The Nature of Cities Europe
The Nature of Cities France

The Nature of Cities Europe The Nature of Cities France

The Nature of Cities—Europe and The Nature of Cities—France are partner organizations to TNOC—Global. See Europe-related content at the bottom of this page.

TNOC—Europe, a Registered Charity in Ireland, was formed in 2018 to work on projects specifically involving European cities.

TNOC-France, a Registered Association in France, was formed in 2019 to lead in TNOC Summit; work on projects specifically involving French and Francophone cities; and be the lead on TNOC’s actions in events and the arts (FRIEC).

Stay in touch: write us at: [email protected]

What We Do

The mission of The Nature of Cities is to curate joined conversations about urbanism across ways of knowing and modes of action. We create transdisciplinary, publicly available, and widely disseminated programs, events, knowledge, and engagements for green city making. We strive for cities worldwide that are resilient, sustainable, livable, and just. We work to achieve this by:

  1. Publishing open access, web-based articles, essays, and discussion forums by writers, thinkers, creators, and activists, focusing on ideas that are transdisciplinary and at the frontiers where science, design, planning, and art meet. Creativity in all forms and from all sources.
  2. Creating public symposia and transdisciplinary engagements designed to increase knowledge and citizen engagement in creative cultures, urban nature, planning, design, and placemaking. Recent events include TNOC Summit in Paris (June 2019) and the Food-Water-Energy public event in Sao José dos Campos, Brazil (September 2019), and an upcoming sponsored event in Osaka. See also our FRIEC page.
  3. Designing outreach, educational, and research materials for urban communities, city managers, practitioners, and researchers on the subjects of urban ecosystems, green infrastructure, nature-based solutions, and biodiversity.
  4. Creating programs that engage arts, culture, science, and action together in joined spaces.
  5. Conducting place-based projects with partner organizations in Europe and on a global scale, integrating ways of knowing and modes of action.
  6. Stimulating, engage, and provoke citizens, artists, planners, designers, and scientists to explore new ways to envision better cities—cities that are sustainable, resilient, livable, and just.
  7. Conducting place-based projects with partner organizations in various countries.

The Nature of Cities—Europe and The Nature of Cities—France co-publish at our partner site: www.thenatureofcities.com.

Our Directors

TNOC—Europe is a Registered Charity in Ireland (No. 621611).
TNOC—France is a Registered Association in France (No. W843007753)

See our Privacy Policy & GDPR Compliance here.

TNOC-Europe Directors (2018-2019):

  • Marcus Collier, Dublin
  • David Maddox, New York
  • Siobhán McQuaid, Dublin

Members (governing board, 2019):

  • Pippin Anderson, Cape Town
  • Marcus Collier, Dublin
  • Martha Fajardo, Bogotá
  • Mike Houck, Portland
  • David Maddox, New York
  • Chantal van Ham, Brussels

TNOC-France Directors  (2019-2020):

  • Gilles Lecuir, Paris
  • David Maddox, New York
  • Valerie Gwinner, Vaison-la-Romaine

National Park City: What if your city were a National Park City, analogous to what London created? What it would be like? What would it take to accomplish?
Alison Barnes,  London Méliné Baronian,  Versailles Maud Bernard-Verdier,  Berlin Ioana Biris,  Amsterdam Timothy Blatch,  Cape Town Geoff Canham,  Tauranga Samarth Das,  Mumbai Gillian Dick,  Glasgow Luis Antonio Roman Diez,  Merida Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá Sue Hilder,  Glasgow Mike Houck,  Portland Sophie Lokatis,  Berlin Aletta Bonn,  Berlin Scott Martin,  Louisville Sebastian Miguel,  Buenos Aires Gareth Moore-Jones,  Ohope Beach Rob Pirani,  New York Daniel Raven-Ellison,  London Tom Rozendal,  Breda Snorri Sigurdsson,  Reykjavík Lynn Wilson,  Vancouver

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Inspiring District Residents, Specialists, and Government Officials to Work Together to Create a Park That Would Sustain Biodiversity and Meet People’s Desires
Nadezhda Kiyatkina,  Moscow

Этот текст также можно прочитать на русском языке. For the last two years our interdisciplinary team has been working on the Cherished Meadow (Zapovedniy lug, in Russian) project. This is an unprecedented happening, as it is the first project of its kind in decades that involves building a city park...

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Free to Live Beautiful Lives
Rodolphe Deborre,  Lille

Good evening. I’m quite moved by the fantastic show we just had. So, I’m going to be experimental as well, because it’s going to be the first time in my life that I think in French, I try to speak in English, and it’s going to be translated back in...

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Why are we doing walking tours in African cities? To help us see and engage with small scale urbanism and urban tinkering.
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town Celestine Collins,  Kisumu Julie Goodness,  Stockholm Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town Odhiambo Ken K'oyooh,  Kisumu Viveca Mellegård,  Stockholm Benard Ojwang,  Kisumu Aiuba Oliveira,  Nacala Semakula Samson,  Entebbe Ellika Hermansson Torok,  Stockholm Thandeka Tshabalala,  Cape Town

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Can Artistic Knowledge Bring Us Closer to Encountering the Co-influence of all Living Organisms?
Audrey Yeo,  Edinburgh

“the knowing self is partial in all its guises, never finished, and can thus only develop in combination with others.” — Donna Haraway in Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective, p586 I grew up in Singapore. I heard stories from my father about when...

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Co-creating Inclusive Green Cities: European Examples and Global Learning Opportunities
Katharina Hölscher,  Rotterdam Alice Reil,  Freiburg

“Co-creation” has garnered much buzz as a promising enabler of greener and better cities for all. During a hands-on session (“Co-creating inclusive green cities: European examples and global learning opportunities”) at the Nature of Cities Summit in Paris (June 4-7, 2019) with co-creation experts and cities—co-organised by Connecting Nature partners...

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How is the concept of “stewardship” and “care for local environments” expressed around the world?
Nathalie Blanc,  Paris Lindsay Campbell,  New York Zorina Colasero,  Puerto Princesa City Kirk Deitschman,  Waimānalo Johan Enqvist,  Cape Town Emilio Fantin,  Milan Artur Jerzy Filip,  Warsaw Carlo Gomez,  Puerto Princesa City Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro Michelle Johnson,  New York City Kevin Lunzalu,  Nairobi Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Romina Magtanong,  Puerto Princesa City Heather McMillen,  Honolulu Ranjini Murali,  Bangalore Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore Ferus Niyomwungeri,  Kigali Ragene Palma,  Manila Beatriz RuizpalaciosHuda Shaka,  Dubai Erika Svendsen,  New York Abdallah Tawfic,  Cairo Diana Wiesner,  Bogota Xin Yu,  Shenzhen

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WILD STRAY CARE: Exploring multiple ways people co-exist with urban nature
Ferne Edwards,  Barcelona Amy Hahs,  Ballarat Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore

Human relationships with nature are highly complex and variable. Particularly now when the human connection to nature has been highly disrupted, and the sense of custodianship or stewardship has been displaced. Yet at the same time, there is a growing awareness and movement of the need to reconnect people and...

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Can Cities be Greta?
Peleg Kremer,  Princeton Raz Godelnik,  Princeton

On the last week of September millions of people participated in climate strike marches around the world, protesting against global inaction on climate change. Led by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, the youth climate strike movement and other social movements such as the Sunrise Movement in the U.S. and Extinction Rebellion...

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Smart vs Green: Technology Paradigms Battle it Out for the Future City
Sarah Hinners,  Salt Lake City

 Vision A—The Smart City: The city is an intricate network of digital communications, computations, and connections. Data are being collected everywhere, at all times, and feed into computing systems that work to coordinate functions like power availability and traffic to optimize efficiency in real time. Autonomous vehicles navigate the streets...

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One Minute of Dance a Day, at TNOC Summit
Nadia Vadori-Gauthier,  Paris

One of the One Minute of Dance a Day project. This dance was performed on the Sorbonne campus during the TNOC Summit, outside the main auditorium venue. Beats by 3’z. There are over 700 dances, and you can search them by Paris neighborhood, site type, nature element, and more.

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The spirit of Dada welcomes you to TNOC Summit: What is the nature of the city of our dreams?
Carmen Bouyer,  Paris Lindsay Campbell,  New York Marcus Collier,  Dublin Katie Coyne,  Austin Samarth Das,  Mumbai Gillian Dick,  Glasgow Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Timon McPhearson,  New York Andrew Rudd,  New York City Chantal van Ham,  Brussels

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From City of Light to Ville Verte: How a Comprehensive Approach to Climate Change Adaptation is Making Paris the World’s Green Innovator
Adrian Benepe,  New York

On a recent visit to Paris after an absence of more than a dozen years, I was struck by the comprehensive and visionary approach to urban resilience and livability that is transforming Paris into the global leader in innovative urban greening. Since my childhood, I have been entranced by the...

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Oh, For the Love of Bicycles! A Walking Reflection about Moving on Two Wheels through Urban and Rural Areas
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

Walking may be my main form of transportation these days, but I often daydream about wheels…bicycle wheels…and the way they move people through urban and rural spaces. Most of our 14,000-kilometer journey to date is speckled with memories of two-wheeled riders, and my longing to join them in their pedaling...

