Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

The Value of Green Urban Assets and the True Costs of Development
Martin Westerman,  Seattle

The building boom that’s driving up real estate prices and jamming Seattle with housing and high-rises is also squeezing out and devaluing the city’s green and open spaces. That “progress” presents paradoxes: “Hard assets” provide value temporarily, as they are amortized over their “useful lives”; green, or “soft,” assets are never amortized, and provide value forever. And “progress” has now...

ESSAY
CROSSTALK

The Shape of Water, the Sight of Air, and Our Emergence from Covid
Lucie Lederhendler,  Montreal

“Absences should not cause us to look elsewhere, but to look closer.” i I have been working on a mind map of emptiness, inspired by an old Wiccan meditation practice of gazing into a bowl of water and trying to see the middle of the water.ii In the middle of a large sheet of newsprint, I encircled the word “emptiness” and...

GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

How is COVID-19 affecting caring for and researching urban ecology?
Christina Breed,  Pretoria |  Mark Champion,  Wigan |  Joy Clancy,  Twente |  Ian Douglas,  Manchester |  Pete Frost,  Cardiff |  Lincoln Garland,  Bath |  David Haley,  Ulverston |  Jane Houghton,  York |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Christian Isendahl,  Gothenburg |  Philip James,  Salford |  Sarah Lindley,  Manchester |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Nancy McIntyre,  Lubbock |  Camilo Ordóñez,  Melbourne |  Stephan Pauleit,  Munich |  Joe Ravetz,  Manchester |  Graham Rook,  London |  Richard Salisbury,  Manchester |  Alan Scott,  London |  Richard Scott,  Liverpool |  Monica Smith,  Los Angeles |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Miriam Stark,  Honolulu |  Katalin Szlavecz,  Baltimore |  Joanne Tippett,  Manchester |  Piotr Tryjanowski,  Poznan |  Tim Webb,  London |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Phil Wheater,  Manchester | 

REVIEWS
REACTIONS

My Past, Present, and Future: A Review of Ecological Mediations
Malerie Lovejoy, Oxford

The sciences meet the arts in the poetic renderings of Dr. Karan Aggarwala’s 2010 collection, Ecological Mediations(Xlibris). An optometrist by training, Dr. Aggarwala’s poetic view of the world reflects years of science met with a holistic ecological view of the mechanisms of our world. His inspiration draws clearly from personal experiences and stories of his family. He writes his heart...

RECENT ESSAYS...

The Place of Nature in Cities: Taking Inspiration from Singapore
Perrine Hamel, Singapore

What is the place of nature in cities? As the COVID-19 pandemic challenged societal norms, this question took a new turn for professionals and the public alike. Having recently moved to Singapore I’m sharing here a few thoughts as I’m learning how the city-state designs our relationship with nature. Singapore is often praised for its forward-looking approach to greenery planning....

Crisis Reveals the Fault Lines of Gender in Environmentalism—How Do We Value Everyday Environments?
Nathalie Blanc, Paris
Sandra Laugier, Paris
Pascale Molinier, Paris
Anne Querrien, Paris

These are times of crisis. One might even think that the COVID-19 crisis looks like a an alternative expression of crises that are already building, especially ecological ones. Harald Welzer in The Climate Wars shows that the feeling of crisis as well as fear is born in the face of the unpredictability of the times to come. However, it is...

Getting to Know You: The Under-Appreciated Art (Science) of Slow Research and Arts-Led Community Engagement
Paula Vandergert, London
Susie Miller Oduniyi, London

Know the feeling when every project seems to require a huge amount of work in a short amount of time, for very little reward?? This seems to be the way of the world, whether you’re a practitioner, a researcher, or a community activist (or all three). I was prompted to reflect on this when I (guiltily) turned down a request...

