Meet the Author:
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
Jennifer Baljko

Jennifer Baljko

Jennifer Baljko is an avid traveler, longtime walker and a lifetime learner. She’s a city dweller who recently became a tree hugger (literally, she throws her arms around trees and hugs them), but feels at home almost anywhere. She is blogging about her latest trip at bangkokbarcelonaonfoot.com.

April, 2020

14 April 2020

Cities Are Not to Blame for the Spread of COVID-19—nor Is the Demise of Cities an Appropriate Response
Rob McDonald, Washington, DC Erica Spotswood, Oakland

We are all living a slowly unfolding tragedy, as Covid-19 (coronavirus) spreads in communities around the world, with (as of 26 April 2020) over 3 million confirmed cases and more than 210,000 deaths. This pandemic has led some to question the wisdom of living in cities. Dense urban settlement is...

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10 April 2020

The Art of Designing Meaningful Public-Science Collaborations
M'Lisa Colbert, Montreal

When many voices come together, they create a sound so loud it moves you. What you hear when you experience this is the very same thing that gives a good choir the power to deliver you from your sins—a powerful element called resonance. When two frequencies stream in harmonic proportion...

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6 April 2020

Are Universities and Students Allies in Climate Action?… Maybe.
Franco Montalto, Philadelphia and Venice

At a time when many national governments fail to recognize the urgency of climate action, universities have emerged as key subnational actors, well positioned to bring knowledge to action around this issue. While governments debate whether and how to act, universities can educate, empower, and inspire a new generation of...

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1 April 2020

TNOC Summit Dialogue: How can professors help mobilize knowledge?
Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm Nina-Marie Lister, Toronto David Maddox, New York Francois Mancebo, Paris

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March, 2020

31 March 2020

Nature in Korea’s Capital: The Magic Stops at the Car Bridge
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

A review of Min Joung-Ki, an exhibition of large-scale urban nature paintings at Kukje Gallery in Seoul, South Korea. Founded in 1982, Kukje Gallery is one of Korea’s most prolific exhibitors of international contemporary artists. Indeed, the institution is more of a small arts complex than a gallery, consisting of...

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22 March 2020

The Green Cloud, A Rooftop Story from Shenzhen: A “Living” Sponge Space Inside an Urban Village
Vivin Qiang, Shenzhen Xin Yu, Shenzhen

用中文阅读 Shenzhen, a coastal city located in Southern China, exemplifies the idea of  rapid urbanization. In just 40 years, Shenzhen has transformed from a fishing village to a bustling megalopolis. Today, about 50% of Shenzhen’s 13 million residents live in its urban villages. These urban villages are some of the few...

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18 March 2020

What the Garden Belongs To: Sensorial Listening in Urban Space
Jake Nussbaum, Philadelphia

On Emily Street between 7th and 8th in Philadelphia lies the Growing Home community gardens—two discrete plots of land separated by an assortment of old and new construction rowhomes that are the architectural hallmark of the neighborhood. Chainlink fences separate the gardens from the street. Through them one can see...

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16 March 2020

Design with Nature is not about Financial Return—It is a Recognition that Humans Rely on Nature.
Stephanie Pincetl, Los Angeles

There is no doubt that cities, especially since the industrial revolution, have by and large been built overriding local ecologies, obliterating topography, soils, streams, altering soils, ignoring seasons, breezes, sunlight. Nature based solutions, urban ecosystem services, however they are called, have emerged to try to remediate this historical modernist hubris...

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12 March 2020

Renewable Rikers as a Blueprint for a Sustainable City
Rebecca Bratspies, New York City

On 29 January 2019, New York City Council held a hearing on a trio of bills collectively known as “Renewable Rikers”. Rikers is currently home to the most infamous prison in New York City—the Rikers Island correctional facility an island penal colony with one lone bridge connecting it to the...

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9 March 2020

Common Trends and Conundrums in Nature-Based Solutions: Greening at the Intersection of Urban Densification and Urban Sprawl
Filka Sekulova, Barcelona Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski, Barcelona Francesc Baro, Barcelona Bernadett Kiss, Lund

Traditional chinampa cultivation as a way to restore water-stressed ecosystem services in Mexico City’s artificial wetland areas conquered from the sea in Tianjin Harbour … a network of bug-friendly bushes and patches of green along cycling routes in Scotland … an urban forest strategy in Melbourne promoting the plantating of...

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February, 2020

19 February 2020

Toronto Harbour Cleanup: The Cornerstone of Waterfront Revitalization
John Hartig, Windsor

As Toronto grew into Canada’s largest city and a world leader in business, finance, technology, entertainment, and culture, there were unintended consequences such as water pollution and loss of habitat. Today, Toronto and Region are a leader in environmental cleanup and reconnecting people to their waterfront as a part of...

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14 February 2020

Who Takes Care of New York?
Lindsay Campbell, New York

Civic leaders and community members regularly put time and energy into caring and advocating for the environment. We call these acts of care stewardship. Beyond improving green and blue spaces, stewardship can also lead to other types of civic action. Local stewardship groups can strengthen social trust within a neighborhood....

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7 February 2020

Re-envisioning Cities Through Bottom Up Neighbourhood Planning, Not Top Down Master Planning
PK Das, Mumbai

If there is one thing that I have to state as being the most important learning from my living and working in Mumbai, it is the need for collective intervention to combat the current trend of exclusionary urban development with an objective of achieving social and environmental equity and justice...

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January, 2020

31 January 2020

Cloud Cities, Melting Cities: A Review of Yumiko Ono’s “Epitomes” at Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

A review of “Epitomes,” an exhibition by Yumiko Ono, on view at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Taipei through 2 February 2020. Situated a few blocks from Taipei’s central train station in an old school building, MOCA Taipei is currently hosting a large exhibition of catastrophic visions of past,...

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30 January 2020

TNOC Summit Dialogue: How can we provide living space for people?
Samarth Das, Mumbai Elisa Silva, Caracas David Simon, London Xin Yu, Shenzhen

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23 January 2020

A Fractal Solution to Regional Complexity and Governance
Mathieu Hélie, Montréal

Could we construct a new image of what the political boundaries of an urban landscape could take shape as? Instead of the hierarchical approach that is commonplace, with cities governed by layers of neighborhood, urban, regional, and state-provincial levels through different electoral or appointed bodies, I propose to approach the...

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18 January 2020

Placing Equity at the Center of the Urban Greening Agenda
Peleg Kremer, Princeton Annegret Haase, Leipzig Dagmar Haase, Berlin

Equity and Sustainability: a history of ideological convergence vs. practiced indifference The idea that equity is an important and indispensable part of sustainable development has been there from the early days. The intellectual basic for and actions taken towards sustainability are thought to be fundamentally fair and just—a world in...

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13 January 2020

And, Now What? Exploring what happens after a 16,000-kilometer walk across two continents
Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

Those last few days in June, we could see Barcelona’s shape in the distance. The three chimneys from the old power plant. The slanted roof of the Forum. The towers from the Olympic village. The long stretch of beach reaching to the glass sail that is the W hotel. The...

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8 January 2020

Paseos Verdes: The Story of a Morning Walk and a Partnership for Greater Community and Watershed Health
Bruce Roll, Portland

Since its beginning fifteen years ago, the landscape conservation program called Tree for All (TFA) has found a home for more than 10 million native plants in the 750 square mile Tualatin River Watershed of  Northwestern Oregon. Over 700 projects have been completed along 140 river miles across 30,000 acres....

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1 January 2020

Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2019
David Maddox, New York

Today’s post celebrates some of the highlights from TNOC writing in 2019. 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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