Emily Nonko

Emily Nonko is a Brooklyn, New York-based reporter who writes about real estate, architecture, urbanism and design. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Curbed and other publications.

Seed-Planting Drones Are Reforesting Canada With Lightning Speed

4 min read

Dropping five seed pods per second into wildfire-scarred lands, aerial tree planting is quickly creating biodiverse forests from the sky.

From Textile Waste to Refugee Livelihoods

4 min read

At Seattle’s Refugee Artisan Initiative, immigrant and refugee women find good-paying jobs and start their own businesses.

How a South American Surplus Flooded Philadelphia With Free Avocados

4 min read

It could have been a food-waste debacle. Instead, a nimble network turned it into a bounty for all — and inadvertently reinvented a food system.

The Case of the Vanishing Cafeteria Tray

3 min read

Once a staple of communal dining, food trays are disappearing — along with a harmful human impulse.

When a Missed Piece of Mail Sends Someone to Jail

6 min read

Missed court dates — often the result of a misunderstanding — lead to more arrest warrants than any other offense. Now a group of attorneys is getting those warrants recalled.

Do-It-Yourself Green Infrastructure

4 min read

Tired of waiting for government to step in, New Orleans residents are flood-proofing their own communities — sustainably.

How Brooklyn’s Library Gets Back Books Without Fines

5 min read

The library partnered with behavioral scientists to help people return their books on time.

Austin Is Giving Displaced Residents the ‘Right to Return’

5 min read

A new city policy allows working-class families priced out of their neighborhoods to come back — affordably.

Crossing the Threshold

4 min read

Rites of passage prepare us to transition into new phases of life. Ritual4Return ensures leaving prison is no exception.

Portland’s ‘Hygiene Hub’ Goes Way Beyond Free Showers

5 min read

A full-service facility run by the people who need it offers hot water, laundry, medical care — and legitimization.

Instead of Eviction, Landlords and Tenants Talk It Out

4 min read

In Philadelphia, face-to-face mediated chats help both parties get what they need.

Strangers Are Welcoming People Released from Prison into Their Homes

4 min read

Skeptical at first, participants on both sides now see a solution that benefits everyone.

Cops and Community Organizers Are Reimagining Atlanta’s Jail

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An unlikely collaboration could transform a place of imprisonment into a center for equity.

Cincinnati Tenants Are Building Equity With Each Rent Payment

5 min read

Why should homeowners get all the perks? How a different type of rental model puts equity back in the pockets of tenants.

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