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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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    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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    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 25, 2017

    Beyond the City
    Naomi Tsur, Jerusalem

    This concept paper was inspired by a series of round table discussions that were hosted by the Israel Urban Forum, together with the Bezalel Academy of Urban Design in Jerusalem. The participants at my round table, where the topic of...

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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 8, 2017

    The Real Dirt on Urban Compost
    Sven Eberlein, Oakland

    “Why isn’t every city doing this?” Dave Vella asks as he intently massages a handful of succulent compost from the towering pile freshly deposited onto his vineyard’s gravel thoroughfare. Dressed in jeans and denim shirt, the veteran Grape Manager of...

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    January 2, 2017

    Civic Ecology: A Book that Inspires and Guides Teaching
    Pippin Anderson, Cape Town

    A review of Civic Ecology, Adaptation and Transformation from the Ground Up, by Marianne E. Krasny and Keith G. Tidball. 2015. ISBN: 9780262028653. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 328 pages. Buy the book. Krasny and Tidball’s Civic Ecology is a book that...

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    January 2, 2017

    Resolving to Act After the 2016 U.S. Election and the United Nations Climate Conference
    Franco Montalto, Philadelphia and Venice
    Hugh Johnson, Philadelphia

    We attended the 22nd session of the United Nations Climate Conference (also called COP22) as “Observers” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. 2016 presidential election. Since 1995, the COP has served as the annual UN climate conference, providing an...

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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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    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 14, 2016

    Swarms in the City
    Valerie Gwinner, Nairobi

    The final night of the European Soccer Cup in July, 2016, brought together some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fans. France, the hosting team, was hoping to ride a wave of wins to capture their third Eurocup title,...

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    September 11, 2016

    How Did Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon River Restoration Get Its Start? TNOC Podcast Episode 10
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Story Notes: A casual chat on a bus nearly thirty years ago led to the improbable removal of a major elevated highway and the restoration of a beloved river in the old city center of Seoul in South Korea. Dr....

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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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    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 12, 2016

    The Forgotten Rurality: The Case for Participatory Management in Bogotá and its Surrounding Countryside
    Diana Wiesner, Bogota

    En español aquí. We often think of the city and the country as separate, and that development planning and urban sustainability ends at the city boundary. But this isn’t true—in a planning and sustainability sense, the city and the surrounding rural...

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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 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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    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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