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London National Park City is a Reality
David Goode,  Bath

During the past week the eyes of the world have been on London, to see a new Prime Minister installed at Westminster. But the week has also seen a momentous decision made for a sustainable and liveable future for London. The city was designated as a National Park City, the...

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Closer to Home, Higher the Walls
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

We noticed an extraordinary thing walking across Asia and Europe since January 2016: the absence and presence of fences. It may not be extraordinary in the “I climbed Everest” kind of way. But, for us, it’s extraordinary in the “I walk slow enough to see how fences change” kind of...

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What prevents us from creating cities that are better for people and nature? It doesn’t seem like a lack of knowledge—don’t we have enough research knowledge to act on better policy? So, what is the impediment?
Adrian Benepe,  New York Paul Downton,  Melbourne Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore Russell Galt,  Edinburgh Rob McDonald,  Washington, DC Huda Shaka,  Dubai Vivek Shandas,  Portland Philip Silva,  New York Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem

   

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The Singing Air
Andreas Weber,  Berlin

“…as if refusing to be caught / In any singular vision of my eye / Or in the nets and cages of my thought, / They tower up, shatter, and madden space / With their divergences, are each alone / Swallowed from sight.”— Richard Wilbur, An Event (excerpt) In the last...

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Imagining Future Cities in an Age of Ecological Change
Ursula Heise,  Los Angeles

  The guidelines of the prompt were very simple. Stories had to be set in a city in the distant future (i.e. in or near the year 2099), be 1,000 words or less, and have as significant plot points both nature and people. With this framework The Nature of Cities launched...

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On Paschal Mysteries, Primates and Conflagration: Notre Dame and the Ecological Disenfranchisement of Western Civilization
Keith Tidball,  Ithaca

I was vacationing in Florida, taking advantage of Spring Break, and Easter week, writing and reading and escaping the administrivia that accompanies the end of the spring semester when I saw a short report on the television behind the bar at the local pub. It was Notre Dame. It was...

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What Cities Can Learn from Human Bodies
Nadine Galle,  Amsterdam

At any one moment, trillions of chemical reactions take place in the human body: a myriad of connections, enzymes, and processes that together make up our human metabolism. You might recognise this concept from health and fitness clickbait headlines that promise things like: “10 easy ways to increase your metabolism”;...

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Proposals for the Environment and the Future of Cities
Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth

A Brief History of Climate Change Issued in November of 2018 by a collection of 13 government agencies known as the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the environmental assessments of The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) present a deeply disturbing forecast and polarizing confrontation to most anyone reading the report....

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From Wet Feet to a Tiny Food Forest—How These 4th Graders Transformed Their Schoolyard into a Tiny Food Forest
Marthe Derkzen,  Amsterdam

A Tiny Food Forest? As in, an edible forest? At school? Driven and designed by a bunch of 4thgraders? Absolutely. This project became a reality thanks to a dedicated team of enthusiastic individuals (children, teachers, directors, policymakers, nature educators, parents, neighbors, designers, and scientists) in the mid-sized town of Ede...

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Vegetating Tall Buildings
Gary Grant,  London

In 1883, a rooftop garden theatre opened in New York City. The idea was to escape the city summer heat, whilst enjoying some evening entertainment, without actually leaving NYC. A decade later, the New York Times announced that, “New York is fast becoming a city of roof gardens”. In 1935,...

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Whose Park? The Forty-Year Fight for Justice in ‘The People’s Park’ under Copenhagen’s Evolving Urban Managerialism
Rebecca Rutt,  Copenhagen Stephanie Loveless,  Barcelona

In the last three decades, Copenhagen has shifted from an obscure Nordic capital to a leading global city. It is known for progressive environmental policies, an enviable public transportation and cycling network, and numerous public green spaces, earning it the European Green Capital Award in 2014. Moreover, Denmark is repeatedly...

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What I mean when I talk about collaboration. What is a specific experience collaborating on a project with someone from a different discipline or “way of knowing”?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town Carmen Bouyer,  Paris Lindsay Campbell,  New York Gillian Dick,  Glasgow Lonny Grafman,  Arcata Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá Britt Gwinner,  Washington Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City Madhusudan Katti,  Raleigh Jessica Kavonic,  Cape Town Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn Brian McGrath,  New York City Tischa Muñoz-Erickson,  Río Piedras, Puerto Rico Ragene Palma,  Manila Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City Wilson Ramirez Hernandez,  Bogotá Bruce Roll,  Portland David Simon,  Gothenburg Tomomi Sudo,  Kyushu Dimitra Xidous,  Dublin

 

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Mosaic Management: The Missing Ingredient for Biodiversity Innovation in Urban Greenspace Design
Stuart Connop,  London Caroline Nash,  London

With a new stream of studies adding to evidence revealing disturbing declines in global populations of insects (Hallmann et al. 2018, Lister & Garcia 2018, Sánchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys 2019) and reports of an ecological catastrophe on the scale of a sixth mass extinction, there is an urgent need to do more...

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The Winter City: Ecologies of Snow, Ice and Cold
Laura Shillington,  Montreal

But it was all The Fear of Snow —Leonard Cohen, The Best The city in winter invokes diverse imaginaries—from romantic, beautiful, and magical to cold, dark, dirty, and hazardous. A quick Google search reproduces the first three imaginaries: romantic, beautiful, and magical (Figure 1). Yet winter is often depicted as...

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French Landscape Painters and the Nature of Paris
Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka

A review of Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Moscow, an exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Art in Osaka, Japan. If we learn anything from an exhibition such as “Masterpieces of French Landscape Paintings”, it might be that French landscape painters have...

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What did you read in 2018 that moved you?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona Marc Barra,  Paris Katie Coyne,  Austin Samarth Das,  Mumbai Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro Artur Jerzy Filip,  Warsaw Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo Russell Galt,  Edinburgh Ursula Heise,  Los Angeles Toby Kent,  Melbourne Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Pascal Mittermaier,  Boston Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie Huda Shaka,  Dubai David Simon,  Gothenburg Jay Valgora,  New York Chantal van Ham,  Brussels

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Rebuilding Bosnia and Herzegovina Cities
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

There is a sadness in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will follow me for a long time. Of all the wonders and troubles we have witnessed during our walk through Asia and Europe, the visible signs of this country’s post-war hardships break my heart the most in this multi-year journey. Our...

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Many Small Changes Cascade into Big Change
Leen Gorissen,  Antwerp

How can cities accelerate transitions to sustainability? That was the central question in the collaborative EU-funded research project called ARTS, in which researchers, policy makers, citizens, artists, and entrepreneurs co-reflected on pathways to fast-forward urban sustainability. Upon the request of many urban changemakers, we translated the academic findings into an...

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The Planet’s Gift to Humans: Soil Uncovered
Chantal van Ham,  Brussels

Soil is a unique living ecosystem that provides a wide range of services to people. It is the foundation of life on the planet, home to biodiversity, it regulates the water cycle, stores and filters water, is the basis for producing food and fuel, it facilitates the natural recycling of...

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Nature Rebounding in the Peri-Urban Landscapes that the Industrial Revolution Left Behind: North West England’s Carbon Landscape
Janice Astbury,  Manchester Joanne Tippett,  Manchester

Less than an hour cycling out of central Manchester along the Bridgewater Canal takes you into a green and blue landscape. It only becomes clear that this is a post-industrial area when the infrastructure of a coalfield pithead rises up behind the trees. Further along the canal you encounter attractive...

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Highlights from The Nature of Cities in 2018
David Maddox,  New York

Today’s post celebrates some of the highlights from TNOC writing in 2018. These contributions—originating around the world—were one or more of widely read, offering novel points of view, and/or somehow disruptive in a useful way. All 1000+ TNOC essays and roundtables are worthwhile reads, of course, but what follows will give you a...

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Renaturing Malta through Collaborations for Nature-based Solutions
Mario Balzan,  Valletta

With an area of just 316 Km2and a population of more than 475,000, Malta is the smallest member country of the European Union (EU). This island state has been moulded through human action since the first recorded human settlement more than 7000 years ago. Today, more than 30 percent of...

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Signs of Depressed Urban Economies
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

It has been raining all afternoon in Megali Sterna, a village in the north of Greece, and, from the empty and closed café we have been sitting in for  hours, it looks like the rain will continue into the evening. We scan the neighborhood for a dry place to pitch...

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Our goal is to empower cities to plan for a positive natural future. What is one specific action that should be taken to achieve this goal?
Graciela Arosemena,  Panama City Marcus Collier,  Dublin Marlies Craig,  Durban Samarth Das,  Mumbai Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore Gary Grant,  London Eduardo Guerrero,  Bogotá Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut Scott Kellogg,  Albany Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne Emily Maxwell,  New York Colin Meurk,  Christchurch Ragene Palma,  Manila Jennifer Rae Pierce,  Vancouver Mary Rowe,  Toronto Luis Sandoval,  San José

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Legacy as Visioning Tool: Urban Greening in Zagreb
Neven Tandaric,  Nottingham Chris Ives,  Nottingham

When we consider planning for green infrastructure, we typically think forward to what kind of city we might imagine for the future. Far less frequently do we consider the history of the city and how past generations have shaped the green spaces and the activities and meanings related to them....

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As a landscape architect, how do you interpret the word “biodiversity”? How does this meaning find expression in your design?
Gloria Aponte,  Medellín AnaLuisa Artesi,  Buenos Aires Andrew Grant,  Bath Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth Jason King,  Portland Victoria Marshall,  Singapore Daniel Phillips,  Detroit Mohan Rao,  Bangalore Sylvie Salles,  Paris Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth Diana Wiesner,  Bogota

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A Picture We Wished was Worth 1000 Words, But in Fact Only a Few
Hita Unnikrishnan,  Sheffield Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore

Sustainable cities can be viewed from multiple perspectives. Each perspective can highlight or mute certain aspects, leading us to take different positions on complex issues. Take for example the recent floods in Kerala, the southernmost state of India. Unprecedented rainfall led to intense floods across the state. Over 400 people...

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How Greening Strategies Are Displacing Minorities in Post-Harvey Houston
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona

On 14 June 2018, Isabelle Anguelovski participated in the panel Designing, Planning and Paying for Resilience at Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research, where she and other leading experts discussed flood mitigation strategies such as low impact design, green infrastructure and urban-scale greenspace preservation, and how they interact with a community’s broader planning efforts....

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Tales from the London 2018 Heatwave. But Are We Listening?
Paula Vandergert,  London

The 2018 London heatwave lasted weeks! I know we Brits like to talk about the weather—but honestly, it has been really hot—and it’s unheard of to be able to go for weeks without worrying about bringing a cardigan, umbrella, or raincoat when you step outside your door. The parks have...

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Nature after Nature and the Animal Internet
Rob Pirani,  New York

A review of the book Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution by Alexander Pschera (English translation from German by Elisabeth Lauffer). 2016. 209 pages.ISBN: 9781939931351. New Vessel Press. Buy the book. Apply the sunscreen, fill the water bottle, and put the damn phone at the bottom of the pack. My (precious)...

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Farmers From the City
Jennifer Baljko,  Barcelona

It’s a hot June day in rural Greece. We stop in a run-down gas station on a small secondary road cutting through wheat fields on both sides. We wipe the sweat from our brows. The gas station attendant opens the refrigerator and pulls out a crate of cherries.  “Take what...

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Ramsar COP 13: What can Artists Contribute to Urban Wetland Restoration?
Chris Fremantle,  Ayrshire, Scotland

The Ramsar Convention (also known as Convention on Wetlands) is the first of the major intergovernmental convention on biodiversity conservation and wise use. It was signed in 1971, in the City of Ramsar in Iran. This October, the 13th Ramsar Conference of the Parties (COP 13) will take place in...

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Artists in Conversation with Water in Cities
Carmen Bouyer,  Paris Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Antonio José García Cano,  Murcia Katrine Claassens,  Montreal Claudia Luna Fuentes,  Saltillo Nazlı Gürlek,  Istanbul & Palo Alto Basia Irland,  Albuquerque Robin Lasser,  Oakland Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn Marguerite Perret,  Topeka Bonnie Sherk,  San Francisco Nadia Vadori-Gauthier,  Paris Aloïs Yang,  Prague

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Civic Coproduction = Counterinstitutions + People: Make Participation Work by Focusing on the Possible
Nik Luka,  Montreal and Uppsala

There is a common refrain in liberal democracies: local government is where participatory action is most likely to happen. Indeed, we often presume that neighbourhoods and towns and cities are privileged—perhaps even natural—spaces for the deliberative coproduction of plans, policies, strategies, and projects for sustainability and the common good. By...

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Ocean Cities: The Power of Documentary Filmmaking to Tell Stories About the Nature Around Us
Tim Beatley,  Charlottesville

At a recent film screening of our new documentary film Ocean Cities, about connecting cities and marine environments, the panel discussion and questions that followed demonstrated clearly the value of these kinds of films. Some of the comments reflected a sense of being inspired by what other cities were doing...

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George Barker 1940-2018: A Tribute
David Goode,  Bath

George Barker, who died on 1 May 2018, will be remembered fondly by all who worked with him. He was a modest man, always full of fun, yet he was one of the most influential figures in the development of urban nature conservation in the UK and was held in...

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An urban planner and an urban ecologist walk into a bar. They chat about how (and maybe whether) “ecology” could play a bigger role in planning…
Will Allen,  Chapel Hill Juan Azcarate,  Bogotá Amy Chomowicz,  Portland Katie Coyne,  Austin Georgina Cullman,  New York PK Das,  Mumbai David Goode,  Bath Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville Elsa Limasset,  Orléans Ragene Palma,  Manila Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City Gil Penha-Lopes,  Lisbon Lauren Smalls-Mantey,  New York

   

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New Integrated and Actionable Urban Knowledge for the Cities We Want and Need
Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm Xuemei Bai,  Canberra Niki Frantzeskaki,  Melbourne Corrie Griffith,  Tempe David Maddox,  New York Timon McPhearson,  New York Sue Parnell,  Cape Town Paty Romero-Lankao,  Boulder David Simon,  Gothenburg Mark Watkins,  Phoenix

A preview of the book, Urban Planet: Knowledge Towards Sustainable Cities. 2018. Editors: Thomas Elmqvist, Xuemei Bai, Niki Frantzeskaki, Corrie Griffith, David Maddox, Timon McPhearson, Susan Parnell, Patricia Romero-Lankao, David Simon, Mark Watkins. Cambridge University Press. Available as an open source download here, or purchase as a physical book. We are living on an...

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Tracking Resilience Trade-offs: Let’s Build a Crowdsourced Global Database
Lorenzo Chelleri,  Barcelona Sara Meerow,  Tempe

In recent years, city plans, international organizations, private foundations, and policy discourse more broadly have presented resilience as a necessary characteristic for communities to cope with natural hazards and climate change. Numerous cities around the world are now developing resilience strategies or implementing policies with the stated aim of becoming more resilient. Resilience...

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Trees are Breath
Andreas Weber,  Berlin

In the last days, with the air finally above the freezing point, and the grey silhouettes of the barren twigs dripping with fine silvery moisture against the faint morning light, I have been drawn into the forest. Every morning, I unlocked the chain securing my bike to a low metal...

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A Sense of Wonder: The Missing Ingredient to a Long-Term Value for Nature?
Bronwyn Cumbo,  Sydney Marthe Derkzen,  Amsterdam

“For the child….it is not half as important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow.” —Rachel Carson, 1965, p.58. The natural world...

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The Sheffield Street Tree Massacre: Notes from a Public-Private Partnership Gone Wrong
Christine Thuring,  Vancouver

Often described as Europe’s greenest city, Sheffield is reputed to have more trees per capita than any other, with over 100,000 trees spread across parks and open spaces, 10.4 percent woodland by area, and approximately 36,000 street trees. However, a public-private partnership (P3) is dramatically altering Sheffield’s urban forest. The various particulars of the...

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Smart cities are coming. Can they be as much about nature, health, and wellbeing as traffic flows, crime detection, and evermore efficient provision of utilities?
Helga Fassbinder,  Amsterdam-Vienna Gary Grant,  London Pratik Mishra,  London Seema Mundoli,  Bangalore Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore Vishal Narain,  Gurugram Eric Sanderson,  New York Huda Shaka,  Dubai Shaleen Singhal,  New Delhi

 

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Searching for Sustainable Lawns in Sweden
Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth

The manual Lawn Alternatives in Sweden. From Theory to Practice shared the results of the transdisciplinary project “Lawn as ecological and cultural phenomenon: Searching for sustainable lawns in Sweden” (2013-2016, funded by FORMAS) and suggested practical implementation—guidelines for possible alternatives to existing contemporary lawns in Sweden. This essay excerpts some...

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What is one thing every ecologist should know about urban ecology?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town Erik Andersson,  Stockholm Marc Barra,  Paris Nathalie Blanc,  Paris Marcus Collier,  Dublin Paul Downton,  Melbourne Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Niki Frantzeskaki,  Melbourne Dagmar Haase,  Berlin Steven Handel,  New Brunswick Nadja Kabisch,  Berlin Timon McPhearson,  New York Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie Philip Silva,  New York Mike Wells,  Bath Weiqi Zhou,  Beijing

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In the Spirit of Nature, Everything is Connected
Chantal van Ham,  Brussels

Earth’s ecosystems have evolved for millions of years, resulting in diverse and complex biological communities living in balance with their environment (WWF Living Planet Report, 2016). Since the 16th century, human activity has impacted nature in practically every part of the world, wild plants and animals are at risk of...

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Blandscaping that Erases Local Ecological Diversity
Stuart Connop,  London Caroline Nash,  London

Ecological gentrification (Dooling, 2009) is a negative social process in which ecological improvements to neighbourhoods lead to gentrification and displacement of the neighbourhood’s original inhabitants. There is an analogous process of ecological gentrification at the level of ecological communities: many vulnerable ecological communities that persist (and in some cases, thrive)...

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Read This! For Every Continent, Must-Read and Continent-Specific Books About Cities
David Maddox,  New York

AFRICA ASIA AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND EUROPE LATIN AMERICA NORTH AMERICA (not including Mexico)          

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Can Smart Cities be Smart Green Cities? We’ll See
Gary Grant,  London

As yet, there are no smart cities. I read of plenty of people and organisations working hard to create them. However, so far, we have had initiatives, policies, strategies, and some projects, but no examples of cities where it all comes together in a genuinely city-wide way. In addition, most...

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Thinking Like a Lake in Mexico City
Janice Astbury,  Manchester

A satirical video circulated this past summer announcing Mexico City as the country’s newest and most exciting water park, featuring waterfalls in the metro and an airport runway turned waterway.[1]  I thought they might have included the geyser spouting out of a drain that I saw next to the sign...

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Let go of some urban domestication: How would you convince the mayor to re-wild the city?
Juan Azcarate,  Bogotá Keith Bowers,  Charleston Katrine Claassens,  Montreal Don Dearborn,  Lewiston Ian Douglas,  Manchester Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Lincoln Garland,  Bath Amy Hahs,  Ballarat Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville Keitaro Ito,  Fukutsu City Louise Lezy-Bruno,  Paris Jala Makhzoumi,  Beirut Juliana Montoya,  Bogota Daniel Phillips,  Detroit Mohan Rao,  Bangalore Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth Kati Vierikko,  Helsinki

Juliana Montoya and Juan Azcárate, Bogotá (To read this post in English, see here.) Asilvestrando ciudades: Una perspectiva desde la biodiversidad latinoamericana Analizando la idea de asilvestramiento de las ciudades (re-wilding cities) como espacios que permiten la vida de especies de forma natural y espontánea en lugares diferentes a su...

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Biophilic Benefits or Bio-baloney? (Probably) the Former
Lincoln Garland,  Bath

Regular readers of TNOC will be familiar with the biophilia hypothesis, which supposes an innate emotional link between humans and the natural world that positively impacts our psychological wellbeing. In other words, we feel most at home in naturalistic surroundings, as this is where we evolved and have spent the...

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Re-naturing Cities: Theories, Strategies and Methodologies
Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira,  Portsmouth Heather Rumble,  Portsmouth Mark Goddard,  Newcastle Fabio Angeoletto,  Rondonópolis Pedro Britto,  Goiânia Silvio Caputo,  Portsmouth Stuart Connop,  London Karla Emmanuela Ribeiro Hora,  Goiânia Caroline Nash,  London Braulio Romeiro,  Goiânia

There is strong interest in the theme of re-naturing cities, since “naturalizing” cities can help address multiple global societal challenges and generate benefits, such as the enhancement of health and well-being, sustainable urbanisation, the provision of ecosystems and their services, and resilience to climate change. But, what are the theories,...

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A Hymn to Nature in My City
Paula Vandergert,  London

Warning: What follows is entirely personal and non-scientific. This is a good thing. I live and work in a global city. Here’s my justification for being here. I work on scaling up greening in cities across Europe. My global city—London—has been a leader in urban greening initiatives for many years....

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Where Did the Rivers Go? The Hidden Waterways beneath London
David Goode,  Bath

A review of The Lost Rivers of London, by Nicholas Barton and Stephen Myers, 2016.  ISBN:1905286511. Historical Publications Ltd . 224 pages. Buy The Lost Rivers of London. …and London’s Lost Rivers, by Paul Talling. ISBN: 184794597X. Random House UK. 192 pages. Buy London’s Lost Rivers. The Lost Rivers of London by Nicholas Barton...

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Past and Future? Living and Growing Food Underground
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

In previous TNOC posts I wrote about two apparently different topics: urban agriculture and living underground. Let’s combine them now into a new urban object: Farming underground. You may very well think that I am playing smart-aleck here, and that this paper is just a piece of bravura, since farming...

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Ecosystems for everyone: Who should have access to the myriad benefits of ecosystem services and urban nature? Everyone. Does everyone? No. How will we achieve this moral imperative?
Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona Georgina Avlonitis,  Cape Town Julie Bargmann,  Charlottesville Nathalie Blanc,  Paris PK Das,  Mumbai Marthe Derkzen,  Amsterdam Maggie Scott Greenfield,  New York Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut Nadja Kabisch,  Berlin Jim Labbe,  Portland Francois Mancebo,  Paris Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore Flaminia Paddeu,  Paris Steward Pickett,  Poughkeepsie Andrew Rudd,  New York City Suraya Scheba,  Cape Town Marcelo Lopes de Souza,  Rio de Janeiro Hita Unnikrishnan,  Sheffield Diana Wiesner,  Bogota Pengfei XIE,  Beijing

 

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Thinking About the Concept of “Cultural Nature” while Walking the Gardens of Méréville
Louise Lezy-Bruno,  Paris

The first time I visited the Méréville Estate and its Anglo-Chinese garden, created south of Paris at the end of the 18th century, I was struck by the interlinking of nature and culture in this amazing place. This National Heritage Site is the work of the Marquis de Laborde, who...

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Urban Farming for Everyone / La Agricultura Urbana para Todos
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

A review of: Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles / Urban Agriculture – Spaces of Cultivation for a Sustainable City by Graciela Arosemena. 2012. 128 pages.  ISBN: 9788425224232.  Buy the book. Urbanization has gone hand-in-hand with agriculture from the beginning. Even in medieval times, when walls and defensive structures left...

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Ostrom in the City: Design Principles for the Urban Commons
Sheila Foster,  Washington, DC Christian Iaione,  Rome

Elinor Ostrom’s groundbreaking research established that it is possible to collaboratively manage common pool resources, or commons, for economic and environmental sustainability. She identified the conditions or principles which increase the likelihood of long-term, collective governance of shared resources. Although these principles have been widely studied and applied to a...

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Patrick Geddes’ 19th Century “Pocket Park” Inspires Art Installation
Allison Palenske,  Edinburgh

A review of “Palm House”, a commissioned project on view at the Edinburgh Art Festival until 27 August 2017. The year is 1880; the place is Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh’s Old Town is internationally known for its squalid conditions; its tenement slums plagued by poor sanitation and overcrowded housing. The medieval...

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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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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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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

 

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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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Trees Are More than Just Trees: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Christine Thuring,  Vancouver

Most of us know how “good” trees are for the urban environment, and for the planet overall. Whether you’re a human, an insect, a fungus, a bat, a bird, a four-legged omnivore, or an amphibian, we all love trees. Trees are symbols of health, vitality, and goodness. For the greater...

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To whom does a city’s nature belong? Is it a common pool resource, or a public good? And who decides?
Amita Baviskar,  Delhi Lindsay Campbell,  New York James Connolly,  Barcelona Sheila Foster,  Washington, DC Phil Ginsburg,  San Francisco Jeff Hou,  Seattle Marianne Krasny,  Ithaca Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn Oona Morrow,  Berlin Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore Raul Pacheco-Vega,  Aguascalientes Michael Sarbanes,  Baltimore Philip Silva,  New York Diana Wiesner,  Bogota

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The Nature of Universities and Sustainability
Lorenzo Chelleri,  Barcelona Giulia Sonetti,  Turin

Through their educational and experimental roles in society, universities can play a unique and vital role in cities’ transitions to sustainability. Although life itself is a learning process and education can happen anywhere, from the streets to virtual places, the temples of educations in our minds were—and still are—schools and...

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The Models are not Prescriptions—Applying Green Roof Technology in New Places
Andrew Clements,  Corinth

Greek green roofs—Oikosteges, or OS for short—were born when I discovered that the existing conventional Northern and Central European green roofing systems could not be applied to our situation because they had been designed for the climate and building situations in those countries. Greece has many differences. Greece is in...

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What are we trying to accomplish with biophilic cities? What are ambitious goals and targets, and measures of success?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town Tim Beatley,  Charlottesville Lena Chan,  Singapore Paul Downton,  Melbourne Ian Douglas,  Manchester Dusty Gedge,  London David Goode,  Bath Bram Gunther,  New York Chris Ives,  Nottingham Tania Katzschner,  Cape Town Steve Maslin,  Bristol Peter Newman,  Perth Phil Roös,  Geelong Eric Sanderson,  New York Jana Söderlund,  Perth Fleur Timmer,  Bristol Chantal van Ham,  Brussels Mike Wells,  Bath Ken Yeang,  Kuala Lumpur

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Are We Truly Connected in Today’s High Frequency World?
Chantal van Ham,  Brussels

In September last year, the IUCN World Conservation Congress—Planet at the Crossroads—brought together in Hawai’i more than 10,000 participants from 180 countries, including top scientists and academics, world leaders and decision makers from governments, civil society, indigenous peoples, and business. It presented a unique opportunity to discuss the unprecedented challenges...

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Shaped by Urban History—Reflections on Bangkok
Richard Friend,  York

It takes distance to gain a sense of perspective, and so I find myself sitting in a small market town in the north of England looking halfway across the world at my time living in one of the world’s great emerging megacities, Bangkok. From this market town there is a...

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

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 San Anton, is known as a place to buy ceramic...

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The Nature of Green
Gary Grant,  London

I was looking at an infographic on Twitter recently. It was in the form of a wheel of words, listing dozens of objectives and issues relating to urban design. Hoping that soil, water, vegetation, habitat, or biodiversity would be featured, I looked for some mention of these terms. I did...

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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 walked, the noise of the busy highway slowly subsided and...

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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 social dynamics of human society. The article concludes that we...

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

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 acts as a source of natural biodiversity for an urban...

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You say po-TAY-to. What ecologists and landscape architects don’t get about each other, but ought to.
Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth Amy Hahs,  Ballarat Jürgen Breuste,  Salzburg Susannah Drake,  New York City Marcus Hedblom,  Uppsala Andrew Grant,  Bath Mike Wells,  Bath Steven Handel,  New Brunswick Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City Ian MacGregor-Fors,  Xalapa Anne Trumble,  Los Angeles Christine Thuring,  Vancouver Kevin Sloan,  Dallas-Fort Worth Gloria Aponte,  Medellín Nina-Marie Lister,  Toronto Sarah Hinners,  Salt Lake City AnaLuisa Artesi,  Buenos Aires Jala Makhzoumi,  Beirut Jason King,  Portland Yun Hye HWANG,  Singapore Danielle Dagenais,  Montreal Mary Cadenasso,  Davis Veronica Fabio,  Buenos Aires Peter Werner,  Darmstadt

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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 aboveground parts of plants are dormant; animals hibernate or at...

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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 to see how the concept has taken root and proliferated....

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

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 driven mostly to extinction. Will we care to listen? As...

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Why Should an Urbanist Care About Biodiversity?
Olivier Scheffer,  Bordeaux

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 frequency; melting of landlocked ice; increased sea level and coastal...

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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 since its inception, and those big plans are still unfinished....

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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 that transport, local government or this tea or those coffee...

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Resilience isn’t only about infrastructure. How can we better support community-based environmental stewardship in readiness, response, and recovery from disturbance?
Weston Brinkley,  Seattle Katerina Elias,  São Paulo Sumetee Gajjar,  Bangalore Jonathan Halfon,  New York City Heather McMillen,  Honolulu Luciana Nery,  Rio de Janeiro Raul Pacheco-Vega,  Aguascalientes Renae Reynolds,  New York City Hita Unnikrishnan,  Sheffield Paula Villagra,  Valdivia Karen Zumach,  Minneapolis

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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 III, the urban research community is currently institutionally marginalized and...

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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. Her name is Viola, and she is 4 years old....

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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 Tempelhofer Feld. The flora and fauna of Südgelände Nature Park....

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Habitat III is finally a reality. From your perspective, what would be the single most important tangible outcome (not output) of the event—short or long term—and what will it take to achieve this outcome?
Yunus Arikan,  Bonn Xuemei Bai,  Canberra Genie Birch,  Philadelphia & New York Maruxa Cardama,  Brussels Bharat Dahiya,  Bangkok PK Das,  Mumbai David Dodman,  London William Dunbar,  Tokyo Anjali Mahendra,  Chapel Hill & New Delhi Jose Puppim,  Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio David Satterthwaite,  London Huda Shaka,  Dubai David Simon,  Gothenburg Pengfei XIE,  Beijing Lorena Zárate,  Mexico City

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

“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 we’re on the right track, as recent years have witnessed...

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How can we make urban nature and its value more apparent, more “visible” to people?
Simone Borelli,  Rome Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York Marcus Collier,  Dublin Sven Eberlein,  Oakland David Goode,  Bath Leen Gorissen,  Antwerp Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro Seth Magle,  Chicago Polly Moseley,  Liverpool Ragene Palma,  Manila Jennifer Sánchez,  San José Richard Scott,  Liverpool Chantal van Ham,  Brussels Gavin Van Horn,  Chicago Mark Weckel,  New York Mike Wetter,  Portland Niki Frantzeskaki,  Melbourne Hastings Chikoko,  Johannesburg

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What Do Rotterdammers Want in Green Infrastructure? We Asked Them
Marthe Derkzen,  Amsterdam

Now that urban greening is increasingly seen as a climate adaptation strategy, the question is how to best provide the necessary green space. Where, at which scale, and what type of greenery? Which design is preferred? And how can municipalities increase public support for green adaptation measures? To find answers...

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Urban agriculture has many benefits. Is one of them a contribution to urban sustainability?
Jane Battersby,  Cape Town Katrin Bohn,  Brighton Christopher Bryant,  Montreal Easther Chigumira,  Harare Evan Fraser,  Guelph Kelly Hodgins,  Guelph Patrick Hurley,  Collegeville, PA Francois Mancebo,  Paris Idah Mbengo,  Harare Innisfree McKinnon,  Menomonie Leslie McLees,  Eugene Geneviève Metson,  Vancouver Navin Ramankutty,  Vancouver Kristin Reynolds,  New York City Esther Sanyé-Mengual,  Bologna Shaleen Singhal,  New Delhi Kathrin Specht,  Müncheberg Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem Andre Viljoen,  Brighton Claudia Visoni,  São Paulo

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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 afield, with examples of aqueducts bringing clean water great distances...

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Common threads: connections among the ideas of Jane Jacobs and Elinor Ostrom, and their relevance to urban socio-ecology
Paul Downton,  Melbourne Johan Enqvist,  Cape Town Sheila Foster,  Washington, DC Lisa Gansky,  San Francisco Mathieu Hélie,  Montréal Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville Michelle Johnson,  New York City Marianne Krasny,  Ithaca David Maddox,  New York Michael Mehaffy,  Portland Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore Raul Pacheco-Vega,  Aguascalientes Mary Rowe,  Toronto Alex Russ,  Ithaca Laura Shillington,  Montreal Anne Trumble,  Los Angeles Arjen Wals,  Wageningen Abigail York,  Tempe

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Market-Based Solutions Cannot Forge Transformative and Inclusive Urban Futures
Richard Friend,  York

There is an advertisement that is played with great frequency on television in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Even without the language, the imagery is powerful and vivid; the meaning seems unambiguous. In the setting of a sparklingly clean, modern kitchen, a young pregnant woman goes to drink a glass of what appears...

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Visions of resilience: Eighteen artists say or show something in response to the word “resilience”
Juan Carlos Arroyo,  Bogotá David Brooks,  New York City Katrine Claassens,  Montreal Emilio Fantin,  Milan Ganzeer,  Los Angeles Lloyd Godman,  Melbourne Fran Ilich,  New York City Frida Larios,  Antiguo Cuzcatlán, Copán, and Washington Todd Lester,  Säo Paulo Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Mary Mattingly,  Brooklyn David Maddox,  New York E. J. McAdams,  New York City Mary Miss,  New York City Edna Peres,  Johannesburg Caroline Robinson,  Auckland Finzi Saidi,  Pretoria Keijiro Suzuki,  Yamaguchi & Nagoya

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Confronting the Dark Side of Urban Agriculture
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

How do you like roller coaster rides? I love them—provided that I am sitting in the operator’s cabin and not in one of the small, shaken carts frantically moving up and down. In two of my last posts, The Nurtured Golem: A Nantes Neighborhood Transforms Environmental Bad into Good, and...

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Réinventer Paris: A Competition to Write History with Nature in Paris
Nathalie Baumann,  Basel

“Réinventer Paris”, or “Reinventing Paris”, the architectural program initiated by Anne Hildago (the Socialist mayor of the French capital) in autumn 2014 does not lack ambition. When I first heard about it, I was surprised and couldn’t really believe it until spring 2015, when I was convoked by two teams...

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What Can We Learn from Chinese Classical Gardens?
David Goode,  Bath

Step off the street in Suzhou through a small door and you leave behind the bustling cacophony of a modern Chinese city to enter a different world of tranquility and calm, where natural features create a sense of being surrounded by nature in a tiny oasis that is a scholar’s...

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Landscape initiatives are in operation or in development in many parts of the world. What is key to making them work and be useful? How are they good for cities?
Steve Brown,  Sydney Martha Fajardo,  Bogota Carla Gonçalves,  Porto, Portugal Monica Luengo,  Madrid Claudia Misteli,  Barcelona Osvaldo Moreno,  Santiago Liana Jansen,  Cape Town Laura Spinadel,  Vienna Kenneth Taylor,  Canberra Menno Welling,  Zomba

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Resilience and the Butterfly Effect: Could a Grain of Quinoa from Bolivia Influence Barcelona City Resilience?
Lorenzo Chelleri,  Barcelona

Edward Lorenz’s application of chaos theory to weather forecasting is better known to the general public as “the butterfly effect”, thanks to his conference presentation, “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” Lorenz’s law explains to us that there are unknown and...

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Creative Place-Making—This is The Nature of Graffiti
David Maddox,  New York Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town Paul Downton,  Melbourne Emilio Fantin,  Milan Germán Gomez,  Bogotá Julie Goodness,  Stockholm Mike Houck,  Portland Todd Lester,  Säo Paulo Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Patrice Milillo,  Los Angeles Laura Shillington,  Montreal

Nature is all around us. Plants, animals, soil, air and water inhabit and animate our daily lives, whether you live in the country or in the city. We are invigorated by nature. We are inspired by its creatures, their beauty, and their existential meaning. We depend on nature’s services and...

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Can cities save bees? How can urban habitats be made to serve pollinator conservation? How can that story be better told?
Katherine Baldock,  Bristol Alison Benjamin,  London Sarah Bergmann,  Seattle Mark Goddard,  Newcastle Damon Hall,  St. Louis Tina Harrison,  New Brunswick Scott MacIvor,  Toronto Denise Mouga,  Joinville Matt Shardlow,  Peterborough Caragh Threlfall,  Melbourne

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Social-Ecological Urbanism and the Life of Baltic Cities
Stephan Barthel,  Stockholm

Jane Jacobs critiqued modernist city planning in the now classic book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961). This book is now inspiring an urban renaissance. Jacobs proposed that a city must be understood as a system of organized complexity—in other words, as an ecosystem—and that any intervention...

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Photo Essay: Untold Stories of Change, Loss and Hope Along the Margins of Bengaluru’s Lakes
Marthe Derkzen,  Amsterdam

Before becoming India’s information technology hub, Bengaluru was known for its numerous lakes and green spaces. Rapid urbanization has led to the disappearance of many of these ecosystems. Those that remain face a range of challenges: residential and commercial construction, pollution and waste dumping, privatization, and so on. Today, Bengaluru’s...

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An explicitly urban Sustainable Development Goal has been adopted by the UN (#11). Now what? Where could it go wrong?
Genie Birch,  Philadelphia & New York Ben Bradlow,  Boston William Dunbar,  Tokyo Peter Head,  London Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville Hui Ling Lim,  Prague Shuaib Lwasa,  Kampala Jose Puppim,  Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio Andrew Rudd,  New York City Karen Seto,  New Haven David Simon,  Gothenburg Bolanle Wahab,  Ibadan Lorena Zárate,  Mexico City

   

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Discounting Our Engagement and Betraying Our Affections for Urban Nature
Janice Astbury,  Manchester

When Montréal’s Parc Oxygène was bulldozed in June 2014, a local newspaper article aptly spoke of a ‘neighborhood in mourning.’ The narration of its destruction by a neighbor is heart-wrenching (1). This small park in the midst of high rises was an urban oasis made and looked after by its...

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Can Large Parks be Urban Green Saviors?
Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth Richard Murray,  Stockholm Henrik Waldenström,  Stockholm

A review of the Large Parks in Large Cities conference, Stockholm, 2-4 September 2015. The prognosis for urbanization is challenging—in the next 40 years, urban population will double. Under the growing pressure of modern urban development, large parks are valued by people more than ever. From the beginning of city...

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Nature: Medicine for Cities and People
Chantal van Ham,  Brussels

Whilst urbanization has brought many benefits to society, it increasingly denies people of opportunities for the mental, spiritual and physical health benefits from nature. Over the last decade, there has been an alarming global increase in diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes [Note 1]. The...

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History, the Detroit River and Building an International Wildlife Refuge Right
David Goode,  Bath

A review of Bringing Conservation to Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, by John H. Hartig. 2014. ISBN: 978-0-9921007-4-2. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, MI. Ecovision World Monograph Series. 282 pages. John Hartig is currently the refuge manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge....

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Granny Flats and a Sponge House: Rethinking Necessities for the Future of Communities Along the Los Angeles River
Allison Palenske,  Edinburgh

A review of “Shelter,” an exhibition on view at the Architecture and Design Museum Los Angeles until Nov. 6, 2015. Although recent efforts to mitigate the characteristic poor air quality and largely suburban character of Los Angeles have been the focus of much debate and action, the city still faces...

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Ceci n’est pas une pipe: Unpacking Injustice in Paris
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

“We all know the sound of two hands clapping. But what is the sound of one hand clapping?” says a famous Zen Koan. At first consideration, it seems impossible to conjecture about the “just city” without having already in mind what is an “unjust city,” and vice versa. But my opinion is that this...

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The Quest for Governance Modes on Sustainable Urbanization
Buyana Kareem,  Kampala Olumuyiwa Adegun,  Johannesburg Collins Adjei Mensah,  Cape Coast, Ghana Saleh Ahmed,  Tucson Isabelle Michele Sophie Anguelovski,  Barcelona Ruishan Chen,  Shanghai Uchendu Chigbu,  Munich Aakriti Grover,  Delhi Alice Hertzog-Fraser,  Zurich Tracy-Ann Hyman,  West Indies, Jamaica George Kinyashi,  Dodoma, Tanzania Hayley Leck,  London Karolina Łukasiewicz,  Kraków Martin Maldonado,  Cordoba Andre Ortega,  Manila Lorena Pasquini,  Cape Town Alisa Zomer,  New Haven

However complex the urban sustainability question is, the facts are clear to all. Over the next four decades, the global urban population is expected to nearly double, with the vast majority of this happening in Asian and African cities; if we do not rethink and coalesce our approaches and practices,...

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What is the insurance value of urban ecosystems and their services?
Victor Beumer,  Delft Henry Booth,  West Chester Mitchell Chester,  Miami Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm Alexandros Gasparatos,  Tokyo Jaroslav Mysiak,  Venice Rob Tinch,  Brussels Henrik von Wehrden,  Lüneburg Francis Vorhies,  Divonne-les-Bains Koko Warner,  Bonn

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The Nurtured Golem: A Nantes Neighborhood Transforms Environmental Bad into Good
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

 At the end of my last post, Unintended Consequences: When Environmental “Goods” Turn Bad, I raised the idea that sometimes environmental “bads” can also turn good, and that it usually works better when nobody “looks”. I mean that this process works better when the inhabitants take ownership of their living...

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London: A National Park City
David Goode,  Bath

Something very significant is happening in London. It’s a plan to make London the world’s first National Park City. Now that’s an idea that could catch on in a very big way. Over the past 18 months, a movement has been growing, drawing together Londoners who want to apply National...

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Why don’t all public buildings have green roofs? Or all large private buildings (e.g. businesses)? Would this be a good idea? What would it take to make it happen and to make it worthwhile?
Maryam Akbarian,  Tehran Wolfgang Ansel,  Nürtingen Nathalie Baumann,  Basel Michael Berkshire,  Chicago Rebecca Bratspies,  New York City Amy Chomowicz,  Portland Andrew Clements,  Corinth Karla Dakin,  Denver Stuart Gaffin,  New York Dusty Gedge,  London André Gonçalves,  Goiânia Ulrike Grau,  Mexico City Angela Loder,  Denver Amosh Neupane,  Middlebury Matt Palmer,  New York City Kerry Ross,  Calgary Kaveh Samiei,  Tehran Julie Santos,  London & Buenos Aires Kate Scherer,  New York Mark Simmons,  Austin Kevin Songer,  Jacksonville Christine Thuring,  Vancouver

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Glasgow Made the Clyde and the Clyde Made Glasgow
Allison Palenske,  Edinburgh

A review of “Clyde Reflections,” an art film by Stephen Hurrel and  Ruth Brennan, on exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland. The west coast of Scotland has been known to enchant, with its rough coastal edges, intricately carved islands, charming towns, and an aquatic landscape that...

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Urban Nature as Festival: Berlin’s Long Day of Urban Nature
Katharine Burgess,  Washington, D.C

Just before 10 am one Sunday this June, 300 people prepared for a boat ride on the River Spree, lining up in a park next to the longest surviving stretch of the Berlin Wall. The boat was a cheerful blue and yellow passenger vessel, mostly used for river tourist excursions...

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10 scientists and 10 practitioners walk into a bar…what would they talk about? How can research and knowledge generation be co-created to better support practitioners and evidence-based decision making?
Myla Aronson,  New Brunswick Georgina Avlonitis,  Cape Town Keith Bowers,  Charleston Sarah Charlop-Powers,  New York Haripriya Gundimeda,  Mumbai Bram Gunther,  New York Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Amy Hahs,  Ballarat Fadi Hamdan,  Beirut John Hartig,  Detroit Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth Michael Jemtrud,  Montreal Deborah Lev,  Portland Louise Lezy-Bruno,  Paris Yvonne Lynch,  Melbourne Ian MacGregor-Fors,  Xalapa Charlie Nilon,  Columbia Diane Pataki,  Salt Lake City Jose Puppim,  Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio Rebecca Salminen Witt,  Detroit Eric Sanderson,  New York Philip Silva,  New York

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Cities, People, Business and Nature: In Search of Innovative Models of Engagement
Chantal van Ham,  Brussels

Seek the silent places where no jarring sound is heard and nothing breaks the stillness but the singing of a bird. Nature tells her secrets not to those who hurry by, but to those who walk with quiet heart and seeing eye. —Chinese proverb I recently discovered that the word...

