Many voices. Greener cities. Better cities.

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

How can local governments retain and plant trees on private lands—a primer
Camilo Ordóñez,  Melbourne
Judy Bush,  Melbourne
Joe Hurley,  Melbourne
Marco Amati,  Melbourne
Stephen Livesley,  Melbourne

The future sustainability and liveability of cities in many bioregions will depend on retaining established trees, and on planting new trees, including on private lands. While retaining and planting trees in public space has become a familiar feature in many cities, the role of private land areas in a city’s ambitious plans to retain and increase the number of trees...

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ESSAY
CROSSTALK

On Paschal Mysteries, Primates and Conflagration: Notre Dame and the Ecological Disenfranchisement of Western Civilization
Keith Tidball,  Ithaca

I was vacationing in Florida, taking advantage of Spring Break, and Easter week, writing and reading and escaping the administrivia that accompanies the end of the spring semester when I saw a short report on the television behind the bar at the local pub. It was Notre Dame. It was burning. I never miss a chance to visit this cathedral...

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GLOBAL
ROUNDTABLE

What I mean when I talk about collaboration. What is a specific experience collaborating on a project with someone from a different discipline or “way of knowing”?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town |  Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Lindsay Campbell,  New York City |  Gillian Dick,  Glasgow |  Lonny Grafman,  Arcata |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Britt Gwinner,  Washington |  Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City |  Madhusudan Katti,  Raleigh |  Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn |  Brian McGrath,  New York City |  Tischa Muñoz-Erickson,  Río Piedras, Puerto Rico |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City |  Wilson Ramirez Hernandez,  Bogotá |  Bruce Roll,  Portland |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Tomomi Sudo,  Kyushu |  Dimitra Xidous,  Dublin |  3 Comment(s)
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REVIEWS
REACTIONS

Imagining Future Cities in an Age of Ecological Change
Ursula Heise, Los Angeles

  The guidelines of the prompt were very simple. Stories had to be set in a city in the distant future (i.e. in or near the year 2099), be 1,000 words or less, and have as significant plot points both nature and people. With this framework The Nature of Cities launched a short story contest in 2018, and by the time...

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RECENT ESSAYS...

Lakes as Urban Classrooms | Reflections on the case of Rachenahalli Lake, Bangalore (2015-2018)
Sumetee Gajjar, Bangalore

Civic engagement by the Jaimitra trust, and various civic organisations involved in conserving Rachenahalli Lake, was to create a space expected to help alleviate the stresses of living in an urban jungle, and break away from the infamous legacy tied to the images of highly polluted, frothing and aflame lakes of Bangalore.This article argues that using lakes as classrooms can...

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Reclamation and Mining: A Dangerous Fight for Sustainability in the Philippines
Ragene Palma, Manila

The Philippines has repeatedly taken blows causing environmental degradation. Last month, a dead whale was found with 40 kilograms of plastic in its stomach. In the same month, Metro Manila experienced a water crisis, affecting millions, and increasing risks in sanitation and waste management. In relation to this, protests have been held to oppose a planned dam that would affect environmentally...

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A Tribute to U.S. Congressman John Dingell – A Conservation Hero
John Hartig, Detroit

U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell, Jr. passed away on February 7th at the age of 92. He may be best known as the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives in history—serving 59 years and being reelected 29 times, an unparalleled leader of health care—presiding over the passage of Medicare, introducing a national health care bill at the start...

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Crows of Vancouver: The Middle Way Between Biophobia and Biophilia
Christine Thuring, Vancouver

One of Metro Vancouver’s greatest spectacles is its twice daily crow migration that occurs every dawn and dusk, 365 days a year. Whatever your view or choice of description—crow-maggedon, crow stampede, crow-pocalypse—it is an impressive sight. Clans (or murders) of crows from all sections of the coast trickle in, like tributaries in a watershed of families and groups all destined...

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RECENT ROUNDTABLES...

