Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.



China Is Investing $13 Trillion in Construction. Will It Pursue Zero Carbon Buildings?
Tatsatom Goncalves,  Washington, DC
Debbie Weyl,  Washington, DC

China is in the midst of a construction mega-boom. The country has the largest buildings market in the world, making up 20% of all construction investment globally. And it’s only set to grow: China is expected to spend nearly $13 trillion on buildings by 2030. This unprecedented level of construction has tremendous implications—not just for the Chinese, but for everyone. Building operations are responsible for 28% of...


Smart vs Green: Technology Paradigms Battle it Out for the Future City
Sarah Hinners,  Salt Lake City

 Vision A—The Smart City: The city is an intricate network of digital communications, computations, and connections. Data are being collected everywhere, at all times, and feed into computing systems that work to coordinate functions like power availability and traffic to optimize efficiency in real time. Autonomous vehicles navigate the streets with a quite electric hum, sensing and avoiding each other...


The spirit of Dada welcomes you to TNOC Summit: What is the nature of the city of our dreams?
Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York City |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Katie Coyne,  Austin |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Timon McPhearson,  New York |  Andrew Rudd,  New York City |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels | 


How Can We Improve Social Infrastructure?
Laura Landau, New York

A review of the book Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, by Eric Klinenberg. 2018. 290 pages. Random House. Buy the book. In Eric Klinenberg’s 2018 book, Palaces for the People, he argues that investing in social infrastructure (the assets that shape our social interactions) is investing in healthier, safer,...


Avoid Pitfalls and Expand the Promise of Urban Wetlands for Biodiversity: A Tale of Three Urban Wetlands
Timothy Bonebrake, Hong Kong

Madagascar is well known for its incredible biodiversity; the lemurs, chameleons, and the baobabs are, for good reason, recognized as the environmental rock stars of the island. In July 2019 I landed in the capital of Antananarivo to participate in the 56th meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. I arrived a couple of days early but didn’t...

Teleportation and the Reinvention of the World’s Cities: A 20-year Retrospective
Rob McDonald, Washington, DC

It began, like electricity before it, as a new technology for the rich in lower Manhattan to play with. A daring startup, Helios Travel, began offering teleportation from Greenwich (Connecticut) to Wall Street for the princely sum of $10,000 a pop. Many potential customers couldn’t handle the idea of all of the information in their atoms being encoded in a...

One Minute of Dance a Day, at TNOC Summit
Nadia Vadori-Gauthier, Paris

One of the One Minute of Dance a Day project. This dance was performed on the Sorbonne campus during the TNOC Summit, outside the main auditorium venue. Beats by 3’z. There are over 700 dances, and you can search them by Paris neighborhood, site type, nature element, and more. About the Writer: Nadia Vadori-GauthierNadia Vadori-Gauthier, artist, PhD (Esthetics, Université Paris-8),...

The Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework
Didier Babin, Paris
Oliver Hillel, Montreal
Elisabeth Chouraki, Paris

The team working for the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support project implemented by Expertise France participated to the international summit The Nature of Cities (TNOC) from the 4th to the 7th of June at the University of Paris Sorbonne of which the objective is to mobilize cities, metropolitan areas and subnational governments. See the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU...


What prevents us from creating cities that are better for people and nature? It doesn’t seem like a lack of knowledge—don’t we have enough research knowledge to act on better policy? So, what is the impediment?
Adrian Benepe,  New York |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore |  Russell Galt,  Edinburgh |  Rob McDonald,  Washington, DC |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  Vivek Shandas,  Portland |  Philip Silva,  New York |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem | 
What I mean when I talk about collaboration. What is a specific experience collaborating on a project with someone from a different discipline or “way of knowing”?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York City |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Lonny Grafman,  Arcata |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Britt Gwinner,  Washington |  Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City |  Madhusudan Katti,  Raleigh |  Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn |  Brian McGrath,  New York City |  Tischa Muñoz-Erickson,  Río Piedras, Puerto Rico |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Wilson Ramirez Hernandez,  Bogotá |  Bruce Roll,  Portland |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Tomomi Sudo,  Kyushu |  Dimitra Xidous,  Dublin | 
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 | 
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 | 



Parks as Green Infrastructure, Green Infrastructure as Parks: How Need, Design and Technology Are Coming Together to Make Better Cities
Adrian Benepe,  New York

In my work at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and more recently with the Trust for Public Land, I have been fortunate to be involved at the nexus of landscape architecture, civil...


Nature in Chicago: Surprisingly Wild, Surprisingly Human
Chris Hensley,  Fresno

A review of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian. 2015. ISBN: 978-0-226-19289-5. University of Chicago Press. 377 pages. Buy the book. Normally, in these book reviews, I do my best to present a fair, unbiased account of what a book does well, as well as what it doesn’t do so well....


Green as a Color, a Philosophy, and a Marketing Strategy
Stephanie Pincetl,  Los Angeles

A review of: Paradoxes of Green, by Gareth Doherty. 2016. 216 pages. ISBN: 9780520285026. University of California Press. Buy the book. Greening cities has become an internationalized norm in urban sustainability initiatives. Increasing open spaces and urban vegetation are widely seen as positive improvements for the quality of life of city residents, and contributing to the improvement of urban environmental performance. Doherty’s explorations...


2046, year of our lady The Fog
Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo

This is part of the TNOC poetry and fiction series “The City We’re In”. Lea el poema en español, su idioma original. Lisez le poème en français. 2046, year of our lady The Fog Poems by Claudia Luna Fuentes Translation from Spanish by Gerardo Mendoza Garza _____________________________________________ 2046, año de Nuestra Señora la Niebla Poemas de Claudia Luna Fuentes _____________________________________________...