Cities, technology, and ecology

My thoughts on how technology can be applied to solve many of the challenges faced by today's urban ecosystem planners.

Using geospatial technology to help urban trees thrive
December 1, 2020

Green City Watch is working at the intersection of geospatial data and artificial intelligence in a bid to streamline and optimise the way cities care for their green spaces. RESET spoke to co-founder Nadina Galle about their work and to find out how the technologies they're using could change our relationship to nature in the long term.

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How technology can unlock urban environmental stewardship — if we pay the price
November 10, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching effects on all aspects of society, many of which won’t be felt for years to come. For those living in cities during the height of lockdowns around the world, urban nature began to take on roles it hadn’t before (much like many other facets of urban life).

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Partnering with Green City Watch to co-explore the application of an open-source tree-detecting algorithm
September 15, 2020

Editor’s Note: This piece was co-written by Nadina Galle (Green City Watch) and Jaclyn Youngblood (New Urban Mechanics), describing a grant-funded prototype from December 2019. After COVID-19 delays, both organizations are now co-publishing this piece, associated open datasets, and the open-source code library.

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Urban deforestation and what we can do about it
March 23, 2020

Whilst many think that deforestation happens only in the Amazonian jungle or deep into the heart of Borneo, our cities are facing tree loss at a massive and unprecedented rate.

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Five key challenges urban foresters face
February 13, 2020

The summer of 2019 can be summarized in one word: heatwaves. Historical records were broken globally, with countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, and the U.K. all experiencing their highest national temperature yet.

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Why municipalities struggle to keep their urban forests alive
January 24, 2020

Last month, I talked to Fergal Byrne at the Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs Podcast to discuss how technology is changing the way cities interact with urban nature. What follows is excerpts of that conversation detailing my obsession with taking nature online and how this obsession turned into a new start-up which equips municipalities in their fight for urban wilderness.

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Internet and nature go hand-in-hand
August 8, 2019

Green City Watch is an Amsterdam-based geoAI firm combining ‘smart cities’ and ecology to shape today’s urban environment in a surprising new way. They call it ‘renaturing urban development’. We interviewed Nadina Galle, co-founder of Green City Watch, about their goal to use modern technology for nature.

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What cities can learn from human bodies
July 16, 2019

Recently, I spoke on the Oslo Urban Arena stage to discuss the potential of urban metabolism and the evidence-based interventions we’re working on to accelerate circular cities. Here I describe why the concept is at the heart of Metabolic’s work and how it ultimately inspired our company’s name.

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TEDx talk: Cities and the #InternetofNature
March 20, 2019

In her talk, Nadina introduces us to the “Internet of Nature”, a novel paradigm for sustainable cities which weaves biology with the modern world of technology, in a surprising new way.

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Utilizing geospatial AI to improve Indonesia’s urban green space
July 16, 2018

Parks and other urban green spaces used to have two simple functions: to please the eye and to provide a place to relax. However, changing lifestyles, population growth, overcrowding and climate change call for a radically new approach to urban green space management. Today, parks and lakes are an important extension of urban life.

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Monitoring the quality of urban green space, from space
May 7, 2018

The ability to experience nature is paramount to human well-being. Cities are on a mission to green their urban landscapes, especially with over half of the world’s population living in cities.

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Nature-based solutions: the new (green) kid on the block
November 30, 2017

If we let it, nature can be a powerful ally in tackling climate change. When applied to cities, an emerging concept called “nature-based solutions” (NbS) can boost resilience and help adapt to and mitigate the effects of a changing climate.

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Islands as living labs for circular economics
July 19, 2017

Islands have fascinated scientists for centuries as key hotspots of change. Now, economists are taking a keen interest in their role in accelerating the circular economy. This summer, Metabolic will collect data, visualise, map, and analyse all resource flows on the Dutch Wadden Island of Vlieland.

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