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Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
February, 2018

20 February 2018

Smart cities are coming. Can they be as much about nature, health, and wellbeing as traffic flows, crime detection, and evermore efficient provision of utilities?
Helga Fassbinder, Amsterdam-Vienna Gary Grant, London Pratik Mishra, London Seema Mundoli, Bangalore Harini Nagendra, Bangalore Vishal Narain, Gurugram Eric Sanderson, New York Huda Shaka, Dubai Shaleen Singhal, New Delhi

 

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20 February 2018

Island Life: Urban Habitats as Theaters for the Evolution of Biodiversity
Steven Handel, New Brunswick

Island archipelagos are more than faraway places with strange sounding names. They lie at the heart of our understanding of ecology and evolution. Since Darwin’s stop at the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, biologists keep turning towards islands for an understanding of biodiversity and the processes that drive adaptation. The famed...

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17 February 2018

Three Case Studies in Re-wilding: Models and Methods for Other Cities to Consider
Kevin Sloan, Dallas-Fort Worth

Re-wilding is a new area of interest in landscape architecture concerned with making landscapes that are as close to the original ecology of a place as possible. Not limited to only planting installations, re-wilded landscapes can also exist to attract, reconstitute and/or re-introduce wildlife to heighten biodiversity. Given the emergence...

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14 February 2018

Searching for Sustainable Lawns in Sweden
Maria E Ignatieva, Perth

The manual Lawn Alternatives in Sweden. From Theory to Practice shared the results of the transdisciplinary project “Lawn as ecological and cultural phenomenon: Searching for sustainable lawns in Sweden” (2013-2016, funded by FORMAS) and suggested practical implementation—guidelines for possible alternatives to existing contemporary lawns in Sweden. This essay excerpts some...

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11 February 2018

How a Peer-to-Peer Approach is Transforming Urban Systems Cities Around the World: An Example from Cusco
Sven Eberlein, Oakland

Cities, like nature, consist of complex organisms that evolve. For most of natural and human history change occurred slowly enough for inhabitants to adapt without impacting the overall health and functionality of the underlying natural systems. However, with the advent of industrial-scale technology turning fossil fuels into climate-heating greenhouse gases,...

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8 February 2018

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...

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5 February 2018

Kuwait Transformed: Urban and Social Change from Pre- to Post-Oil Kuwait
Huda Shaka, Dubai

A review of Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life, 1st Edition. by Farah Al-Nakib. 2016. 296 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0804798525 / ISBN-10: 0804798524. Stanford University Press. Buy the book For anyone interested in understanding urban development in the Arabian Gulf (“Gulf Urbanism”), Farah Al-Nakib’s Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil...

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5 February 2018

Earthquakes, Constitutions, Urban Planning and Social Change: Lessons and Controversies from Mexico
Lorena Zárate, Mexico City

For better or worse, 2017 was a historic year for both Mexico and Mexico City. This can be summed up in two numbers: 100 and 32. The first number celebrates the one hundredth  anniversary of Mexico’s Constitution, approved on 5 February 1917, and renowned as the first Constitution in the...

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2 February 2018

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Who Want to Do Ecological Restoration
Steven Handel, New Brunswick

The Nature of Cities website has advanced the understanding of cities as both harbors for biodiversity and as places where there are many opportunities for natural habitats and ecoservices. Steadily, ecological scientists and practitioners are restoring habitats within the world’s cities. Ecological restoration is not just for the “wild” lands where people...

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January, 2018

30 January 2018

Let’s Apply an Ethno-ecological Approach to Cities and their Nature
Gloria Aponte, Medellín

(Una versión en español, aqui.) Activities related to urban development usually reflect the prevailing global cultural characteristics of a society. At the same time, other aspects of the local culture remain silently persistent, tied to more intimate and traditional values than those the present trend of globalization motivates or allows....

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29 January 2018

What is one thing every ecologist should know about urban ecology?
Pippin Anderson, Cape Town Erik Andersson, Stockholm Marc Barra, Paris Nathalie Blanc, Paris Marcus Collier, Dublin Paul Downton, Melbourne Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires Niki Frantzeskaki, Rotterdam Dagmar Haase, Berlin Steven Handel, New Brunswick Nadja Kabisch, Berlin Timon McPhearson, New York Harini Nagendra, Bangalore Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Philip Silva, New York Mike Wells, Bath Weiqi Zhou, Beijing

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27 January 2018

Architecture and the Liberal Arts: Whole-School Approach to Education and Serving Communities
Traci Sooter, Springfield

Inspiring students to contribute in an impactful manner to their community and society while developing the professional skills needed for their major (architecture) has been my passion for the past nineteen years. The goal all those years ago was to create and execute unique educational challenges, expand the field of...

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24 January 2018

Regional Parks Connect People to Nature Close to Home
Lynn Wilson, Vancouver

Connecting to nature where you live Regional parks and park systems are a perfect response to the modern conundrum of creating dense urban fabrics where people can become increasingly isolated from nature. The scale of a regional park system means that it can encompass all or a large part of...

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21 January 2018

In the Spirit of Nature, Everything is Connected
Chantal van Ham, Brussels

Earth’s ecosystems have evolved for millions of years, resulting in diverse and complex biological communities living in balance with their environment (WWF Living Planet Report, 2016). Since the 16th century, human activity has impacted nature in practically every part of the world, wild plants and animals are at risk of...

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18 January 2018

A Hymn for Architecture that is Good for People and Neighborhoods, not Just Buildings
Samarth Das, Mumbai

A review of Design for Good: A New Era of Architecture for Everyone by John Cary. 2017. 275 pages. ISBN 13: 978-1-61091-793-3 / ISBN 10: 1-61091-793-6. Island Press, Washington. Buy the book. We live in a consumer’s world. Fed by products every second of our lives, urged to ponder, deliberate, and eventually consume that which...

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18 January 2018

Preserving Urban Nature, No Silver Bullets
Mike Houck, Portland

There is seldom a “silver bullet”, single pathway to success when it comes to protecting urban greenspaces. Multiple strategies, often modified, sometimes abandoned, are typically the only way grassroots-based urban conservation efforts succeed in the face of bureaucratic resistance. Efforts to preserve and restore a 160-acre wetland in the Willamette...

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15 January 2018

Urbanism as a Creator of Value—but is it Sustainable?
Fadi Hamdan, Beirut

There is unanimous agreement that the 21st Century is the century of urbanism. In 2016, an estimated 54.5 percent of the world’s population lived in urban settlements. By 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60 percent of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities...

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9 January 2018

Blandscaping that Erases Local Ecological Diversity
Stuart Connop, London Caroline Nash, London

Ecological gentrification (Dooling, 2009) is a negative social process in which ecological improvements to neighbourhoods lead to gentrification and displacement of the neighbourhood’s original inhabitants. There is an analogous process of ecological gentrification at the level of ecological communities: many vulnerable ecological communities that persist (and in some cases, thrive)...

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6 January 2018

Reflecting on Two Years Walking in Asia
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

My eyes fall on the big tree in the far side of the courtyard. It casts a spell on me. Its leafless branches twist toward the sky, claiming a beauty few notice. I notice, and stop mid-step to admire this natural wonder. I take a picture of it so I...

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2 January 2018

City Living from Baku to Batumi
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

Walking gives us a slow and intimate way to notice the subtle similarities and differences between cities. We consciously and sub-consciously collect details and compare cities as we slowly make our way from Point A to Point B by foot. We have even created a mental game to pass the...

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