Erik Porse, PhD

Cities | Systems | Environments

The Empirical Citizen

The Christian Science Monitor this week highlighted a story about “citizen scientists” who, as amateurs, contribute individual observations to a larger database in order to track scientific and social trends. Project Budburst was featured in the article, a group that organizes citizen scientists to report data on the blooming of trees, shrubs, and other plants […]

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Athens: New and Diverse Meet Ancient and… Diverse

My wife and I were recently in Athens, Greece, for an medium-sized excursion, purchased at the stunningly cheap price of €130. Now that’s a deal. Athens had been a place on my radar for years, and both of our interests were keen for a visit to the old world. Athens is a modern city that […]

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Urban Ecology: What is on the Horizon?

Stemming from some related research, as well as some discussions with ecologists, a few months ago I became intrigued by the loose realm that is known as Urban Ecology in various fields. Here are some of the results of the reading. The field has been to this point an amorphous discipline that pulls from themes […]

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A City Teeming With Life, and Electrons

Although my fascination of cities will hopefully take me to other Asian spots, thus far, Tokyo is the only large city that I have visited in Asia. The first time was utterly overwhelming. This time, I could digest it a little more. Even still, one could spend a hundred years traversing the main avenues and […]

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Midwest Floods and Dutch Dams

Below is a not-so-short piece in a bit of an academic style inspired in part by the recent flooding in the Midwestern U.S., but also in part by some random reads that have actually tied together into a coherent picture. Just warning ahead of time, so you don’t think it is one of my fluff […]

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IEEE on the Big Cities

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Found this IEEE Spectrum publication from June 2007 which takes case studies of 5 so-called “megacities” to see how to engineer liveable, sustainable cities. Across the board topics are hit, including public transport, green buildings, and police systems. Well worth a peruse.

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Dogs: Vienna’s First Class Citizens

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I cannot count how many people have said to me since arriving in Vienna that people here, “Treat their dogs better than their kids. If a dog dies and goes to canine-Heaven, it must be in spirit a lot like Vienna. Perhaps there is a bit more greenery in some parts and a little less […]

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For Love of Food on a Sunday

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I come from Pennsylvania and am well-associated with what we call “Blue Laws,” or laws that restrict sales of certain items at particular times. Usually, this would encompass alcohol on Sundays or something. Well, Austria one-ups even Europe’s famous early-closings. As we have come to find, all shops and food stores are closed on Sundays […]

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