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Preservation

How to Make Smart Growth More Lovable and Sustainable

June 30, 2015 by Kaid Benfield

Walkable... and enjoyable

It does little good to create a place that is sustainable if it is not in fact sustained, if it is not cared about, if it is not nourished and defended over time. That's why we should make places loveable. But unfortunately, lovability is exactly what I find missing in much of what passes for smart growth today.[read more]

Count Me In: Urban Greening and the Return of Primates in Kampala

June 29, 2015 by The Nature of Cities
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Monkeying about in the city

In this article, I present a case of a municipally initiated effort to ‘green’ the city of Kampala with the motive of addressing climate change mitigation. This initiative has its good aspects, enhancing green patches and biodiversity, but also comes with problems depending on the choice of species planted for greening the city.[read more]

Can Ornamental Plants Remain in the Gardens of California Under Drought?

June 24, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Drought-tolerant plants

With California's current drought, is there a place for ornamental gardens in the state? We’ve been studying this question for a number of years in Los Angeles and its surrounding municipalities, and here is our advice.[read more]

How Landscape Architects Can Help Create a More Resilient City

June 23, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Evergreen landscape design

Best practice landscape design arising from The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s (TCLF) Leading with Landscape symposium. Landscape architects offer perspectives on their efforts to create a more resilient city.[read more]

People Habitat: 25 Ways to think about Greener, Healthier Cities

June 23, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Nature, including us, in cities

A review of People Habitat: 25 Ways to think about Greener, Healthier Cities, a collection of essays by our very own writer F. Kaid Benfield: "Solidly grounded in what he sees is actually happening; he considers context, and especially how things fit together".[read more]

How Responsive Urban Design Should Take a “Landscape First” Approach

June 23, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Underestimated – landscape architecture.

A conference on landscape architecture has called for responsive urban design based in a “landscape first” approach, of balancing growth with social and environmental responsibilities, and championing the integral role landscape architects play in creating a sustainable city.[read more]

The Drain Gain: Art and An End to Forgettable Stormwater Management

June 16, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Floodwater management can be beautiful

A well-organized how-to guide for designers, Artful Rainwater Design (ARD), describes rainwater collection systems that are not only functional, but also attractive and engaging. These systems are usually designed to handle small rain events and the initial — and dirtiest — events, rather than major flooding from large storms.[read more]

How Can We Engage Residents to Conserve Urban Biodiversity?

June 15, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Best practice in interpretation

Green developments need informed and engaged residents in order to retain the biodiversity value of a site. This essay reveals how signs installed in neighborhoods can be a technique to inform residents about conservation issues and engage residents to adopt new practices.[read more]

Are Cities Becoming Less Authentic?

June 12, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen
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Out with the old – at what cost?

In the never ending quest to find out what millennials want (bike sharing, walkability, brewpubs, strong coffee, placemaking) another attribute is frequently mentioned: authenticity, both as a desired quality millennials seek, or as a threatened quality that their influx destroys. So what makes places or cities authentic?[read more]

The Challenges of Providing Public Space with Private Funds

June 11, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Not all is well in the Civic Center Park, Denver

A number of American cities have become dependent on privately funded conservancies to maintain and refurbish their public parks. A new how-to guide for building successful relationships in such situations has been published, as several have gone wrong.[read more]

Living Plans and Resilient, Happy, Included Citizens

June 8, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Kids need greenspace

Urban green areas and public spaces are key elements in urban infrastructure, mitigating environmental challenges, fulfilling social functions, and contributing to the ecosystems of the region. In Bogota, the concept is a central element of urban planning but has not been easy to implement. Debate persists about the relative merits of development and conservation.[read more]

How Eight Principles of Civic Ecology Enable Disaster Recovery

June 5, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Day of Unity in Joplin

How eight principles of civic ecology were used in a Midwestern community to help it build recovery and resilience following a devastating EF-5 tornado with 200mph winds that took 161 lives and destroyed homes, businesses, churches, hospitals, landscapes, and at least 10,000 mature trees.[read more]