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Ecosystem services

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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 5, 2017

    Five Reasons to Conserve Nature in Kampala
    Shuaib Lwasa, Kampala

    Many cities still have green areas in various forms, despite the fragmentation of their ecosystems. The call for integration of built form with nature is now more explicit and can be discerned from the Sustainable Development Goals of 2015 as...

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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 25, 2017

    Beyond the City
    Naomi Tsur, Jerusalem

    This concept paper was inspired by a series of round table discussions that were hosted by the Israel Urban Forum, together with the Bezalel Academy of Urban Design in Jerusalem. The participants at my round table, where the topic of...

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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...

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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 15, 2017

    Celebrating the First Ecology Parks in London
    David Goode, Bath

    In November 2016 there was a celebration in London: it had been 40 years since the idea of creating an Ecology Park in central London was first suggested. The event provided opportunities to share memories of those early days and...

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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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    December 11, 2016

    Our Garbage, Their Homes: Artificial Material as Nesting Material
    Josué Corrales, San José, Costa Rica
    Luis Sandoval, San José, Costa Rica

    Human activities have direct, negative consequences on almost all the world’s ecosystems. It is known that we are in a changing era in which uncontrolled human population growth and the associated increase of urban landscapes are leading to an alteration...

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    November 23, 2016

    Linking Urban Science and Society—Putting Good Old Wine in a New Bottle
    Harini Nagendra, Bangalore

    India is experiencing rapid change as a consequence of 21st century urbanization. Making steady inroads into fertile farmlands, lush forests, thriving wetlands, and productive grasslands, urban expansion is steadily converting biodiverse lands in shades of blues and greens into swathes...

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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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    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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    November 6, 2016

    Are You Connected?
    Erik Andersson, Stockholm

    I am an unreserved admirer of landscape scenery and mountain vistas, space, and the connection between site and surroundings has always interested me. When I was first in Japan, I spent a lot of time visiting and enjoying parks. Aesthetics...

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    October 16, 2016

    It Takes a Village to Green an Alley
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Story Notes: More and more cities throughout the world are turning to parks, gardens, green roofs, and other kinds of “green infrastructure” to soak up storm water and simultaneously create vibrant new patches of open space for their citizens. In this...

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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 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...

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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 4, 2016

    The Rivers Have Called Upon Us
    Niki Singleton, New York City

    As I was reading Musagetes’ Manifesto on Economic Dignity and getting all passionate about activism, the usual disturbing and stressful noise from the construction of a new ferry pier next to the construction site of another huge tower on the...

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