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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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    March 27, 2017

    How Large Parks Complete Cities
    Lynn Wilson, Vancouver

    A review of Large Parks, edited by Julia Czerniak and George Hargreaves. 2007. ISBN 1-56898-624-6. Princeton Architectural Press, New York. 255 pages. Buy the book. “Large parks are priceless, and those cities that do not have an effectively designed one will...

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    March 22, 2017

    Managing Informal Markets and Limiting Citizen Marginalization
    Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

    Street vendors. Market peddlers. Musicians walking through subway cars. Parking spot guards and car watchers. Van drivers with handmade signs competing for passengers. Hawkers who sell stuff out of the trunks of their cars, out of baby carriages, and from...

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    March 19, 2017

    Shaped by Urban History—Reflections on Bangkok
    Richard Friend, York

    It takes distance to gain a sense of perspective, and so I find myself sitting in a small market town in the north of England looking halfway across the world at my time living in one of the world’s great...

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    February 27, 2017

    Poems Have the Power to Elucidate New Urban Futures
    Laura Booth, San Francisco

    A review of The Ecopoetry Anthology, edited by Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street. 2013. Trinity University Press, San Antonio, TX. 628 pages. Buy the book. Are cities beyond the help of poetry? Donald Trump and his administration seem to think...

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    February 22, 2017

    How Do We Get the Private Sector to “Walk the Walk” on the SDG for Cities?
    Buyana Kareem, Kampala

    If you have been following the global, regional, and local-level conversations about the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) and their implementation—for example, UN’s Habitat III meeting, held in Quito, Ecuador—you have probably heard of or participated in providing clarity on...

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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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    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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    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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    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 2, 2016

    The Co-City: From the Tragedy to the Comedy of the Urban Commons
    Sheila Foster, New York City

    “Urban commons: the goods, tangible, intangible, and digital, that citizens and the Administration, [through] participative and deliberative procedures, recognize to be functional to the individual and collective wellbeing…to share the responsibility with the Administration of their care or regeneration in...

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    October 24, 2016

    Building Urban Science to Achieve the New Urban Agenda
    Timon McPhearson, New York
    Sue Parnell, Cape Town
    David Simon, Gothenburg
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
    Xuemei Bai, Canberra
    Owen Gaffney, Stockholm
    Debra Roberts, Durban
    Aromar Revi, Bangalore

    The New Urban Agenda, being adopted at Habitat III, requires a coherent and legible global urban scientific community to provide expertise to direct and assess progress on urban sustainability transformations. As we have commented in Nature’s special section on Habitat...

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    September 11, 2016

    Welcome to Beijing? The Migrant Population is Critical to Building an Inclusive Beijing
    Pengfei XIE, Beijing

    As the world is fighting against climate change, many Chinese cities are now trying to transition towards a low-carbon development pathway. Beijing, the capital city of China, promised to peak its carbon emissions by 2020, an ambitious target that inspires...

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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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    August 3, 2016

    Water as a Commons in Detroit, the Great Lakes, and Beyond
    Rebecca Salminen Witt, Detroit

    For a state surrounded by fresh water, Michigan, in the northern United States, certainly has had its share of water woes lately. Michigan’s water has always been our crowning glory; from our geography to our automobile license plates, the Great...

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    July 27, 2016

    Skin the City
    Paula Segal, Brooklyn
    Daniel Eizirik, Porto Allegre

    The skin of the city shifts. Waves of residents come and go; meanings vanish. The longer I live here, the more I feel like I am a creature of many phantom limbs. Hungry, I walk to Jimmy’s hoping for fish...

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    July 20, 2016

    The Life Outside Gated Communities
    Ragene Palma, Manila

    It’s a sunny morning and I leave the house, walking towards the gate of our subdivision. It’s just a few meters, downhill, around that pechay plantation, then uphill, typical of the sloping contour of Marikina Valley. In the two minutes...

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