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Laura Booth,  San Francisco

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  • Laura Booth

    Laura Booth

    Laura Booth believes that cities should be viewed as natural systems. As Assistant Editor for TNOC, she supports the blog in its mission to communicate how nature is integrated into urban life. Laura also works as an interpretive intern at Muir Woods National Monument. She has studied an old-growth forest in New York City and raptors in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    July, 2019

    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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    March, 2019

    29 March 2019

    Cities’ Quality of Life, Health, and Sustainability Are Defined by Access to Nearby Parks
    Adrian Benepe, New York Benita Hussain, New York

    Since the mid-nineteenth century, parks have always been deeply intertwined in the modern identities of cities. In the U.S., Central Park is less a feature of New York than it is a key component of its essential character, much as Prospect Park once similarly defined the emerging city of Brooklyn,...

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    24 March 2019

    Vegetating Tall Buildings
    Gary Grant, London

    In 1883, a rooftop garden theatre opened in New York City. The idea was to escape the city summer heat, whilst enjoying some evening entertainment, without actually leaving NYC. A decade later, the New York Times announced that, “New York is fast becoming a city of roof gardens”. In 1935,...

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    17 March 2019

    From Biocultural Diversity to a Nature-Culture Alliance
    William Dunbar, Tokyo

    Since I was invited to start writing about biocultural diversity for The Nature of Cities in 2015, there have been a number of developments in both policymaking processes related to biocultural diversity and, recently, to the concept itself. Some of these developments have happened around the Fourteenth Meeting of the...

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    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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