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Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
March, 2019

10 March 2019

Mr. Rogers, Tikkun Olam, and Thinking Like a Mountain
Keith Tidball, Ithaca

I recently watched the much acclaimed two-hour documentary on the life and accomplishments of Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the popular children’s TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”. The film reflected on Rogers’ legacy of kindness and the profound and lasting effect his innovative approach to television had on millions...

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6 March 2019

Whose Park? The Forty-Year Fight for Justice in ‘The People’s Park’ under Copenhagen’s Evolving Urban Managerialism
Rebecca Rutt, Copenhagen Stephanie Loveless, Barcelona

In the last three decades, Copenhagen has shifted from an obscure Nordic capital to a leading global city. It is known for progressive environmental policies, an enviable public transportation and cycling network, and numerous public green spaces, earning it the European Green Capital Award in 2014. Moreover, Denmark is repeatedly...

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February, 2019

28 February 2019

What I mean when I talk about collaboration. What is a specific experience collaborating on a project with someone from a different discipline or “way of knowing”?
Pippin Anderson, Cape Town Carmen Bouyer, Paris Lindsay Campbell, New York City Gillian Dick, Glasgow Lonny Grafman, Arcata Eduardo Guerrero, Bogotá Britt Gwinner, Washington Keitaro Ito, Fukutsu City Madhusudan Katti, Raleigh Jessica Kavonic, Cape Town Yvonne Lynch, Melbourne Mary Mattingly, Brooklyn Brian McGrath, New York City Tischa Muñoz-Erickson, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico Ragene Palma, Manila Diane Pataki, Salt Lake City Wilson Ramirez Hernandez, Bogotá Bruce Roll, Portland David Simon, Gothenburg Tomomi Sudo, Kyushu Dimitra Xidous, Dublin

 

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27 February 2019

Mosaic Management: The Missing Ingredient for Biodiversity Innovation in Urban Greenspace Design
Stuart Connop, London Caroline Nash, London

With a new stream of studies adding to evidence revealing disturbing declines in global populations of insects (Hallmann et al. 2018, Lister & Garcia 2018, Sánchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys 2019) and reports of an ecological catastrophe on the scale of a sixth mass extinction, there is an urgent need to do more...

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21 February 2019

Historic Urban Public Parks: Are They Being Incrementally Spoiled?
Steve Brown, Sydney

Urban public parks are under constant siege; and the issue is an increasingly global matter. Typically created as public recreation spaces and local community green spaces within cities and towns, urban parks are increasingly impacted by incremental changes to original designs brought on by, for example, overshadowing by tall buildings,...

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10 February 2019

The Beaver, Cottonwoods, and Lucy: Preservation Is Not Enough
Mike Houck, Portland

In a previous essay, Size Doesn’t Matter, Really, I made the case that even small scraps of urban green, such as Portland’s one-square-block Tanner Springs Nature Park can provide significant benefits to a community. Located in the city’s intensely developed Pearl District, Tanner Springs provides access to nature to thousands...

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5 February 2019

Disaster Recovery? Yet Another Missed Opportunity to Build Back Better, Inclusive, and Sustainable Cities
Fadi Hamdan, Beirut

Throughout the world, cities are undergoing significant damage and destruction due to a combination of: (1) natural hazards increasing in severity, frequency and losses due to climate change (Figures 1); and (2) increased exposure, vulnerability and losses due to increasing population and economic concentration due to unplanned rapid urbanization (Figure...

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2 February 2019

The Winter City: Ecologies of Snow, Ice and Cold
Laura Shillington, Managua & Montreal

But it was all The Fear of Snow —Leonard Cohen, The Best The city in winter invokes diverse imaginaries—from romantic, beautiful, and magical to cold, dark, dirty, and hazardous. A quick Google search reproduces the first three imaginaries: romantic, beautiful, and magical (Figure 1). Yet winter is often depicted as...

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January, 2019

30 January 2019

French Landscape Painters and the Nature of Paris
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

A review of Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Moscow, an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Art in Osaka, Japan. If we learn anything from an exhibition such as “Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings”, it might be that French landscape painters have...

