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

20 August 2018

Greening the Blues: Nature and Depression
Yvonne Lynch, Melbourne

 The benefits of nature for general health are well established. Indeed, we intuitively know that green is good for our mental health, but just how good is it? The stress reduction/ supportive design theory posits that viewing or experiencing nature activates our parasympathetic nervous system to reduce stress levels (Ulrich...

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13 August 2018

Nature after Nature and the Animal Internet
Rob Pirani, New York

A review of the book Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution by Alexander Pschera (English translation from German by Elisabeth Lauffer). 2016. 209 pages.ISBN: 9781939931351. New Vessel Press. Buy the book. Apply the sunscreen, fill the water bottle, and put the damn phone at the bottom of the pack. My (precious)...

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12 August 2018

Urban Habitat Management that Could Attract Species that Otherwise Avoid Cities
Luis Sandoval, San José

In 2010, humanity reaches a historical milestone, because the majority of humans started to live in the urban areas for the first time. This milestone produces big pressure on remaining natural habitats inside urban areas, because those areas are the places that can be used to build more housing for...

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7 August 2018

Farmers From the City
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

It’s a hot June day in rural Greece. We stop in a run-down gas station on a small secondary road cutting through wheat fields on both sides. We wipe the sweat from our brows. The gas station attendant opens the refrigerator and pulls out a crate of cherries.  “Take what...

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2 August 2018

Ramsar COP 13: What can Artists Contribute to Urban Wetland Restoration?
Chris Fremantle, Ayrshire, Scotland

The Ramsar Convention (also known as Convention on Wetlands) is the first of the major intergovernmental convention on biodiversity conservation and wise use. It was signed in 1971, in the City of Ramsar in Iran. This October, the 13th Ramsar Conference of the Parties (COP 13) will take place in...

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July, 2018

24 July 2018

Urban Metabolism: A Real World Model for Visualizing and Co-Creating Healthy Cities
Sven Eberlein, Oakland

Like the human body, cities are living, ever-evolving organisms. Just as diet, exercise, sleep, or laughter can be seen as indicators of our personal physical and emotional well being, the ways in which goods, water, commuters, or food move through the urban ecosystem determines a city’s health and sustainability within...

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20 July 2018

Bangalore Pile Study: Curiosity and Intervention in the Margins of a Megacity
Daniel Phillips, Bangalore

To begin to grasp Bangalore’s frenetic patterns of urbanization, Google Earth offers an interesting place to start. Yet despite its much lauded reputation as India’s “Silicon Valley”, the “street view” function is still unavailable here. It appears to be the case that in a city which boasts among the worst...

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17 July 2018

When a Korean Hillside Town Disappears, Who will Notice?
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

A review of “A Local Neighborhood Traveler,” an exhibition of painting and drawing by Korean artist Se Hee Kim at the Boroomsan Museum of Art in Gimpo, South Korea. On the outskirts of Seoul, tucked away into a traditional hillside garden is the Boroomsan Museum of Art. The museum sits...

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17 July 2018

SALT: Restoration + Recreation = Water in California
Robin Lasser, Oakland Marguerite Perret, Topeka

It is late June and we are up to our knees floating a small tent sculpture in a containment pond filled with a thick green milkshake-like goo. A combination of duck week and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), this overgrowth or bloom is probably caused by fertilizer run-off from the surrounding cemetery...

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14 July 2018

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

This is part of the TNOC poetry 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...

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14 July 2018

Artists in Conversation with Water in Cities
Carmen Bouyer, Paris Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka Antonio José García Cano, Murcia Katrine Claassens, Montreal Claudia Luna Fuentes, Saltillo Nazlı Gürlek, Istanbul & Palo Alto Basia Irland, Albuquerque Robin Lasser, Oakland Mary Mattingly, New York City Marguerite Perret, Topeka Bonnie Sherk, San Francisco Nadia Vadori-Gauthier Vadori-Gauthier, Paris Aloïs Yang, Prague

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12 July 2018

Changing Green Cities from Myth to Reality
Sumetee Gajjar, Bangalore

New town development or new cities, being rapidly built across much of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, may be founded on the principles of green cities and are yet found lacking in their attention to the environment. Numerous articles on the smart cities mission in India also note the...

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9 July 2018

Civic Coproduction = Counterinstitutions + People: Make Participation Work by Focusing on the Possible
Nik Luka, Montreal and Uppsala

There is a common refrain in liberal democracies: local government is where participatory action is most likely to happen. Indeed, we often presume that neighbourhoods and towns and cities are privileged—perhaps even natural—spaces for the deliberative coproduction of plans, policies, strategies, and projects for sustainability and the common good. By...

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6 July 2018

Ocean Cities: The Power of Documentary Filmmaking to Tell Stories About the Nature Around Us
Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

At a recent film screening of our new documentary film Ocean Cities, about connecting cities and marine environments, the panel discussion and questions that followed demonstrated clearly the value of these kinds of films. Some of the comments reflected a sense of being inspired by what other cities were doing...

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1 July 2018

Secular, Sacred, and Domestic—Living with Street Trees in Bangalore
Suri Venkatachalam, Bangalore Harini Nagendra, Bangalore

In rapidly growing Indian cities, change seems like the only constant. Heritage buildings are torn down, roads widened, lakes and wetlands drained, and parks erased to make way for urban growth. Nature is often the first casualty in a constant drive towards development. Yet the street tree stubbornly survives across...

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June, 2018

28 June 2018

Urbanists Should Not Ignore the Slow Creep of Climate Change on Resilience
Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, College Park

After decades of warnings and predictions, the effects of climate change are beginning to manifest themselves around us. On 27 May 2018, Ellicott City, Maryland experienced its second 1000-yr flood in two years after 8 inches of rain fell on the town in just two hours. This flooding is becoming...

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23 June 2018

Low Hanging Fruit? In Complex Systems Maybe it’s Better to Aim for the Higher Fruit
Sarah Hinners, Salt Lake City

Anyone who has participated in processes of planning, community development, advocacy and societal change more generally has probably engaged in an inevitable conversation about “low-hanging fruit”. (Perhaps there are similar idioms in languages other than English.) In my experience, it goes like this: there is a broader, inspiring conversation about...

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19 June 2018

Resilience is Not Always Good
Jose Puppim, Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio

Many practitioners and scholars have emphasized the importance of strengthening urban system resilience. However, a less explored area of work is the resilience that affects urban areas but in adverse ways. Weak governance, conflicts and lack of resources and capacity in many cities have detrimental environmental and human outcomes that...

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14 June 2018

A Walk Between Two Seas
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

I sit at a picnic table in a sliver of a park running alongside Istanbul Caddesi (street), not far from the Küçükçekmece Gölü, a natural lagoon on the Marmara Sea. It’s about noon on a Wednesday and, except for two ladies chatting on a bench a few meters away, I...

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10 June 2018

City Making and Maker City: The Edge is the New Center
Jay Valgora, New York

When I look at cities, I always think about the edges. Urban edges: the gaps, the voids, “messed up” sections, interstices, leftover pieces, polluted or forgotten areas; sites along waterfronts, highways, rail lines offer the greatest challenges in cities today. Edges also offer the greatest opportunity today—for innovative architectural and...

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