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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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    July 6, 2016

    Unbounding Aboriginal and Settler Urban Natures
    Laura Shillington, Managua & Montreal

    On 21 June 2016, I committed to reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report executive summary as part of a national (Canadian) collective challenge. What is the TRC report and what does it have to do with urban natures...

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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 28, 2016

    Despite Strategic Focus on Resilience, Nature-Based Solutions May Remain Under-Utilized in Indian Cities
    Sumetee Gajjar, Bangalore

    Cities are considered to be at the forefront of sustainability practices (Rosenzweig et al., 2010) aimed at addressing the impacts of global environmental change and socio-economic inequality. Recent developments in research on urban resilience promote ecological responses to climate change...

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    June 26, 2016

    Urban Ecology Reformation is Spreading Across the Globe
    Mark McDonnell, Melbourne
    Ian MacGregor-Fors, Xalapa
    Amy Hahs, Ballarat, Australia

    Our world is rapidly urbanizing at a rate that is unprecedented in the history of human kind. In 2014, the urban population reached nearly 4 billion people and it is predicted to gain an additional 2.5 billion people, most of...

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    June 19, 2016

    Climate Adaptation Plans Can Worsen Unequal Urban Vulnerability
    Linda Shi, Boston
    Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski, Barcelona

    The Rockefeller Foundation announced its third and final set of its “Resilient Cities”, rounding out a group of 100 cities that have demonstrated success in and commitment to enhancing resilience to climate change and other natural or man-made disasters, among...

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    June 16, 2016

    Leveraging Environmental Arts for Education and Sustainable Futures
    Hilary Inwood, Toronto
    Joe Heimlich, Columbus
    Kumara Ward, Sydney
    Jennifer Adams, New York City

    Cities around the world are using the arts to enhance urban aesthetic experiences and motivate innovative environmental activism. Manifesting as flash mobs, immersive street theatre, bike parades, pop-up installations, zero-carbon concerts, and participatory storytelling, artists are using their creativity and...

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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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