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  • Experimental Landscapes: Alexander Felson on Ecology and Design:: A very interesting interview with “Alexander Felson, an assistant professor at Yale in both the School of Foresty & Environmental Studies and the School of Architecture, is a different kind of urban ecologist. In his research and his design work, he calls for an ecological practice that moves from analyzing nature to shaping it, embedding scientific experiments into the design process.”
  • Get off my lawn: Song sparrows escalate territorial threats – with video:: Ever wonder what Song Sparrows are saying? A new study finds that “This is one of the most complicated communication systems outside of human language”.
  • Why Study Urban Wildlife?:: ” How can we predict which species will thrive?  How can we reduce conflicts with nuisance species?  Can urban areas serve as refugia for rare and imperiled animals?  These are all fairly new questions, and big unknowns attract scientists like statues attract pigeons.”
  • Botanising on asphalt -– weeds, memory and an empty patch on the street corner:: “The postwar era carried a reconstruction and modernisation ethos with it, but the cities and towns could not be remade overnight, that process took many decades. And during the interim such sites remained as unused derelict land, co-opted as playgrounds, informal storage, advertising hordings and the empire of weeds.”
  • Eating on a Green Roof: New York’s Buildings Provide Food, Habitat for Wildlife:: “New York’s green roofs do more than add a splash of green to the urban habitat. They also provide a crucial stopping ground and habitat for birds flying through. Researcher Dustin Partridge tracks the insect life on roofs throughout New York to see if the roofs are providing food sources for the birds.”
  • The science of cities: Life in the concrete jungle:: “Ecologists are exploring how people, buildings, wildlife and pollution interact in the world’s cities.”
  • Why We Need Cities in Tune with Nature:: During a session at a Greenbuild conference several professionals “argued that cities can be in tune with nature, actually embody nature in physical design, and foster deeper connections with natural systems.”
  • Turning Israeli roofs into green habitats::”The new Green Roofs Ecology Center in Haifa is the first of its kind in the Middle East and one of the first globally to focus on biodiversity.”
  • Celebrating the Natural Soundscapes of Cities:: “The fact that so many fail to recognize these sorts of common nature sounds suggests something about our disconnect from the aural realm, perhaps the fact that we have lost the skill or desire to carefully listen to the world around us.”
  • City bees hit the road to hunt for flowers:: “Strategies that reduce local use of pavement and increase natural habitat within the landscape could improve nesting opportunities for wild bees and help protect global food supplies, the study suggests.”
  • Historic Gardens – Where Nature Meets Culture – Can be Urban Biodiversity Hotspots:: “Gardens are places where the Nature meets Art.  Today, historic gardens play a very unique role in urban environment and need to be managed thoughtfully, with principles in mind.”
  • Your city garden can go completely wild:: “Landscape architect and avid birder Keith Geller’s garden in the Madison Valley is designed for both people and birds.”
  • Biophilia: A Birthright to Cultivate::An Interview with Stephen Kellert.
  • Study Shows Homeowner Associations Can Support Native Species in Suburban Neighborhoods:: “Although it’s known that construction of homes in suburban areas can have negative impacts on native plants and animals, a recent study led by University of Massachusetts Amherst ecologist Susannah Lerman suggests that well- managed residential development such as provided by homeowners associations (HOA) can in fact support native wildlife.”
  • The world’s greatest museum of art and design gets a new roof for wildlife:: “Wildlife charity Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, are due to start work on a Living Roof project at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in central London this spring.”
  • The Forgotten Landscapes:: “Once part of the working-class dream, these industrial icons were a symbol of prosperity, supplying jobs and income for families.”
  • The Need for  Bird-Friendly Design:: “For many people, birds and nature have intrinsic worth. Birds have been important to humans throughout history, often used to symbolize cultural values such as peace, freedom, and fidelity.”
  • Urban Greening: Nature is back in town:: “To have any prospect of being thought part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, the future city can only come in one colour: Green.”
  • Buglife transform industrial sites for wildlife in Wales:: “Former industrial sites in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot will be improved for bugs such as the butterfly Dingy skipper and Brown-banded carder bee thanks to work by Buglife.”



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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, Popular Science, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction. Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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