Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.



Making Parks Relevant: Muir Woods as a Museum that Invites Multiple Narratives
Laura Booth,  San Francisco

At Muir Woods National Monument, an old-growth redwood forest a half hour’s drive north of San Francisco, more than a million people a year from around the world flock to visit ancient, giant trees. These visitors largely believe they are coming to a beautiful, living example of a thriving and timeless forest, protected forever by benevolent figures from the United...

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Map and Explore: Hidden Hydrology
Jason King,  Portland

Our cities are filled with hidden stories. Some of these tales are unlocked through conversations with long-time residents and oral histories, while others emerge through the written word, embedded in documents and biographies from the shapers and boosters that made our cities. Some hide in maps, a chronology of layers of changes over time, intimately spatial and tied to places,...

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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 |  13 Comment(s)
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New Integrated and Actionable Urban Knowledge for the Cities We Want and Need
Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
Xuemei Bai, Canberra
Niki Frantzeskaki, Rotterdam
Corrie Griffith, Tempe
David Maddox, New York City
Timon McPhearson, New York
Sue Parnell, Cape Town
Paty Romero-Lankao, Boulder
David Simon, Gothenburg
Mark Watkins, Phoenix

A preview of the book, Urban Planet: Knowledge Towards Sustainable Cities. 2018. Editors: Thomas Elmqvist, Xuemei Bai, Niki Frantzeskaki, Corrie Griffith, David Maddox, Timon McPhearson, Susan Parnell, Patricia Romero-Lankao, David Simon, Mark Watkins. Cambridge University Press. Available as an open source download here, or purchase as a physical book. We are living on an urban planet. In the coming decades, about 2.6 billion more...

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Over the Years We Grow: National Scale Progress in Engagement and Research at Tree Canada
Adrina Bardekjian, Montreal

Over the past four years in leading the Engagement and Research portfolio at Tree Canada, I have had the opportunity to watch the organization grow, contribute to designing programs that move beyond tree planting efforts, and to create a network of knowledge sharing for Canada’s urban forests. I am pleased to share that our progress has made a significant impact...

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Enabling Efficient Urban Biodiversity Monitoring Through Modern Natural History and Citizen Science
Timothy Bonebrake, Hong Kong

The escalator that stretches from Victoria Harbour in central Hong Kong to the high-priced mid-levels neighborhood accommodates approximately 70,000 commuters daily. Surrounded by tall buildings, you would not at first glance expect to find much in the way of life other than never-ending humanity. However, even on this congested pathway on any given day you are likely to see red-whiskered...

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Neural Networks—A New Model for “The Kind of Problem a City Is”
Mathieu Hélie, Montréal

Jane Jacobs’ final chapter of Death and Life of Great American Cities, titled “The Kind of Problem a City Is”, remains its most misunderstood. The principal ideas of the book have become the mainstream of urban know-how and helped the triumphant turnarounds in the fortunes of American cities, most notably for New York City. But the last idea in the...

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Tracking Resilience Trade-offs: Let’s Build a Crowdsourced Global Database
Lorenzo Chelleri, Barcelona
Sara Meerow, Tempe

In recent years, city plans, international organizations, private foundations, and policy discourse more broadly have presented resilience as a necessary characteristic for communities to cope with natural hazards and climate change. Numerous cities around the world are now developing resilience strategies or implementing policies with the stated aim of becoming more resilient. Resilience agendas and efforts are often justified by the need to guarantee...

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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 | 
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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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Let go of some urban domestication: How would you convince the mayor to re-wild the city?
Juan Azcarate,  Bogotá |  Keith Bowers,  Charleston |  Katrine Claassens,  Montreal |  Don Dearborn,  Lewiston |  Ian Douglas,  Manchester |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Lincoln Garland,  Bath |  Amy Hahs,  Ballarat, Australia |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City |  Louise Lezy-Bruno,  Paris |  Jala Makhzoumi,  Beirut |  Juliana Montoya,  Bogota |  Daniel Phillips,  Bangalore |  Mohan Rao,  Bangalore |  Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth |  Kati Vierikko,  Helsinki | 
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Is There Any Type of Urban Greenspace that Addresses the Urban-Rural Continuum? Urban Agriculture
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

In my last post, I wrote that efficient urban sustainability policy should be inclusive, in the sense that it should address sustainability in an area large enough to encompass urban centers, but suburban, periurban and dependent...

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The Emerald Necklace: Metropolitan Greenspace Planning in Los Angeles and Beyond
Will Allen,  Chapel Hill
Claire Robinson,  Los Angeles
Mike Houck,  Portland

Introduction Mike Houck Urban Greenspaces Institute In winter 2009, Houston Wilderness hosted an inaugural meeting of what would become the Metropolitan Greenspace Alliance.  Today the Alliance is a national coalition of coalitions working in ecologically, culturally, and economically diverse communities across the US. Alliance members represent Portland, Oregon; Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland,...

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Including Animals’ Perspectives Can Expand How We Define Cities
Chris Hensley,  Fresno

A review of Urban Animals: Crowding in Zoocities, by Tora Holmberg. 2015. ISBN: 978-1-138-83288-6. Routledge, New York. 164 pages. Cities are largely viewed as cultural constructs, built by humans for humans. However, the reality is that animals, whether wild or domesticated, also participate in the creation and definition of cities as sociopolitical spaces. Animals are a part of everyday urban...

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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...

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