30/6/2016 - Tree Management Plans are Essential for Sustainable Cities
30/6/2016 - Kampala aims to lead African cities in fight against climate change
29/6/2016 - Designing a Downtown Park for a City “That Knows How to Party”
29/6/2016 - Cities Are Not as Big a Deal as You Think
28/6/2016 - Can the migration crisis become the focus of a positive political message?
28/6/2016 - Successful final conference in Donostia/San Sebastian for CityMobil2
27/6/2016 - Mayor of London Opposes Building on Green Belt
27/6/2016 - The Damaging Influence of Outside Money on Local Elections
26/6/2016 - New eco-city combines ancient practice and modern technology
26/6/2016 - Toronto green roofs second in North America
25/6/2016 - