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What is urban nature?

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  • Aakriti Grover
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  • August, 2017

    2 August 2017

    Wall Watching in Iran
    Jennifer Baljko, Barcelona

    We walked approximately 1,500 kilometers in Iran, and something was noticeably missing: Graffiti. Scribbled names or tags, spray painted symbols, and thought-provoking political commentary were absent in cities, towns and villages from Sarakhs on the Turkmenistan border to Astara on the Azerbaijan border to the sprawling capital of Tehran to...

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    July, 2017

    30 July 2017

    Urban-Rural Inequalities in Carbon Emissions
    Jose Puppim, Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio Mahendra Sethi, New Delhi

    Cities have been recognized as key drivers toward the successful governance of resources and as the front line in combating climate change. But there is a huge urban-rural inequality in carbon emissions in the making, particularly in rapidly urbanizing developing countries. Thus, the political and economic divide between the Global North and...

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    26 July 2017

    Swiss Green Roof Standards: Experiences and Exchanges from Three Years of Practice
    Nathalie Baumann, Basel

    Some weeks ago my colleagues (from the University of Applied Sciences in Geneva and the City of Lausanne, Nature and City Department) and I organized a half-day event: an exchange of experiences on the Swiss green roof standards practice with the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA) in Lausanne....

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    24 July 2017

    Sparrow, Our Constant Friend
    Ian MacGregor-Fors, Xalapa

    A review of: Sparrow by Kim Todd. 2012. 192 pages. ISBN 978-1-86189-875-3. Reaktion Books, London. Buy the book. Sparrows are everywhere! They are varied in types and forms, offering a unique repertoire of opportunities to get to know and assess them, from their scientific study to the most diverse artistic interpretations. In...

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    23 July 2017

    Look More Closely, Think More Deeply: Experiences from the 2017 US Forest Service International Urban Forestry Seminar
    Adrina Bardekjian, Vancouver

    One adage I want to share after finishing the US Forest Service Inaugural International Urban Forestry Seminar is: look more closely, think more deeply. This was something that one of the presenters said to us on our first day in Chicago and it stuck with me throughout our journey. Over the...

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    19 July 2017

    Plants Do Not Care How Rich You Are: Anthropogenic Florstic Changes in Tehran’s Public and Private Green Areas
    Maryam Akbarian, Tehran

    The city landscape, because of the holistic nature of city-forming factors and urban community, is like a book in which the various characteristics of the city and its citizens are visible: values and norms, economic conditions, tastes and aesthetic criteria, commitment to the living environment, and so on. Throughout history, the...

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    16 July 2017

    “Immigrants Don’t Like Trees” and Other Myths of Urban Nature Management in Multicultural Cities
    Camilo Ordóñez, Toronto

    In many cities, urban nature is managed in a multicultural landscape. The ethnic and cultural diversity seen in many western cities today, mostly driven by recent immigration, is unprecedented. For example, Toronto boasts a foreign-born population of about 50%. In Australia, 25% of the population is foreign-born. In many European...

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    10 July 2017

    Designing Urban Nature: The Domain of Ecologically Informed Planners or Landscape Architects?
    Will Allen, Chapel Hill

    A review of: Nature and Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning by Frederick R. Steiner, George F. Thompson, Armando Carbonell (eds.). 2016. ISBN 9781558443471. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 465 pages. Buy the book. As I opened this handsomely large book, I was pleased to see...

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    9 July 2017

    Crossing the Design-Science Divide
    Jason King, Seattle

    Designers and scientists are different. We think, communicate, and interact with the world in vastly different ways. For instance, designers often develop evocative renderings of our creations, varying in style, but of a similar nature to the image below: a collage perspective showing a scene explaining a design concept. For...

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    5 July 2017

    Building a Local and Integrated Renewable Energy Future: Brownfields to BrightGreenFields
    Zoé Hamstead, Buffalo Ryan McPherson, Buffalo

    Post-industrial cities in the United States and elsewhere are implementing brownfields to brightfields programs that help develop local economies, generate clean energy and manage pollution. Brownfields are former industrial sites or landfills with contaminated soil. These sites pose both environmental and social challenges, as contamination must be remediated prior to...

