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Gardens & Landscapes

Using Iconic Species to Mobilize Support for Conserving Urban Wildlife Habitats

May 24, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

The Portland Heron and Portland's Mayor

Since Portland City Council declared the Great Blue Heron Portland’s official bird, every year a proclamation ends with city commitments to undertake habitat acquisition, restoration and management during the coming year to protect and improve heron habitat and, by extension, fish and wildlife habitat generally throughout the city.[read more]

Blue Urbanism: The Next Frontier For Linking People In Cities to Nature

May 22, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Blue Urbanism book review

Cities should be designed in a way to enable citizens to have daily contact with the natural world. Since we're 70% water this book suggests ways to bring the 'blue belt' closer to us through amazing examples and practical suggestions from all over the world.[read more]

6 River Cities Offering Lessons in Resilience and How to Adapt to Climate Change

May 22, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Los Angeles River Revitalization 

In the era of climate change, cities with rivers can find creative responses to a changing environment. Each river city has a dynamic relationship with its river, so communities that depend on them must always strive to improve their adaptability and resilience. Here are several examples.[read more]

Three Ways Public Spaces Can Make Cities More Vibrant

Urban life is currently undergoing a transformation in cities worldwide. Through changing land use policies, high speed rail, and new technologies that foster online interaction, urban streets and public spaces are regaining their vitality. Here are three key reasons why we need to recognize the value of public spaces in creating cities for people.[read more]

In Uncertain Times, Urban Design Should Make Public Places More Flexible

May 22, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

The BIG U / Rebuild by Design

In uncertain times, urban design should make public places more flexible, more reassuring, more public. Cities are places where unlike-minded people share limited space. Their innovations—parks, skyscrapers, farmers’ markets–result from experiments to squeeze maximum benefit from a crowded place.[read more]

How Economically Viable Small Farms Can Benefit Local Urban Communities

Rishi Kumar, ecological designer & urban farmer.

Across Southern California, a new breed of small farmer is emerging to not only take advantage of the growing demand for local food, but also to connect urban communities to their food. These farmers are often working on backyard plots within or on the outskirts of cities that are less than 1-acre in size.[read more]

80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World – Book Review

May 20, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Designed for the Future by Jared Green

In Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World, Jared Green offers 80 thought-provoking and frequently inspiring answers to this question from landscape architects, urban planners, architects, journalists, artists, and environmental leaders in the U.S. and beyond[read more]

Check How Your Area Ranks on a Livability Index of US Cities

May 19, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Check how your area ranks

AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) is backing liveable, walkable, affordable communities for seniors. Its new liveability index of US cities provides an easy-to-use tool that enables anyone to plug in an address or zip code to determine how liveable their community is.[read more]

exclusive

Webinar Roundup: How to Get Started in Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture – the Next Big Thing For Cities

May 18, 2015 by David Thorpe

The future of salad growing

Last week Sustainable Cities Collective hosted a successful webinar on urban agriculture, in particular indoor and vertical farming. It gave plenty of advice to anyone thinking of entering the industry or just curious about it. If you missed it, read this write-up, see a record of the Twitter conversation on Storify or listen to a recording here.[read more]

The Seed Exchange Library That Fought the Law and Won

Seeds and Agriculture Regulations

Minnesota’s first public seed library came to the attention of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture after the story broke in the media in late 2014 – but not in a good way.It had broken the law. This is the story of how supporters fought to get the law changed so it could continue its good work.[read more]

The Michael Jackson Impersonator with an Important Lesson in Public Space

May 13, 2015 by This Big City

Doing Michael Jackson in Baltimore

While the main lesson from the recent tragic events in Baltimore is about responsible policing, there’s another. During the community protests after Freddie Gray’s death one man jumped out between police and protestors and launched into a convincing Michael Jackson dance impersonation. This can yield an important lesson in public space.[read more]

How Seattle Balances Nature and the Built Infrastructure (Part 2)

May 12, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Layering Nature in Seattle

How Seattle has long been an innovator in layering built and natural infrastructure to fully complement each other. Over the past few decades, the city has taken advantage of all that rain so ever-present greenery seems to equal — if not dominate — the roads, bridges, and buildings.[read more]