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  • April 26, 2017

    Retrofitting the City: Interweaving Urban Nature for Transformative Adaptation
    David Ralston, Oakland

    For city planners and those interested in addressing sustainability of the city as its interrelates with nature, we are very familiar with the pervasive discourse of climate change and the idea of adaptation to, as well as mitigation of, climate...

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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 10, 2017

    The Suburban City, Usefully Seen as a Mega-Landscape
    Kevin Sloan, Dallas-Fort Worth

    A review of The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons from Sustaining Phoenix, by Grady Gammage, Jr. 2016. ISBN 1610916239. Island Press, Washington, D.C. 208 pages. Buy the book. When taken together, recent books, lectures, and exhibitions on design paint a picture...

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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 12, 2017

    Bishkek: Building on Old Bones
    Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

    I have an affection for cities in transition. I like when I visit a city for the first time and get an immediate sense that things are changing, that there is a blurring between what’s old and what’s new. Bishkek,...

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    February 26, 2017

    Six-legged Superfood for Chirpier Cities
    Russell Galt, Cape Town

    “Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth.” —Leviticus 11:21 Masaka On a recent trip to the town...

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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 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 22, 2017

    Future Cities Live Underground—And That’s Not a Pile of Schist
    Francois Mancebo, Paris

    Winter is here in the north—not the slightest allusion here to any famous TV series or any recent election, of course. And in the wintertime, life goes underground in a literal sense: tubers and roots reign while most of the...

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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 5, 2017

    How a Little Endangered Fox Found Sanctuary in a California Oil Town
    Madhusudan Katti, Raleigh

    If I were to ask you where I could find a healthy population of the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox, you might be forgiven for not immediately saying, “Why, Bakersfield, of course!” Bakersfield? The Oil Capital of California? Yes, the very...

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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 14, 2016

    History’s Peak: A Long View of the Nature of Cities
    Eric Sanderson, New York

    Author’s note: Through TNOC, we are encouraged to take a broad view of how nature can contribute to urban life. “Many voices, greener cities, better cities” is our mantra. Given the recent election of Mr. Donald Trump in the United...

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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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    December 4, 2016

    Dhaka’s Struggle with Traffic and Livability
    Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

    Ding, ding, ding. Ding, ding, ding. Honk, honk. Hoooonk. Honk, honk. Toot, toot, toot, ding, ding, ding. Honk, honk, honk. This is the sound of Dhaka. All. Day. Long. There are only a few hours before dawn when there is...

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    November 27, 2016

    Why Should an Urbanist Care About Biodiversity?
    Olivier Scheffer, Paris

    Let’s face the facts. Despite laudable international initiatives for climate change mitigation and environmental preservation [i], major changes in Earth’s balances have been set in motion and we’re starting to experience their consequences: heat records; increased droughts; increased wildfire intensity and...

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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 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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