Meet the Author:
Philip James,  Salford

Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
Philip James

Philip James

Philip leads the Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre within the School of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Salford, UK. Researchers in this centre investigate how the processes of natural variability and man-made change work. The research helps their partners to deliver responsible management of the environment with multiple benefits, for example, conserving wildlife, understanding the consequences of environment and climate change, and the recognizing opportunities provided by urbanization.

August, 2020

12 August 2020

The Value of Green Urban Assets and the True Costs of Development
Martin Westerman, Seattle

The building boom that’s driving up real estate prices and jamming Seattle with housing and high-rises is also squeezing out and devaluing the city’s green and open spaces. That “progress” presents paradoxes: “Hard assets” provide value temporarily, as they are amortized over their “useful lives”; green, or “soft,” assets are...

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July, 2020

29 July 2020

The Shape of Water, the Sight of Air, and Our Emergence from Covid
Lucie Lederhendler, Montreal

“Absences should not cause us to look elsewhere, but to look closer.” i I have been working on a mind map of emptiness, inspired by an old Wiccan meditation practice of gazing into a bowl of water and trying to see the middle of the water.ii In the middle of a...

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24 July 2020

The Place of Nature in Cities: Taking Inspiration from Singapore
Perrine Hamel, Singapore

What is the place of nature in cities? As the COVID-19 pandemic challenged societal norms, this question took a new turn for professionals and the public alike. Having recently moved to Singapore I’m sharing here a few thoughts as I’m learning how the city-state designs our relationship with nature. Singapore...

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20 July 2020

Crisis Reveals the Fault Lines of Gender in Environmentalism—How Do We Value Everyday Environments?
Nathalie Blanc, Paris Sandra Laugier, Paris Pascale Molinier, Paris Anne Querrien, Paris

These are times of crisis. One might even think that the COVID-19 crisis looks like a an alternative expression of crises that are already building, especially ecological ones. Harald Welzer in The Climate Wars shows that the feeling of crisis as well as fear is born in the face of...

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14 July 2020

Getting to Know You: The Under-Appreciated Art (Science) of Slow Research and Arts-Led Community Engagement
Paula Vandergert, London Susie Miller Oduniyi, London

Know the feeling when every project seems to require a huge amount of work in a short amount of time, for very little reward?? This seems to be the way of the world, whether you’re a practitioner, a researcher, or a community activist (or all three). I was prompted to...

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7 July 2020

My Past, Present, and Future: A Review of Ecological Mediations
Malerie Lovejoy, Oxford

The sciences meet the arts in the poetic renderings of Dr. Karan Aggarwala’s 2010 collection, Ecological Mediations(Xlibris). An optometrist by training, Dr. Aggarwala’s poetic view of the world reflects years of science met with a holistic ecological view of the mechanisms of our world. His inspiration draws clearly from personal...

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4 July 2020

How is COVID-19 affecting caring for and researching urban ecology?
Christina Breed, Pretoria Mark Champion, Wigan Joy Clancy, Twente Ian Douglas, Manchester Pete Frost, Cardiff Lincoln Garland, Bath David Haley, Ulverston Jane Houghton, York Yun Hye HWANG, Singapore Christian Isendahl, Gothenburg Philip James, Salford Sarah Lindley, Manchester Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka Nancy McIntyre, Lubbock Camilo Ordóñez, Melbourne Stephan Pauleit, Munich Joe Ravetz, Manchester Graham Rook, London Richard Salisbury, Manchester Alan Scott, London Richard Scott, Liverpool Monica Smith, Los Angeles Marcelo Lopes de Souza, Rio de Janeiro Miriam Stark, Honolulu Katalin Szlavecz, Baltimore Joanne Tippett, Manchester Piotr Tryjanowski, Poznan Tim Webb, London Mike Wells, Bath Phil Wheater, Manchester

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June, 2020

30 June 2020

Four Recommendations for Greener, Healthier Cities in the Post-Pandemic
Takemi Sugiyama, Melbourne Nyssa Hadgraft, Melbourne Manoj Chandrabose, Melbourne Jonathan Kingsley, Melbourne Niki Frantzeskaki, Melbourne Neville Owen, Melbourne

The extensive societal changes brought about by COVID-19 restrictions have given pause for thought on how we can create healthier and more equitable cities as we transition to a new normal. Public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have meant that opportunities to go out and interact with...

