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  • April 16, 2017

    Challenges of Transitioning to Sustainable Urban Infrastructure in the Amazon Delta and Estuary
    Andressa Mansur, Cádiz
    Eduardo Brondizio, Bloomington

    As paradoxical as it may seem, the Amazon region is considered not only an “urban forest”, but also a region with one of the most rapid rates of urban population growth in Brazil. Within the region, the Amazon Delta and...

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    March 15, 2017

    The Barrancas of Cuernavaca: Rescuing Lost Landscapes Hidden by Garbage
    Janice Astbury, London

    The first five people we spoke to in the San Anton neighborhood of the Mexican city of Cuernavaca didn’t know the location of the Salto Chico (small waterfall). The neighborhood’s larger waterfall, referred to as the Salto Grande or Salto...

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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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    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 16, 2016

    It Takes a Village to Green an Alley
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Story Notes: More and more cities throughout the world are turning to parks, gardens, green roofs, and other kinds of “green infrastructure” to soak up storm water and simultaneously create vibrant new patches of open space for their citizens. In this...

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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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    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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    July 31, 2016

    The Aburrá Valley Must Finally Understand: Water is Also Nature!
    Gloria Aponte, Medellín

    Understanding the nature of the place in which a city exists must be a priority, and involves sensible use of the local context, building in a manner consistent with the particularities of topography—an imperative highlighted in the Colombian Andes—and appropriate...

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    July 4, 2016

    Gazing at the Gowanus
    Keerthi Potluri, New York City

    A review of Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal. By Joseph Alexiou. 2015. ISBN: 9781479892945. NYU Press. 2015. 398 pp. Buy the book. Even a brief summer shower can cause fresh human waste to spill into the Gowanus Canal, as anyone who lives along...

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    June 2, 2016

    Towards the Water-Sensitive City
    Gary Grant, London

    From the very beginning, with the first urban settlements of Mesopotamia around 4500 BC, cities have required a clean water supply and some form of sanitation. As cities grew in size, the water supply tended to be sourced from further...

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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 5, 2016

    School Partnerships are Key to Vibrant and Sustainable Cities
    Polly Knowlton Cockett, Calgary
    Janet Dyment, Hobart
    Mariona Espinet, Barcelona
    Yu Huang, Beijing

    Urban schools—any public, private, or charter schools delivering formal primary or secondary education—are key institutions in the shaping of vibrant and sustainable cities. Imagining such cities depends on the assumptions and ideologies of those involved in the transformation of urban...

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    April 3, 2016

    Green Infrastructure that Creates Climate Resilience, Human Resilience, and Quality of Life in Los Angeles’ Underserved Neighborhoods
    Tori Kjer, Los Angeles

    I live in the mega-City and County of Los Angeles. Despite the urban intensity, nature still surrounds us. We are bordered by three mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean. Within our megalopolis are some of the largest regional parks in...

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    February 29, 2016

    The Flint Water Crisis Illuminated by Citizen Science—TNOC Podcast Episode 6
    Philip Silva, New York
    David Maddox, New York City

    Also available at iTunes. Story notes: Federal regulations make clean drinking something close to a guaranteed right for residents of cities in the United States, but not all urban water systems are created equal. Last year, independent scientists and grassroots activists discovered...

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    February 25, 2016

    Photo Essay: Life and Water at Rachenahalli Lake
    Sumetee Gajjar, Bangalore

    Rachenahalli is one of the few living lakes of Bangalore, in the north of the city. It is connected to water bodies upstream and downstream, particularly Jakkur Lake in the northeast. Both of these lakes have been rejuvenated, at substantial...

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    January 31, 2016

    The Value of Urban Trails
    Tim Beatley, Charlottesville

    Mindy Fulllilove, Columbia University psychiatrist and author, likens pedestrian pathways and urban trails to arteries in the circulatory system of a city: essential conditions for creating a healthy city. There is much to be said for neighborhoods that are physically...

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    January 24, 2016

    Values that Underlie the Landscape of Cities—Those that DO and those that SHOULD
    Gloria Aponte, Medellín

    Para leer la versión en español, haga clic aquí. Coexistence between nature and urban is not a matter of experts but a matter directly related to the “civic values.” —De las Rivas What is the shape and formal composition given by...

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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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