Meet the Author:
Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka

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 director of City as Nature, a socially-engaged art and media lab based in Osaka and Seoul, that inspires empathic relationships between people and the living world around us. He has produced exhibitions, workshops, films, essays, natural gardens, and other award-winning projects in North America, Europe, and Asia, and co-directed the documentary film "Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness". Patrick spent several years as a nomad in East Asia, learning from nature and wisdom traditions. He holds an MFA in "Art, Space & Nature" from the University of Edinburgh, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Scotland), and previously studied in the Isao Suizu Project Lab, Aichi University of the Arts (Japan), and San Jose State University (United States). He also thoroughly enjoys learning from trees, soil, wind, the sea, as well as kids and elders.

December, 2020

20 December 2020

Quarantine Fatigue and the Power of Activating Public Lands as Social Infrastructure
Lindsay Campbell, New York Erika Svendsen, New York Laura Landau, New York Michelle Johnson, New York City Sophie Plitt, New York

This essay is part three in a series. Since 13 March 2020, our team of social science researchers has been keeping a collective journal of our experiences of our New York City neighborhoods and public spaces during COVID-19. Read the essays from spring and summer here. 1. Winter is coming:...

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14 December 2020

The Hills Save Us
Diana Wiesner, Bogota

En español. Citizenship is derived from city, and floristry from forest or jungle. Forest and human being live a socio-ecological pact in which the forest becomes a new citizen respected in its integrity, stability, and extraordinary beauty. Both benefits, as the utilitarian logic of exploitation is abandoned and the logic...

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9 December 2020

The LEAF Episode 3: Show and Tells from TNOC Urban Ecological Arts Collective Members
Tim Collins, Glasgow Robin Lasser, Oakland Wendy Wischer, Salt Lake City

Want to explore diverse and connecting threads in urban ecological arts? In the LEAF, three FRIEC Urban Arts Collective members share something from their ideas and work for 10 minutes each, followed by Q&A. Presenters: Tim Collins, Glasgow Robin Lasser, Oakland Wendy Wischer, Salt Lake City Wednesday 16 December, 9amPST / 12pmEST /...

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8 December 2020

Opportunity in Crisis: Ecojustice Education for Pandemic Resilience 
Scott Kellogg, Albany

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was widespread concern and uncertainty. How many people would get sick? How long would this last? Will I lose my home, my job? Will there be food shortages? There were also widespread shutdowns—schools, offices, restaurants, libraries, even the police were only responding to...

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4 December 2020

Ecosystems as a Framework for Urban Planning: Reconnecting. Rediscovering. Reinvigorating.
Jennifer Dowdell, Baltimore

If we peel back the layers of our urban infrastructure and examine the ecological patterns that originally formed the landscapes beneath our feet, we can shape more resilient cities through an interdisciplinary and inclusive urban design process based on the braided narratives of place: ecology, history, and culture. More than...

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1 December 2020

A Pattern Language for Urban Nature
Paul Downton, Melbourne

1 We are part of nature We are part of nature and we are interdependent with nature.   2 We think we can be separate from nature We cannot escape this interdependency. Even when we try, we are tied to living systems by umbilical cords of technology, constrained by natural...

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November, 2020

22 November 2020

Why Would the Economy Need Biodiversity?
Nadezhda Kiyatkina, Moscow

And What Grassplots, Amur Leopard, and Mold Have in CommonWhat is biodiversity for? Some don’t need that question answered: you just adopt a philosopher’s perspective, and everything becomes clear—all living things have the right to dwell on the planet. For others, the question is confusing. Those trying to find a quantitative answer to...

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21 November 2020

The Challenges for Innovating in Green and Blue Infrastructure: The Case of an Innovative Drainage Approach in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Jose Puppim, São Paulo Carlos Rigolo, São Paulo Leon Rangel, São Paulo

Green and blue infrastructure (GBI), a form of nature-based solutions (NBS), can provide huge benefits for cities, as GBIs are innovative ways to connect biodiversity and people. Besides the direct functions that the infrastructure provides (e.g. flood prevention or cooling effect), there is also a series of co-benefits that nature...

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20 November 2020

We Need an Ethical Code for Water
Gloria Aponte, Medellín Katherine Berthon, Melbourne Carmen Bouyer, Paris Paul Currie, Cape Town PK Das, Mumbai Meredith Dobbie, Victoria Casey Furlong, Melbourne Andrew Grant, Bath Gary Grant, London Juliana Landolfi de Carvalho, Curitiba Tom Liptan, Portland Sareh Moosavi, Brussels Harini Nagendra, Bangalore Diane Pataki, Salt Lake City André Stephan, Brussels Peter Schoonmaker, Portland Naomi Tsur, Jerusalem Mario Yanez, Lisbon

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18 November 2020

Stories of the Nature of Cities 1/2 Hour. Episode 3—Generations of Climate Change
Ari Honarvar, San Diego Michael Harris Cohen, Sofia Laura Shillington, Montreal

Episode 3: Generations of Climate Change “A Child of the Oasis” by Ari Honavar, read by Nora AchratiA mother and daughter meet an undocumented refugee on their annual ride to the father’s Remembrance Wall. “Not Icarus” by Michael Harris Cohen, read by Dori LeggA grandmother defies social law by killing birds...