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24 June 2020

The View from Our Windows: Our Social Ecologies of Sheltering in Place
Lindsay Campbell, New York Erika Svendsen, New York Laura Landau, New York Michelle Johnson, New York City

How do you conduct social science research about people’s relationship to place and the environment during shelter-in-place? Many are turning to big data—scraping social media, tracking cell phone use and movements, and these aggregated, digital data streams are providing key insights about mobility, vulnerability, and spatial patterns of the virus...

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22 June 2020

Depuis Ma Fenêtre / From My Window
Maxime Zucca, Paris

Read this in English.J’ai fait les chroniques confinées quotidiennes pendant la quarantaine parisienne, et voici quelques observations récentes de notre maison à Pantin, dans la banlieue nord-est de Paris. Les Mésanges charbonnières qui ont élu domicile dans le trou du mur de mes voisins ont quitté leur nid ce matin. Des six jeunes, un a fini...

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15 June 2020

Treading the Thin Line Between Individual Freedom and Social Change—Experiences and Lessons to Address the Global Pandemic
Franz Gatzweiler, Xiamen Manasi Kumar, Nairobi

This essay is a conversation between an economist and a psychologist who live and work in China and Kenya and who exchange observations and are despairing about the impact of COVID-19 on their individual and social lives. Both come to a common point in terms of how much of this...

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11 June 2020

THIRD LANDSCAPE, Part 1: For the Design of an Amazon Forest City
Anna Dietzsch, São Paulo

1 Proposition The logic of urban growth in the Brazilian Amazon could be changed if we succeeded in bringing together two different systems of thought and practices: that of the natural and indigenous, to that of technology and capital production. Together, they could guarantee the continued economic and environmental resilience...

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8 June 2020

We Had Forgotten That We Are Ecological Beings
Patrick M. Lydon, Osaka

It’s afternoon in the middle of the work-week, and our local park is filled with people as if it were a holiday. There are little kids wildly chasing pigeons, and slightly bigger kids carefully stalking beady-eyed herons. There are teenagers racing on foot along the pond, and families sitting on...

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4 June 2020

Why Defunding the Police is an Issue of Democracy and Public Space
Laura Landau, New York

In the first five months of 2020, we have seen enough change, chaos, and uncertainty to last a lifetime. The year began with a world on quite literally on fire, most notably in Australia. The news cycle was quickly upended when the novel coronavirus swept the globe. Now, police violence...

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1 June 2020

What is the status and outlook for forested natural areas in your city? What actions are needed to help them thrive?
Novem Auyeung, New York Weston Brinkley, Seattle Sarah Charlop-Powers, New York Lisa Ciecko, Seattle James Duncan, Miami Matthew Freer, Chicago Keith Mars, Austin Joseph McCarthy, Chicago Karen Miller, Chicago Sophie Plitt, New York Clara Pregitzer, New York Lydia Scott, Chicago Michael Yadrick, Seattle

 

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May, 2020

29 May 2020

What Nature Is Telling Us…
Chantal van Ham, Brussels

Winter may seem a quiet season when it comes to bird sounds, but when we listen carefully we may hear the starling, one of the most cheerful whistlers in the world. Mozart had a starling for some time and enjoyed the delightful singing of his bird friend, who was able...

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25 May 2020

Lost and Found: A Companion Essay to the Art Works of Katrine Claassens
Nina-Marie Lister, Toronto

Before / Winter We are celebrating our 3-year friendship. Artist-climate activist and ecologist-designer. We met in Portland (a tip of two floral hats, and a gracious thank you to David and The Nature of Cities), a long way from Toronto and longer still from Cape Town. Our conversations have become...

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22 May 2020

If You’re Feeling Stressed in These Times of COVID-19, a Picture of Nature Can Be Restorative!
Meredith Dobbie, Victoria

More than half the world’s population now lives in cities, where nature, at the best of times, can seem hard to find and enjoy. The restorative value of nature has long been acknowledged but how can we access it in these strange times of social distancing and isolation as COVID-19...

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18 May 2020

Native Versus Non-native: Which Plants are Best for Biodiversity?
Lincoln Garland, Bath

When evaluating or seeking to enhance the biodiversity interest of an urban greenspace, a key attribute to consider is its floral composition. Floral composition can be native, non-native or a variable mix of the two. A species is defined as native to a given region or ecosystem if its presence...

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11 May 2020

The 6th Mass Extinction and Cities: A View from Vancouver
Christine Thuring, Vancouver

Behind the scenes of pandemic, and long before, we have been quietly witnessing the planetary-scale annihilation of life-supporting systems, the Earth’s “6th mass extinction”. Unlike the previous five, this is the first time a mass extinction is caused by a single species, in this case Homo sapiens. Along with the...

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