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Erika Svendsen,  New York City

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  • Erika Svendsen

    Erika Svendsen

    Dr. Erika Svendsen is a social scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station and is based in New York City. Erika studies environmental stewardship and issues related to hybrid governance, collective resilience and human well-being. She is particularly interested in understanding the spatial, temporal and sacred aspects of stewardship systems. Erika is part of the NYC Urban Field Station, a unique research collaboration founded by the Forest Service and NYC Parks. The Urban Field Station is both a physical place to conduct research and a network of scientists and practitioners dedicated to improving the quality of life in urban areas by conducting and supporting research about social-ecological systems and natural resource management.

    November, 2017

    18 November 2017

    Walking on Rivers — Dry Riverbeds as Public Parks?
    Sareh Moosavi, Melbourne

    In most arid regions of the world cities are growing and rivers are running dry. While rapid urbanisation has left little room for creating new public open spaces, could urban riverbeds that remain dry for an extended period of time provide potentials for new types of public parks? Dryland settlements...

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    15 November 2017

    Some Kind of Nature… But What Will We End Up With?
    Yolanda van Heezik, Dunedin

    Whenever I listen to the song Some Kind of Nature by the Gorillaz & Lou Reed, it makes me think about what kind of nature we are going to end up with in our cities, even though the song isn’t actually about urban nature at all. From my perspective here...

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    13 November 2017

    Let go of some urban domestication: How would you convince the mayor to re-wild the city?
    Juan Azcarate, Bogota Keith Bowers, Charleston Katrine Claassens, Montreal Don Dearborn, Lewiston Ian Douglas, Manchester Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires Lincoln Garland, Bath Amy Hahs, Ballarat, Australia Mark Hostetler, Gainesville Keitaro Ito, Fukutsu City Louise Lezy-Bruno, Paris Jala Makhzoumi, Beirut Juliana Montoya, Bogota Daniel Phillips, Bangalore Mohan Rao, Bangalore Kevin Sloan, Dallas-Fort Worth Kati Vierikko

    Juliana Montoya and Juan Azcárate, Bogotá (To read this post in English, see here.) Asilvestrando ciudades: Una perspectiva desde la biodiversidad latinoamericana Analizando la idea de asilvestramiento de las ciudades (re-wilding cities) como espacios que permiten la vida de especies de forma natural y espontánea en lugares diferentes a su...

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    12 November 2017

    Biophilic Benefits or Bio-baloney? (Probably) the Former
    Lincoln Garland, Bath

    Regular readers of TNOC will be familiar with the biophilia hypothesis, which supposes an innate emotional link between humans and the natural world that positively impacts our psychological wellbeing. In other words, we feel most at home in naturalistic surroundings, as this is where we evolved and have spent the...

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    9 November 2017

    The New Urban Agenda: Is the Compact City Ecologically More Favorable than Dispersed Forms?
    Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires

    Some weeks ago I took part in a seminar in Recife, Brazil, where colleagues of Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Mexico met. The main queries to be answered were: How each professional from their individual specialities could collaborate to address the New Urban Agenda established by the Habitat III Conference, held...

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    6 November 2017

    Re-naturing Cities: Theories, Strategies and Methodologies
    Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira, Portsmouth Heather Rumble, Portsmouth Mark Goddard, Newcastle Fabio Angeoletto, Rondonópolis Pedro Britto, Goiânia Silvio Caputo, Portsmouth Stuart Connop, London Karla Emmanuela Ribeiro Hora, Goiânia Caroline Nash, London Braulio Romeiro, Goiânia

    There is strong interest in the theme of re-naturing cities, since “naturalizing” cities can help address multiple global societal challenges and generate benefits, such as the enhancement of health and well-being, sustainable urbanisation, the provision of ecosystems and their services, and resilience to climate change. But, what are the theories,...

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    3 November 2017

    Getting Humans to Learn to Live in Harmony with Wildlife
    Lena Chan, Singapore

    Humans have been living with wildlife since time immemorial. But with the growth of cities, people have become so distant from nature and wildlife that many think there is no native flora and fauna left in urban jungles. This alienation raised such concern in the global community that the United...

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    October, 2017

    31 October 2017

    A Hymn to Nature in My City
    Paula Vandergert, London

    Warning: What follows is entirely personal and non-scientific. This is a good thing. I live and work in a global city. Here’s my justification for being here. I work on scaling up greening in cities across Europe. My global city—London—has been a leader in urban greening initiatives for many years....

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    30 October 2017

    Where Did the Rivers Go? The Hidden Waterways beneath London
    David Goode, Bath

    A review of The Lost Rivers of London, by Nicholas Barton and Stephen Myers, 2016.  ISBN:1905286511. Historical Publications Ltd . 224 pages. Buy The Lost Rivers of London. …and London’s Lost Rivers, by Paul Talling. ISBN: 184794597X. Random House UK. 192 pages. Buy London’s Lost Rivers. The Lost Rivers of London by Nicholas Barton...

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    28 October 2017

    Past and Future? Living and Growing Food Underground
    Francois Mancebo, Paris

    In previous TNOC posts I wrote about two apparently different topics: urban agriculture and living underground. Let’s combine them now into a new urban object: Farming underground. You may very well think that I am playing smart-aleck here, and that this paper is just a piece of bravura, since farming...

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    25 October 2017

    World Enough: Tales from the Bottom of the Garden
    Katrine Claassens, Montreal

    If you took the city of Tokyo and turned it upside down and shook it you would be amazed at the animals that fall out: badgers, wolves, boa constrictors, crocodiles, ostriches, baboons, capybaras, wild boars, leopards, manatees, ruminants, in untold numbers. There is no doubt in my mind that that...

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    22 October 2017

    How Can Religion Help in the Pursuit of Urban Sustainability?
    Chris Ives, Nottingham

    Increasingly, urban nature is viewed not only as a scientific, technological or design issue, but a moral one. The recent TNOC roundtable “Ecosystems for everyone” rested on the assumption that provision of and access to ecosystem services and urban nature is a “moral imperative”. Indeed, Steward Pickett began his contribution...

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    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, New York

    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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