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Eric Sanderson,  New York

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  • Eric Sanderson

    Eric Sanderson

    Eric W. Sanderson is a Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the author of Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City (Abrams, 2009). His most recent book, Terra Nova, is about the prospect for an American landscape beyond oil, cars and suburbs. He continues the Welikia Project, on the historical ecology of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, and Mannahatta 2409 ), an on-line forum to help the public envision climate-resilient designs for Manhattan. He is an expert in species and landscape conservation planning, including in cities, with a particular interest in geographic and historic contexts for restoration and conservation. Previously he helped create the human footprint map of anthropogenic impact globally, the landscape species approach to conservation, and range-wide priority-setting for wide-ranging wildlife species. Sanderson holds a Ph.D. in ecology, with emphasis in ecosystem and landscape ecology, from the University of California, Davis. He works out of WCS headquarters at the Bronx Zoo (wcs.org).

    March 27, 2017

    What are we trying to accomplish with biophilic cities? What are ambitious goals and targets, and measures of success?
    Pippin Anderson, Cape Town
    Tim Beatley, Charlottesville
    Lena Chan, Singapore
    Paul Downton, Melbourne
    Ian Douglas, Manchester
    Dusty Gedge, London
    David Goode, Bath
    Bram Gunther, New York
    Chris Ives, Nottingham
    Tania Katzschner, Cape Town
    Steve Maslin, Bristol
    Peter Newman, Perth
    Phil Roös, Geelong
    Eric Sanderson, New York
    Jana Söderlund, Perth
    Fleur Timmer, Bristol
    Chantal van Ham, Brussels
    Mike Wells, Bath
    Ken Yeang, Kuala Lumpur

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    December 14, 2016

    History’s Peak: A Long View of the Nature of Cities
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    Author’s note: Through TNOC, we are encouraged to take a broad view of how nature can contribute to urban life. “Many voices, greener cities, better cities” is our mantra. Given the recent election of Mr. Donald Trump in the United...

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    November 2, 2016

    Where Did All the Streams Go?
    Eric Sanderson, New York
    Christopher Spagnoli, New York

    A review of Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. By Sergey Kadinsky. Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT. ISBN: 9781581573558. 336 pages. Buy the book. There...

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    February 16, 2016

    Setting Priorities with the Human Footprint, or Why I Am an Urban Conservationist
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    A frequent refrain in conservation is that we must prioritize. A cottage industry of conservation biologists, among whom I count myself, has risen to plan conservation and set priorities. And in nearly all of the hundreds or thousands of pages...

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    October 5, 2015

    Rah! Rah! for Rail: Solving Transportation in Cities
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    A review of Rail and the City: Shrinking Our Carbon Footprint While Reimaging Urban Space, by Roxanne Warren. 2014. ISBN: 9780262027809. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 336 pages. Like a dog with a bone, some of us just can’t let go...

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    July 15, 2015

    The Rent is too Damned High: The Nature of Cities and the Original Gentrification
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    “The rent is too damned high.” You hear it on the subway, you hear it on the news, and you hear it exclaimed even by mild-mannered conservationists while perambulating in the park. The rising cost of urban housing is on...

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    June 30, 2015

    10 scientists and 10 practitioners walk into a bar…what would they talk about? How can research and knowledge generation be co-created to better support practitioners and evidence-based decision making?
    Myla Aronson, New Brunswick
    Georgina Avlonitis, Cape Town
    Keith Bowers, Charleston
    Sarah Charlop-Powers, New York
    Haripriya Gundimeda, Mumbai
    Bram Gunther, New York
    Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires
    Amy Hahs, Ballarat, Australia
    Fadi Hamdan, Beirut
    John Hartig, Detroit
    Mark Hostetler, Gainesville
    Maria E Ignatieva, Uppsala
    Michael Jemtrud, Montreal
    Deborah Lev, Portland
    Louise Lezy-Bruno, Paris
    Yvonne Lynch, Melbourne
    Ian MacGregor-Fors, Xalapa
    Charlie Nilon, Columbia
    Diane Pataki, Salt Lake City
    Jose Puppim, Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio
    Rebecca Salminen Witt, Detroit
    Eric Sanderson, New York
    Philip Silva, New York

    32 Comment(s)
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    April 21, 2015

    Imaging the urban wild: Fourteen photographers and artists show and talk about their work
    Joshua Burch, London
    Emilio Fantin, Milan
    Mike Feller, New York City
    Andrés Flajszer, Barcelona
    Mike Houck, Portland
    Chris Jordan, Seattle
    Robin Lasser, Oakland
    Monika Lawrence, Bemidji
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul
    David Maddox, New York City
    Chris Payne, New York City
    Eric Sanderson, New York
    Jonathan Stenvall, Stockholm
    Benjamin Swett, New York City

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    December 21, 2014

    Forget the Damned Motor Car
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends. —Lewis Mumford, My Works and Days (1979) Humanity managed for the better part of 400,000 years without cars and did just fine. Julius Caesar, Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, Adam...

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    June 15, 2014

    It’s Up to You: A Vision for 90% Less Greenhouse Gases for Manhattan’s Fourteenth Street
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    If Thoreau were alive today, he might move to Brooklyn, not the woods. Cities of the early 21st century are where life can be lived most intensely, the place for sucking, routing, shaving, and driving life into the corner, as...

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    November 13, 2013

    The Catch-22 of Resilience
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    Ecologists who study how ecosystems change over time know there is a balance between resilience and adaptation.  Resilience is a measure of how long it takes for an ecosystem to return to a previous state.  For example, how many decades...

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    June 2, 2013

    Cities Are Our Streams
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    The following is an excerpt from my new book, Terra Nova:  The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs (Abrams, June 2013), which is about, at least in part, how cities can fit into nature: Many years ago, before I...

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    January 2, 2013

    The Strategy of Sanderlings and the Tactics of Terrapins: What Was Hurricane Sandy Trying to Tell New York City?
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    Like an ancient prophet, armed with forebodings of doom and destruction, Hurricane Sandy bore down on New York City in the early hours of 30 October, 2012.  An extra-tropical cyclone, a thousand miles wide and armed with hurricane strength winds,...

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    July 17, 2012

    Cities of Nature
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    Many entries in this collective blog about the nature of cities will focus your attention on the nature that remains in cities, defined in terms of those patches of semi-natural habitat, the green bits, which are found in all cities,...

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