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What is urban nature?

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  • Aakriti Grover
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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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    February 12, 2017

    Of Wilderness, Wild-ness, and Wild Things
    Nina-Marie Lister, Toronto

    And I think in this empty world there was room for me and a mountain lion. And I think in the world beyond, how easily we might spare a million or two humans And never miss them. Yet what a...

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    February 1, 2017

    How to Make Urban Green Verdant and Sustainable: Designing “Wild” Swedish Lawns
    Maria E Ignatieva, Uppsala

    Sweden, especially its capital, Stockholm, is a very famous “green” city. Indeed, Stockholm’s green infrastructure wedges system is one of the most recognized and cited around the world because of the significant ecosystem services that it provides and because it...

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    January 30, 2017

    Finding Nature in the Walls of a Power Station
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul

    A review of Why Not Ask Again, the 11th Shanghai Biennale at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai, China, on view through 12 March 2017. It’s not unusual by any means in the contemporary art world, but as an...

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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

    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 15, 2017

    Celebrating the First Ecology Parks in London
    David Goode, Bath

    In November 2016 there was a celebration in London: it had been 40 years since the idea of creating an Ecology Park in central London was first suggested. The event provided opportunities to share memories of those early days and...

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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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    December 19, 2016

    Urban Nature Forms Urban Character
    Leda Marritz, San Francisco

    “Urban nature” is, for many people, a contradiction in terms. Urban spaces are all about control, hard edges, and the fabrication of an environment. Nature is wild, opportunistic, and fragile. Where is the overlap? Yet for those of us who...

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    December 11, 2016

    Our Garbage, Their Homes: Artificial Material as Nesting Material
    Josué Corrales, San José, Costa Rica
    Luis Sandoval, San José, Costa Rica

    Human activities have direct, negative consequences on almost all the world’s ecosystems. It is known that we are in a changing era in which uncontrolled human population growth and the associated increase of urban landscapes are leading to an alteration...

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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 28, 2016

    Morphology, Generosity, and the Nature of Cities
    Stephanie Pincetl, Los Angeles

    A review of The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria. By Marwa Al-Sabouni. 2016. Thames & Hudson, New York. ISBN-10: 0500343179. 208 pages. Buy the book. I have been reading an extraordinary book by Marwa Al-Sabouni: The Battle for...

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    November 20, 2016

    A Barley Field Grows on Soviet Concrete
    Andrea Tamm and Ann Press, Tallinn

    In the summer of 2016, the largest Soviet-era residential area of Estonia was living a new life. The district Lasnamäe, including Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, was built in the late 70s, but it has fallen into stagnation. Little has changed...

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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 6, 2016

    Are You Connected?
    Erik Andersson, Stockholm

    I am an unreserved admirer of landscape scenery and mountain vistas, space, and the connection between site and surroundings has always interested me. When I was first in Japan, I spent a lot of time visiting and enjoying parks. Aesthetics...

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    November 2, 2016

    The Co-City: From the Tragedy to the Comedy of the Urban Commons
    Sheila Foster, New York City

    “Urban commons: the goods, tangible, intangible, and digital, that citizens and the Administration, [through] participative and deliberative procedures, recognize to be functional to the individual and collective wellbeing…to share the responsibility with the Administration of their care or regeneration in...

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