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An Urban Journey to the Bottom of the Sea
Taida Garibovic,  Zadar, Croatia

A review of Blue Urbanism: Exploring Connections between Cities and Oceans by Timothy Beatley. 2014. ISBN 13: 978-1-61091-405-5 / ISBN 10: 1-61091-405-8. Island Press, Washington. 165 pages. Timothy Beatley, a recognized environmental urbanist and planner, has recently been working on the concept of sustainable communities and resilient cities. In particular, the author’s...

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Taking “resilience” out of the realm of metaphor. How do you measure resilience in cities? How would you know if your city or your community was resilient?
Keren Bolter,  Fort Lauderdale Cezar Busatto,  Porto Alegre Lorenzo Chelleri,  Barcelona William Dunbar,  Tokyo Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm Antoine Faye,  Dakar Richard Friend,  York Lance Gunderson,  Atlanta Tom Henfrey,  Bristol Patricia Holly,  Barcelona and Nairobi Dan Lewis,  Barcelona and Nairobi Rachna Leveque,  London Shuaib Lwasa,  Kampala Timon McPhearson,  New York Franco Montalto,  Philadelphia and Venice Luciana Nery,  Rio de Janeiro Henk Ovink,  The Hague Elisabeth Peyroux,  Paris Catherine Sutherland,  Durban Pakamas Thinphanga,  Bangkok Claire Weisz,  New York Daniel Zarrilli,  New York

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Imaging the urban wild: Fourteen photographers and artists show and talk about their work
Joshua Burch,  London Emilio Fantin,  Milan Mike Feller,  New York City Andrés Flajszer,  Barcelona Mike Houck,  Portland Chris Jordan,  Seattle Robin Lasser,  Oakland Monika Lawrence,  Bemidji Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka David Maddox,  New York Chris Payne,  New York City Eric Sanderson,  New York Jonathan Stenvall,  Stockholm Benjamin Swett,  New York City

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Chinese Urban Green Areas: Classic Gardens to a Globalized Landscape
Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth Na Xiu,  Uppsala & Xi’an Fengping Yang,  Uppsala

In October 2014, we had a great opportunity to explore different green areas of several Chinese cities within the project “Sustainable green infrastructure in urban-rural areas of China based on eco-civilization,” which was sponsored by the Chinese Government. It was particularly interesting to see different types of greenery that reflects...

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Green Transport Routes Are Social-Cultural-Ecological Corridors
Janice Astbury,  Manchester

Since moving from Edinburgh to London, I have greatly missed my bicycle commute along the former’s Union Canal. There are similar routes in London, but they’re unfortunately not on my way to work. I have always sought out such corridors and they have sometimes influenced my destinations. In response to...

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Unintended Consequences: When Environmental “Goods” Turn Bad
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

After a hectic start to 2015, I finally managed to slow down the pace. A few days ago, I attempted to catch up on some overdue readings—my way to keep in the loop. Among the many documents piling up on my computer desktop was this short podcast from TNOC: “Closing...

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Lessons on Post-Resilience from Venice, 2015
Franco Montalto,  Philadelphia and Venice

“Stronger than the storm.” I can’t get this phrase out of my head, nearly one week into my sabbatical move to Venice, Italy. It so happens that we arrived on a week when the moon and the winds lined up to create acqua alta (high water) for six days in...

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Daylighting and restoring urban streams, ponds and wetlands can provide huge ecological and social benefits. Are such restorations “worth it”? What are the pitfalls? How can we demonstrate these benefits and elevate them in the public discourse so that urban wetlands become urban planning priorities?
Adrian Benepe,  New York Keith Bowers,  Charleston Meredith Dobbie,  Victoria Susannah Drake,  New York City Herbert Dreiseitl,  Überlingen Marit Larson,  New York City Chan-Won Lee,  Changwon Kaitlin Lovell,  Portland Alberto Tacón,  Valdivia

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Unintended Consequences Can Be Opportunities for Conservation
David Goode,  Bath

In reviewing the wildlife habitats of British towns and cities for my recent book Nature in Towns and Cities (Harper Collins 2014) I became acutely aware that many of the UK’s most spectacular urban wetlands resulted from industrial activities. The most extensive of these are newly created lakes that formed...

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Is there such a thing as a “bird friendly city”? What does it look like? What does it not look like? Why bother?
Tim Beatley,  Charlottesville Luke Engleback,  Tunbridge Wells Dusty Gedge,  London David Goode,  Bath Madhusudan Katti,  Raleigh John Marzluff,  Seattle Bongani Mnisi,  Cape Town Glenn Phillips,  New York City Kaveh Samiei,  Tehran Ken Smith,  New York Yolanda van Heezik,  Dunedin Maxime Zucca,  Paris

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Seeing and Seeding the Potential of Urban Life
Richard Scott,  Liverpool

Land really is the best art. I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want. —Andy Warhol The new year is a good time to look back before looking forward: this blog offers opportunity to take stock of 2014, which was...

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Urban water fronts have typically been sites of heavy development and often are sites of pollution or exclusive access. But they have enormous potential benefits. How can we unlock these benefits for everyone? Are there ecological vs. social vs. economic tradeoffs?
Mitchell Chester,  Miami PK Das,  Mumbai Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Andrew Grant,  Bath John Hartig,  Detroit Roland Lewis,  New York Joe Lobko,  Toronto Robert Morris-Nunn,  Hobart Rob Pirani,  New York Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk,  Miami Andréa Albuquerque G. Redondo,  Rio de Janeiro Bradley Rink,  Cape Town Hita Unnikrishnan,  Sheffield Jay Valgora,  New York Mike Wells,  Bath

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Community Participation in Parks Development: Two Examples from Berlin
Katharine Burgess,  Washington, D.C

On a Friday night at the end of November 2014, nearly 200 people arrived in the departures zone of Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport for five hours of presentations, working groups and community-led exhibitions. A projection screen stood on the baggage carousel, and former glass-walled airport offices held bulletin boards and...

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How can different ways of knowing—and of producing knowledge—be useful for understanding and managing urban ecosystems?
Doreen Adengo,  Kampala Adrina Bardekjian,  Montreal Sadia Butt Sadia Butt,  Toronto Lindsay Campbell,  New York Luke Drake,  New Brunswick, New Jersey Bryce Dubois,  New York City Johan Enqvist,  Cape Town Nate Gabriel,  New Brunswick, New Jersey Tischa Muñoz-Erickson,  Río Piedras, Puerto Rico Camilo Ordóñez,  Melbourne Philip Silva,  New York James Steenberg,  Toronto

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Building Ecological Services: Restoring the Ecosystem Services of the Habitats We Are Replacing with Human Development
Whitney Hopkins,  London

Every year, new scientific advances indicate life is more interwoven than we ever imagined. From recent reports that reveal the cascading effects of wolves’ reintroduction to Wyoming to current studies that track the dire impact of Washington dams on the decreasing nutrient loads in Montana forests, evidence builds of a...

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How can art (in all its forms), exhibits, installations and provocations be a better catalyst to raise awareness, support and momentum for urban nature and green spaces? 
Jennifer Adams,  New York City Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town Marielle Anzelone,  New York City Stephanie Britton,  Byron Bay, NSW Pauline Bullen,  Harare Tim Collins,  Glasgow Emilio Fantin,  Milan Lloyd Godman,  Melbourne Julie Goodness,  Stockholm Noel Hefele,  Brooklyn Todd Lester,  Säo Paulo Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Elliott Maltby,  New York City Mary Miss,  New York City Lorenza Perelli,  Chicago Stephanie Radok,  Adelaide Lisa Terreni,  Wellington Shawn Van Sluys,  Guelph

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Do urban green corridors “work”? It depends on what we want them to do. What ecological and/or social functions can we realistically expect green corridors to perform in cities? What attributes define them, from a design and performance perspective?
Diego Borrero,  Cali Kelly Brenner,  Seattle Lena Chan,  Singapore Geoffrey Davison,  Singapore Susannah Drake,  New York City Marcus Hedblom,  Uppsala Mark Hostetler,  Gainesville Chris Ives,  Nottingham Tori Kjer,  Los Angeles Kathryn Lwin,  London Pierre-André Martin,  Rio de Janeiro Colin Meurk,  Christchurch Toni Pujol,  Barcelona Glenn Stewart,  Christchurch Marten Wallberg,  Stockholm Na Xiu,  Uppsala & Xi’an Irene Guida,  Venice

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We Should Look at Urban Nature More Through the Eyes of Children 
Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Jürgen Breuste,  Salzburg

Environmental perception by people is complex and dynamic. Individuals are active agents in their perceptions of nature—not passive receivers of information—while the environment is a global unity on which environmental processes within cities are based. Cognitive, interpretive and evaluative components are all incorporated into the perceptual processes of individuals. The...

