Urban Ecotourism Conference

City Environments

on this page: headlines, recommended listening, videos, events
related: city parks, people, rtcities
flickrgroup: City Parks
flipboard: Cities (121 readers, 21 followers)
slideshare: responsible tourism in cities (34,000+ views), city parks on the social web, (7,000+ views), cities (1,000+ views)
google docs: City Tourism and the Social Web
editing: Cities

Urban ecotourism? It's about time!


Cities need human voices to articulate stories about sustainable practices and responsible travel. At its best, these are face-to-face encounters which are often supplemented by the social web. Think blended learning! We're able to meetup in person if we have established contact via our smartphones and digital devices.

We've been tuned into city environments for some time. 2014 was the 10th anniversary of our urban ecotourism conference. Back then we were told that ecotourism was distinct from city tourism, nevermind the fact that to get to the remote outdoors people usually transit through an urban hub.

Ten years ago we did not have the mobile revolution that continues to shake the ground underneath our feet. Could we have imagined Facebook or YouTube? Could we have foreseen the immediacy of livestreaming events via Google Hangouts?

Our view: if we want to protect the world's forests, we need to start in the city parks and make sure that the trees are planted are tended. Likewise if we value the purity of our air and our water, it's time to look at city environments.

We would like to deepen our conversation by spotlighting various cities around the world. Suggestions, are welcome. Editors are invited to share headlines and relevant resource links.

If you want to develop or document a new project, come on board! Editors and non-editors are welcome to edit a collaborative Google doc.

Those interested in this topic should also check out Responsible Tourism in Cities.


http://safecities.economist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/EIU_Safe_Cities_Index_2015_white_paper-1.pdf (PDF)
The 10 worst city tourism videos
The Rise of the 'Free' City Tour - @vickybaker
The secrets of the world's happiest cities
How well do cities use the social web?
Crowd-Sourced Sightseeing
Ciudades no sostenibles

Cities and Climate Change


Responsible Tourism in Cities

What if we helped cities express themselves and share their voices?


View my Flipboard Magazine.


City Parks Pool


May 12 Connecting Cities and Nature URBIS Webinar

Hashtag: #URBIS

October 31 World Cities Day
Hashtag: #CitiesDay

City Spotlight

Compare and contrast!

Tourism Portal
Social Web
Auckland on Google Earth
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland Tourism Bureau
Regional Parks
slow down, it's cape town
Cape Town, South Africa
Responsible Cape Town
Taking Responsibility for Tourism
RT Policy and Action Plan
Cape Town Green Map
Smart Living Handbook
Green Building Guidelines
Green Events Guidelines
Recyclers' Map
10 Things We Love about First Friday Las Vegas @FirstFridayLV #firstfridaylv #rtcities
Las Vegas, USA

First Friday Las Vegas
Green Drinks
Green Chips
What does responsible travel look like in London?
London, England

Green London Meetup
UNAM Rectory
Mexico City

Misael's Tlayuda con Mole Negro, Pochimilco @ Oaxaca 06.2013
Oaxaca de Juárez, México


What does conscious travel look like in Quito?@TurismoEc @QuitoTurismo #conscioustravel #turismoconsciente
Quito, Ecuador
Quito Visitor's Bureau


Sydney, Australia

Cities #Flipboard 09.2014

Index (in alphabetical order)
auckland, new zealand
austin, usa
barcelona, spain
beijing, china
berlin, germany
boston, usa
brisbane, australia
calgary, canada
cancún, mexico
cape town, south africa
chicago, usa
christchurch, new zealand
copenhagen, demmark
durban, south africa
edinburgh, scotland
jerusalem, israel
las vegas, usa
lima, peru
london, england
los cabos, mexico
miami, usa
melbourne, australia
mexico city, mexico
moscow, russia
oaxaca city, mexico
monterrey, mexico
philadelphia, usa
queenstown, new zealand
quito, ecuador
tokyo, japan
wellington, new zealand
whistler, canada


