Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

ESSAYS

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Discovering Metropolitan Detroit’s Wild Side Through The Great Lakes Way
John Hartig,  Windsor

The portion of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem stretching from southern Lake Huron through western Lake Erie is a unique urban refugium where the tapestry of life has been woven with elegance, where the music of life has been rehearsed to perfection for thousands of years, where nature’s colors are most vibrant and engaging, where time is measured in seasons,...

Several different colored boxes with ideas surrounding biodiversity protection
What Are the Cities Doing to Protect Pollinators and the Biodiversity?
Ana Pinheira,  Guimarães
Guilherme Sequeira Braga,  Guimarães

  Biodiversity faces increasing challenges with the development of cities. Land-use change, intensive agricultural management and pesticide use, invasive alien species, diseases, climate change, and environmental pollution are threatening bees and other pollinators. Helping them to survive means ensuring food security and maintaining healthy ecosystems. Nature conservation and the improvement of urban areas are offering a variety of ecosystem services...

A large room with high arched ceilings, skylights, and a skeleton hanging from the ceiling while people stand around below
Charles Darwin and the Guy from Upstairs: A visit to the Natural History Museum
Joseph Rabie,  Montreuil

At the end of November 2021, spending a few days in London, I paid a far too brief visit to the Natural History Museum. I had devoted the daylight hours to a survey of the skyscrapers burgeoning in the City’s business district and got to the museum just as the pale sun was slipping under the horizon, with the wannest...

A sparrowhawk sitting on pavement
Then Came the Crash
Andreas Weber,  Berlin

I wasn’t in a good shape when I broke the sparrowhawk’s wings. A gray sky over Berlin, a cold eastern wind. An early March day that never had properly lighted up and already started to sink back into dawn. No rain, no snow, but this dry and uncomfortable wind. I was cycling back towards my flat. The gusts came from...

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

Case Studies from Colombia that are Valuable Across South America
Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires

A review of Naturaleza Urbana. plataforma de experiencias, edited by María Angélica Mejía. 2016. ISBN 978-958-8889-69-6. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, Bogotá. 208 pages. The Spanish version of the book can be downloaded here....

PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Chicks in the City
Valerie Gwinner,  Nairobi

Urban livestock has long been viewed as dirty, unsafe, and decidedly un-modern by both policymakers and members of the general public. Yet, for many people living in and near the cities of developing countries, animals are a key source of food, nutrition, and livelihood. In Kenya, peri-urban chicken production has become a potentially lucrative business—especially for women—due to rapid urbanization...

PLACE &
DESIGN

The Green Leap: Can We Construct Urban Communities that Conserve Biodiversity?
Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville

For the first time in our history, more people live in urban vs. rural areas and humans continue to move into cities. Cities have huge impacts on our natural resources. Urban dwellers consume vast amounts of energy, produce waste, and alter landscapes to the point where native plant and animal populations decline precipitously. As cities grow, people have pondered –...

ART &
AWARENESS

The Singing Air
Andreas Weber,  Berlin

“…as if refusing to be caught / In any singular vision of my eye / Or in the nets and cages of my thought, / They tower up, shatter, and madden space / With their divergences, are each alone / Swallowed from sight.”— Richard Wilbur, An Event (excerpt) In the last weeks, my wife and I have taken to a winter...