Meet the Author:
Patrick M. Lydon,  Daejeon

Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
Patrick M. Lydon

Patrick M. Lydon

Arts & Culture Editor at The Nature of Cities, Patrick M. Lydon is an ecological artist, filmmaker, and writer. His work applies concepts from natural farming and natural urbanism to re-imagine the relationship between people, cities, and all of nature. Together with his wife Suhee Kang, Lydon co-directed the film Food, Earth, Happiness. He has written for YES! Magazine, Kyoto Journal, and Routeledge Press, and has produced exhibitions, workshops, films, essays, restaurants, natural gardens, and other award-winning projects in North America, Europe, and Asia, many of them together with TNOC. He currently writes The Possible City series, serves as co-founder of City as Nature (Daejeon), and is an Arts Editor here at The Nature of Cities. Lydon studied at The University of Edinburgh, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (MFA), Aichi University of the Arts (visiting artist), and San Jose State University (BA). He also thoroughly enjoys learning from trees, soil, wind, the sea, as well as kids and elders.

November, 2023

7 November 2023

A rocky beach with a building in the background
Steady Friction Between Nature-based and Engineered Solutions for Urban Coastal Flood Adaptation
Zbigniew Grabowski, Hartford Laura Costadone, Norfolk Erich Wolff, Singapore Mariana Hernández, Sacramento Yuliya Dzyuban, Singapore Marthe Derkzen, Arnhem/Nijmegen Loan Diep, New York City

A view from the joint meeting of the San Juan ULTRA and the NATURA Early Career Network 1. Nature-based Solutions in the Context of San Juan, Puerto Rico On a sunny day in San Juan, Puerto Rico, life is good. Along the beaches, crabs scuttle in the riprap next to...

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October, 2023

30 October 2023

A close-up picture of a small metal bucket full of colorful writing utensils on a bright green table
Discovering Stewardship Through Play: Using Applied Theater Techniques for Environmental Education
Ania Upstill, New York

Human impacts on the environment are no joke, and climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. So, Environmental Education (EE) is serious business. Given the context, it is understandable that EE is usually communicated to adults through serious methods of communication such as lectures, information sessions, and...

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23 October 2023

A picture of walkway between two buildings with planters on either side and with large trees shading the walkway
Tel Aviv Was Tartan Before It Was White: An Analysis of Patrick Geddes’s 1925 Town Plan
Joseph Rabie, Montreuil

The White City. Thus, Tel Aviv refers to itself, taking its cue from the many buildings built in the International Style in the 1930s by the avant-garde architects who had studied in Europe or come to Palestine to escape Nazi Germany. Some had studied at the Bauhaus, and the term...

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16 October 2023

A picture of a tiny green frog sitting on a leaf
When You Sing You Want Noise and Bright Lights? Singing Behavior of Urban Frogs
Ana-Cecilia Gutiérrez-Vannucchi, San Jose Luis Sandoval, San José

Obstacles in nature are quite variable. Some are easy to observe: for example, a tree in the middle of an open area, a rock in the middle of a trail, or a lake in the forest. Others are not that easy to spot or identify as an obstacle. For example,...

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9 October 2023

A picture of an older child in a Hi Vis vest smiling and holding a sprout towards the camera
From Awareness to Action: Citizen Empowerment in Invasive Species Management
Ana Pinheira, Guimarães

Invasive species cause one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and ecosystems worldwide. Many species are introduced into environments different from their place of origin and can quickly proliferate, causing significant harm to the ecosystems, economy, and public health. Invasive species have the capacity to establish, reproduce, and spread uncontrollably,...

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September, 2023

25 September 2023

A picture of a dead black butterfly surrounded by yellowed leaves on concrete
Sistine Blue
Andreas Weber, Berlin

[*]I’m on my way home from an errand one early June evening. As I walk, I look down on the granite-slabbed sidewalk. At its margin, a row of slender catsears raise their yellow heads towards the fading sky. They look a bit like skinny dandelions (who they are related to),...

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17 September 2023

A picture of a fenced walkways along a lakeside
The City: Binding an Unbound Space
Arvind Lakshmisha, Bangalore Harini Nagendra, Bangalore

“…they do not belong to our neighbourhood and are located outside the administrative jurisdiction of Bangalore; hence we do not work on those lakes…” This was the comment made by a representative belonging to a prominent lake conservation group in the city, presenting a focused definition of a city as...

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11 September 2023

A picture of a tree-lined street with people and cars
Green Urban Planning ― Along With the Idea of Objective Truth ― Is Losing the PR Fight
Rob McDonald, Basel

A core tenant of the environmental movement is under attack. Planning, and particularly the rational planning model, is seen as something suspect, an enemy of the people. The whole idea of rational, technocratic planning to achieve social goals is being rejected by some, as an elitist pursuit that must be...

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5 September 2023

A picture of a glass and green building
Redefining Urban Nature for a Carbon-Negative City
Sarah Hinners, Salt Lake City

I frequently ask students, colleagues, practitioners, and fellow ecologists to consider how a city can become more like a forest. I started to do this in 2019 when I (perhaps belatedly!) came to understand that just reducing our carbon emissions ― even to neutral ― is not enough to prevent...

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August, 2023

29 August 2023

A digital model of greenspaces amongst buildings and concrete walkways
Designing Urban Green Spaces for Health and Well-being
Marthe Derkzen, Arnhem/Nijmegen Takemi Sugiyama, Melbourne Agnès Patuano, Wageningen John Boon, Amsterdam Andrea Ramírez-Agudelo, Bonn Arthur Feinberg, Rotterdam

How can we design urban green spaces that support health and well-being? What are the roles played by users, practitioners, and researchers? These questions guided our virtual seed session “Designing urban green spaces for health and well-being” during the TNOC Festival 2022. Fifteen participants shared their experience as a user...

