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Experiencing Nature

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  • Aakriti Grover
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  • March 8, 2017

    Exploring the Park Edge from a Worm’s Eye View
    Lindsay Campbell, New York City
    Novem Auyeung, New York City
    Michelle Johnson, New York City
    Erika Svendsen, New York City

    In the science of natural resource management and planning, we often think about land from a “bird’s-eye” view: parcels on a map that delineate parks, residential properties, and the city streets—for example. Understanding these sites from a “worm’s-eye” view presents...

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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 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 30, 2017

    Finding Nature in the Walls of a Power Station
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul

    A review of Why Not Ask Again, the 11th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai, China, on view through 12 March 2017. It’s not unusual by any means in the contemporary art world, but as an...

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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 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 19, 2016

    Urban Nature Forms Urban Character
    Leda Marritz, San Francisco

    “Urban nature” is, for many people, a contradiction in terms. Urban spaces are all about control, hard edges, and the fabrication of an environment. Nature is wild, opportunistic, and fragile. Where is the overlap? Yet for those of us who...

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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 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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    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 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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    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 12, 2016

    Making Connections and Feeding Relationships: Reflections from a Biocultural Axiom of Aloha
    Heather McMillen, Honolulu & New York City

    What if urban resource management and conservation reflected not just the politics and science of the day, but were rooted in creation stories, place-name stories, and personal stories about the relationships people have with place? This kind of thinking is...

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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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    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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    August 28, 2016

    Formes pour vivre: An Experiment in Ecological-Environmental-Scientific Poetics
    Karen Houle, Guelph

    In this short essay my aim is modest and two-fold. First, I would like to share with you a story about an experiment in ecological-environmental-scientific-poetics that worked out beautifully. It worked so well that I believe it is worth sharing. Second,...

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    August 7, 2016

    Elephants in the City
    Lynn Wilson, Vancouver

    I recently spent a month in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and have been reflecting on my experience ever since. Chiang Mai is a beautiful and vibrant city, rich in culture and history. The Buddhist religion permeates every aspect of the city...

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