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  • May 3, 2017

    Thinking about a Landscape Approach to Revitalize the American Landscape
    William Dunbar, Tokyo

    I normally write in The Nature of Cities about biocultural diversity, particularly related to the developing world, but in light of recent events, I would like to ask the reader’s indulgence in my writing about a slightly different topic, and...

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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 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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    March 26, 2017

    Are We Truly Connected in Today’s High Frequency World?
    Chantal van Ham, Brussels

    In September last year, the IUCN World Conservation Congress—Planet at the Crossroads—brought together in Hawai’i more than 10,000 participants from 180 countries, including top scientists and academics, world leaders and decision makers from governments, civil society, indigenous peoples, and business....

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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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    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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    November 2, 2016

    Where Did All the Streams Go?
    Eric Sanderson, New York
    Christopher Spagnoli, New York

    A review of Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. By Sergey Kadinsky. Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT. ISBN: 9781581573558. 336 pages. Buy the book. There...

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    September 6, 2016

    Using Green Infrastructure to Tackle New Orleans’ Water Management Woes
    Josh Lewis, New Orleans

    Several months ago, the City of New Orleans was awarded $141 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (or HUD) to implement a wide-ranging green infrastructure project in the city’s Gentilly neighborhood. The main goal of...

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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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    June 23, 2016

    Is There a Suburbia 2.0? Ideas for Designing the Next Generation of Suburbs
    Kevin Sloan, Dallas-Fort Worth

    A review of A Sequel to Suburbia: Glimpses of America’s Post-Suburban Future. By Nicholas A. Phelps. 2015. ISBN: 9780262029834. MIT Press. 248 pages. Buy the book. James Joyce suggested that the creative work of an author—and I also include the...

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    June 22, 2016

    What Should We Make of Jane Jacobs’ Critique of Parks in The Death and Life of Great American Cities?—TNOC Podcast Episode 8
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Also available at iTunes. Story Notes: Andy Hernandez walked into Washington Square Park on a sunny afternoon in 1981 with a cameraman, a boom box, and a mandate to make a music video for a medley of new songs by Kid Creole...

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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 12, 2016

    Look Who’s Coming to Dinner…Bacteria that Eat the Gowanus Sludge—TNOC Podcast Episode 7
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Also available at iTunes. Story notes: The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn is well known throughout New York City as a nearly two-mile-long trench filled with sewage and chemicals left behind by years of neglectful pollution. Though the canal is slated for a...

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    May 10, 2016

    Practicing Community Environmental Education in Urban Settings
    Marianne Krasny, Ithaca
    Mutizwa Mukute, Grahamstown
    Olivia Aguilar, Granville
    Mapula Priscilla Masilela, Grahamstown
    Lausanne Olvitt, Grahamstown

    Community environmental education prioritizes community wellness, and uses learning in and about the environment as a means towards community wellness and healing. It draws from place-based, youth and community development, participatory, and resilience approaches in environmental education. Recognizing that community...

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    April 4, 2016

    Comparing Apples to Peaches: Cities in the United States and Canada
    Mary Rowe, New York City

    A review of America’s Urban Future: Lessons from North of the Border, by Ray Tomalty and Alan Mallach. 2016. ISBN: 9781610915960. Island Press. 312 pages. Buy the book. Canada and the United States share the longest unprotected border between two...

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    February 9, 2016

    The New Vocabulary of Urban Landscaping for Southern California
    Stephanie Pincetl, Los Angeles
    Kitty Connolly, Los Angeles

    The drought in California over the last few years has been long enough and sufficiently severe to compel mandatory urban water restrictions from the State Water Resources Control Board, an unprecedented policy move. The Board has also required, for the...

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    February 8, 2016

    Nature in Chicago: Surprisingly Wild, Surprisingly Human
    Chris Hensley, Fresno

    A review of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian. 2015. ISBN: 978-0-226-19289-5. University of Chicago Press. 377 pages. Buy the book. Normally, in these book reviews, I do my best to...

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    January 10, 2016

    Lessons from Tinseltown: Nature’s Role in Alleviating Homelessness
    Rebecca Salminen Witt, Detroit

    We all know that nature in the urban environment can make our lives as city dwellers infinitely better, but can it create quality of life even for the displaced among us? Winter is here in the city of Detroit, Michigan....

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    December 29, 2015

    Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2015
    David Maddox, New York City

    Today’s post is offered as a celebration of some of the content from 2015—a taste…a combination of TNOC writing from around the world that is a combination of diverse, widely read, a novel point of view, or somehow disruptive in an...

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    December 9, 2015

    Branch Waters Urbanism: A Concept of Landscape That Organizes the Chaos of “Jungle Cities”
    Kevin Sloan, Dallas-Fort Worth

    Part one: natural potential from mega math Never before on the Earth or in the entire history of the human condition has something like a megacity been possible, until Tokyo and Mexico City appeared in 1950. Typically defined as a...

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