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

12 August 2019

Oh, For the Love of Bicycles! A Walking Reflection about Moving on Two Wheels through Urban and Rural Areas
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

Walking may be my main form of transportation these days, but I often daydream about wheels…bicycle wheels…and the way they move people through urban and rural spaces. Most of our 14,000-kilometer journey to date is speckled with memories of two-wheeled riders, and my longing to join them in their pedaling...

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2 August 2019

London National Park City is a Reality
David Goode, Bath

During the past week the eyes of the world have been on London, to see a new Prime Minister installed at Westminster. But the week has also seen a momentous decision made for a sustainable and liveable future for London. The city was designated as a National Park City, the...

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July, 2019

26 July 2019

We’re Not “Solving” Wicked Challenges through Design and Science. Is That Ok?
Daniel Phillips, Detroit

Many of us are drawn to the process and potential of transdisciplinary projects through a desire to deepen the scope and impact of our work. Though landscape architects and planning practitioners claim to be capable of achieving socio-ecological impact, their proposals and built projects too often lack necessary grounding in...

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17 July 2019

Closer to Home, Higher the Walls
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

We noticed an extraordinary thing walking across Asia and Europe since January 2016: the absence and presence of fences. It may not be extraordinary in the “I climbed Everest” kind of way. But, for us, it’s extraordinary in the “I walk slow enough to see how fences change” kind of...

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10 July 2019

Neighborhoods that Change in Non-linear Ways—Urban Planning for Succession
Mathieu Hélie, Montréal

For most of urban history, urbanization was a nonlinear process. Lots filled in as needed over time, in a process some call incremental growth, or organic growth, seemingly randomly and chaotically. It was iterative, driven by acute feedback and extreme scarcity. Even the shape of lots was refined over time,...

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4 July 2019

Water Sensitive Urban Design Goes Mainstream in Victoria, Australia
Meredith Dobbie, Victoria

Victoria, in south-eastern Australia, has long had a reputation as a garden state, even to the extent of describing it as such on car registration plates in the past. Victorian cities boast many parks, large and small, which are highly valued by their residents but threatened by drought and climate...

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June, 2019

30 June 2019

Imagine A City Where No One Sleeps Outside: Eden Village, A Model to End Homelessness
Traci Sooter, Springfield

When Dr. David and Linda Brown retired, they moved into a loft in downtown Springfield, Missouri. Very quickly they got to know and become friends with their new urban neighbors. But rather than visiting in with these neighbors in their apartments or lofts, their conversations were always on the streets,...

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28 June 2019

What prevents us from creating cities that are better for people and nature? It doesn’t seem like a lack of knowledge—don’t we have enough research knowledge to act on better policy? So, what is the impediment?
Adrian Benepe, New York Paul Downton, Melbourne Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires Sumetee Gajjar, Bangalore Russell Galt, Edinburgh Rob McDonald, Washington, DC Huda Shaka, Dubai Vivek Shandas, Portland Philip Silva, New York Naomi Tsur, Jerusalem

   

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24 June 2019

The Singing Air
Andreas Weber, Berlin

“…as if refusing to be caught / In any singular vision of my eye / Or in the nets and cages of my thought, / They tower up, shatter, and madden space / With their divergences, are each alone / Swallowed from sight.”— Richard Wilbur, An Event (excerpt) In the last...

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24 June 2019

How Can We Improve Social Infrastructure?
Laura Landau, New York

A review of the book Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, by Eric Klinenberg. 2018. 290 pages. Random House. Buy the book. In Eric Klinenberg’s 2018 book, Palaces for the People, he argues that investing in social infrastructure (the assets...

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May, 2019

30 May 2019

How can local governments retain and plant trees on private lands—a primer
Camilo Ordóñez, Melbourne Judy Bush, Melbourne Joe Hurley, Melbourne Marco Amati, Melbourne Stephen Livesley, Melbourne

The future sustainability and liveability of cities in many bioregions will depend on retaining established trees, and on planting new trees, including on private lands. While retaining and planting trees in public space has become a familiar feature in many cities, the role of private land areas in a city’s...

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27 May 2019

Imagining Future Cities in an Age of Ecological Change
Ursula Heise, Los Angeles

  The guidelines of the prompt were very simple. Stories had to be set in a city in the distant future (i.e. in or near the year 2099), be 1,000 words or less, and have as significant plot points both nature and people. With this framework The Nature of Cities launched...

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24 May 2019

On Paschal Mysteries, Primates and Conflagration: Notre Dame and the Ecological Disenfranchisement of Western Civilization
Keith Tidball, Ithaca

I was vacationing in Florida, taking advantage of Spring Break, and Easter week, writing and reading and escaping the administrivia that accompanies the end of the spring semester when I saw a short report on the television behind the bar at the local pub. It was Notre Dame. It was...

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22 May 2019

Lakes as Urban Classrooms | Reflections on the case of Rachenahalli Lake, Bangalore (2015-2018)
Sumetee Gajjar, Bangalore

Civic engagement by the Jaimitra trust, and various civic organisations involved in conserving Rachenahalli Lake, was to create a space expected to help alleviate the stresses of living in an urban jungle, and break away from the infamous legacy tied to the images of highly polluted, frothing and aflame lakes...

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9 May 2019

Reclamation and Mining: A Dangerous Fight for Sustainability in the Philippines
Ragene Palma, Manila

The Philippines has repeatedly taken blows causing environmental degradation. Last month, a dead whale was found with 40 kilograms of plastic in its stomach. In the same month, Metro Manila experienced a water crisis, affecting millions, and increasing risks in sanitation and waste management. In relation to this, protests have...

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2 May 2019

A Tribute to U.S. Congressman John Dingell – A Conservation Hero
John Hartig, Detroit

U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell, Jr. passed away on February 7th at the age of 92. He may be best known as the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives in history—serving 59 years and being reelected 29 times, an unparalleled leader of health care—presiding over the passage of...

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April, 2019

26 April 2019

Crows of Vancouver: The Middle Way Between Biophobia and Biophilia
Christine Thuring, Vancouver

One of Metro Vancouver’s greatest spectacles is its twice daily crow migration that occurs every dawn and dusk, 365 days a year. Whatever your view or choice of description—crow-maggedon, crow stampede, crow-pocalypse—it is an impressive sight. Clans (or murders) of crows from all sections of the coast trickle in, like...

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21 April 2019

What Cities Can Learn from Human Bodies
Nadine Galle, Amsterdam

At any one moment, trillions of chemical reactions take place in the human body: a myriad of connections, enzymes, and processes that together make up our human metabolism. You might recognise this concept from health and fitness clickbait headlines that promise things like: “10 easy ways to increase your metabolism”;...

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15 April 2019

Proposals for the Environment and the Future of Cities
Kevin Sloan, Dallas-Fort Worth

A Brief History of Climate Change Issued in November of 2018 by a collection of 13 government agencies known as the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the environmental assessments of The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) present a deeply disturbing forecast and polarizing confrontation to most anyone reading the report....

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4 April 2019

From Wet Feet to a Tiny Food Forest—How These 4th Graders Transformed Their Schoolyard into a Tiny Food Forest
Marthe Derkzen, Amsterdam

A Tiny Food Forest? As in, an edible forest? At school? Driven and designed by a bunch of 4thgraders? Absolutely. This project became a reality thanks to a dedicated team of enthusiastic individuals (children, teachers, directors, policymakers, nature educators, parents, neighbors, designers, and scientists) in the mid-sized town of Ede...

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