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17 November 2020

Nairobi’s Rapidly Expanding Transport Network is Costing its Ecological Lifeline
Kevin Lunzalu, Nairobi

Since 2013, the government of Kenya has laid out extensive expansion plans for the city’s transport infrastructure. Nairobi County’s strategy lays out a progressive framework that has seen the introduction of Mass Rapid Transit Systems (MRTS), the standard gauge railway, connectors, and the expansion of several other feeder roads. The...

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14 November 2020

The LEAF Episode 2: Show and Tells from FRIEC Collective Artists
Christina Freeman, New York Lucie Lederhendler, Montreal Paula Nishijima, Diemen

Want to explore diverse and connecting threads in urban ecological arts? In the LEAF, three FRIEC Urban Arts Collective members share something from their ideas and work for 10 minutes each, followed by Q&A. Presenters: Christina Freeman, New York Lucie Lederhendler, Montreal Paula Nishijima, Amsterdam 18 November  To watch the recording:...

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9 November 2020

Inappropriate Infrastructure Can Make Green Spaces Unlivable
Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires Jose Luis Hryckovian, Buenos Aires

The urban matrix is dominated by the built environment that undoubtedly predominates over green infrastructures like domestic gardens, woodlands, tree-lined streets, squares, sports fields, and green corridors. Thus, cities must be seen as a complex system where the interacting gray, green, and blue elements cannot be analyzed individually. Proper handling...

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3 November 2020

What Can Policymakers Do to Enhance Nature-based Solutions for Sustainable Cities?
Rodrigo Bellezoni, São Paulo Fanxin Meng, New Haven

Cities are almost entirely dependent on surrounding regions for food, water, and energy (FWE) to sustain urban population and activities. Sixty percent of the global population will live in cities by 2030, with 90% of urban growth in the coming decades likely to occur in low- and middle-income countries. Rising...

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October, 2020

26 October 2020

What I Know Now: The Need for “Good Trouble” to Build an Anti-Racist Science of Ecology
Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie

A meditation on race and ecology on the occasion of the death of U.S. Representative John Lewis.Representative John R. Lewis (1940-2020) was a hero of the civil rights movement in the United States. He was one of the six leaders of the famous 1963 March On Washington, a leader of...

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20 October 2020

The Next “Normal” City Must Be a Sustainable Habitat for Healthy Humans
Matteo Giusti, Gävle

“Stay home!” This is the imperative that has echoed across the planet in the last months. Everyone is at, and a, risk to themselves and others. And so we did. We mostly stayed at home. After a few days, we began to notice that our house, our cities, and our...

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8 October 2020

The LEAF Episode 1: Show and Tells from FRIEC Collective Artists
Olive Bieringa, Oslo Matthew Jensen, New York Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, Paris

Want to explore diverse and connecting threads in urban ecological arts? In the LEAF, three FRIEC Urban Arts Collective members share something from their ideas and work for 10 minutes each, followed by Q&A. Presenters: Olive Bieringa, OsloMatthew Jensen, New YorkStéphane Verlet-Bottéro, Paris 21 October, 11am EDT  Olive Bieringa, Oslo: “Resisting Extinction” is...

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7 October 2020

Stories of the Nature of Cities 1/2 Hour. Episode 2—Sea Level Rise
Alyssa Eckles Alyssa Eckles, Cleveland Rym Kechacha, Norwich

Episode 2—Sea Level Rise The read stories are Rym Kechacha’s “Old Father Thames” and Alyssa Eckles’ “Uolo and the Idol”. The Stories are first read, then authors Rym and Alyssa then join David Maddox for conversation. “Old Father Thames” by Rym KechachaThe narrator gets swept away by Old Father Thames...

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6 October 2020

Parks are Critical Urban Infrastructure: The Use of Urban Green Space in New York City During COVID-19
Timon McPhearson, New York Christopher Kennedy, New York Bianca Lopez, Amherst Emily Maxwell, New York

Urban green spaces have long been a refuge for city dwellers, especially in times of crisis, but how has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the use and importance of urban green and open spaces? Are they perceived or used differently during this time? Who has access historically, but also during COVID-19?...

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September, 2020

30 September 2020

What’s Next? Learning From Nature During Lockdown
Elmaz Abinader, Oakland Jane Ingram Allen, Santa Rosa Carmen Bouyer, Paris Anne Brochot, Voulx Joyce Garvey, Dublin Leslie Gauthier, New York Frances Mezzetti, Dublin Munira Naqui, Portland

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