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22 August 2023

A picture of a person biking alongside a flowerbed with many trees, bushes, and flowers
The Importance of a Shared Definition to Achieve Biodiversity
Meredith Dobbie, Victoria

Biodiversity is receiving much attention at the moment, not least among landscape architects in Australia. In 2018, David Maddox on this website posed the following provocation: “Landscape architects are the practitioners of biodiversity’s meaning through their acts of shaping nature into ‘spaces’. They have their hands on definitions of biodiversity...

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7 August 2023

Mumbai’s Obsession With Hardscape Infrastructure Will Sink Her
Samarth Das, Mumbai

There is no dearth of global reports discussing the impacts of global warming and its direct impact on sea level rise, rising temperatures in cities, and irregular and extreme weather events such as cyclones and rainfall combined with severe water shortage and drought. These events are no longer what can...

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2 August 2023

Shade: The Introduction to SPROUT Eco-Poetry Journal Issue 3
Kirby Manià, Vancouver Dimitra Xidous, Dublin

For SPROUT’s third issue, the editors were inspired by The Nature of Cities’ (TNOC) recent art exhibition, Shade, and invited contributors to draw on the exhibition’s virtual installation as a conceptual springboard to contemplate the theme of shade through a poetic lens. We asked poets to reflect on the role...

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July, 2023

31 July 2023

Story. Telling. If you had a project from science or practice and wanted to make it a better story — one that could reach into new audiences — what would you do?
Pippin Anderson, Cape Town Lindsay Campbell, New York Marcus Collier, Dublin Paul Currie, Cape Town Bram Gunther, New York Madhusudan Katti, Raleigh Claudia Misteli, Barcelona Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Ania Upstill, New York Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, Paris Ibrahim Wallee, Accra Skylar R. Bayer, Anchorage Priya Shukla, Davis Bethann Garramon Merkle, Laramie Evelyn Valdez-Ward, Kingston Nic Bennett, Austin Tim Lüschen, Berlin Daniela Rizzi, Freiburg Alice Reil, Munich Sarah Ema Friedland, New York City Paul Mahony, Manchester Tommy Cheemou Yang, New York City David Bunn, Vancouver

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17 July 2023

A picture of a large tree cut down with limbs and sawdust everywhere
A New Tree Ethic: What If Trees Really Mattered?
Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

Several weeks ago, I was startled when taking a typical morning walk to find that a large and majestic white oak tree had been cut down and lay in the front of a neighbor’s yard. It was a shocking and sad sight, a tree I had admired almost daily, reduced...

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June, 2023

26 June 2023

Two maps of a city showing temperature through cool or warm coolers
Urban Parks During Heat and Drought Conditions: A Case Study in Leipzig, Germany during the 2018 and 2019 Heat Periods
Roland Krämer, Leipzig Nadja Kabisch, Hannover

Assessing the cooling function of urban parks under heat and drought conditions Thanks to the cooling function of the vegetation, urban parks offer cool, pleasant places in cities during hot summer days. Urban parks are also places for recreation and social interaction. In parks, people go jogging or cycling, meet...

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21 June 2023

Three maps of Boston, MA depicting urban heat
Growing Heat Hazards from Climate Change and the Urban Heat Island Need to Be Integrated Across Siloed Urban Plans. Here’s How.
Sara Meerow, Tempe Ladd Keith, Tucson

Cities everywhere are getting hotter due to climate change and the urban heat island. Places like the Pacific Northwest in the United States, which historically was not concerned about extreme heat as a climate risk, have experienced unprecedented heatwaves in recent years (White et al. 2023). These deadly events, as...

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13 June 2023

A picture of a woman with headphones and a laptop sitting amongst large, leafy plants
Composing an Entropic Symphony from the Sounds of Plants About to Be Displaced
Lucie Lederhendler, Brandon

In early 2018, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, which is located in the western part of the city of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, announced that they would be demolishing their conservatory in April, citing the end of the structure’s lifespan. At that time, artist Helga Jakobson was experimenting with designs for...

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12 June 2023

Visual storytelling: Can comics help us advance solutions to our social and environmental challenges? Yes
José Alaniz, Longbranch Steven Barnes, Los Angeles Emmalee Barnett, Springfield Rebecca Bratspies, New York Deianira D'Antoni, Catania Cecilia de Sanctis, Rome Marta Delas, Madrid Darren Fisher, Mödling Patrick M. Lydon, Daejeon Ivan Gajos, Manchester David Haley, Walney Island John Hyatt, Liverpool Charles Johnson, Seattle Eva Kunzová, Bratislava Charlie LaGreca Velasco, Milano Lucie Lederhendler, Brandon David Maddox, New York Joe Magee, Stroud Heeyoung Park, Strasbourg Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, College Park Mike Rosen, Portland Mark Russell, Portland Lucía Sánchez, Madrid Clifford Thompson, Brooklyn Chris Uttley, Stroud Shannon Wheeler, Portland Midori Yajima, Rome


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May, 2023

29 May 2023

A picture of a waterway full of trash with some vegetation on the banks
From a Buzzword to a Standard: Challenges in Mainstreaming Nature-based Solutions in Urban Planning in the Global South
Seema Mundoli, Bangalore Abhiri Sanfui, Mumbai Harini Nagendra, Bangalore

“Sewage water is a bonus for us.” This is what a farmer in the east Kolkata wetlands had to say about the traditional practice of farming using a mix of sewage and freshwater. The wetlands situated in peri-urban Kolkata, a metropolitan city in eastern India, have a fascinating history linked...

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