Meet the Author:
Mika Mei Jia Tan,  Los Baños

Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
Mika Mei Jia Tan

Mika Mei Jia Tan

Mika Mei Jia Tan leads the Urban Biodiversity Hub’s Steering Committee. She has been working with youth in the environmental scene for the past 9 years, from developing capacity building programmes and exploring socio-environmental entrepreneurship, to engaging in science communication and lobbying for conservation policy at the United Nations. As an interdisciplinary thinker, she holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Conservation Biology) from Middlebury College, USA, and is an inaugural Middlebury Social Entrepreneurship Fellow and a Loke Cheng-Kim Scholar. Currently, she is the Coordinator of the ASEAN Youth Biodiversity Programme (AYBP) at the ASEAN Biodiversity Centre based in Los Baños, Philippines. Her work involves crafting training and mentorship programmes to empower youth in the region. If she's not in the office, Mika can often be found dancing street Latin, running, exploring the outdoors, or practicing various languages with friends.

January, 2023

30 January 2023

A picture of a hand scooping dirt from the ground
A Nonprofit Organization Creates Mini-forests in Public Schools in São Paulo Using the Miyawaki Method
Rafael Ribeiro, São Paulo

Formigas-de-embaúba carries out environmental education programs to plant native mini-forests in public schools together with school communities.  If you asked someone if they could imagine growing a forest from scratch, they would most likely say no. If you then asked them if they could grow a mini-forest of 500 m²...

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23 January 2023

A picture of a gate covered in signs with a road leading through a forest behind it
The Nature of Heritage: Rethinking Patrimonial Notions Towards Greener Urban Futures
Fábio Gouveia, Brussels

Urban green spaces often become entangled in notions of heritage. Multiple factors explain this convergence, from the historical origins of so many major urban green spaces, to the range of values (cultural, spiritual, etc.) that are tied to these places (see Feng & Tan, 2017; Forrest & Konijnendijk, 2005) and...

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16 January 2023

A picture of a fallen log covered in mushrooms
Partnering With Fungi and Soil for Better Futures
Toby Query, Portland

Fungi, that bizarre kingdom that includes yeasts and mushrooms, can be partnered with for healthier outcomes in urban natural areas and landscapes. Fungi, which are not plants and are more related to animals, are masters of chemistry. Enzymes created by fungi have been found to digest cigarette butts, DDT, and...

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8 January 2023

Am aerial shot of a park with pathways, benches, and people walking
The Baltic Green: A Case Study of Children’s Access to Outdoor Play and Urban Nature in Liverpool City Centre
Alice Sparks, Brussels

“This is a crucial and much-neglected topic. If children are not designed into our cities, they are designed out. This means that they are deprived of contact with the material world, with nature, with civic life and with their own capacities.” George Monbiot (Arup, 2020, 15) 1 Where do children belong...

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5 January 2023

Highlights from The Nature of Cities 2022
David Maddox, New York

Cities should be collaborative creations, no? Various professions, ways of knowing, modes of action, governments, and the people that live there, work together (we hope) to build their city from their shared and often contested values. And we need to find greener routes to built cities for them to be...

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2 January 2023

Highlights from Ten Years at The Nature of Cities
David Maddox, New York

The Nature of Cities was launched 10 years ago, in June 2012. I believe it has been a success, with over four million reads and around 1,000 contributors. I believe it has been valuable in framing and propelling dialogue in its promotion of collaboration and transdisciplinarity that are essential to...

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December, 2022

20 December 2022

An aerial view of a river with an island and a boat
L’approche conceptuelle du Plan directeur de conservation, d’aménagement et de développement du parc Jean-Drapeau
The Conceptual Approach of the Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Conservation, Planning, and Master Plan

Jonathan Cha, Montreal

Read in English. Retrouver le sens perdu et affirmer l’identité du parc Les parcs sont aujourd’hui une collection éclectique de strates de paysages aménagés et construits issus de multiples époques[1]. Autant pour ceux qui réalisent des parcs que ceux qui les conçoivent, il est à propos de se questionner sur...

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12 December 2022

We have had trouble getting people’s attention about climate change. Some climate activists glued themself to a van Gogh painting (and others). Is this helpful?
Marina Alberti, Seattle Carmen Bouyer, Paris Bibi Calderaro, New York M'Lisa Colbert, Montreal Marcus Collier, Dublin Tim Collins, Glasgow Stuart Connop, London Edith de Guzman, Los Angeles Ben Davis, Brandon Paul Downton, Melbourne Alysha Farrell, Brandon Chisai Fujita, Kyoto Sumetee Gajjar, Cape Town Nancy Grimm, Phoenix David Haley, Walney Island Cecilia Herzog, Rio de Janeiro Cathel Hutchison, Glasgow Pantea Karimi, San Jose Christopher Kennedy, New York Robin Lasser, Oakland Lucie Lederhendler, Brandon Patrick M. Lydon, Daejeon Krystal C. Mack, Baltimore David Maddox, New York Claudia Misteli, Barcelona Nea Pakarinen, Freiburg Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, College Park Cristián Pietrapiana, New York Rob Pirani, New York Baixo Ribeiro, São Paulo Martin Rokitzki, Freiburg Andrew Rudd, New York City Tanya Te Miringa Te Rorarangi Ruka, Te Whānganui-a-Tara Peter Schoonmaker, Beirut Ania Upstill, New York Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, Paris Domenico Vito, Milan

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5 December 2022

A picture of apartment buildings with green plants on balconies and in a courtyard in front of the buildings
Urban Greening Factor Gains Momentum
Gary Grant, London

What is it? City authorities around the world are looking for policies and tools to facilitate urban greening ― in particular, the process of bringing more soil, vegetation, and water into the built environment through the development planning system. In the UK, authorities are looking at the Urban Greening Factor...

