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Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
October, 2017

18 October 2017

The Untamed City and its Indivisible Connection with Nature
Shuaib Lwasa, Kampala

The impacts associated with city functions, economic, environmental, mobility, extend well beyond their administrative boundaries. But the contemporary and dominant frameworks and systems for managing cities have always determined what activity is allowable, where, and how the infrastructure and any developments pertaining to the function would be developed. Thus, functionality of...

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16 October 2017

Rewriting the Book on Urban Transportation Design
David Bragdon, Portland

A review of Global Street Design Guide. From the Global Designing Cities Initiative. ISBN: 9781610917018. Island Press. 442 pages. Buy the book. Streets are often the biggest share of publicly-owned land in a city. All too often, they’re conceived and managed only as thoroughfares for motor vehicles. A whole set of standards has...

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15 October 2017

What Can We Learn from Past Successes? Thirty Years of Urban Ecology Action in London
David Goode, Bath

Looking back over 50 years working as an ecologist some things stand out as real success stories. Camley Street Natural Park in London is one of these. On the day that I started work as Senior Ecologist at the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1982 I learnt that the Council...

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11 October 2017

Artists in Conversation with Air in Cities
Carmen Bouyer, New York Tim Collins, Glasgow Karahan Kadrman, Istanbul Maggie Lin, Hong Kong Patrick M. Lydon, San Jose & Osaka Jennifer Monson, Urbana Fanny Retsek, San Jose Julia Stern, Paris Cecilia Vicuña, Santiago & New York

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11 October 2017

The Human Disconnect in Trash Management
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

We walk through Mashhad, Iran, and start giggling like children. “Look how clean everything is! There are trash bins, and parks with good exercise equipment, and wide sidewalks you can actually walk on without being sideswiped by motos, rickshaws, bicycles and cows! Oh, how nice… they painted the park benches!...

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8 October 2017

Making the Invisible Visible: Mapping Civic Environmental Stewardship
Laura Landau, New York Lindsay Campbell, New York City Erika Svendsen, New York City

Worldwide, cities are grappling with aging infrastructure, shifting populations, and changing weather patterns, necessitating the use and expansion of green space in equitable and creative ways. Many are embracing a transition from the sanitary city—comprised of siloed functions and grey infrastructure—to the sustainable city—comprised of regenerative and distributed systems that...

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4 October 2017

To Create a Movement to Repair & Unify our Fragmented & Disfunctional Urban Landscapes
PK Das, Mumbai

Broken and disparate urban landscapes are common experience. The multitude of issues and concerns that are causing such conditions are not new; neither are responses of those who are committed to ideas of sustainability. Yet, discussions of the causes and responses have to be repeated many times over, in order...

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2 October 2017

The Power of N
Pippin Anderson, Cape Town

A review of Vitamin N, by Richard Louv. 2016. ISBN:1616205784. Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill. 304 pages. Buy the book. Combating nature-deficit disorder—the new self-help fad, or something really useful? When I stumbled on Richard Louv’s book Vitamin N (2016 Algoquin Books) my initial reaction was one of shock. Have we really...

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1 October 2017

Metropolis under Emergency: A Board Game to Plan Resilient Cities while Considering Place Attachment
Paula Villagra, Valdivia

To plan resilient cities is a complex task. It involves making decisions that involve the built, social, economic, and environmental development of a territory, including unexpected changes, such as those caused by extreme natural events. The effects of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and fires, among other disturbances, need to be...

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September, 2017

27 September 2017

Lessons Learned: What Does it Take to Create a More Natural Stormwater Pond?
Mark Hostetler, Gainesville

This is a tale of an experience I had in Alachua County, Florida. The challenge? How can we encourage the construction of more natural stormwater ponds, which offer more wildlife habitat and more efficient ways to remove pollutants? We have all seen conventional stormwater ponds—deeply dug ponds, with mowed turfgrass...

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24 September 2017

Restoring Indigenous Trees for Scaling Up City Resilience: The Role of African Millennials
Aliyu Barau, Kano

Most of the narratives on the crises of development are woven around rapid population growth in developing countries. Yes. The number of world citizens is over seven billion. The challenges that this number raises far exceeds national and intergovernmental agencies’ abilities to address them. Rapid urbanization is but one of...