What did you read in 2018 that moved you?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona |  Marc Barra,  Paris |  Katie Coyne,  Austin |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro |  Artur Jerzy Filip,  Warsaw |  Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo |  Russell Galt,  Edinburgh |  Ursula Heise,  Los Angeles |  Toby Kent,  Melbourne |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Pascal Mittermaier,  Boston |  Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie |  Huda Shaka,  Dubai |  David Simon,  Gothenburg |  Jay Valgora,  New York |  Chantal van Ham,  Brussels | 
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Our goal is to empower cities to plan for a positive natural future. What is one specific action that should be taken to achieve this goal?
Graciela Arosemena,  Panama City |  Marcus Collier,  Dublin |  Marlies Craig,  Durban |  Samarth Das,  Mumbai |  Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires |  Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore |  Gary Grant,  London |  Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá |  Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut |  Scott Kellogg,  Albany |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne |  Emily Maxwell,  New York |  Colin Meurk,  Christchurch |  Ragene Palma,  Manila |  Jennifer Rae Pierce,  Vancouver |  Mary Rowe,  Toronto |  Luis Sandoval,  San José | 
7 Comment(s)
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As a landscape architect, how do you interpret the word “biodiversity”? How does this meaning find expression in your design?
Gloria Aponte,  Medellín |  AnaLuisa Artesi,  Buenos Aires |  Andrew Grant,  Bath |  Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore |  Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth |  Jason King,  Portland |  Victoria Marshall,  Singapore |  Daniel Phillips,  Detroit |  Mohan Rao,  Bangalore |  Sylvie Salles,  Paris |  Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth |  Diana Wiesner,  Bogota | 
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Artists in Conversation with Water in Cities
Carmen Bouyer,  Paris |  Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka |  Antonio José García Cano,  Murcia |  Katrine Claassens,  Montreal |  Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo |  Nazlı Gürlek,  Istanbul & Palo Alto |  Basia Irland,  Albuquerque |  Robin Lasser,  Oakland |  Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn |  Marguerite Perret,  Topeka |  Bonnie Sherk,  San Francisco |  Nadia Vadori-Gauthier Vadori-Gauthier,  Paris |  Aloïs Yang,  Prague | 
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MORE ESSAYS IN...

SCIENCE &
TOOLS

Finding My Sustainable Way
Miranda Gardiner,  Frankfurt

I’m lost. I started my career in sustainability for my friends and family, especially for their children. I had a desire to create a planet to enjoy, not one where they have problems breathing from air...

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PEOPLE &
COMMUNITITES

Morphology, Generosity, and the Nature of Cities
Stephanie Pincetl,  Los Angeles

A review of The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria. By Marwa Al-Sabouni. 2016. Thames & Hudson, New York. ISBN-10: 0500343179. 208 pages. Buy the book. I have been reading an extraordinary book by Marwa Al-Sabouni: The Battle for Home: the Vision of a Young Architect in Syria, who posits the critical importance of urbanism for the nature of...

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PLACE &
DESIGN

Low Hanging Fruit? In Complex Systems Maybe it’s Better to Aim for the Higher Fruit
Sarah Hinners,  Salt Lake City

Anyone who has participated in processes of planning, community development, advocacy and societal change more generally has probably engaged in an inevitable conversation about “low-hanging fruit”. (Perhaps there are similar idioms in languages other than English.) In my experience, it goes like this: there is a broader, inspiring conversation about the ultimate vision and goals that the group wishes to...

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ART &
AWARENESS

Abandoned and Auctioned, an Old House Finds a Future in Flowers
Rebecca Salminen Witt,  Detroit

A review of Flower House Detroit, which ran October 16-18, 2015 at 11751 Dequindre St, Hamtramck, Michigan. Once again, something amazing and ephemeral has appeared in Detroit. Flower House Detroit (which was actually located in the city of Hamtramck, 2 square miles enveloped by the city of Detroit) was, at its simplest, a gorgeous three-day floral installation in a two-story abandoned...

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