Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

ESSAYS

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COVID-19 as an Accelerator to Rethink the City
Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires

Urban public space has been a subject of rethinking for decades regarding its role as a catalyst for revitalization and as a promoter of social interaction. Thus, most cities have experienced substantial improvements which positioned them in a better ranking of liveable cities, since the type and quality of urban public space have also been associated with the quality of...

Urban Form and Urban Nature After the COVID-19 Pandemic
Rob McDonald,  Basel

The COVID-19 pandemic is slowly receding and, while it still is a fatally serious problem in some places, it is possible to imagine it at least receding into an endemic disease. It is perhaps, therefore, a good time to reflect on what COVID-19 has meant and will mean for urban form and urban nature. In a previous post on TNOC,...

A illustration of a park within a city
Translocal Adventures, Communities of Practice, and the TNOC Festival
Duncan Crowley,  Lisbon
Giorgia Silvestri,  Rotterdam
Sara Silva,  Lisbon

UrbanA, ECOLISE, and Communities for Future joined forces to lead an experimental seed session on the first day of the amazing The Nature of Cities Festival (with online discussions on the #TNOCFestival hashtag). About 25 people turned up from different corners of the planet, on Monday 22nd of February 2021, to explore the topic of “Translocal adventures in developing an...

Better Rankings for Better Cities: The Limitations and Prospects of City Rankings
Devansh Jain,  Singapore
Perrine Hamel,  Singapore

So, what happens when a city reaches the top ranks? Have you ever noticed the kind of media attention the city gets? City rankings are indeed very popular and attract a lot of media attention across the globe. Each year, there are more than 40 city indices published globally. In fact, since 2007, more than 500 different urban indices and...

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLES

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Three pink tulip flowers attached to bulbs and roots on a white background, Sixteen Miles Out, unsplash.com
Can we enable better decision-making when it comes to urban plant selection and preparation? Does urban ecology and the horticulture industry need to be better engaged with each other?
María Aragão,   |  Timothy Blatch,  Cape Town |  Amy Bowen,  Lincoln |  Luis Camargo,   |  Martha Fajardo,  Bogota |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Richard Hallett,   |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Nikara Mahadeo,  Cape Town |  Peter Massini,   |  Darby McGrath,  Lincoln |  Matthew Morrow,  New York |  Max Piana,  Amherst |  Ryan Plummer,  St. Catharines |  Mohan Rao,  Bangalore |  Keith Sacre,  Cambridgeshire |  Georgia Silvera Seamans,   |  Ian Shears,  Melbourne |  Audrey Timm,  Chilton |  Ernita van Wyk,  Cape Town |  Mike Wells,  Bath | 
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 | 

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

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A nature painting by Nikki Lindt in reds, yellows, greens, and blues.
Nikki Lindt—If The Trees Speak to Us, How Will We Reply?

Nikki Lindt explores sounds in unexpected places: rumbling in the soil of subways passing; snowflakes crashing to earth; sap flowing. These sounds lead us to perceive and appreciate trees and their environments in new ways, and experience sounds from parts of the environment that don’t typically reach our ears, but which are part of a tree’s essential world. This is...

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...

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

Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2018
David Maddox,  New York

Today’s post celebrates some of the highlights from TNOC writing in 2018. 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...

PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Response and Recovery After the Deadliest United States Tornado in a Century
Traci Sooter,  Springfield

On Sunday, 22 May 2011, a multiple-vortex tornado touched down shortly after 5:00pm and began to rip a path nearly a mile wide across Joplin, Missouri, through the town of Duquesne, and into the rural areas of Jasper County. The Storm was on the ground for 38 minutes and traveled approximately 16 miles. 22 May 2017 will be the sixth...

PLACE &
DESIGN

Landscape, Cities, and the Pope: a Shift for a Better Future?
Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro

I believe that urban landscape matters! The landscape in which one grows up, matures, and lives life may be the essential factor in determining the behavior towards and empathy with nature and with other people and their cultures. The landscape can even be the way we connect to ourselves. The shape of our cities is a result of the historical...

ART &
AWARENESS

Introducing “The Nature of Cities”
David Maddox,  New York

Sitting in the southern end of Central Park in New York City a few weeks ago, I found myself at what is called the “Literary Walk”. Statues of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, Shakespeare and others decorate a cathedral of elm trees that line a wide path. It was a beautiful day and scores of visitors from across the globe...