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  • April 19, 2017

    Watts Neighbors Build a Much-Needed Park in Los Angeles
    Tori Kjer, Los Angeles

    Within a 10-minute walk from just about any home in Watts, Los Angeles, you’ll find freeways, liquor stores, train tracks, and paved or weedy vacant lots. You’ll also find houses—lots of them, in this dense community of bright concrete streets...

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    April 16, 2017

    Challenges of Transitioning to Sustainable Urban Infrastructure in the Amazon Delta and Estuary
    Andressa Mansur, Cádiz
    Eduardo Brondizio, Bloomington

    As paradoxical as it may seem, the Amazon region is considered not only an “urban forest”, but also a region with one of the most rapid rates of urban population growth in Brazil. Within the region, the Amazon Delta and...

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    April 9, 2017

    Relocating Industry to Address Air Pollution in Beijing
    Pengfei XIE, Beijing

    Beijing, China’s capital, has been experiencing serious air pollution in recent years. Greenhouse gas emissions from industry, coal heating, and vehicles are believed to be three major causes of the city’s air pollution. Beginning over a decade ago, Beijing Municipal...

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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 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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    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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    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 22, 2016

    We Need to Think Trashy Thoughts
    Valerie Gwinner, Nairobi

    Out of sight, out of mind. That is how most of us want to think about the trash we generate. But as our cities become increasingly overwhelmed with the burden of refuse collection and disposal, we must refocus the way...

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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 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 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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    August 21, 2016

    Farmers, Chefs, and Lawyers: Building an Ecology of One
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul

    We live in an ecology of separation. Our human-built ecology is today so far separated from the earth’s ecology that it is impossible for sustainability—let alone environmental and social well-being—to be achieved within it. This is where we are as...

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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 30, 2016

    Cycling Politics, Identities, and Cultures
    Huda Shaka, Dubai

    The case for cycling in cities could not be more obvious: it is an emission-free, noise-free, healthy, cheap, accessible mode of transport. However, there is a lot more to promoting and planning for cycling, particularly in terms of understanding the...

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    June 14, 2016

    Intergenerational Urban Environmental Education
    Shih-Tsen Nike Liu, Taichung City
    Matthew Kaplan, University Park, PA

    In 1977, the Tbilisi intergovernmental conference on environmental education endorsed a set of guiding principles for environmental education. Some principles, including considering the environment in its totality, viewing environmental learning as a continuous lifelong process, and taking a historical perspective...

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    June 12, 2016

    Positive Youth Development in Urban Environmental Education
    Tania Schusler, Chicago
    Jacqueline Davis-Manigaulte, New York City
    Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, Gold Coast, AU

    Environmental education is often associated with environmental learning and pro-environmental behaviors. Some approaches to environmental education, however, also enable young people’s personal growth through the development of confidence, self-efficacy, and other assets that support an individual’s well-being. This chapter explores...

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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 24, 2016

    A Sustainable Future with Jobs and Social Harmony Starts with Urban Nature
    Buyana Kareem, Kampala

    According to the United Nations’ sustainable development framework, there are three dimensions of sustainability: (1) economic sustainability (jobs, prosperity, and wealth creation for all); (2) social sustainability (reduced vulnerability to poverty, inequality, and insecurity); and (3) environmental sustainability (production and...

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    May 22, 2016

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

    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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    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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