Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

ESSAYS

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If Nature is the Answer to Climate Change, What are the Questions?
Rob Pirani,  New York

Recently, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of “Restore Mother Nature”, an aggressive program for habitat restoration and flood reduction. “We must begin restoring the natural balance we disrupted,” said the Governor. “Mother Nature had a plan, she had resiliency built in. We are the ones who destroyed it.”  His call is echoed in the latest effort...

Greening the Recovery? A Proposal for Forwarding Urban Transitions as a Recovery Agenda Towards Resilience
Niki Frantzeskaki,  Melbourne

As we are living in the second year of the pandemic. We are learning to adapt to new urban living, new ways of working—mostly remotely and at times in a blended way—and most of all, learn to reconnect to our urban places and spaces. Many local governments have put in place measures that before were seeming far reached dreams: Melbourne...

Embracing Unexpected Six-Legged Commuters
Timothy Bonebrake,  Hong Kong

 Every day I make the commute between my home in a rural-style village on an “outlying island” (Lamma Island) to the middle of the city in Hong Kong. Altogether the journey is about one hour one way and involves walking, a ferry, and a subway/MTR ride. A variety of things can happen to me on any particular day that can...

From Design to City Life: What It Takes to Bring Nature-based Solutions to Urban Reality
Niki Frantzeskaki,  Melbourne
Paula Vandergert,  London
Stuart Connop,  London
Karlijn Schipper,  Rotterdam
Iwona Zwierzchowska,  Poznań
Marcus Collier,  Dublin
Lodder Marleen,  Rotterdam

Cities around the globe are seeing increased civic interest and appreciation of nature in the city. Pictures with citizens thronging to urban parks and urban waterfronts adhering to social distancing have flooded social media and traditional media alike in the past months. This appreciation and recognition of how important it is to have access to and the presence of urban...

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLES

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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 | 
What actions are successful in activating cities to implement urban biodiversity conservation policies, campaigns, and projects?
Eric Butler,  Portland |  Georgina Cullman,  New York |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Hayato Hasegawa,  Fukuoka |  Clara Holmes,  New York |  Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville |  Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City |  Mahito Kamada,  Tokushima |  Marit Larson,  New York |  Gilles Lecuir,  Paris |  Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi |  Colin Meurk,  Christchurch |  Matthew Morrow,  New York |  Siobhán McQuaid,  Dublin |  Tomomi Sudo,  Fukuoka |  Pamela Zevit,  Surrey | 
We Need an Ethical Code for Water
Gloria Aponte,  Medellín |  Katherine Berthon,  Melbourne |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Paul Currie,  Cape Town |  PK Das,  Mumbai |  Meredith Dobbie,  Victoria |  Casey Furlong,  Melbourne |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Gary Grant,  London |  Juliana Landolfi de Carvalho,  Curitiba |  Tom Liptan,  Portland |  Sareh Moosavi,  Brussels |  Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  André Stephan,  Brussels |  Peter Schoonmaker,  Portland |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem |  Mario Yanez,  Lisbon | 
What’s Next? Learning From Nature During Lockdown
Elmaz Abinader,  Oakland |  Jane Ingram Allen,  Santa Rosa |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Anne Brochot,  Voulx |  Joyce Garvey,  Dublin |  Leslie Gauthier,  New York |  Frances Mezzetti,  Dublin |  Munira Naqui,  Portland | 

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

MORE ARTS...

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...

Emilio Fantin—Dreams of Trees

Welcome to an exhibition and workshop that asks: how do we re-member what once rooted us in our own being and in the mutual being of the world around us? Fantin helps highlight a universal consciousness, and a relationship that affects not only the human being but all animated and non-animated things. This is the Gallery Space’s “front door” and...

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 short fiction. Our original prompt read like this: What are the stories of people and nature in cities in 2099? The result was a bopok of 57 stories from 23 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

What the Zika Epidemic Means for Gender and Urban Adaptation Planning in Brazil
Katerina Elias,  São Paulo

Almost exactly two years ago, South America was swept up in a public health crisis that affected hundreds of thousands of women across the continent. In Brazil, more than 2,600 children were born with the microcephaly...

PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Taking the Long View: Looking at Landscape Restoration Through Varied Lenses
Bruce Roll,  Portland

Each morning on my way to work, just west of Portland, Oregon, I pass a thriving new development with hundreds of brand new houses, a beautiful new school, bustling stores and new parks. These new assets, which serve humans so well, have largely replaced the green expanse that characterized this landscape just a few years ago. Along the fringes of...

PLACE &
DESIGN

Water Marks: An Atlas of Water for the City of Milwaukee
Mary Miss,  New York City

As an artist, having the opportunity to develop a project at the scale of a city has been a remarkable experience. WaterMarks has grown out of a three-year engagement with the city of Milwaukee. City government, academic institutions, and many nonprofits have been essential contributors to the development of this urban-scaled project. Focusing on water, the project has three important...

ART &
AWARENESS

Georgetown, Guyana—the Birding World’s Best Kept Secret?
Melinda Janki,  Georgetown, Guyana

Georgetown, Guyana, is one of the world’s smallest capital cities, a mere six mi.2 according to its official boundaries. The Dutch laid out this city, perched on the northern Atlantic coast of South America, in the 18th century; the British expanded it in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tree-lined avenues, flowing canals, and stunning colonial gardens earned it a reputation...