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  • Aakriti Grover
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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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    February 8, 2017

    Environmental Education Generates Urban Sustainability
    Alex Russ, Ithaca
    Marianne Krasny, Ithaca

    Can environmental education in cities foster urban sustainability? Yes—according to 90 scholars from six continents who contributed to a forthcoming book called Urban Environmental Education Review (Russ and Krasny, eds, 2017). Three themes—participation of urban residents in planning and environmental...

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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

    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

    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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    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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    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 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 30, 2016

    From Biomimicry to Ecomimicry: Reconnecting Cities—and Ourselves—to Earth’s Balances
    Olivier Scheffer, Paris

    One reason we should care about biodiversity is that it might be the solution to our environmental impact: after 3.8 billion years on planet Earth, Nature certainly has some sustainability and resilience lessons to teach us—that is, before it gets...

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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 14, 2016

    Tim Ingold’s “Sustainability of Everything”
    Chris Fremantle, Ayrshire, Scotland

    A review of Tim Ingold‘s lecture event “The Sustainability of Everything” at the Centre for Human Ecology, Pearce Institute, Glasgow, Scotland Sustainability is an overused word. It is much diminished by its occurrence in too many documents purporting to suggest...

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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 25, 2016

    The Promise of the Big City: Migrants and Refugees Will Come to Your City. It’s Not a Novel Idea, but Cities Act Like it Is
    Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

    “My husband is in Moscow.” “My son and his wife moved to Moscow a few years ago.” “My brother and sister work in Moscow.” “I want to go to Moscow. I can find a job there, and make more money...

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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 1, 2016

    Torpor and Awakening
    Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti, Vancouver

    I am from a family with Indigenous Latin American and German ancestry. I have been to many different countries and lived in different places. I believe this is partly because the Indigenous tradition my family comes from is nomadic. They...

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    August 14, 2016

    Citizen Science Facilitates Both Science and Engagement
    Laura Booth, San Francisco

    When I pulled up in my friend’s truck to the tunnel entrance to the Marin Headlands, part of San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, I entered what appeared to be a fine mist of white plant fluff. I turned off...

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    August 10, 2016

    Some Birds Love Cities—Can Cities Love them Back? TNOC Podcast Episode 9
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Also available at iTunes. Story Notes:  House sparrows, rock pigeons, and red-tailed hawks are three bird species that have successfully—and very visibly—adapted to life in cities. Yet as the number and the size of cities across the globe continues to grow,...

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    July 17, 2016

    When Will We Start to Green the Roofs of Cities on a Massive Scale?
    Andrew Clements, Corinth

    The urban heat island is a well-known phenomenon that affects all cities around the world. It is the difference in temperature between a city and the surrounding suburban area. In countries such as Greece, the peak summertime temperature difference between...

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