Meet the Author:
Sheila Foster,  Washington, DC

Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
Sheila Foster

Sheila Foster

Sheila R. Foster is a Professor of Law and Public Policy (joint appointment with McCourt School of Public Policy) at Georgetown University. She joined Georgetown after many years at Fordham University where she was University Professor and Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law. At Fordham, she also was the Co-Director of the Fordham Urban Law Center and founder of the university-wide Fordham Urban Consortium. She served as Associate Dean and then Vice Dean of Fordham Law School from 2008-2014. Prior to joining Fordham, she was a Professor of Law at the Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. Professor Foster is the author of numerous books, book chapters, and law journal articles on property, land use, environmental law, and antidiscrimination law. Much of her early work was dedicated to exploring the intersection of civil rights and environmental law, in a field called “environmental justice.” She is the coauthor (with Luke Cole) of one of the field’s leading texts, From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement (N.Y.U. Press), and coeditor of the 2nd edition of The Law of Environmental Justice (with Michael Gerrard 2008). Over the last two decades, she has worked with state, federal and local agencies on environmental policy. Professor Foster serves on the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) investigating the relationship between climate change and inequality at the neighborhood level. Her most recent work explores the emerging concept of the “urban commons” and related property, land use and urban governance issues at the local and metropolitan level. Here work in this area includes The City as a Commons (Yale Journal of Law and Policy 2016) (with Christian Iaione) and Collective Action and the Urban Commons (Notre Dame Law Review 2011), which was voted one of the 5 best (out of 100) articles on land use published that year. Professor Foster is also the coauthor (with David Oppenheimer and Sora Han) of a groundbreaking casebook, Comparative Equality and Antidiscrimination Law: Cases, Codes, Constitutions and Commentary (Foundation Press). This casebook examines the development of laws around the world grappling with social inequality based on human differences. She has taught and conducted research internationally in Africa, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Austria, Colombia, Panama, and Cuba. Professor Foster received her B.A. in English, with honors, from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her J.D. in from Berkeley Law at the University of California. After law school, she was an attorney with Morrison and Foerster in San Francisco.

September, 2021

10 September 2021

Two Reflections: Thinking About Blackness, Ecology, and Architecture in the United States
Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Brian McGrath, New York City

Read Brian McGrath’s reflection. Does architecture have a “color”? by Steward Pickett Does architecture have a “color”? In the United States, the answer seems to be yes. Architecture in the U.S. has been practiced largely by and for white people. Indeed, Glenn Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art...

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7 September 2021

How can nature-based solutions (NBS) provide the basis for a nature-based economy?
Guilherme Castagna, São Paulo Emre Eren, London Susanne Formanek, Wien Rhoda Gwayinga, Kampala Simon Gresset, Freiburg Eduardo Guerrero, Bogotá Mamuka Gvilava, Tbilisi Cecilia Herzog, Rio de Janeiro Antonia Lorenzo, Málaga David Maddox, New York Rupesh Madlani, London Taícia H. N. Marques, Lima Ana Mitić-Radulović, Belgrade Hans Müller, Kornwestheim Isaac Mugumbule, Kampala David Simon, London Audrey Timm, Chilton Ellie Tonks, Amsterdam Naomi Tsur, Jerusalem Domenico Vito, Milan

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August, 2021

31 August 2021

Repenser la protection de la nature dans le contexte des Objectifs du Développement Durable
Rethinking Nature Protection in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals

Stéphanie Lux, Paris Elisabeth Chouraki, Paris Ingrid Coetzee, Cape Town

Read this in English. Repenser la protection de la nature dans le contexte des Objectifs du Développement Durable en articulant action locale et régionale avec les politiques nationales et internationales Un constat sans appel Sur la base des listes rouges produites par l’UICN, le Chief scientist de l’IUCN, Thomas Brooks...

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30 August 2021

Nature Fix for Healthy Cities: What Planners and Designers Need to Know for Planning Urban Nature with Health-benefits in Mind
Takemi Sugiyama, Melbourne Farahnaz Sharifi, Melbourne Zirui Yao, Canberra Prabhasri Herath, Canberra Niki Frantzeskaki, Melbourne

What the pandemic we live in revealed is something we knew, experienced, but had not well-evidenced at scale: nature in cities is fundamental for maintaining and regaining our physical and mental health. There is a broad literature on the benefits of green space for promoting physical activity and health, reducing...

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25 August 2021

Innovations from the Post-COVID-19 City CoLab Challenge
Amal al Balushi, Aachen Georgia Bertagna, Parma Thomas Beery, Kristianstad Charlotte Britton, Munich Jenna Cardinale, New York Davide Geneletti, Trento Eva Hoppmanns, Aachen Dana Johnston, Munich Vanessa Kucharski, Aachen Audrey Leung, Munich Mareeya Mitmana, Munich Siân Moxon, London Lea Schwab, Aachen Colm O’Driscoll, Dublin Anneliese Zausner-Mannes, New York

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23 August 2021

Bat Reputation
Gitty Korsuize, Utrecht

Bats — “they live in the dark, they eat your blood, they fly in your hair, and they spread diseases like Ebola”. At least that is what stereotypes have painted them to be Most people do not know much about bats. Since COVID-19, the reputation of bats is even worse...

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17 August 2021

Auto-rewilding Birdlife Along the Bath River Line
Lincoln Garland, Bath

The River Avon Most visitors to the city of Bath in the West of England come to enjoy its grandiose Georgian crescents, terraces, and squares, and Roman-built baths, which have been beautifully crafted from the locally mined honey-colored oölitic limestone. Indeed, the city’s magnificent architecture and Roman remains have been...

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3 August 2021

Soul and the City: Re-Establishing our Relational Capacity Beyond COVID-19
Martina Artmann, Dresden Kathi Artmann, Nuremberg

Aren’t we living in crazy times? It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic may never end. Home office, covering our faces with masks and social distancing have suddenly become part of our daily routine. In the beginning of the first lockdown, the world outside seemed so near due to the various...

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July, 2021

19 July 2021

If Nature is the Answer to Climate Change, What are the Questions?
Rob Pirani, New York

Recently, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of “Restore Mother Nature”, an aggressive program for habitat restoration and flood reduction. “We must begin restoring the natural balance we disrupted,” said the Governor. “Mother Nature had a plan, she had resiliency built in. We are the ones who...

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June, 2021

25 June 2021

Greening the Recovery? A Proposal for Forwarding Urban Transitions as a Recovery Agenda Towards Resilience
Niki Frantzeskaki, Melbourne

As we are living in the second year of the pandemic. We are learning to adapt to new urban living, new ways of working—mostly remotely and at times in a blended way—and most of all, learn to reconnect to our urban places and spaces. Many local governments have put in...

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15 June 2021

Embracing Unexpected Six-Legged Commuters
Timothy Bonebrake, Hong Kong

 Every day I make the commute between my home in a rural-style village on an “outlying island” (Lamma Island) to the middle of the city in Hong Kong. Altogether the journey is about one hour one way and involves walking, a ferry, and a subway/MTR ride. A variety of things...

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7 June 2021

Beyond equity: What does an anti-racist urban ecology look like?
Julian Agyeman, Medford Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski, Barcelona Anna Livia Brand, Berkeley Jean-Marie Cishahayo, Ottawa CJ Goulding, Teaneck Morgan Grove, Baltimore Derek Hyra, Washington Laura Landau, New York María Mejía, Bogotá Polly Moseley, Liverpool Amanda Phillips de Lucas, Baltimore Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Charles Prempeh, Accra Malini Ranganathan, Washington Baixo Ribeiro, São Paulo Amrita Sen, Bangalore Suné Stassen, Cape Town Abdallah Tawfic, Cairo Cindy Thomashow, Seattle Hita Unnikrishnan, Sheffield Ebony Walden, Richmond Ibrahim Wallee, Accra Diana Wiesner, Bogota

 

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May, 2021

31 May 2021

From Design to City Life: What It Takes to Bring Nature-based Solutions to Urban Reality
Niki Frantzeskaki, Melbourne Paula Vandergert, London Stuart Connop, London Karlijn Schipper, Rotterdam Iwona Zwierzchowska, Poznań Marcus Collier, Dublin Lodder Marleen, Rotterdam

Cities around the globe are seeing increased civic interest and appreciation of nature in the city. Pictures with citizens thronging to urban parks and urban waterfronts adhering to social distancing have flooded social media and traditional media alike in the past months. This appreciation and recognition of how important it...