Oranjezicht City Farm


City Environments

Flickr Groups

Urban Nature
Desire Paths
City Parks

Buzzword Bingo

Architecture - Biodiversity - Borough - Brasilia Syndrome - City - Cityscape - Climate Change - Destination - Downtown - Experience - Fanzone - Gateway - Gentrification - Growth - Indigenous - Local - Market - Monorail - Narrative - People - Pocket Park - Psychogeography - Public Transportation - Recycling - Rhythm - Senses - Script - Skyline - Sidewalks - Signs - Sprawl - Street Art - Transportation - Urban - Visitors - Walk - Water - World Class City

Brasilia Syndrome - City planning from high above - Jan Gehl

World Class City - http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=world%20class%20city




This Big City



Twitter: City Parks

@sandiegoparks @cityofhenderson @CityOfLasVegas @NYCParks @CentralParkNYC @FortWayneParks @SeattleParks

Twitter: City Markets



Embedded Tweets



We talk about sustainable cities but how will we do it?



Where can I find your information stands and kiosks?
Where can one travel on public transport within an hour of the city?
Where can one rent a bicycle?
Do you have a city guide available for my smartphone?
Bioregional focus - Where does the water come from? What is the water supply?


“We hold the principle that only a city that is good for its people can be good for its visitors. A city that is safe and healthy for its people is safe for its visitors. A city that is enjoyed by its people can be enjoyed by its visitors. If you believe in this principle, then we can see tourism as a force to rejuvenate cities and infrastructure, boost trade and commerce, and enhance economic activities in cities. We see tourism as an igniter of many activities within the city.”
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in Metropolis Magazine

Developers on the whole tend to look at success modeled in other cities and then import them rather than trying to figure out something fresh that makes sense for their particular situation. You really have to look at the local conditions and ask what makes sense in terms of quality of life.
- Arizona State University design professor John Meunier , Urban Planning and Climate Change

Cities exist to bring people together, but cities can also keep people apart
Daniel D'Oca, Urban Planner,

China, like several other countries, is exploring the creation of sustainable urban areas, or “ecocities” as they are known. Around the world, ecocities are beginning to emerge from the drawing board, from Masdar City in Abu Dhabi to PlanIT Valley in Portugal. Aimed at being the world’s largest of its type, Tianjin Eco-city is a collaborative project between the Chinese and Singaporean government that will house 350,000 people in a low-carbon, green environment around half the size of Manhattan by 2020. All going well, the team hope its model for building a sustainable city will provide the blueprint for future urbanization efforts in China, and other countries.
China's eco-cities: Sustainable urban living in Tianjin

Recommended listening

The power of the city - Would we be better served by refocusing our social, political and economic energies toward the city, rather than the nation?

Rewriting the Book? - RSA hosts a discussion on the ways that city regeneration can enhance economic competitiveness, community cohesion and a sense of place. We bring together an expert panel to discuss the regenerative potential of large culture-led development schemes. What are the key drivers of social renewal and the development of enterprise and how can cities ensure transformational change is community-driven, allowing greater local ownership and participation?

The importance of parks - How far would you have to walk from where you are now to get to the nearest park? And when you got there what type of experience would that open public space afford you?

Psychogeography: discovering the mental terrain of the city - Take in the smells and sounds of back alleys, recall emotional memories and join us on a 'psychogeographical' adventure, and discover the impact of the city on your psyche.

Cities - RadioLab - There's no scientific metric for measuring a city's personality. But step out on the sidewalk, and you can see and feel it. Two physicists explain one tidy mathematical formula that they believe holds the key to what drives a city.

Green Cities - By 2030, two-thirds of the world's population will be living in cities. How do we build green cities and overcome the barriers to sustainable urban design?