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    2 July 2017

    The Smart (Cyborg) City Needs Smarter Ecological Resilience Thinking
    Stephan Barthel, Stockholm Johan Colding, Stockholm

    Recently, Colding and Barthel (2017) critiqued how the Smart City-model is taken more or less as a given good for creating sustainable cities. This view is deeply rooted in seductive visions of the future, where the digital revolution stands as the primary force for change (for a critical perspective, see...

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    June, 2017

    30 June 2017

    Are cities ecosystems—analogous to natural ones—of nature, infrastructure and people? Does thinking about cities in this way help us think about urban design?
    Marina Alberti, Seattle Erik Andersson, Stockholm Sarah Dooling, Austin/Boston Paul Downton, Melbourne Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm Nancy Grimm, Phoenix Dagmar Haase, Berlin Dominique Hes, Melbourne Kristina Hill, Berkeley Madhusudan Katti, Raleigh Francois Mancebo, Paris Clifford Ochs, Oxford Steward Pickett, Poughkeepsie Stephanie Pincetl, Los Angeles Rob Pirani, New York Richard Register, Berkeley Eric Sanderson, New York Alexis Schaffler, Berkeley/Johannesburg/Cape Town Vivek Shandas, Portland David Simon, Gothenburg Jane Toner, Melbourne Yolanda van Heezik, Dunedin Ken Yeang, Kuala Lumpur David Maddox, New York City

     

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    28 June 2017

    The Effect of Iteration on Urban Form, Part II: Iteration in an Ecosystem
    Mathieu Hélie, Montréal

    In the Lille citadel example that we saw in the previous part, we could observe a building technology achieving greater complexity over time, as each iteration survived or failed a new series of tests. Another aspect of the complexity of a geometric process seen in the Lille citadel example is...

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    26 June 2017

    Drought and Flood: A Silicon Valley Museum Explores Water, Society, and City
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul

    A review of “Liquid City,” The Darkened Mirror,” and “Fragile Waters,” a trio of water-related exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art, currently on view together through August 6, 2017. As the representative contemporary art institution of Silicon Valley, the San Jose Museum of Art might be expected to...

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    25 June 2017

    The Effect of Iteration on Urban Form, Part I: Fractals and the Creation of Complexity
    Mathieu Hélie, Montréal

    In a previous article I proposed that we adopt a perspective on preservation that allowed for transformation and change of what is to be preserved. This type of change has a more precise definition: iteration. To iterate means to “cover the same ground twice”, using feedback from the result of...

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    21 June 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 a lecture in a west German city, I arrived back...

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    18 June 2017

    Cities of Difference, Part I: Gender is Important in Understanding Nature in Cities
    Laura Shillington, Managua & Montreal

    Cities abound with difference: people, buildings, trees, plants, animals, etc. People in cities (and beyond, of course) inhabit various and fragmented identities that include gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, and ability/disability. These identities are produced in relation with other people, living- and non-living entities, and the landscape. These social...

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    14 June 2017

    Is Green the New Flying Car? A Visit to the World’s Fairs of 1964 and 2064
    Diane Pataki, Salt Lake City

    What inspires our work? Why have we each chosen to pursue a vision of cities that incorporates and expands our views of nature? Was it a particular mentor, a class or school experience, time spent in wilderness, or a book or film that led us to think boldly about a...

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    12 June 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. The Historic New Orleans Collection. 268 pages. Buy the book. Ecocities...

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    11 June 2017

    Singapore through the Eyes of a Young Planner in Manila
    Ragene Palma, Manila

    How has Singapore created itself as a “city in a garden”? I’m from Manila, and have recently returned from a week-long educational trip hosted by the Young South East Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI). The workshop was entitled Urban Planning and Smart Growth. It brought together sixty young leaders across the...

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