Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

The Beaver, Cottonwoods, and Lucy: Preservation Is Not Enough
Mike Houck,  Portland

In a previous essay, Size Doesn’t Matter, Really, I made the case that even small scraps of urban green, such as Portland’s one-square-block Tanner Springs Nature Park can provide significant benefits to a community. Located in the city’s intensely developed Pearl District, Tanner Springs provides access to nature to thousands of nearby apartment dwellers and contributes to urban biodiversity as...

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

Disaster Recovery? Yet Another Missed Opportunity to Build Back Better, Inclusive, and Sustainable Cities
Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut

Throughout the world, cities are undergoing significant damage and destruction due to a combination of: (1) natural hazards increasing in severity, frequency and losses due to climate change (Figures 1); and (2) increased exposure, vulnerability and losses due to increasing population and economic concentration due to unplanned rapid urbanization (Figure 2); and (3) wars and conflicts that occur due to...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

What did you read in 2018 that moved you?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Marc Barra,  Paris |  Katie Coyne,  Austin |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Artur Jerzy Filip,  Warsaw |  Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo |  Russell Galt,  Edinburgh |  Ursula Heise,  Los Angeles |  Toby Kent,  Melbourne |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Pascal Mittermaier,  Boston |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Jay Valgora,  New York |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels |  0 Comment(s)
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REVIEWS
REACTIONS

French Landscape Painters and the Nature of Paris
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

A review of Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Moscow, an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Art in Osaka, Japan. If we learn anything from an exhibition such as “Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings”, it might be that French landscape painters have a thing or two to teach us about urban nature...

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RECENT ESSAYS...

The Winter City: Ecologies of Snow, Ice and Cold
Laura Shillington, Managua & Montreal

But it was all The Fear of Snow —Leonard Cohen, The Best The city in winter invokes diverse imaginaries—from romantic, beautiful, and magical to cold, dark, dirty, and hazardous. A quick Google search reproduces the first three imaginaries: romantic, beautiful, and magical (Figure 1). Yet winter is often depicted as evil and threatening, especially in fantasy and folk tales. One...

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Orchards from the Forest: A Local Solution to Extinction
Alessandra Pavesi, São Paulo

The destruction of Cerrado (Brazilian Savannah), the second largest biome in Brazil after Amazonia, has become the main concern of urban collectives focused on reintroducing elements of this important ecosystem in city landscapes and in the imaginations of city dwellers. In this essay, we look at urban farming for Cerradoregeneration from the perspective of cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) (Engeström, 2001,...

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Rebuilding Bosnia and Herzegovina Cities
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

There is a sadness in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will follow me for a long time. Of all the wonders and troubles we have witnessed during our walk through Asia and Europe, the visible signs of this country’s post-war hardships break my heart the most in this multi-year journey. Our route takes us along mostly rural border areas wrapping around...

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Rethinking Cities in Arid Environments for the 21st Century
Huda Shaka, Dubai

Arid cities around the world Over two years ago, my colleagues and I at Arup began a research project focused on the topic of planning and designing cities in arid environments. We were initially interested in exploring the most relevant practices and innovations for cities in the Middle East, but soon realised that many other cities and regions around the...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

Our goal is to empower cities to plan for a positive natural future. What is one specific action that should be taken to achieve this goal?
Graciela Arosemena,  Panama City |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Marlies Craig,  Durban |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore |  Gary Grant,  London |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Scott Kellogg,  Albany |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Emily Maxwell,  New York |  Colin Meurk,  Christchurch |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Jennifer Rae Pierce,  Vancouver |  Mary Rowe,  Toronto |  Luis Sandoval,  San José | 
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As a landscape architect, how do you interpret the word “biodiversity”? How does this meaning find expression in your design?
Gloria Aponte,  Medellín |  AnaLuisa Artesi,  Buenos Aires |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth |  Jason King,  Portland |  Victoria Marshall,  Singapore |  Daniel Phillips,  Detroit |  Mohan Rao,  Bangalore |  Sylvie Salles,  Paris |  Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota | 
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Artists in Conversation with Water in Cities
Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Antonio José García Cano,  Murcia |  Katrine Claassens,  Montreal |  Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo |  Nazlı Gürlek,  Istanbul & Palo Alto |  Basia Irland,  Albuquerque |  Robin Lasser,  Oakland |  Mary Mattingly,  New York City |  Marguerite Perret,  Topeka |  Bonnie Sherk,  San Francisco |  Nadia Vadori-Gauthier Vadori-Gauthier,  Paris |  Aloïs Yang,  Prague | 
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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 | 
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

It’s Not Only City Design—We Need To Integrate Sustainability Across the Rural-Urban Continuum
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

Nearly 70% of the world population lives in urban areas and nearly 75% of economic activity is located therein. Urban areas concentrate not only wealth but also extreme poverty and environmental degradation. Despite the significant progress...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

The Nature of a City Economy: Towards an Ecology of Entrepreneurship
Vin Cipolla,  New York City
Mary Rowe,  Toronto

City economies as patterns of connection In a healthy functioning city, various forms of urban capital, including natural, social, cultural — and economic — are enabled to flow smoothly and flexibly, along paths that are productive and enriching to the system of which they are a part. The most efficient patterns of capital ‘flows’ in a city are organic: well...

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PLACE &
DESIGN

Vacant Land in Cities Could Provide Important Social and Ecological Benefits
Timon McPhearson,  New York

Walk through any major city and you’ll see vacant land. These are the weed lots, garbage strewn undeveloped spaces, and high crime areas that most urban residents consider blights on the neighborhood. In some cases, neighbors have organized to transform these spaces into community amenities such as shared garden spaces, but all too often these lots persist as unrecognized opportunities...

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ART &
AWARENESS

Lessons from a One-eyed Eagle
Bob Sallinger,  Portland

By all rights a one-eyed bald eagle is a doomed bird. Imagine trying to catch a salmon or a brush rabbit with no depth perception. Oh eagles will scavenge and occasionally steal food from one another, but roadkill and kleptoparasitism will only get you so far in life…or so the conventional wisdom goes. The one-eyed eagle that finds its way...

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