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22 May 2021

Financer des villes plus vertes pour l’avenir que nous voulons
Financing Greener Cities for the Future We Want

Ingrid Coetzee, Cape Town Elisabeth Chouraki, Paris

(Read this in English.) Pour des infrastructures respectueuses de la nature Le monde s’urbanise rapidement, exposant nos ressources naturelles à une pression croissante pour répondre aux demandes en infrastructures, terres, eau, nourriture et autres besoins vitaux. Selon le département des affaires économiques et sociales des Nations unies (UN DESA), 55...

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18 May 2021

Mobilising Our Union for Ecological Urbanism
Russell Galt, Edinburgh

Things fall apart Standing at a crossroads, looking into the eye of a perfect storm, these are anxious days for humanity. The full social, humanitarian and economic fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic may have barely come to pass but it already makes the 2008-09 global financial crisis look like child’s...

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12 May 2021

Co-Creating Sustainability: Integration of Local Ecological Knowledge in Art Works
Baiba Pruse, Venice Marthe Derkzen, Arnhem/Nijmegen Eva Bubla, Budapest Iván Greco, Buenos Aires Ezequiel Filgueira Risso, Buenos Aires Lindsay Campbell, New York Jaime Jackson, Birmingham/West Midlands Julia Prakofjewa, Venice Rick Hall, Nottingham Lara Eva Bustamante, Buenos Aires Colin Meurk, Christchurch Nataliya Stryamets, Venice Andra Simanova, Riga Anna Varga, Pécs Cristina Flora, Venice

Art and activism have a great potential to communicate social-ecological messages, and to engage the public in exploring local ecological knowledge. Where and how local ecological knowledge (LEK) appear in urban environments through artwork? We are in a great position to be able to share the reflections of one of...

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5 May 2021

Tree Inequality Is Worse in the Suburbs
Rob McDonald, Washington, DC

Urban trees and their canopy cover provide many benefits for urban residents, reducing air pollutant concentrations, mitigating stormwater runoff, maintaining water quality, encouraging physical recreation, and improving mental health. But just as urban ecologists are quantifying more and more benefits of urban trees for health, other research increasingly shows that...

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April, 2021

30 April 2021

What actions are successful in activating cities to implement urban biodiversity conservation policies, campaigns, and projects?
Eric Butler, Portland Georgina Cullman, New York Eduardo Guerrero, Bogotá Hayato Hasegawa, Fukuoka Clara Holmes, New York Mark Hostetler, Gainesville Keitaro Ito, Fukutsu City Mahito Kamada, Tokushima Marit Larson, New York Gilles Lecuir, Paris Kevin Lunzalu, Nairobi Colin Meurk, Christchurch Matthew Morrow, New York Siobhán McQuaid, Dublin Tomomi Sudo, Fukuoka Pamela Zevit, Surrey

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29 April 2021

Documenting the Pandemic Year: Reflecting Backward, Looking Forward
Lindsay Campbell, New York Michelle Johnson, New York City Sophie Plitt, New York Laura Landau, New York Erika Svendsen, New York

This essay is part four 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, public green spaces, and environmental stewardship during COVID-19. Read the essays from spring, summer, and fall here....

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21 April 2021

A Walk in the Park? Re-imagining Urban Environmental Conservation during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Kaja Aagaard, Middlebury Mika Mei Jia Tan, Los Baños Jennifer Rae Pierce, Vancouver

The COVID-19 pandemic has established a moment of immense global loss. In the midst of this public health crisis, our concerns for our families and communities necessarily take priority. Yet, addressing these concerns demands a look towards the future: to the reevaluation of global systems that may produce or obstruct...

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