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Biophilia

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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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    January 18, 2017

    Can a City Be Sustainable?
    Paul Downton, Melbourne

    A review of Can a City Be Sustainable? By Gary Gardner, Tom Prugh, and Michael Renner. 2016. Island Press.  Buy the book. This compact volume is an ambitious portmanteau of information on sustainable urbanism that covers an impressive range of issues and amply...

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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 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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    October 20, 2016

    Viola Has an Acorn in Her Pocket
    Stephan Barthel, Stockholm

    I live in Stockholm, Sweden. I enjoy talking walks in the autumn, inhaling the scent from degrading debris, kicking around dead leaves, and gazing at the vivid colors. This fall, my baby daughter has often followed me on my walks....

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    September 11, 2016

    How Did Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon River Restoration Get Its Start? TNOC Podcast Episode 10
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Story Notes: A casual chat on a bus nearly thirty years ago led to the improbable removal of a major elevated highway and the restoration of a beloved river in the old city center of Seoul in South Korea. Dr....

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    May 29, 2016

    Scentimental Associations with Nature: Odor-Associative Learning and Biophilic Design
    Sam Gochman, New York City

    When you walk outside after a summer rainstorm, you know it when it hits you: that distinctly earthy, musty, yet crisp scent that flows with optimism and a desire to be in nature as you take a long, deep breath....

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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 15, 2016

    Ceci N’est Pas le Ciel: Biophilia, Design, and Illusions of Authenticity
    Paul Downton, Melbourne

    A recent post by an online design-oriented magazine devoted to things environmental declared that it had been a good week for the environment and proceeded to list a number of initiatives and new products that were almost exclusively to do...

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    May 8, 2016

    Designing for a Moving Target, Part II: Ensuring Human Health in a Changing Climate
    Chris Garvin, New York City

    Predicting the future is impossible, but climate science is beginning to paint a concerning image of a future troubled by climate change. My last feature post outlined the challenges climate change poses to our cities and aging infrastructure, but climate change also...

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    May 3, 2016

    Designing for a Moving Target, Part I: Adapting Our Buildings to a Changing Climate
    Chris Garvin, New York City
    Allison Bernett, New York City
    Chris Starkey, New York City

    High of 96°F today, much like the past week. Five days of relentless heat, and the humidity makes the city feel like a sauna that you can’t escape. The air buzzes with the sound of hundreds of window air conditioners...

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    February 16, 2016

    Setting Priorities with the Human Footprint, or Why I Am an Urban Conservationist
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    A frequent refrain in conservation is that we must prioritize. A cottage industry of conservation biologists, among whom I count myself, has risen to plan conservation and set priorities. And in nearly all of the hundreds or thousands of pages...

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    February 8, 2016

    Nature in Chicago: Surprisingly Wild, Surprisingly Human
    Chris Hensley, Fresno

    A review of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian. 2015. ISBN: 978-0-226-19289-5. University of Chicago Press. 377 pages. Buy the book. Normally, in these book reviews, I do my best to...

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    January 31, 2016

    The Value of Urban Trails
    Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

    Mindy Fulllilove, Columbia University psychiatrist and author, likens pedestrian pathways and urban trails to arteries in the circulatory system of a city: essential conditions for creating a healthy city. There is much to be said for neighborhoods that are physically...

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    January 25, 2016

    The Heart, Brain and Soul of City Parks
    Adrian Benepe, New York City

    A review of Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities, by Alexander Garvin. 2010. ISBN: 0393732797. New York, USA: W. W. Norton & Company. 224 pages. And City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts, by Catie Marron. 2013. ISBN: 0062231790. New...

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    January 24, 2016

    Values that Underlie the Landscape of Cities—Those that DO and those that SHOULD
    Gloria Aponte, Medellín

    Para leer la versión en español, haga clic aquí. Coexistence between nature and urban is not a matter of experts but a matter directly related to the “civic values.” —De las Rivas What is the shape and formal composition given by...

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    December 29, 2015

    Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2015
    David Maddox, New York City

    Today’s post is offered as a celebration of some of the content from 2015—a taste…a combination of TNOC writing from around the world that is a combination of diverse, widely read, a novel point of view, or somehow disruptive in an...

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    December 13, 2015

    Increasing the Native Plants of Colombian Cities
    Mateo Hernández, Bogotá

    I remember when I was a child growing up in Bogotá, the capital and largest city of Colombia, located in the cool, high-altitude environment of the Andean mountain range. Street and park trees were almost all of a few widely...

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    November 23, 2015

    Including Animals’ Perspectives Can Expand How We Define Cities
    Chris Hensley, Fresno

    A review of Urban Animals: Crowding in Zoocities, by Tora Holmberg. 2015. ISBN: 978-1-138-83288-6. Routledge, New York. 164 pages. Cities are largely viewed as cultural constructs, built by humans for humans. However, the reality is that animals, whether wild or...

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    November 10, 2015

    Reflections on “Laudato Si, On Care For Our Common Home”
    Mike Houck, Portland

    Pope Francis, City Planner After reading Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, On Care For Our Common Home, I was moved to select references I felt relevant to efforts in Portland to integrate nature into the city and weave nature into the...

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