The value of green space - As our cities continue to spread there's increasing pressure on the number of parks and other green spaces. But what are the benefits of urban green spaces when it comes to biodiversity? And what impact do they have on our physical and mental health?

Boom cities of Asia - Competition to achieve global city status has had a profound effect on many booming Asian cities including Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai. But how resilient are these cities to the risks they face? How can they manage continuing pressures for development and growth while reducing their vulnerability to a range of potential crises?

Cities - One of the popular themes at this year's Adelaide Festival of Ideas was Architecture, Planning and Urban Design. The issue of what to do with our urban environments to cater for increasing populations and the need to reduce our cities' carbon footprints is one that's been talked about for years and will be discussed into the future.

Living in the city - Architects working in Australia and China explore how our cities can be better designed.

Urban Planning and Climate Change - Urban planners are considering how to build city infrastructures that would run on limited resources.


GoMA TALKS What makes up a 21st century city and are there any boundaries? - Hosted by Alan Saunders

Recommended Reading

The Urban Agenda - An overview of the international urban debate since 1976 by Daniel Biau, a UN manager and expert who has been part of the process along the way. "Contrary to a prevalent view, the urbanization process of the developing world has been less chaotic than expected by the media. Many countries are managing their urban development relatively well, particularly in Asia, the Arab States and Latin America...the urbanization of our planet should not be seen as an outright disaster. It has both positive and negative features. The United Nations has always stressed the negative to raise awareness while not placing enough emphasis on the positive role of cities, including their impact on rural development...This article seeks to redress this imbalance."


Planned community
Invisible Cities


Digital Urban
Rebuilding Place

Elsewhere on the Web

http://www.tedcity2.org - @TEDCity2_0
Urban Reforestation - Facebook - @URBANREFOREST
Cities in Fact and Fiction: An Interview with William Gibson
The Top 10 Smart Cities On The Planet
Shareable Cities
Where are the world’s greenest cities?
Sustainable Cities Index - Forum for the Future
Experience Canberra's Wild Side
EU plans 30 cities to lead world on "smart" energy
Urban Manifesto: Factors that make a city great
The Urban Forest Map
Urban Parks: Innovate Or Stagnate - Planetizen
Is the green belt getting looser? - BBC
World Environment Day 2005: Green Cities
World Carfree Network
City Compare
Vias Verdes
Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles
The Green Belt Movement
Best Practices
businessofcities.com - @TheBizOfCities
Città Slow (Slow City)
City Bugs
Ecological Cities Project
Living Roofs
Planet Drum
Project for Public Spaces
Sister Cities International
Sustainable City
Sustainable Cities
Print Creating sustainable cities - Australian Conservation Foundation
Urban Biodiversity
Urban Development
Urban Ecology
Making cities more livable may save the world
Cities: Who Decides? - A Grattan Report
Urban Manifesto: Factors that make a city great
European Cities Tourism
African Centre for Cities
National urban parks (Finland)
http://americancity.org (USA)
Cities Magazine - @CITIESONLINE - Facebook
Engaging Cities - @EngagingCities

Art and Culture

The Economic Importance of the Arts and Cultural Industries in Santa Fe County (PDF)
Art, culture districts, and revitalization - Rebuilding Place


Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity
User’s Manual for the City Biodiversity Index

Cities and Biodiversity

What role do you think cities can play in sustaining biodiversity? asks @livingcity2014

Cities play a critical role in sustaining biodiversity, through specific conservation efforts as well as public education and engagement with surrounding rural areas.

City parks are the easiest venues by which to commune with the natural world and with a mix of locals and visitors. Think of the 'tourist attraction' that is Central Park in New York City, Barton Creek in Austin, the Viveros Garden in Mexico City, Yamuna Biodiversity Park in Dehli and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.

Environmental education takes the form of lectures, workshops and permanent signage.

Urban gardens and markets are taking center stage around the world. In Oaxaca the Pochote Market brings farmers and cooks together on weekends.
In Cape Town Market Day at the Oranjezicht City Farm takes place Saturdays.