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November, 2022

26 November 2022

A picture of scuba divers sitting around a table with papers while underwater
Upside Down Nature: Musings of a Terrestrial Urban Ecologist ‘At Sea’
Pippin Anderson, Cape Town

I recently had the great pleasure and privilege of a holiday on a boat in the Maldives. I had never sailed before, and am by no means an ocean-going character (indeed I took a year of swimming lessons in anticipation of this holiday), so the whole experience of being at...

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25 November 2022

An illustration of people with their arms up walking next to a truck
Nature for All: How can we uproot structural inequity in the provision of nature and its benefits to people?
Samarth Das, Mumbai Marthe Derkzen, Arnhem/Nijmegen Joost Gerretschen, Arnhem/Gelderland Rob McDonald, Basel Praneeta Mudaliar, Mississauga Stephanie Pincetl, Los Angeles Rebecca Rutt, Copenhagen Henriette Steiner, Copenhagen Huda Shaka, Dubai Ebony Walden, Richmond María Mejía, Bogotá Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Rebecca Bratspies, New York City

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9 November 2022

A picture of a building covered in plants
Greening Buildings and the Potential for More Biodiversity and Well-being in Switzerland
Nathalie Baumann, Zurich Anke Domschky, Zurich

Project study within the framework of the Swiss Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan Increasing building density is putting pressure on green spaces and thus on the living conditions for flora, fauna, and humans. However, the sixth IPPC report and the COVID-19 pandemic clearly show green spaces that enable recreation and the...

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2 November 2022

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Eco-Urbanism and Urban Resilience Become More Critical Against a Background of a Global War
Fadi Hamdan, Athens

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated existing problems in global supply chains of two fundamental commodities, namely energy and food, which in turn are leading to soaring inflation. In response, several countries are abandoning their commitments made at the COP26 conference to reduce carbon emissions and instead going back to...

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October, 2022

24 October 2022

A picture of trees, grass, a walking path with people on it
They Didn’t Pave “Paradise”, They Ploughed It
Lincoln Garland, Bath

The Year 2007 marked the arrival of the Urban Millennium when most of the world’s population became urban for the first time in human history (UNDESA, 2009). The proportion is now at least 55% and the global urban population is predicted to increase by 2.5 billion over the next 30...

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17 October 2022

A picture of a spider in a web hanging off a window and outdoor ceiling
Urban Spiders – Fuzzy Friends or Fearsome Foes?
Timothy Bonebrake, Hong Kong

Spiders are among my favorite urban neighbors. They’re flashy, charismatic, and they’re everywhere. Spiders also evoke a range of emotions and thoughts from their human cohabitants. If you see one in your house do you squish it? Do you capture it gently and relocate it? Do you run away screaming?...

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12 October 2022

A garden with native flowers and trees
Natives in Exile—The Experience We Had Creating a Flower Garden Featuring Endemic Plant Species in the City
Nadezhda Kiyatkina, Moscow

Last year in spring, we came up with an idea of creating a flower garden that would only feature native plant species. Why is that both difficult and important? And what conclusions can we draw after a full year of watching the flower garden grow and seeing how both community...

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5 October 2022

A garden full of flowers and tall plants
Landscapes Can Talk
Ashley Jankowski, Ann Arbor Joan Nassauer, Ann Arbor

It’s July. With the windows down, drive to the corner of Hudson Street and Netherwood Avenue. Pull into the driveway lined with Marigolds and with Morning Glories climbing the mailbox. You might miss the street sign, which is regularly hidden behind Sunflowers 10 feet high, but you can’t miss the...

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September, 2022

28 September 2022

Can You Hear the Waves of Poverty?
Cha-Ly Koh, Kuala Lumpur

While the award-winning movie Parasite (2019) by Bong Joon-ho was iconic in many ways, a terrifying scene haunts me more often than others. The scene is one where the one of the central families of the movie, the Kims, rush back to their semi-basement apartment only to discover it is...

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22 September 2022

Artists and scientists that co-create regenerative projects in cities?
Yes, please. But how?

Funmi Adeniyi, Cape Town Madhur Anand, Guelph Eduardo Blanco, Senlis Lindsay Campbell, New York Paul Currie, Cape Town Edith de Guzman, Los Angeles David Haley, Walney Island Carmen Bouyer, Paris Chris Fremantle, Ayrshire, Scotland Sarah Hines, Washington Keitaro Ito, Fukutsu City Dave Kendal, Hobart Christopher Kennedy, New York Nikki Lindt, New York Patrick M. Lydon, Daejeon David Maddox, New York Daniel McCormick, San Francisco Bay Area Mary Miss, New York City Mary O’Brien, San Francisco Bay Area Marguerite Perret, Topeka Cristián Pietrapiana, New York Baixo Ribeiro, São Paulo Eric Sanderson, New York Wendy Wischer, Salt Lake City Ania Upstill, New York

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19 September 2022

A picture of a bird standing on a pile of sticks and a picture of a thicket of branches and twigs on a forest floor
How Big Is My House in the City? Animal Territory Size Inside Urban Areas
Luis Sandoval, San José

How big is your house and property? Is it smaller or larger than you want it to be? Or is it just the right size? Do your house and property give you all that you need? Do you live in a neighborhood with many neighbors or not enough? Are your...

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