Tag Archives: TED

“Gardening is my graffiti”

…says South Central LA's guerrilla gardening artist Ron Finley about his project to make his neighborhood's food desert into a living breathing healthy food oasis by painting the soil canvas of its vacant lots into beautiful vegetable gardens that can nourish the body and soul of his community. Are you ready to join the new urban gangsta movement, and pick up a shovel?

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Carolyn Steel on how food shapes our cities, and an expedition into a city’s bowels


Much food for thought in that talk by Carolyn Steel, and an excellent historical overview of how cities, especially in the west, have grown in relation to modes of food production and distribution.

Are urban dwellers really more carnivorous than their rural counterparts? Are urban dwellers in the developing world as far removed from food production as those in the north/west are?

On the other side of any city’s metabolism is something we pay even less attention to than where our food comes from – where does it eventually end up, along with our other waste products? How does a city like New York manage to keep itself relatively clean, and unflooded, given the rivers of sewage that must surely be flushed down the drain every day? This fascinating (if disgusting to some) story from the New York Times a couple of days ago chronicles a remarkable expedition through the bowels of the city, through a different kind of wilderness, below our feet.



“… a geometry of things which have no geometry” – Benoit Mandelbrot, RIP

Benoit Mandelbrot, who invented fractal geometry, the geometry of things which have no geometry, to measure the roughness of our world, died today at the age of 85. Here he is, in his last TED talk a few months ago, recapping his life’s work in pursuit of roughness:


Majora Carter’s stirring call for urban renewal and environmental justice

I just discovered this passionate speech among the archives of TED, and want to share it here because we (at least those of us enviros living and working in cities) need to embed it in our consciousness as we work on urban ecology issues: