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  • January 18, 2017

    Linear Parks: The Importance of a Balanced, Cross-Disciplinary Design
    Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires
    Claudia Zuleyka Vidal, Cali
    Florencia Gustelar, Buenos Aires
    Romina Lopez, Buenos Aires

    In a previous contribution to The Nature of Cities (Faggi & Vidal 2016), we wrote about linear parks (LPs) as an interesting green space typology and discussed some strengths and threats of these multifunctional areas in Latin America. Other contributions...

    2 Comment(s)
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    September 28, 2016

    Designing Ecologically Sensitive Green Infrastructure that Serves People and Nature
    Christine Thuring, Sheffield

    “Cities separate us from nature, do they not?” —Light, 2003 No, they don’t; or at least they don’t have to. The good news: green infrastructure is expanding and gradually softening a proportion of our planet’s increasingly urban surface. It appears...

    7 Comment(s)
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    July 12, 2016

    The Forgotten Rurality: The Case for Participatory Management in Bogotá and its Surrounding Countryside
    Diana Wiesner, Bogota

    En español aquí. We often think of the city and the country as separate, and that development planning and urban sustainability ends at the city boundary. But this isn’t true—in a planning and sustainability sense, the city and the surrounding rural...

    43 Comment(s)
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    April 18, 2016

    Justice and Geometry in the Form of Linear Parks
    David Maddox, New York City

    Here at The Nature of Cities, we write a great deal about the benefits of “green” cities, widely construed. In particular, we write that green infrastructure and biodiversity in cities have broad benefits for people, nature, and, indeed, for the...

    6 Comment(s)
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    April 14, 2016

    Linear Parks: Meeting People’s Everyday Needs for Secure Recreation, Commuting, and Access to Nature
    Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires
    Claudia Zuleyka Vidal, Cali

    In previous contributions to The Nature of Cities (for example, Das (2015); Tsur (2014)), some authors have reported successful experiences or projects of linear open spaces providing green access to more people across neighborhoods or adapting old infrastructure to modern...

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    March 31, 2016

    A Threatened Old Forest Tells a Story Relevant to Every Urban Forest
    Myla Aronson, New Brunswick

    As I walk through the William L. Hutcheson Memorial Forest in Somerset, New Jersey, on this unseasonably warm March morning, I admire the 250 year-old oaks, towering above, reaching to the sky. Although small (26 hectares), this forest is one...

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    March 20, 2016

    The Royal Bats of Kano City
    Aliyu Barau, Kano

    Out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 11 is a standalone goal for urban sustainability, with defined targets and indicators. SDG 11 can help urban policy and decision-makers and local people to think about and work towards urban...

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    March 6, 2016

    Why Conserve Small Forest Fragments and Individual Trees in Urban Areas?
    Mark Hostetler, Gainesville

    For many developers and city planners, it takes time and money to plan around trees and small forest fragments. Often, the message from conservationists is that we want to avoid fragmentation and to conserve large forested areas. While this goal...

    6 Comment(s)
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    March 3, 2016

    Native Versus Alien Species in Fragmented Urban Natural Habitats: Who’s Winning?
    Luis Sandoval, San José, Costa Rica

    According to the United Nations, the second biggest problem for humanity after global warming is disorganized urbanization—urbanization without planning and integration of natural environments. Since 2008, for the first time in history, the majority of people live in urban areas,...

    4 Comment(s)
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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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    September 2, 2015

    A New Urban Paradigm: Our Way of Looking at Cities Needs to Be Turned Inside-Out
    Naomi Tsur, Jerusalem

    According to the old urban paradigm, cities are crime-ridden, car-infested, unhealthy and over-crowded centers of humanity. Could we conceivably cherish nature, respect others, grow our own food, earn a reasonable living, and enjoy a healthy and equitable urban environment? Reversal...

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    August 12, 2015

    Let Streams of Linear Open Spaces Flow Across Urban Landscapes
    PK Das, Mumbai

    Can we re-envision our cities with a stream of linear open spaces, defining a new geography of cities? Can we break away from large, monolithic spaces and geometric structures into fluid open spaces, meandering, modulating and negotiating varying city terrains, as...

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    March 29, 2015

    Green Transport Routes Are Social-Cultural-Ecological Corridors
    Janice Astbury, London

    Since moving from Edinburgh to London, I have greatly missed my bicycle commute along the former’s Union Canal. There are similar routes in London, but they’re unfortunately not on my way to work. I have always sought out such corridors...

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    January 9, 2015

    Practical Advice for the Design of Greenways
    Ana Faggi, Buenos Aires

    A review of Designing Greenways: Sustainable Landscapes for Nature and People (Second Edition), edited by Paul Cawood Hellmund and Daniel Somers Smith. 2006. ISBN 1-55963-325-5. Island Press, Washington. 270 pages.  Greenways (GW)—from  wide wild areas to narrow urban trails—are linear bands of land...

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    January 3, 2015

    Micro_Urban: The Ecological and Social Potential of Small-Scale Urban Spaces
    Timon McPhearson, New York
    Victoria Marshall, Singapore

    Small-scale urban spaces can be rich in biodiversity, contribute important ecological benefits for human mental and physical health (McPhearson et al., 2013), and overall help to create more livable cities. Micro_urban spaces are the sandwich spaces between buildings, rooftops, walls, curbs,...

    6 Comment(s)
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    November 9, 2014

    The Emerald Necklace: Metropolitan Greenspace Planning in Los Angeles and Beyond
    Will Allen, Chapel Hill
    Claire Robinson, Los Angeles
    Mike Houck, Portland

    Introduction Mike Houck Urban Greenspaces Institute In winter 2009, Houston Wilderness hosted an inaugural meeting of what would become the Metropolitan Greenspace Alliance.  Today the Alliance is a national coalition of coalitions working in ecologically, culturally, and economically diverse communities...

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    August 6, 2014

    The Need to Develop Flora and Fauna Biometric Tools for Urban Planning
    Mark Hostetler, Gainesville

    Collectively, researchers over the past 60 years (or more) have collected a good deal of data on urban biodiversity and impacts on urban plants and animals. From urban gradient studies to patch dynamic studies, we have a plethora of empirical...

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