Nature of Cities: A City Designed by Trees

In this writing for The Nature of Cities, Patrick reminds us that “seeing trees as sacred is not an anomaly; it’s the fact that we’ve somehow lost this fellowship, that is an anomaly.” He offers a rather bold challenge to ecological cities, asking: If a tree is a keystone of our environmental wellness, and a reason for our continued existence here, then why not at least learn to listen to its voice? If we did listen, how might the things we hear transform the landscape of a city over years, decades, and centuries? … Continue readingNature of Cities: A City Designed by Trees

Nature of Cities: Artists in Conversation with Water

Co-chair of a panel discussion at The Nature of Cities along with Carmen Bouyer. We invite eleven artists to present their conversation with water in cities. Coming from seven different countries—Czech Republic, France, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the United States—these artists inspire our own experiences with water in cities. … Continue readingNature of Cities: Artists in Conversation with Water

Nature of Cities: Artists in Conversation with Air

Co-chair of a panel discussion at The Nature of Cities along with Carmen Bouyer. We invite seven artists from around the Earth to present their conversations with air in cities. Through their different creative practices, they invite us to encounter the air as the breath that flows through all of us, and unites us in a “common ground.” We hope you enjoy reading and participating in the conversations… … Continue readingNature of Cities: Artists in Conversation with Air

Nature of Cities: Drought and Flood in a Silicon Valley Museum

The floods that ravaged Silicon Valley this winter may have dried up, but there is still plenty of water flowing through the San Jose Museum of Art. This is a review of a trio of water-related exhibitions on view, “Liquid City,” The Darkened Mirror,” and “Fragile Waters.” … Continue readingNature of Cities: Drought and Flood in a Silicon Valley Museum

Nature of Cities | Building an Ecology of One

Around the world, individuals are building social, economic, and ecological well being into their communities, they are becoming partners again with the earth in all that they do. Each of us, too, has the power to make a socially and ecologically just economic system a reality for ourselves and those around us. … Continue readingNature of Cities | Building an Ecology of One

Final Straw | The Earth Flag

A flag, while at once a symbol of pride, oneness, and triumph, can also become a tool of artificial supremacy, of separation from our kin, and of unnecessary strife and conflict within this Earth. We often like to call this the “reality” of our times, but this begs us to ask whether or not we are defining reality in a realistic way. … Continue readingFinal Straw | The Earth Flag

Nature of Cities | A Restaurant and Garden Serving up Connections to Urban Nature

We opened a slightly audacious restaurant and garden in a working-class suburb of Osaka, Japan with the intent of connecting people more deeply with food and nature in their neighborhood. Can an urban garden help us remember what it means to be human? … Continue readingNature of Cities | A Restaurant and Garden Serving up Connections to Urban Nature

Nature of Cities | Trees of Life and Fruitful Relationships

A review written for The Nature of Cities on Arboreal Architecture: A Visual History of Trees, an exhibition on view at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University. The show’s curator, George Philip LeBourdais, has shoehorned a global collection of artworks from the Cantor Center’s collection into an exhibition that offers a deep and powerful display of cultural relationships to trees over a great timespan… … Continue readingNature of Cities | Trees of Life and Fruitful Relationships

Resilience | Fixing Soil Loss Requires a Mindset Change

The UN claims we have less than 60 years of farming left if we continue our modern chemical-industrial based farming processes… thankfully, around the world, small scale farmers have been putting into practice the kinds of regenerative farming that can both reverse ecological destruction, and feed the world. … Continue readingResilience | Fixing Soil Loss Requires a Mindset Change

Nature of Cities | Garden City Culture: How a Cultural Connection with Nature Can Build a Truly Sustainable Future

If urban sustainability issues are to become deeply entrenched in culture, it follows that successful urban nature design—indeed, successful sustainable cities in general—can only be achieved in concert with a deep and sustained cultural awareness of the importance of nature. … Continue readingNature of Cities | Garden City Culture: How a Cultural Connection with Nature Can Build a Truly Sustainable Future

Mercury News Op-Ed | Graffiti Problems Misunderstood by Society and DA

A joint op-ed with educator and former graffiti artist, Patrick Milillo which asks: is it better to spend money jailing nonviolent painters or to invest in our communities, our schools, and in building legitimate venues for youth to have their voices heard? … Continue readingMercury News Op-Ed | Graffiti Problems Misunderstood by Society and DA

SocieCity | Is Global Warming Really the Problem?

We are born to the world as a part of nature — well, except for test tube babies — and will also leave the world as a part of nature — okay, plus maybe some formaldehyde, antibiotics and whatnot. It’s just this whole ‘living’ part between being born and death where we seem to have things a little screwed up. … Continue readingSocieCity | Is Global Warming Really the Problem?

SocieCity | Dear United Nations: A Call for Moderation and Respect

Industrialized nations know very well that their lifestyle is both a social and ecological impossibility for a majority of the world, so for them it’s either war, exploitation, or… … Continue readingSocieCity | Dear United Nations: A Call for Moderation and Respect

Sustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 3)

With a sea of parking lots currently surrounding San Jose’s transit hubs, the city is looking at opportunities to build new “urban villages” connected by a robust mass transit and bicycle system. … Continue readingSustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 3)