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What is the meaning and role of the “sacred” in the design and management of urban green space and the building of cities that are both green and livable?
Pedro Camarena,  Mexico City Lindsay Campbell,  New York Jayne Engle,  Montreal Emilio Fantin,  Milan Mickey Fearn,  Raleigh Divya Gopal,  Berlin Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Jimena Martignoni,  Buenos Aires Erika Svendsen,  New York Maria Tengö,  Stockholm Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem Gavin Van Horn,  Chicago Shawn Van Sluys,  Guelph Diana Wiesner,  Bogota Kathleen Wolf,  Seattle Mary Wyatt,  Annapolis

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Inviting You to Collaborate with Nature to Transform Your City
Janice Astbury,  Manchester

In the many current discussions about how to make cities more resilient, the potential roles of citizens and urban nature are largely overlooked. There are exceptions, including Krasny and Tidball’s work on civic ecology and that of a number of people associated with the Stockholm Resilience Centre (cf. Andersson, Barthel,...

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The New Is Well Forgotten Old: Scandinavian Vernacular Experience on Biodiverse Green Roofs
Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth Anna Bubnova,  St. Petersburg

Green roofs are becoming more popular around the globe and are considered to be a very progressive landscape design devise in urban areas. The green roof has started to become fashionable—it is even considered as one of the “compulsory” sustainable buildings features and an important part of urban green infrastructure....

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Swift Action Needed
David Goode,  Bath

The swifts have gone. They left about a week ago and the sky is silent over British towns and cities. By now they will be well on their way south, quartering marshes in the south of France and Spain, making for Gibraltar where they cross to Africa; airborne now until...

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Is There Any Type of Urban Greenspace that Addresses the Urban-Rural Continuum? Urban Agriculture
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

In my last post, I wrote that efficient urban sustainability policy should be inclusive, in the sense that it should address sustainability in an area large enough to encompass urban centers, but suburban, periurban and dependent rural, or natural places. I called for planners to abandon the “false dichotomy between...

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How much should we worry about exotic species in urban zones? How do we reduce damage from exotic invasives when management resources are limited? Are there conflicts between management or eradication efforts and building general support for urban biodiversity?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town David Burg,  New York City Mark Davis,  Saint Paul Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires Katie Holzer,  Davis Peter Head,  London Madhusudan Katti,  Raleigh Deborah Lev,  Portland Timon McPhearson,  New York Matt Palmer,  New York City Toby Query,  Portland Glenn Stewart,  Christchurch Peter Werner,  Darmstadt Paula Villagra,  Valdivia Carmen Silva,  Los Rios

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Environmental education in cities focuses on youth and community development, restoring ecosystems, building green infrastructure, and more. But is urban environmental education really anything new? What should its goals and practices look like?
Janice Astbury,  Manchester Chankook Kim,  Cheongju, South Korea Marianne Krasny,  Ithaca Alex Russ,  Ithaca Miguel Luna,  Los Angeles Pepe Marcos-Iga,  Tucson Candice Russell,  Los Angeles Soul Shava,  Johannesburg Philip Silva,  New York Shubhalaxmi Vaylure,  Mumbai

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A Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Cities and Human Settlements is competing for a place among the final United Nations SDGs that will be approved in 2014. If there were an explicitly Urban SDG, what would it look like? What should it say?
Yunus Arikan,  Bonn Genie Birch,  Philadelphia & New York Ben Bradlow,  Boston Maruxa Cardama,  Brussels Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm Julian Goh,  Singapore Shuaib Lwasa,  Kampala Anjali Mahendra,  Chapel Hill & New Delhi Mary Rowe,  Toronto Andrew Rudd,  New York City Kaveh Samiei,  Tehran Karen Seto,  New Haven Lorena Zárate,  Mexico City

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The sky is the limit for urban agriculture. Or is it? What can cities hope to get from community gardens and urban agriculture?
Lindsay Campbell,  New York Joana Chan & Bryce DuBois,  New York City David Dixon,  London Alexandre Guertin,  Montreal Gareth Haysom,  Cape Town Madhumitha Jaganmohan,  Leipzig Marianne Krasny,  Ithaca Jenga Mwendo,  New Orleans Mary Rowe,  Toronto Naomi Tsur,  Jerusalem Darlene Wolnik,  New Orleans

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It’s Not Only City Design—We Need To Integrate Sustainability Across the Rural-Urban Continuum
Francois Mancebo,  Paris

Nearly 70% of the world population lives in urban areas and nearly 75% of economic activity is located therein. Urban areas concentrate not only wealth but also extreme poverty and environmental degradation. Despite the significant progress in urbanization, still a billion people live in the slums of urban areas. Thus...

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Many believe that better information on the monetary value of ecosystem services is critical for getting cities to adopt more green infrastructure solutions to issues such as storm water management, heat island, storm surge, etc. True? What are the key knowledge gaps for convincing cities to invest in ecosystems services?
Taylor Britt,  Houston Nette Compton,  New York City Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm Mike Houck,  Portland Haripriya Gundimeda,  Mumbai Patrick M. Lydon,  Osaka Rob McInnes,  London Timon McPhearson,  New York Franco Montalto,  Philadelphia and Venice Steve Whitney,  Seattle

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Why We Need an Urban Sustainable Development Goal
Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm

Next year, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted by the United Nations after the Millennium Declaration, are set to expire. The next set of global development goals, which are supposed to be even more environmentally focused — the Sustainable Development Goals — are currently under discussion at the UN and...

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The UN in the Urban Anthropocene
Oliver Hillel,  Montreal Jose Puppim,  Johor Bahru / Cambridge / Rio

Today, we live in the ‘Urban Anthropocene’. This expression combines the global trend towards urbanization and the neologism ‘Anthropocene’, the term an ecologist would be forced to use these days to describe Homo sapiens as the key structuring species that could determine, alone, the fate of Earth’s life forms. For...

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Hammarby Sjöstad — A New Generation of Sustainable Urban Eco-Districts
Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth Per Berg,  Stockholm

Hammarby sjöstad (Hammarby Lake City) is an urban development project directly south of Stockholm’s South Island. This is no doubt the most referenced and visited spot among Scandinavian examples of implemented eco-friendly urban developments. Hammarby is included in many publications, for example in the recent Ecological Design by Nancy Rottle...

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What are the social justice implications of urban ecology, and how can we make sure that “green cities” are not synonymous with “gentrified” or “exclusive” cities?
Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore Stephanie Pincetl,  Los Angeles Jim Labbe,  Portland Rebecca Bratspies,  New York City PK Das,  Mumbai Cecilia Herzog,  Rio de Janeiro Charlie Nilon,  Columbia Brian McGrath,  New York City Pengfei XIE,  Beijing

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Should programs in architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture require a certain minimum level of learning about the fundamentals of ecology? Why?
Paul Downton,  Melbourne Barbara Deutsch,  Washington, DC Martha Fajardo,  Bogota Noboru Kawashima,  Bogotá Norbert Mueller,  Erfurt Kaveh Samiei,  Tehran

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Money for urban biodiversity is scarce. What is the single most important idea, program or action any city should undertake to promote biodiversity?
Pippin Anderson,  Cape Town Andre Mader,  Montreal Ana Faggi,  Buenos Aires John Kostyack,  Washington, D.C. Bram Gunther,  New York David Maddox,  New York Peter Head,  London Peter Werner,  Darmstadt

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Urban Sustainability and Resilience—Why We Need to Focus on Scales
Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm

Two of the most debated and challenging concepts in urban development are sustainability and resilience. How are they related? Do they mean approximately the same thing or are they distinctly different and can misunderstandings lead to undesired outcomes? In this essay I will try to clarify the concepts, discuss two...

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Historic Gardens – Where Nature Meets Culture – Can be Urban Biodiversity Hotspots
Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth

I was lucky to be born in St. Petersburg, Russia, the city of museums and parks.  My first scientific passion was exactly historical imperial gardens.  Traditionally gardens have been seen as very special places, as paradises where people can enjoy sounds of water and birds, can rest their eyes on...

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Can Smartphones Save Urban Natural History?
David Goode,  Bath

In 2008 the London Natural History Society celebrated its 150th anniversary with a conference on ‘London’s Natural History: past, present and future’. I was asked to consider future prospects. What changes might we expect in London’s natural history in fifty year’s time, and what are the prospects for the Society?...

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Cities and Biodiversity Outlook—Unprecedented Opportunities Lie Ahead in Greening Urban Expansion
Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm

The world is increasingly urban, interconnected, and changing. If current trends continue, by 2050 the global urban population is estimated to double and be around 6.5 billion. Most of future urban growth is expected to happen in small and medium-sized cities, not in megacities, and approximately 60% of the projected...

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Let us champion “Biodiversinesque” landscape design for the 21st century
Maria E Ignatieva,  Perth

I started my research as a landscape architect and urban ecologist in St. Petersburg, Russia. My home town is one of the biggest European cities and it is famous for numerous historical landscapes. In that time (1990’s) investigation of urban biotopes was a novelty. Passion for the history of landscape...

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Colonisation and Creativity: Two of the Drivers in Urban Ecology
David Goode,  Bath

Over the past two weeks I have experienced two very different aspects of urban ecology.  The first centered on a pair of peregrine falcons nesting close to where I live in the city of Bath.  The second was a visit to the Olympic Parklands which have been created for the...

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