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  • March 15, 2017

    The Barrancas of Cuernavaca: Rescuing Lost Landscapes Hidden by Garbage
    Janice Astbury, London

    The first five people we spoke to in the San Anton neighborhood of the Mexican city of Cuernavaca didn’t know the location of the Salto Chico (small waterfall). The neighborhood’s larger waterfall, referred to as the Salto Grande or Salto...

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    March 13, 2017

    The Devil is in the Details: Wild Design, from an Ecological Point of View
    Mark Hostetler, Gainesville

    A review of Wild by Design: Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing Landscapes, by Margie Ruddick. 2016. ISBN: 9781610915991. Island Press, Washington, DC. 264 pages. Buy the book. This book, Wild by Design, is written from the perspective of a landscape architect, Margie...

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    March 1, 2017

    The Nature of Green
    Gary Grant, London

    I was looking at an infographic on Twitter recently. It was in the form of a wheel of words, listing dozens of objectives and issues relating to urban design. Hoping that soil, water, vegetation, habitat, or biodiversity would be featured,...

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    February 19, 2017

    Southeast Asia’s Urban Future: A Snapshot of Kuala Lumpur
    Chris Ives, Nottingham
    Alex Lechner, Kuala Lumpur

    We found ourselves scrambling along the slippery, vine-entangled slope, ducking under branches and contorting ourselves around fallen trees. The air was hot and thick with humidity, causing us to sweat after just a few minutes on the trail. As we...

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    February 15, 2017

    Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Evolution in the Streets
    Marthe Derkzen, Amsterdam

    I read this article by Menno Schilthuizen, a Dutch evolutionary biologist and ecologist, about the evolution of animal and plant species taking place in cities. In cities, evolution is propelled by two forces: the known laws of ecology AND the...

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    February 12, 2017

    Of Wilderness, Wild-ness, and Wild Things
    Nina-Marie Lister, Toronto

    And I think in this empty world there was room for me and a mountain lion. And I think in the world beyond, how easily we might spare a million or two humans And never miss them. Yet what a...

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    February 1, 2017

    How to Make Urban Green Verdant and Sustainable: Designing “Wild” Swedish Lawns
    Maria E Ignatieva, Uppsala

    Sweden, especially its capital, Stockholm, is a very famous “green” city. Indeed, Stockholm’s green infrastructure wedges system is one of the most recognized and cited around the world because of the significant ecosystem services that it provides and because it...

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    January 11, 2017

    Building for Birds: An Online Tool to Evaluate How Different Development Designs Impact Forest Bird Habitat
    Mark Hostetler, Gainesville
    Jan-Michael Archer, Gainesville

    Often, city forest fragments and tree canopies are overlooked by city planners and developers as important bird habitat. More often than not, people only regard large patches as beneficial. The message from conservationists is that we want to avoid fragmentation...

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    January 5, 2017

    How a Little Endangered Fox Found Sanctuary in a California Oil Town
    Madhusudan Katti, Raleigh

    If I were to ask you where I could find a healthy population of the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox, you might be forgiven for not immediately saying, “Why, Bakersfield, of course!” Bakersfield? The Oil Capital of California? Yes, the very...

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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 12, 2016

    Full Function May Remain Out of Reach, But Urban Stream Restoration Can Empower Communities
    Marit Larson, New York City

    A review of Restoring Neighborhood Streams: Planning, Design, and Construction. By Ann L. Riley. 2016.  Island Press, Washington, D.C. ISBN: 9781610917391. 288 pages. Buy the book. The basic challenge of restoring urban streams that support diverse environmental, social, and ecological functions is that...

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    November 30, 2016

    From Biomimicry to Ecomimicry: Reconnecting Cities—and Ourselves—to Earth’s Balances
    Olivier Scheffer, Paris

    One reason we should care about biodiversity is that it might be the solution to our environmental impact: after 3.8 billion years on planet Earth, Nature certainly has some sustainability and resilience lessons to teach us—that is, before it gets...

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    November 27, 2016

    Why Should an Urbanist Care About Biodiversity?
    Olivier Scheffer, Paris

    Let’s face the facts. Despite laudable international initiatives for climate change mitigation and environmental preservation [i], major changes in Earth’s balances have been set in motion and we’re starting to experience their consequences: heat records; increased droughts; increased wildfire intensity and...

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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 9, 2016

    Wouldn’t it be Better if Ecologists and Planners Talked to Each Other More?
    Diane Pataki, Salt Lake City
    Sarah Hinners, Salt Lake City
    Robin Rothfeder, Salt Lake City

    If planners and ecologists found more ways to work together, would cities look different? Would they be better? The idea of planning and designing urban spaces from an ecological perspective goes back to the very origins of the disciplines of ecology,...

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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 5, 2016

    If You Build It, They Will Come: Modifying Coastal Structures for Habitat Enhancement
    Nhung Nguyen, Singapore
    Karenne Tun, Singapore
    Lena Chan, Singapore

    Since the founding of modern Singapore in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles, the small island nation has developed from a sleepy fishing village into a modern day metropolis, and has lived up to the adage, “if you build it, they...

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    September 26, 2016

    Urban Wildlife—Celebrating the Commonplace
    Mike Houck, Portland

    A review of Field Guide to Urban Wildlife: Common Animals of Cities & Suburbs How They Adapt & Thrive by Julie Feinstein. 2011. Stackpole Books. ISBN978-0-8117-0585-1. 453 pages. Buy the book. While it may have set a Guiness record for longest...

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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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