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20 September 2017

Singing in the Noise
Luis Sandoval, San José, Costa Rica

Urbanization not only changes the landscape structure due to land cover change, fragmentation of natural habitats, and creation of artificial habitats, it also changes the physical patterns of the environment: temperature, wind currents, rain patterns, light levels, or noise levels. For example, urbanization increases average temperature by between 3°C and...

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18 September 2017

Ecosystems for everyone: Who should have access to the myriad benefits of ecosystem services and urban nature? Everyone. Does everyone? No. How will we achieve this moral imperative?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski, Barcelona Georgina Avlonitis, Cape Town Julie Bargmann, Charlottesville Nathalie Blanc, Paris PK Das, Mumbai Marthe Derkzen, Amsterdam Maggie Scott Greenfield, New York Fadi Hamdan, Beirut Nadja Kabisch, Berlin Jim Labbe, Portland Francois Mancebo, Paris Harini Nagendra, Bangalore Flaminia Paddeu, Paris Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Andrew Rudd, New York City Suraya Scheba, Cape Town Marcelo Lopes de Souza, Rio de Janeiro Hita Unnikrishnan, Bangalore Diana Wiesner, Bogota Pengfei XIE, Beijing

 

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18 September 2017

New York’s Central Park as Muse, as Imagination, as Home
Mary Mattingly, New York City

A review of: Painting Central Park, by Roger Pasquier. 2015. ISBN: 0-86565-314-3. Vendome Press, New York. 197 pages. Buy the Book. For the past two years, I’ve invited people to pick free food on Swale, an edible public park built on a barge in New York City. Creating something unexpected is a...

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17 September 2017

Where Can I Dream? Eight Stories of Life in Bogotá
Diana Wiesner, Bogota

(Una versión en español, aqui.) In pondering the question: “Who should have access to the countless benefits and services that urban ecosystems provide?” We have put together a collection of eight first-person accounts that portray city dwellers’ dreams. This series of Sketches of life explores both individual and collective human...

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13 September 2017

Thinking About the Concept of “Cultural Nature” while Walking the Gardens of Méréville
Louise Lezy-Bruno, Paris

The first time I visited the Méréville Estate and its Anglo-Chinese garden, created south of Paris at the end of the 18th century, I was struck by the interlinking of nature and culture in this amazing place. This National Heritage Site is the work of the Marquis de Laborde, who...

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10 September 2017

The Sustainability Challenge of Feeding Cities
Graciela Arosemena, Panama City

The food system is not as evident as other aspects of urban development. However, it involves many aspects of cities, such as mobility and transportation, commerce, land use, waste management, and, of course, food security. The food system refers to processes that begin with agricultural production and continues with the...

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6 September 2017

Ecologies of Elsewhere: Giving Urban Weeds a “Third Glance”
Daniel Phillips, Bangalore

Volunteers. Exotics. Aliens. Weeds. Whatever happens to be your preferred nomenclature when describing the existence and behavior of spontaneous vegetation, it’s clear that many biases abound. We pluck, poison and mulch our landscapes to keep these decidedly untidy forces at bay. Yet have we also effectively mulched our mindsets?  Have we...

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4 September 2017

Urban Farming for Everyone / La Agricultura Urbana para Todos
Francois Mancebo, Paris

A review of: Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles / Urban Agriculture – Spaces of Cultivation for a Sustainable City by Graciela Arosemena. 2012. 128 pages.  ISBN: 9788425224232.  Buy the book. Urbanization has gone hand-in-hand with agriculture from the beginning. Even in medieval times, when walls and defensive structures left...

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3 September 2017

Re-culturing an Urban Collective Ethos of Sustainability
Harini Nagendra, Bangalore

In August 2017, I spent three days at the very stimulating Resilience 2017 conference, listening to conversations between nearly a thousand attendees—students, scholars, practitioners, musicians and artists—interested in understanding how we can craft a more resilient and sustainable earth system, one that keeps its people and its ecology in good...

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