Meet the Author:
Timon McPhearson,  New York

Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.
Timon McPhearson

Timon McPhearson

Dr. Timon McPhearson works with designers, planners, and local government to foster sustainable, resilient and just cities. He is Associate Professor of Urban Ecology and Director of the Urban Systems Lab at The New School and Research Fellow at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Stockholm Resilience Centre.

November, 2023

26 November 2023

Plaidoyer for Transdisciplinarity, Local Agency, and Creative Co-Creation in Horizon Europe and the New European Bauhaus
Mariana Dias Baptista, Sheffield Nathalie Blanc, Paris Carmen Bouyer, Paris Paul Currie, Cape Town Małgorzata Ćwikła, Freiburg Marta Delas, Madrid Marthe Derkzen, Arnhem/Nijmegen Tom Grey, Dublin Gitty Korsuize, Utrecht Patrick M. Lydon, Daejeon David Maddox, New York Geovana Mercado, Malmö Pascal Moret, Paris Peter Morgan-Wells, Devon Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Daniela Rizzi, Freiburg Mary Rowe, Toronto Sean Southey, New York Chantal van Ham, Brussels Tom Wild, Sheffield Dimitra Xidous, Dublin

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20 November 2023

An aerial view of a marshy area
A Disappearing Lake in Three Parts
Wendy Wischer, Salt Lake City

Part I: Falling in Love Part II: A Broken Heart Part III: Finding Joy in the Smallest of Things This is a collection of stories about a disappearing lake. The Great Salt Lake. It is told in three parts through poems, prose, and multi-media artwork. These first excerpts are from...

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15 November 2023

A green land with a body of water
Nature-based Solutions Are Gaining Momentum in Brazilian Cities
Cecilia Herzog, Rio de Janeiro

After more than 15 years of teaching, researching, consulting, and advocating for nature-based solutions (NBS) in Brazil, it’s really fulfilling to see NbS becoming nationally recognized and adopted in several Brazilian cities. In this essay, I present my view of the process that led to this moment. It has had...

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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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