Meet the Author:
Arjen Wals,  Wageningen

Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
Arjen Wals

Arjen Wals

Arjen Wals is a Professor of Transformative Learning for Socio-Ecological Sustainability at the Education and Competence Studies Group of Wageningen University. He also holds the UNESCO Chair of Social Learning and Sustainable Development. He is the Carl Bennet Guest Professor in Education for Sustainable Development at Gothenburg University in Sweden and an adjunct professor at Cornell University. His teaching and research focus on designing learning processes and learning spaces that enable people to contribute meaningfully to sustainability. A central question in his work is: how to create conditions that support (new) forms of learning which take full advantage of the diversity, creativity, and resourcefulness that is all around us, but that so far remain largely untapped in our search for a world that is more sustainable than the one currently in prospect? In 2014, he was the lead author of an article published in Science on the role of citizen science in bridging science education, environmental education, and sustainability. He is editor and co-editor of a number of popular books including: Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability (Kluwer Academic, 2004), Creating Sustainable Environments in our Schools (Trentham, 2006), Social Learning towards a Sustainable World (Wageningen Academic, 2007), Learning for Sustainability in Times of Accelerating Change (2012), and of Routledge’s International Handbook on Environmental Education Research (2013). He has (co)authored over 250 publication, of which 60 are in international peer reviewed journals. He writes a regular research blog that signals developments in the emerging field of sustainability education: www.transformativelearning.nl

June, 2021

7 June 2021

Beyond equity: What does an anti-racist urban ecology look like?
Julian Agyeman, Medford Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski, Barcelona Anna Livia Brand, Berkeley Jean-Marie Cishahayo, Ottawa CJ Goulding, Teaneck Morgan Grove, Baltimore Derek Hyra, Washington Laura Landau, New York María Mejía, Bogotá Polly Moseley, Liverpool Amanda Phillips de Lucas, Baltimore Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Charles Prempeh, Accra Malini Ranganathan, Washington Baixo Ribeiro, São Paulo Amrita Sen, Bangalore Suné Stassen, Cape Town Abdallah Tawfic, Cairo Cindy Thomashow, Seattle Hita Unnikrishnan, Sheffield Ebony Walden, Richmond Ibrahim Wallee, Accra Diana Wiesner, Bogota

 

3 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation
May, 2021

31 May 2021

From Design to City Life: What It Takes to Bring Nature-based Solutions to Urban Reality
Niki Frantzeskaki, Melbourne Paula Vandergert, London Stuart Connop, London Karlijn Schipper, Rotterdam Iwona Zwierzchowska, Poznań Marcus Collier, Dublin Lodder Marleen, Rotterdam

Cities around the globe are seeing increased civic interest and appreciation of nature in the city. Pictures with citizens thronging to urban parks and urban waterfronts adhering to social distancing have flooded social media and traditional media alike in the past months. This appreciation and recognition of how important it...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

22 May 2021

Financer des villes plus vertes pour l’avenir que nous voulons
Financing Greener Cities for the Future We Want

Ingrid Coetzee, Cape Town Elisabeth Chouraki, Paris

(Read this in English.) Pour des infrastructures respectueuses de la nature Le monde s’urbanise rapidement, exposant nos ressources naturelles à une pression croissante pour répondre aux demandes en infrastructures, terres, eau, nourriture et autres besoins vitaux. Selon le département des affaires économiques et sociales des Nations unies (UN DESA), 55...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

18 May 2021

Mobilising Our Union for Ecological Urbanism
Russell Galt, Edinburgh

Things fall apart Standing at a crossroads, looking into the eye of a perfect storm, these are anxious days for humanity. The full social, humanitarian and economic fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic may have barely come to pass but it already makes the 2008-09 global financial crisis look like child’s...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

12 May 2021

Co-Creating Sustainability: Integration of Local Ecological Knowledge in Art Works
Baiba Pruse, Venice Marthe Derkzen, Arnhem/Nijmegen Eva Bubla, Budapest Iván Greco, Buenos Aires Ezequiel Filgueira Risso, Buenos Aires Lindsay Campbell, New York Jaime Jackson, Birmingham/West Midlands Julia Prakofjewa, Venice Rick Hall, Nottingham Lara Eva Bustamante, Buenos Aires Colin Meurk, Christchurch Nataliya Stryamets, Venice Andra Simanova, Riga Anna Varga, Pécs Cristina Flora, Venice

Art and activism have a great potential to communicate social-ecological messages, and to engage the public in exploring local ecological knowledge. Where and how local ecological knowledge (LEK) appear in urban environments through artwork? We are in a great position to be able to share the reflections of one of...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

5 May 2021

Tree Inequality Is Worse in the Suburbs
Rob McDonald, Washington, DC

Urban trees and their canopy cover provide many benefits for urban residents, reducing air pollutant concentrations, mitigating stormwater runoff, maintaining water quality, encouraging physical recreation, and improving mental health. But just as urban ecologists are quantifying more and more benefits of urban trees for health, other research increasingly shows that...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation
April, 2021

30 April 2021

What actions are successful in activating cities to implement urban biodiversity conservation policies, campaigns, and projects?
Eric Butler, Portland Georgina Cullman, New York Eduardo Guerrero, Bogotá Hayato Hasegawa, Fukuoka Clara Holmes, New York Mark Hostetler, Gainesville Keitaro Ito, Fukutsu City Mahito Kamada, Tokushima Marit Larson, New York Gilles Lecuir, Paris Kevin Lunzalu, Nairobi Colin Meurk, Christchurch Matthew Morrow, New York Siobhán McQuaid, Dublin Tomomi Sudo, Fukuoka Pamela Zevit, Surrey

16 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

29 April 2021

Documenting the Pandemic Year: Reflecting Backward, Looking Forward
Lindsay Campbell, New York Michelle Johnson, New York City Sophie Plitt, New York Laura Landau, New York Erika Svendsen, New York

This essay is part four in a series. Since 13 March 2020, our team of social science researchers has been keeping a collective journal of our experiences of our New York City neighborhoods, public green spaces, and environmental stewardship during COVID-19. Read the essays from spring, summer, and fall here....

