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  • Aakriti Grover
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  • February 8, 2017

    Environmental Education Generates Urban Sustainability
    Alex Russ, Ithaca
    Marianne Krasny, Ithaca

    Can environmental education in cities foster urban sustainability? Yes—according to 90 scholars from six continents who contributed to a forthcoming book called Urban Environmental Education Review (Russ and Krasny, eds, 2017). Three themes—participation of urban residents in planning and environmental...

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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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    December 19, 2016

    Urban Nature Forms Urban Character
    Leda Marritz, San Francisco

    “Urban nature” is, for many people, a contradiction in terms. Urban spaces are all about control, hard edges, and the fabrication of an environment. Nature is wild, opportunistic, and fragile. Where is the overlap? Yet for those of us who...

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    November 28, 2016

    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...

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    November 16, 2016

    Social Media Sharks and Tell-Tale Vultures—Connecting to Nature in a Digital Age
    Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

    Nature is being lost all around us. It is alarming in its implications for both livability and sustainability. How can we better connect to nature in a distracted digital world? Although it may not be intuitive, these are also promising...

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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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    October 17, 2016

    Georgetown, Guyana—the Birding World’s Best Kept Secret?
    Melinda Janki, Georgetown, Guyana

    Georgetown, Guyana, is one of the world’s smallest capital cities, a mere six mi.2 according to its official boundaries. The Dutch laid out this city, perched on the northern Atlantic coast of South America, in the 18th century; the British...

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    October 12, 2016

    Making Connections and Feeding Relationships: Reflections from a Biocultural Axiom of Aloha
    Heather McMillen, Honolulu & New York City

    What if urban resource management and conservation reflected not just the politics and science of the day, but were rooted in creation stories, place-name stories, and personal stories about the relationships people have with place? This kind of thinking is...

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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 3, 2016

    Water as a Commons in Detroit, the Great Lakes, and Beyond
    Rebecca Salminen Witt, Detroit

    For a state surrounded by fresh water, Michigan, in the northern United States, certainly has had its share of water woes lately. Michigan’s water has always been our crowning glory; from our geography to our automobile license plates, the Great...

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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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    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 22, 2016

    What Should We Make of Jane Jacobs’ Critique of Parks in The Death and Life of Great American Cities?—TNOC Podcast Episode 8
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Also available at iTunes. Story Notes: Andy Hernandez walked into Washington Square Park on a sunny afternoon in 1981 with a cameraman, a boom box, and a mandate to make a music video for a medley of new songs by Kid Creole...

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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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    May 1, 2016

    Environmental Education and Advancing Urbanization
    David Maddox, New York City
    Harini Nagendra, Bangalore
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
    Alex Russ, Ithaca

    Cities—their design and how we live in them—will be key in our struggle for sustainability and, indeed, our future. As cities grow, as they are newly created, and as more and more people choose or require them as places to...

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