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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 29, 2017

    Enforcing Good Corporate Governance in Disaster Risk Management is a Must
    Fadi Hamdan, Beirut

    In a recent essay on TNOC regarding urban inequality, I spoke about the need to address inequality in exposure and vulnerability of urban populations to risk as a necessary condition to reducing urban inequality in general, including inequality in the...

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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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    January 2, 2017

    Resolving to Act After the 2016 U.S. Election and the United Nations Climate Conference
    Franco Montalto, Philadelphia and Venice
    Hugh Johnson, Philadelphia

    We attended the 22nd session of the United Nations Climate Conference (also called COP22) as “Observers” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. 2016 presidential election. Since 1995, the COP has served as the annual UN climate conference, providing 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 14, 2016

    History’s Peak: A Long View of the Nature of Cities
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    Author’s note: Through TNOC, we are encouraged to take a broad view of how nature can contribute to urban life. “Many voices, greener cities, better cities” is our mantra. Given the recent election of Mr. Donald Trump in the United...

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    December 7, 2016

    Climate Resilience Means Meaningfully Engaging Vulnerable Communities in Urban Planning Processes
    Zoé Hamstead, Buffalo
    Timon McPhearson, New York
    Adam Glenn, New York

    Impacts of extreme heat are uneven across geographies and communities. People who live in micro-urban heat islands and who lack the capacity to cope with extreme heat are disproportionately vulnerable to heat-related health risks. Collaborative climate action planning processes should...

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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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    September 18, 2016

    Three Key Ideas for Making Sense of Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Ecosystem Management
    Camilo Ordóñez, Toronto

    The sustainability of urban ecosystems depends on how we respond to future social, economic, and environmental challenges. From reducing the negative effects of highly engineered infrastructure on the ecological functioning of natural systems in cities, to achieving a more equal...

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    September 6, 2016

    Using Green Infrastructure to Tackle New Orleans’ Water Management Woes
    Josh Lewis, New Orleans

    Several months ago, the City of New Orleans was awarded $141 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (or HUD) to implement a wide-ranging green infrastructure project in the city’s Gentilly neighborhood. The main goal of...

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    July 17, 2016

    When Will We Start to Green the Roofs of Cities on a Massive Scale?
    Andrew Clements, Corinth

    The urban heat island is a well-known phenomenon that affects all cities around the world. It is the difference in temperature between a city and the surrounding suburban area. In countries such as Greece, the peak summertime temperature difference between...

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    July 10, 2016

    Restoration of Natural Ecosystems Makes Society Thrive
    Chantal van Ham, Brussels

    Our planet is at a crossroads. The ecosystems that underpin our economy, well-being, and survival are collapsing, species are becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate, and climate change continues unabated. In these times of change, nature-based solutions can offer a...

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    July 3, 2016

    Accessing Urban Environmental Education Opportunities Via Green Infrastructure
    Laura Cole, Columbia, MO
    Timon McPhearson, New York
    Cecilia Herzog, Rio de Janeiro
    Alex Russ, Ithaca

    The term “sustainable city” evokes images of green roofs, energy-efficient buildings, bioswales, bike lanes, urban forests, and other types of green infrastructure. These urban features clearly have value for ecosystem and human health, but they also have great educational potential....

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    June 28, 2016

    Despite Strategic Focus on Resilience, Nature-Based Solutions May Remain Under-Utilized in Indian Cities
    Sumetee Gajjar, Bangalore

    Cities are considered to be at the forefront of sustainability practices (Rosenzweig et al., 2010) aimed at addressing the impacts of global environmental change and socio-economic inequality. Recent developments in research on urban resilience promote ecological responses to climate change...

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    June 26, 2016

    Urban Ecology Reformation is Spreading Across the Globe
    Mark McDonnell, Melbourne
    Ian MacGregor-Fors, Xalapa
    Amy Hahs, Ballarat, Australia

    Our world is rapidly urbanizing at a rate that is unprecedented in the history of human kind. In 2014, the urban population reached nearly 4 billion people and it is predicted to gain an additional 2.5 billion people, most of...

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    June 19, 2016

    Climate Adaptation Plans Can Worsen Unequal Urban Vulnerability
    Linda Shi, Boston
    Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski, Barcelona

    The Rockefeller Foundation announced its third and final set of its “Resilient Cities”, rounding out a group of 100 cities that have demonstrated success in and commitment to enhancing resilience to climate change and other natural or man-made disasters, among...

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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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    June 7, 2016

    How Edible is My City?
    Naomi Tsur, Jerusalem

    I find myself choosing the title for this contribution at a time of personal, public, and professional dilemma. Strangely, the dilemma stems from the need to vindicate the question itself. While it is perfectly acceptable to ask how green, how...

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    June 5, 2016

    Climate Change Education
    Marianne Krasny, Ithaca
    Chew-Hung Chang, Singapore
    Marna Hauk, Portland
    Bryce Dubois, New York City

    In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the New York and New Jersey shoreline, with winds of 145 kilometers per hour and a storm surge 4.3 meters above mean low water. The superstorm flooded the city’s subways, destroyed thousands of...

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    May 22, 2016

    Market-Based Solutions Cannot Forge Transformative and Inclusive Urban Futures
    Richard Friend, Bangkok

    There is an advertisement that is played with great frequency on television in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Even without the language, the imagery is powerful and vivid; the meaning seems unambiguous. In the setting of a sparklingly clean, modern kitchen, a young...

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