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  • Aakriti Grover
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  • June 21, 2017

    Time of the Poppies
    Andreas Weber, Berlin

    “Do you seek the highest, the greatest? The plant can teach you to do so. What it is without will of its own, that you should be with intent – that’s the point!” —Friedrich Schiller Some days ago, after giving...

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    June 12, 2017

    Great Cities Grow from Great Spaces and Listening to their Citizens
    Darlene Wolnik, New Orleans

    A review of: Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs, by Robert Kaniglel. 2016. Knopf. 512 pages. Buy the book. Garden Legacy, by Mary Louise Mossy Christovich and Roulhac Bunkley Toledano, with a foreword by S. Frederick Starr. 2016....

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    May 14, 2017

    What South Asian Cities Seem to be Missing
    Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

    I slump into the sofa of the hotel lobby. It’s been another exhausting day walking through India. We squeezed ourselves through narrow alleyways where bicycle carts, cows, and mopeds also wrestle to move a few feet forward. We sidestepped the...

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    April 30, 2017

    Re-Wilding: Cities by Nature
    Kevin Sloan, Dallas-Fort Worth

    The historic gardens of Western civilization typically include segments that were municipal areas, hunting grounds, or, on occasion, fragments of the region’s original forest. Many of the Italian, French, and English gardens that establish the history of landscape gardening were...

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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 5, 2017

    Response and Recovery After the Deadliest United States Tornado in a Century
    Traci Sooter, Springfield

    On Sunday, 22 May 2011, a multiple-vortex tornado touched down shortly after 5:00pm and began to rip a path nearly a mile wide across Joplin, Missouri, through the town of Duquesne, and into the rural areas of Jasper County. The...

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    March 1, 2017

    The Nature of Green
    Gary Grant, London

    I was looking at an infographic on Twitter recently. It was in the form of a wheel of words, listing dozens of objectives and issues relating to urban design. Hoping that soil, water, vegetation, habitat, or biodiversity would be featured,...

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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 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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    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 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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    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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    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 18, 2016

    Three Key Ideas for Making Sense of Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Ecosystem Management
    Camilo Ordóñez, Toronto

    The sustainability of urban ecosystems depends on how we respond to future social, economic, and environmental challenges. From reducing the negative effects of highly engineered infrastructure on the ecological functioning of natural systems in cities, to achieving a more equal...

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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 15, 2016

    Better Places Add Up to Better Cities
    Traci Sooter, Springfield

    A review of Good Urbanism: Six Steps to Creating Prosperous Places by Nan Ellin. 2012.  Island Press. ISBN 13: 978-1-61091-374-4. 141 pages. Buy the book. Many people have a desire to improve spaces in their cities and neighborhoods, but most don’t know where to...

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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 10, 2016

    Restoration of Natural Ecosystems Makes Society Thrive
    Chantal van Ham, Brussels

    Our planet is at a crossroads. The ecosystems that underpin our economy, well-being, and survival are collapsing, species are becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate, and climate change continues unabated. In these times of change, nature-based solutions can offer a...

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