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  • February 27, 2017

    Poems Have the Power to Elucidate New Urban Futures
    Laura Booth, San Francisco

    A review of The Ecopoetry Anthology, edited by Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street. 2013. Trinity University Press, San Antonio, TX. 628 pages. Buy the book. Are cities beyond the help of poetry? Donald Trump and his administration seem to think...

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    January 30, 2017

    Finding Nature in the Walls of a Power Station
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul

    A review of Why Not Ask Again, the 11th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai, China, on view through 12 March 2017. It’s not unusual by any means in the contemporary art world, but as an...

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    December 28, 2016

    Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2016
    David Maddox, New York City

    Today’s post celebrates highlights from TNOC writing in 2016. These contributions, originating around the world, were widely read, offer novel points of view, are somehow disruptive in a useful way, or combine these characteristics. Certainly, all 550+ TNOC essays and roundtables are...

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    November 20, 2016

    A Barley Field Grows on Soviet Concrete
    Andrea Tamm and Ann Press, Tallinn

    In the summer of 2016, the largest Soviet-era residential area of Estonia was living a new life. The district Lasnamäe, including Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, was built in the late 70s, but it has fallen into stagnation. Little has changed...

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    November 14, 2016

    Tim Ingold’s “Sustainability of Everything”
    Chris Fremantle, Ayrshire, Scotland

    A review of Tim Ingold‘s lecture event “The Sustainability of Everything” at the Centre for Human Ecology, Pearce Institute, Glasgow, Scotland Sustainability is an overused word. It is much diminished by its occurrence in too many documents purporting to suggest...

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    September 12, 2016

    Talking the Walk—Narrating and Navigating the Life of the Los Angeles River
    Anne Trumble, Los Angeles

    A review of Rosten Woo’s “Bowtie Nature Walk,” available at the Bowtie Parcel on the east side of the Los Angeles River’s Glendale Narrows. A map and tour audio files are available here. A “nature walk” seems like an unlikely...

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    August 29, 2016

    Timely Tales of Urban Nature
    Gavin Van Horn, Chicago

    A review of City Wilds: Essays and Stories about Urban Nature by Terrell F. Dixon. 2002. The University of Georgia Press. ISBN: 978-0820323398. 336 pages. Buy the book. Writing this review came with a built-in challenge: Is an anthology, now almost...

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    August 28, 2016

    Formes pour vivre: An Experiment in Ecological-Environmental-Scientific Poetics
    Karen Houle, Guelph

    In this short essay my aim is modest and two-fold. First, I would like to share with you a story about an experiment in ecological-environmental-scientific-poetics that worked out beautifully. It worked so well that I believe it is worth sharing. Second,...

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    August 25, 2016

    ONE LANDSCAPE: A MINI Treatise on the Suburban MEGA City and Tactics to Design Within It
    Kevin Sloan, Dallas-Fort Worth

    Different schools of professional and academic thought have recently emerged to address the unprecedented problems of the sprawling megacity. One particular group believes that solutions will emerge from the cultivation of data and vast amounts of statistical research. This activity,...

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    August 7, 2016

    Elephants in the City
    Lynn Wilson, Vancouver

    I recently spent a month in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and have been reflecting on my experience ever since. Chiang Mai is a beautiful and vibrant city, rich in culture and history. The Buddhist religion permeates every aspect of the city...

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    August 1, 2016

    Lessons from Beasts, Birds, and Other Inhabitants of the Urban Jungle
    Chris Hensley, Fresno

    A review of The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. 2013. ISBN: 978-0316178525. Little, Brown and Company. 338 pages. Buy the book. Bestiaries—elaborate and fantastical combinations of medieval scientific knowledge and folklore—were meant to describe the...

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    July 27, 2016

    Skin the City
    Paula Segal, Brooklyn
    Daniel Eizirik, Porto Allegre

    The skin of the city shifts. Waves of residents come and go; meanings vanish. The longer I live here, the more I feel like I am a creature of many phantom limbs. Hungry, I walk to Jimmy’s hoping for fish...

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    July 18, 2016

    The High Line. Foreseen. Unforeseen.
    Adrian Benepe, New York City

    A review of The High Line. By James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofido + Renfro. 2015. ISBN: 9780714871004. Phaidon Press. 452 pages. Buy the book. New York City’s High Line Park, once a rusting relic of abandoned freight rail...

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    June 23, 2016

    Anatomy of a Mural: A Seventy Foot Heron Transforms a Lifeless Wall
    Mike Houck, Portland

    Recently, The Nature of Cities launched Up Against the Wall: A Gallery of Nature-Themed Graffiti and Street Art, soliciting graffiti and murals celebrating nature in the city. I submitted images of what I believe to be the largest hand-painted wall...

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    June 16, 2016

    Leveraging Environmental Arts for Education and Sustainable Futures
    Hilary Inwood, Toronto
    Joe Heimlich, Columbus
    Kumara Ward, Sydney
    Jennifer Adams, New York City

    Cities around the world are using the arts to enhance urban aesthetic experiences and motivate innovative environmental activism. Manifesting as flash mobs, immersive street theatre, bike parades, pop-up installations, zero-carbon concerts, and participatory storytelling, artists are using their creativity and...

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    May 23, 2016

    Poetry Produces the Novel Language of Future Cities
    Laura Booth, San Francisco

    A review of Urban Nature: Poems About Wildlife in the City. 2000. Edited by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis. ISBN: 1571314105. 265 pages. Buy the book. How can poems advance our understanding of nature in cities? If cities themselves are...

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    May 17, 2016

    Biophilic Urban Acupuncture: The Importance of Biophilia in Urban Places
    Jonce Walker, New York City

    As our cities expand and densify simultaneously, there is a need to design places to connect people to nature. If we are not careful, our commute and daily experience within the city will be nothing more than glass, steel, and...

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    March 24, 2016

    How Perspectives of Field Arborists and Tree Climbers are Useful for Understanding and Managing Urban Forests
    Adrina Bardekjian, Montreal and Toronto

    When there is a storm, trees can cause damage to homes, cars, and people—ultimately, the tree itself is a casualty of a storm. At these moments, generally, the public perceives arborists as the heroes of storms—arborists remove the “problem” from...

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    March 17, 2016

    What Can We Learn from Chinese Classical Gardens?
    David Goode, Bath

    Step off the street in Suzhou through a small door and you leave behind the bustling cacophony of a modern Chinese city to enter a different world of tranquility and calm, where natural features create a sense of being surrounded...

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    March 14, 2016

    Knowing vs. Doing: Propelling Design with Ecology
    Anne Trumble, Los Angeles

    A review of Projective Ecologies, edited by Chris Reed and Nina-Marie Lister. 2014. ISBN: 1940291127. ACTAR, Harvard Graduate School of Design. 314 pages. Buy the book. Several months ago, I reviewed Landscape Imagination, a collection of essays by James Corner, a...

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