What can cities do? Help locals and visitors find the city parks! Examples: Las Vegas, Montreal, Auckland, Wellington

Cities that convert airports into city parks: Tempelhofer Park in Berlin.

(Double check on Austin, Quito
and San José)



Climate Change

Carbonn Cities
Carbonn Cities Climate Registry
Cynthia Rosenzweig on climate change and cities - Earthsky
New Report on Climate Change and Cities a "Wake-Up Call" for Global Policymakers


Walk and Bike for Life


Historic Gardens: The Florence Charter - ICOMOS
Jardines Históricos: Carta de Florencia - ICOMOS
Rooftop Gardens - City Farmer

Urban Agriculture

Urban Protected Areas: Profiles and Best Practice Guidelines

IUCN Urban Program


Urban National Parks in Emerging Countries and Cities (UNPEC)


Ciudad Humana
Ciudades Sustentables - UNEP

PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, worldwide event on September 17 that inspires city dwellers everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good. PARK(ing) Day was started by some San Francisco basket weavers back in 2005 to call attention to the lack of green space in their city.



Quality of Living

Mercer's 2010 Quality of Living survey highlights
Quality of Living Survey

Recent Events


March 7 Partnerships for the Living City, Montreal
Program (PDF)
Twitter: @livingcity2014
Hashtag: #livingcity

Sep 19-20 2nd UNWTO Global Summit on City Tourism: Innovative strategies for improving competitiveness and the development of new business models takes place in Moscow, Russia. Hashtag: #UNWTOCity

September 20 TEDCity 2.0commences at the TimesCenter in New York City from 9am-5pm EST. Co-curated and co-hosted by Chris Anderson, John Cary, and Courtney Martin, the event surfaces stories of urban ingenuity and interdependence from across the globe, and features an unexpected mix of over 20 speakers. Live-streamed for free, the TEDCity2.0 anchor event will coincide with self organized TEDxCity2.0 events over a 48-hour period. TEDx communities worldwide will envision the cities of our future and share big ideas about collaborative action and sustainable solutions.
Satellite Events

City Biodiversity Summit 2010 took place concurrently with the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) October 24 - 26. Local authorities from around the world exchanged information of biodiversity-related issues and problems in their respective communities and best practice cases for use in their community development.



Connect with us

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Transition Towns

Transition Towns is an amazing movement that brings communities together to build local ecological resilience. Communities are encouraged to seek out methods for reducing energy use as well as reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. They do this in communities locally, and make friends and have a drink and enjoy their lives while they're doing it.


Sustainable Urban Fringes (SURF) brings together partners and experts from across the North Sea Region to exchange information and develop a common approach towards the sustainability of urban fringe areas.


City Notebook
Urban Ecotourism

delicious: cities


The Human Scale


Recommended Viewing

Cities for People: A lecture by Jan Gehl

James Howard Kunstler: The tragedy of suburbia

We are going to have to raise more food closer to where we live. The age of the 3,000-mile Cesar Salad is coming to an end.

We are sleep walking into the future.

Life is going to be about living locally. Be prepared to be good neighbors.

Please stop referring to yourselves as consumers. Consumers are different than citizens. Consumers do not have obligations, responsibilities and duties to their fellow human beings. As long as you are using the word 'consumer' in the public discussion you are degrading the discussion we are having and we are going to continue being clueless.

February 5-6 Urban Nature as a Health Resource
Hosted by the Hixon Center for Urban Ecology and the Yale School of Public Health, the conference will be held at Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect Street in New Haven and will be broadcast via livestream. Click to register
More info
Twitter: @YaleFES

Click to Register


Signs at Sunset Park 08.2013


The Future of Cities from Nicolas Siegenthaler on Vimeo.

Artwork / Cue Yourself

Buzzword Bingo: City

What does responsible travel look like in Durban?
City Parks