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  • Writer's pictureD. Pataki

New decade, new blog

Welcome! It's (almost) 2020 and we're going to get this decade started with a new look at greening science and evidenced-based urban greening around the world.

I'm an academic ecologist, university professor, and research administrator - but wait, don't go yet! This is not an academic blog. Academic updates about my research will be posted at my lab webpage and faculty page at the University of Utah. And I'll still be writing essays and roundtables with the community at the The Nature of Cities (check out their new fiction contest here).

At this site I'll be posting non-technical summaries of new projects in urban greening from my lab, my colleagues, and the people I'm meeting as I travel throughout the U.S., Australia, and Israel as part of a Fulbright Global Scholar project on greening solutions for hot and dry cities.

By urban greening I mean projects that aim to add greenspace to cities through tree planting, parks, nature reserves, greenroofs, bioswales, rain gardens, and other nature-based solutions for improving urban quality of life. There's plenty of evidence that greenspace improves human health and well-being in cities, and we'll be looking at that evidence in detail. But not all the assumed benefits of urban trees and greenspace have been scientifically proven. Sometimes that's because the right studies haven't been done yet; sometimes it's because interactions between people and greenspace can be very hard to quantify; and sometimes it's because urban plants and soils simply can't provide the benefits people are hoping for.

We'll be looking at these issues and more this year, while traveling to Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Melbourne and surrounding Victoria, Sydney and surrounding New South Wales, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and wherever else our search for urban greening solutions takes us. I hope you find it interesting - please leave a comment or question to start the conversation, and have a great new year.


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