
Chris Hensley,  Fresno

A review of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian. 2015. ISBN: 978-0-226-19289-5. University of Chicago Press. 377 pages. Buy the book. Normally, in these book reviews, I do my best to present a fair, unbiased account of what a book does well, as well as what it doesn’t do so well....


Lessons from Tinseltown: Nature’s Role in Alleviating Homelessness
Rebecca Salminen Witt,  Detroit

We all know that nature in the urban environment can make our lives as city dwellers infinitely better, but can it create quality of life even for the displaced among us? Winter is here in the city of Detroit, Michigan. It’s cold, and people all over this northern city are scurrying to find a warm place to spend the season....


Souvlaki Coyote and other Tales of Urban Wildlife
Bob Sallinger,  Portland

Much of the fabulous writing on The Nature of Cities blog site to date has focused on integrating the built and natural environment, erasing, or at least softening the lines that separate the natural and the manmade. I would like to shift focus a bit and explore the intersection between people and wildlife and suggest that we would also be...