Four Recommendations for Greener, Healthier Cities in the Post-Pandemic
Takemi Sugiyama, Melbourne
Nyssa Hadgraft, Melbourne
Manoj Chandrabose, Melbourne
Jonathan Kingsley, Melbourne
Niki Frantzeskaki, Melbourne
Neville Owen, Melbourne

The extensive societal changes brought about by COVID-19 restrictions have given pause for thought on how we can create healthier and more equitable cities as we transition to a new normal. Public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have meant that opportunities to go out and interact with others have been limited, with many of us spending large...

RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

What is the status and outlook for forested natural areas in your city? What actions are needed to help them thrive?
Novem Auyeung,  New York |  Weston Brinkley,  Seattle |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Lisa Ciecko,  Seattle |  James Duncan,  Miami |  Matthew Freer,  Chicago |  Keith Mars,  Austin |  Joseph McCarthy,  Chicago |  Karen Miller,  Chicago |  Sophie Plitt,  New York |  Clara Pregitzer,  New York |  Lydia Scott,  Chicago |  Michael Yadrick,  Seattle | 
Covid has upended all the normal routines in our lives and work. How do you imagine you might be changed by it, both professionally, but also personally as you negotiate a new post-virus “normal”?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Janice Astbury,  Buenos Aires |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Katrine Claassens,  Montreal |  M'Lisa Colbert,  Montreal |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Paul Currie,  Cape Town |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Emilio Fantin,  Milan |  Todd Forest,  New York |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Bram Gunther,  New York |  Dagmar Haase,  Berlin |  Annegret Haase,  Leipzig |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Alex Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Mathew Jensen,  New York |  Panagiota Kotsila,  Barcelona |  Gilles Lecuir,  Paris |  Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto |  Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Yvonne Lynch,  Riyadh |  David Maddox,  New York  |  Antonia Machado,  Portland |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris |  Rob McDonald,  Washington, DC |  Brian McGrath,  New York City |  Siobhán McQuaid,  Dublin |  Ragene Palma,  London |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman,  College Park |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Mary Rowe,  Toronto |  Andrew Rudd,  New York City |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Olivier Scheffer,  Bordeaux |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  Laura Shillington,  Montreal |  Elisa Silva,  Caracas |  David Simon,  London |  Mary Hall Surface,  Washington |  Erika Svendsen,  New York |  Abdallah Tawfic,  Cairo |  Christine Thuring,  Vancouver |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem |  Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro,  Paris |  Andreas Weber,  Berlin |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota |  Darlene Wolnik,  New Orleans |  Xin Yu,  Shenzhen |  Carly Ziter,  Montreal | 
TNOC Summit Dialogue: How can professors help mobilize knowledge?
Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm |  Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto |  David Maddox,  New York  |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris | 
TNOC Summit Dialogue: How can we provide living space for people?
Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Elisa Silva,  Caracas |  David Simon,  London |  Xin Yu,  Shenzhen | 

MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

lowlands—Small-Scale and Nimble Projects that Create Resilient and Just Cities
Elliott Maltby,  New York City

A research and design framework, lowlands looks at public housing projects in environmentally vulnerable locations—specifically, low-lying lands, often on former marshes. A quick survey of New York City public housing projects demonstrates that this is a...

PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Defining the Just City Beyond Black and White
Toni Griffin,  New York City

When I think about the just city, it’s always black and white I was born in Chicago the evening before President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Growing up on the south side of Chicago meant that on an average day, I rarely saw or interacted with a person who didn’t look like me. All...

PLACE &
DESIGN

Urban China’s Appetite for Land
Judy Li,  Beijing
Pengfei XIE,  Beijing

Efficient land use for urban development is crucial for limiting urban sprawl, conserving nature around a city, and improving the livability of the city itself. In China, the unprecedented speed of urbanization over the past three decades has unfortunately resulted in widespread inefficient land use, creating problems that only some cities are trying to solve today. China is already home...

ART &
AWARENESS

Time of the Poppies
Andreas Weber,  Berlin

“Do you seek the highest, the greatest? The plant can teach you to do so. What it is without will of its own, that you should be with intent – that’s the point!” —Friedrich Schiller Some days ago, after giving a lecture in a west German city, I arrived back at my Berlin neighbourhood subway station and walked home. I...