Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

Making Spaces for Edible Gardens in Compact Cities: the Taipei Case
Wan-Yu Shih,  Taipei
Che-Wei Liu,  Taipei

Edible urban gardens have gained increasing popularity in the Global North within the narrative of nature-based solutions for cities and as parts of urban green infrastructure, which reintroduce greenspaces and associated functions into built environments, with the aspiration of leading to a socially and ecologically more sustainable city. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, edible gardens have seemed to become an even...

ESSAY
CROSSTALK

Green Recovery’s Missing Piece: Engagement with Future World Leaders!
Vishisht Singhal,  Delhi

This essay advocates for a unique “Youth Empowerment Based Green Recovery Programme” to be developed and adapted by governments to enhance long-term societal resilience. As we have collectively moved towards unlocking the lockdowns and quarantines that had been in effect since March 2020, the world’s attention has been gripped in managing the looming economic crisis that has inflicted severe socio-economic...

GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

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 | 

CONVERSE
RESPOND

Stories of the Nature of Cities 1/2 Hour—Episode 4: Oasis
David Maddox, New York

Episode 4: Oasis “Happy Hour at the Green Man” by Kate Wing, read by Lucy Symons A small bar in the middle of the city has a portal to an ancient ghost forest.  “Where Grass Grows Greener” by Jenni Juvonen, read by Nora Achrati The narrator explores a forest and meets a fox.    The stories are read, and then authors Kate...

RECENT ESSAYS...

Highlights from The Nature of Cities 2020
David Maddox, New York

Today’s post celebrates some of the highlights from TNOC writing in 2020. These contributions—originating around the world—were one or more of widely read, offering novel points of view, and/or somehow disruptive in a useful way. All 1000+ TNOC essays and roundtables are worthwhile reads, of course, but what follows will give you a taste of 2020’s key and diverse content. Which is not entirely about...

Building Practitioner Networks to Better Support Kenyan Frontline Workers During the COVID-19 Crisis: Some Learnings and Reflections
Shillah Mwaniga, Nairobi
Gitonga Isaiah, Maynooth
Manasi Kumar, Nairobi

As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates and the prevalence escalates, global health care systems become overwhelmed with patients who are either confirmed or suspected to be suffering from the disease (Chen et al., 2020). Frontline health care workers (HCWs) are required to work for long and irregular hours, with heavy workloads that contribute to increased levels of stress and ultimately precipitate...

Antiracist Environmental Leadership in a Virtual World
Cindy Thomashow, Seattle

Our graduate students are figuring out how to best “immerse” themselves in city spaces while staying safe during the pandemic. Students find creative ways to both learn and practice while masked and distanced from community members. A positive outcome of being online is the ability to invite environmental activists and social justice leaders from BIPOC-led organizations into our Zoom classes...

On Privilege as Choice
Hita Unnikrishnan, Sheffield

Two incidents stand out particularly from my memories as a young child. In the first one, I was perhaps 5 or 6 years old—at that age when we ran out of the housing colony and into the streets to play a game of hopscotch or whatever else took our fancy. I remember playing with a child my age when another...

RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

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 | 
How is COVID-19 affecting caring for and researching urban ecology?
Christina Breed,  Pretoria |  Mark Champion,  Wigan |  Joy Clancy,  Twente |  Ian Douglas,  Manchester |  Pete Frost,  Cardiff |  Lincoln Garland,  Bath |  David Haley,  Ulverston |  Jane Houghton,  York |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Christian Isendahl,  Gothenburg |  Philip James,  Salford |  Sarah Lindley,  Manchester |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Nancy McIntyre,  Lubbock |  Camilo Ordóñez,  Melbourne |  Stephan Pauleit,  Munich |  Joe Ravetz,  Manchester |  Graham Rook,  London |  Richard Salisbury,  Manchester |  Alan Scott,  London |  Richard Scott,  Liverpool |  Monica Smith,  Los Angeles |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Miriam Stark,  Honolulu |  Katalin Szlavecz,  Baltimore |  Joanne Tippett,  Manchester |  Piotr Tryjanowski,  Poznan |  Tim Webb,  London |  Mike Wells,  Bath |  Phil Wheater,  Manchester | 
What is the status and outlook for forested natural areas in your city? What actions are needed to help them thrive?
Novem Auyeung,  New York |  Weston Brinkley,  Seattle |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Lisa Ciecko,  Seattle |  James Duncan,  Miami |  Matthew Freer,  Chicago |  Keith Mars,  Austin |  Joseph McCarthy,  Chicago |  Karen Miller,  Chicago |  Sophie Plitt,  New York |  Clara Pregitzer,  New York |  Lydia Scott,  Chicago |  Michael Yadrick,  Seattle | 
Covid has upended all the normal routines in our lives and work. How do you imagine you might be changed by it, both professionally, but also personally as you negotiate a new post-virus “normal”?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Janice Astbury,  Buenos Aires |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York |  Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York |  Katrine Claassens,  Montreal |  M'Lisa Colbert,  Montreal |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Paul Currie,  Cape Town |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Paul Downton,  Melbourne |  Emilio Fantin,  Milan |  Todd Forest,  New York |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Bram Gunther,  New York |  Dagmar Haase,  Berlin |  Annegret Haase,  Leipzig |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Alex Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro |  Matthew Jensen,  New York |  Panagiota Kotsila,  Barcelona |  Gilles Lecuir,  Paris |  Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto |  Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Yvonne Lynch,  Riyadh |  David Maddox,  New York  |  Antonia Machado,  Portland |  Francois Mancebo,  Paris |  Rob McDonald,  Washington, DC |  Brian McGrath,  New York City |  Siobhán McQuaid,  Dublin |  Ragene Palma,  London |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman,  College Park |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Mary Rowe,  Toronto |  Andrew Rudd,  New York City |  Eric Sanderson,  New York |  Olivier Scheffer,  Bordeaux |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  Laura Shillington,  Montreal |  Elisa Silva,  Caracas |  David Simon,  London |  Mary Hall Surface,  Washington |  Erika Svendsen,  New York |  Abdallah Tawfic,  Cairo |  Christine Thuring,  Vancouver |  Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem |  Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro,  Paris |  Andreas Weber,  Berlin |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota |  Darlene Wolnik,  New Orleans |  Xin Yu,  Shenzhen |  Carly Ziter,  Montreal | 

MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

Invisible City Life: The Urban Microbiome
Marina Alberti,  Seattle

Microbes play a key role in the function of ecosystems. They contribute to biodiversity (Fierer et al. 2012), nutrient cycling (Fenchel et al. 2012), pollutant detoxification (Kolvenbach et al. 2014), and human health (Gevers et al....

PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Connective Tissue Matters in the Nature of Cities
Mary Rowe,  Toronto

The TNOC Roundtable for October 2014 focused on green corridors in cities to support nature, and the ‘natural’ ecology that resides in the city.  I am focused on the ecology of the city.  The aim of ecologists and scientists to strengthen the capacity of the city to connect nature within and across it, is the same instinct that those of us...

PLACE &
DESIGN

Increasing the Native Plants of Colombian Cities
Mateo Hernández,  Bogotá

I remember when I was a child growing up in Bogotá, the capital and largest city of Colombia, located in the cool, high-altitude environment of the Andean mountain range. Street and park trees were almost all of a few widely planted species: eucalypts, pines, cypress, acacias and ash. In a city that, at that time, had more than 4 million...

ART &
AWARENESS

Formes pour vivre: An Experiment in Ecological-Environmental-Scientific Poetics
Karen Houle,  Guelph

In this short essay my aim is modest and two-fold. First, I would like to share with you a story about an experiment in ecological-environmental-scientific-poetics that worked out beautifully. It worked so well that I believe it is worth sharing. Second, in the spirit of sharing, so that others can try out this recipe, I will make explicit the elements of...