The mission of The Nature of Cities is to promote worldwide dialog and action to create green cities that are sustainable, resilient, and livable. The TNOC community comprises a broad diversity of people, from architects and designers to scientists, from practitioners to entrepreneurs—pursuing transformational dialog that leads to the creation of better cities for all.
TNOC is a virtual magazine and discussion site on cities as ecosystems. It is a global collective of contributors, an essay, long-form, media, and discussion site—an idea hive—devoted to cities as social-ecological spaces, ecosystems of people, buildings, open spaces, and nature. We believe that city design with nature and public open space at the metaphorical center is key to urban resilience, sustainability, and livability.
Cities are fundamentally ecological spaces. They are ecosystems packed with trees and vegetation that comprise an urban forest. They house birds, insects, small mammals, diverse ecological habitats, and more. They are connected to suburban and rural areas along ecological gradients. Human well being, social justice and effective urban design is intimately connected to the health of urban ecosystems. Cities are habitat for people, and urban design with nature at the center is essential to resilience, sustainability, and livability.
We believe that the nature of cities—by which we mean cities as ecosystems of people, green and blue nature, biodiversity, and built infrastructure…habitat for people—needs more voices, more perspectives and expanded conversation about its critical importance for people and how it can be promoted, conserved, managed, and in some cases designed for the good of all.
The Nature of Cities is a platform—a virtual magazine and media site—for a variety of content and conversations on these themes, including blogs and virtual roundtables. In the near future we will introduce other styles of conversation. We are a collaborative of 180+ writers from many disciplines and from many places around the world. New columns are published twice weekly and rotate among our roster. Virtual Roundtables, in which a dozen or so writers respond to and discuss a specific question, appear every month. Podcasts and book reviews appear more or less monthly.
We are, by design, a diverse group, and our ideas about the nature of cities emerge from wide-ranging perspectives.
Our contributors include activists, designers, biologists, ecologists, sociologists, economists, artists, architects, landscape architects, nature writers, leaders of community organizations, public space managers, lawyers, and leaders in international organizations. We live and work in 23 countries and six continents. We are men and women. The study, understanding, and management of urban nature is fundamentally multidisciplinary and many-voiced (or should be), and the diversity in our collective attempts to honor this fact. Yet we remain a work in progress, always striving to make sure we write from many perspectives.
Our intended audience is everyone interested in creating better cities that are resilient, sustainable, livable, and just—cities that effectively function as ecosystems and are better habitat for people.
Our readers have visited over 250,000 times, from over 3,000 cities and 140 countries.