Quarantine Fatigue and the Power of Activating Public Lands as Social Infrastructure

This essay is part three in a series. Since 13 March 2020, our team of social science researchers has been keeping a collective journal of our experiences of our New York City neighborhoods and public spaces during COVID-19. Read the essays from spring and summer here. 1. Winter is coming: Second wave and quarantine fatigueIn …

The LEAF Episode 1: Show and Tells from FRIEC Collective Artists

Want to explore diverse and connecting threads in urban ecological arts? In the LEAF, three FRIEC Urban Arts Collective members share something from their ideas and work for 10 minutes each, followed by Q&A. Presenters: Olive Bieringa, OsloMatthew Jensen, New YorkStéphane Verlet-Bottéro, Paris Olive Bieringa, Oslo: “Resisting Extinction” is a performance work that will offer embodied practices for …

Socially Distant Summer: Stewarding Nature and Community to Meet Basic Needs during a Pandemic

This essay is part two in a series. Since 13 March 2020, our team of social science researchers has been keeping a collective journal of our experiences of our New York City neighborhoods and public spaces during COVID-19. Read the first essay from spring here. SUMMER We started to settle into our “new normal”, with …

The View from Our Windows: Our Social Ecologies of Sheltering in Place

How do you conduct social science research about people’s relationship to place and the environment during shelter-in-place? Many are turning to big data—scraping social media, tracking cell phone use and movements, and these aggregated, digital data streams are providing key insights about mobility, vulnerability, and spatial patterns of the virus and its impacts across the …

Covid has upended all the normal routines in our lives and work. How do you imagine you might be changed by it, both professionally, but also personally as you negotiate a new post-virus “normal”?

Introduction We are all confined to our homes—if we are lucky (more on that later). Which is something, since most of us are “outdoor types”, “people types”, can we find meaning, motivation, and renewed spirit for action in this contemplative but deeply strange time? We find ourselves wondering, doubting, planning our next steps or perhaps …

Who Takes Care of New York?

Civic leaders and community members regularly put time and energy into caring and advocating for the environment. We call these acts of care stewardship. Beyond improving green and blue spaces, stewardship can also lead to other types of civic action. Local stewardship groups can strengthen social trust within a neighborhood. People who come together around …

Artists in Conversation with Air in Cities

Introduction Artists in Conversation with Nature in Cities In the late 1960s, an American artist Alan Sonfist, proposed an artwork consisting of reintroducing native plants and trees of New York City bioregion in lower Manhattan, the Time Landscape environmental sculpture and urban forest became one of the first visually apparent collaborations between artist and nature …

New York’s Central Park as Muse, as Imagination, as Home

A review of: Painting Central Park, by Roger Pasquier. 2015. ISBN: 0-86565-314-3. Vendome Press, New York. 197 pages. Buy the Book For the past two years, I’ve invited people to pick free food on Swale, an edible public park built on a barge in New York City. Creating something unexpected is a technique that I’ve utilized on …

To whom does a city’s nature belong? Is it a common pool resource, or a public good? And who decides?

Introduction We believe that urban green spaces and natural resources have value. Much of the writing at TNOC describes urban open space, in its various forms, as one of the key drivers of cities that are more resilient, sustainable, and livable. But who manages urban open space and natural resources? Who “owns” them? Who gets to …