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29 January 2019

What did you read in 2018 that moved you?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski, Barcelona Marc Barra, Paris Katie Coyne, Austin Samarth Das, Mumbai Marcelo Lopes de Souza, Rio de Janeiro Artur Jerzy Filip, Warsaw Claudia Luna Fuentes, Saltillo Russell Galt, Edinburgh Ursula Heise, Los Angeles Toby Kent, Melbourne Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka Pascal Mittermaier, Boston Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Huda Shaka, Dubai David Simon, Gothenburg Jay Valgora, New York Chantal van Ham, Brussels

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28 January 2019

Orchards from the Forest: A Local Solution to Extinction
Alessandra Pavesi, São Paulo

The destruction of Cerrado (Brazilian Savannah), the second largest biome in Brazil after Amazonia, has become the main concern of urban collectives focused on reintroducing elements of this important ecosystem in city landscapes and in the imaginations of city dwellers. In this essay, we look at urban farming for Cerradoregeneration from...

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24 January 2019

Rebuilding Bosnia and Herzegovina Cities
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

There is a sadness in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will follow me for a long time. Of all the wonders and troubles we have witnessed during our walk through Asia and Europe, the visible signs of this country’s post-war hardships break my heart the most in this multi-year journey. Our...

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18 January 2019

Rethinking Cities in Arid Environments for the 21st Century
Huda Shaka, Dubai

Arid cities around the world Over two years ago, my colleagues and I at Arup began a research project focused on the topic of planning and designing cities in arid environments. We were initially interested in exploring the most relevant practices and innovations for cities in the Middle East, but...

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13 January 2019

Many Small Changes Cascade into Big Change
Leen Gorissen, Antwerp

How can cities accelerate transitions to sustainability? That was the central question in the collaborative EU-funded research project called ARTS, in which researchers, policy makers, citizens, artists, and entrepreneurs co-reflected on pathways to fast-forward urban sustainability. Upon the request of many urban changemakers, we translated the academic findings into an...

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11 January 2019

Nature in the City—An Urban Adventure
Stephanie Pincetl, Los Angeles

My husband went on his bicycle to get our Christmas standing rib roast (an extravagance of every few years) at the local artisanal butcher. The butcher is in the legendary Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles, corner of 3rdand Fairfax. It remains relatively authentic despite the immense Disneyesque mall just adjacent...

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8 January 2019

The Planet’s Gift to Humans: Soil Uncovered
Chantal van Ham, Brussels

Soil is a unique living ecosystem that provides a wide range of services to people. It is the foundation of life on the planet, home to biodiversity, it regulates the water cycle, stores and filters water, is the basis for producing food and fuel, it facilitates the natural recycling of...

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3 January 2019

Nature Rebounding in the Peri-Urban Landscapes that the Industrial Revolution Left Behind: North West England’s Carbon Landscape
Janice Astbury, Manchester Joanne Tippett, Manchester

Less than an hour cycling out of central Manchester along the Bridgewater Canal takes you into a green and blue landscape. It only becomes clear that this is a post-industrial area when the infrastructure of a coalfield pithead rises up behind the trees. Further along the canal you encounter attractive...

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December, 2018

29 December 2018

Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2018
David Maddox, New York

Today’s post celebrates some of the highlights from TNOC writing in 2018. 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...

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20 December 2018

A Transformative New Era for Landscape Conservation in Cities
Will Allen, Chapel Hill

When I started my career in land and water conservation almost 25 years ago, cities and nature were usually seen as two separate things. Many strategic conservation planning efforts focused on finding the best places to protect nature from people. But as we have learned from The Nature of Cities and...

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12 December 2018

Regaining Paradise Lost: Global Investments, Mega-Projects, and Seeds of Local Resistance to Polluted Floods in Belém
José Alexandre de Jesus Costa, Belém Vitor Martins Dias, Bloomington Pedro Paulo de Miranda Araújo Soares, Belém

People have lived in and around the Una Hydrographic Basin for as long as the city of Belém itself. Belém is the largest urban center in the Amazon River Delta, with a population that exceeds 2 million people in its metropolitan region. Beginning at Guajará Bay, the Una Basin comprises...

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