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

21 April 2021

A Walk in the Park? Re-imagining Urban Environmental Conservation during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Kaja Aagaard, Middlebury Mika Mei Jia Tan, Los Baños Jennifer Rae Pierce, Vancouver

The COVID-19 pandemic has established a moment of immense global loss. In the midst of this public health crisis, our concerns for our families and communities necessarily take priority. Yet, addressing these concerns demands a look towards the future: to the reevaluation of global systems that may produce or obstruct...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

9 April 2021

Is Cali the City with the Most Birds in the World?
Rubén Darío Palacio, Durham

The city of Cali in southwestern Colombia boasts a staggering number of 562 species of birds, and it probably has the longest bird list for any city in the world. But can we find out for sure? Birds are the link between the urban and the wild. A bird-friendly city can harbor...

2 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

5 April 2021

About the Festival
Karen Tsugawa

TNOC Festival pushed boundaries to radically imagine our cities for the future. A virtual festival that covered 5 days with programming across all regional time zones and provided in multiple languages: 22-26 February 2021, 2200 participants from 72 countries. Outputs and new emerging projects will appear in this space soon....

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation
March, 2021

24 March 2021

Putting Nature First: Driving Actions for Nature in Cities
Niki Frantzeskaki, Melbourne Cathy Oke, Melbourne Judy Bush, Melbourne Sarah Bekessy, Melbourne James Fitzsimons, Melbourne Georgia Garrard, Melbourne Maree Grenfell, Melbourne Martin Hartigan, Melbourne

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how important urban nature is for our physical and mental health. As urban strategists embark on ideas and think of pathways for recovery and “building back better” our societies and especially cities, it is paramount that the green recovery include nature in the mix of options...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

20 March 2021

Vegetation is the Future of Architecture
Gary Grant, London

Most of the inhabitable regions of the Earth were originally covered by forests, grasslands, and wetlands. These carbon-grabbing, biodiverse, spongy landscapes have been largely replaced by agriculture and urban development, which is drier, belches carbon, is erosive of soils, and which has lost most of its wildlife. Indeed, biodiversity declines...

2 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

12 March 2021

Knowledge Systems for Urban Renewal
Chris Ives, Nottingham

“Science is meaningless because it gives no answer to our question, the only question important for us: ‘What shall we do and how shall we live?’ ” — Leo Tolstoy  We know that our cities need to look and function differently. There is a wealth of scientific evidence showing that urbanisation...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

7 March 2021

Including Diverse Voices in Adaptation Planning
Marthe Derkzen, Arnhem/Nijmegen Timon McPhearson, New York Huda Shaka, Jeddah Marion Lacourt, Paris Frida Larios, Antiguo Cuzcatlán, Copán, and Washington

This contribution is the result of a thought-collecting Seed Session during the TNOC Summit in Paris, held on June 5, 2019. Pitches, group breakouts, and a facilitated discussion addressed the question: Including diverse voices in adaptation planning, how do we make it happen? Two illustrators, Frida Larios and Marion Lacourt,...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

2 March 2021

Making Spaces for Edible Gardens in Compact Cities: the Taipei Case
Wan-Yu Shih, Taipei Che-Wei Liu, Taipei

Edible urban gardens have gained increasing popularity in the Global North within the narrative of nature-based solutions for cities and as parts of urban green infrastructure, which reintroduce greenspaces and associated functions into built environments, with the aspiration of leading to a socially and ecologically more sustainable city. Amid the...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation
January, 2021

31 January 2021

Stories of the Nature of Cities 1/2 Hour—Episode 4: Oasis
David Maddox, New York

Episode 4: Oasis “Happy Hour at the Green Man” by Kate Wing, read by Lucy Symons A small bar in the middle of the city has a portal to an ancient ghost forest.  “Where Grass Grows Greener” by Jenni Juvonen, read by Nora Achrati The narrator explores a forest and meets a...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

31 January 2021

Green Recovery’s Missing Piece: Engagement with Future World Leaders!
Vishisht Singhal, Delhi

This essay advocates for a unique “Youth Empowerment Based Green Recovery Programme” to be developed and adapted by governments to enhance long-term societal resilience. As we have collectively moved towards unlocking the lockdowns and quarantines that had been in effect since March 2020, the world’s attention has been gripped in...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

23 January 2021

Highlights from The Nature of Cities 2020
David Maddox, New York

Today’s post celebrates some of the highlights from TNOC writing in 2020. 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...

0 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation

18 January 2021

The LEAF: Episode 4. Show and Tells from Urban Arts Collective Members
Bibi Calderaro, New York Nicolas Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo, New York Ursula Heise, Los Angeles

Explore with us diverse and connecting threads in urban ecological arts. In the LEAF, three FRIEC Urban Arts Collective members share something from their ideas and work for 10 minutes each, followed by Q&A. Theme: Stories that have not been told. Presenters: Bibi Calderaro, New York Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful...

1 Comment(s)
Join our Conversation