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  • March 8, 2017

    Exploring the Park Edge from a Worm’s Eye View
    Lindsay Campbell, New York City
    Novem Auyeung, New York City
    Michelle Johnson, New York City
    Erika Svendsen, New York City

    In the science of natural resource management and planning, we often think about land from a “bird’s-eye” view: parcels on a map that delineate parks, residential properties, and the city streets—for example. Understanding these sites from a “worm’s-eye” view presents...

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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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    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 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 11, 2017

    Building for Birds: An Online Tool to Evaluate How Different Development Designs Impact Forest Bird Habitat
    Mark Hostetler, Gainesville
    Jan-Michael Archer, Gainesville

    Often, city forest fragments and tree canopies are overlooked by city planners and developers as important bird habitat. More often than not, people only regard large patches as beneficial. The message from conservationists is that we want to avoid fragmentation...

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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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    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 16, 2016

    Social Media Sharks and Tell-Tale Vultures—Connecting to Nature in a Digital Age
    Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

    Nature is being lost all around us. It is alarming in its implications for both livability and sustainability. How can we better connect to nature in a distracted digital world? Although it may not be intuitive, these are also promising...

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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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    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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    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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    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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    October 20, 2016

    Viola Has an Acorn in Her Pocket
    Stephan Barthel, Stockholm

    I live in Stockholm, Sweden. I enjoy talking walks in the autumn, inhaling the scent from degrading debris, kicking around dead leaves, and gazing at the vivid colors. This fall, my baby daughter has often followed me on my walks....

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    October 17, 2016

    Embedding Urban Ecology into Policy: West Berlin as a Case Study
    Katharine Burgess, Washington, D.C

    A review of Greening Berlin: The Co-Production of Science, Politics and Urban Nature. By Jens Lachmund. 2013. MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262018593. 320 pages. Buy the book. The overgrown train tracks of Gleisdreieck Park. The community gardens and art installations of...

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    October 5, 2016

    If You Build It, They Will Come: Modifying Coastal Structures for Habitat Enhancement
    Nhung Nguyen, Singapore
    Karenne Tun, Singapore
    Lena Chan, Singapore

    Since the founding of modern Singapore in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles, the small island nation has developed from a sleepy fishing village into a modern day metropolis, and has lived up to the adage, “if you build it, they...

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    September 28, 2016

    Designing Ecologically Sensitive Green Infrastructure that Serves People and Nature
    Christine Thuring, Sheffield

    “Cities separate us from nature, do they not?” —Light, 2003 No, they don’t; or at least they don’t have to. The good news: green infrastructure is expanding and gradually softening a proportion of our planet’s increasingly urban surface. It appears...

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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 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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    August 28, 2016

    Formes pour vivre: An Experiment in Ecological-Environmental-Scientific Poetics
    Karen Houle, Guelph

    In this short essay my aim is modest and two-fold. First, I would like to share with you a story about an experiment in ecological-environmental-scientific-poetics that worked out beautifully. It worked so well that I believe it is worth sharing. Second,...

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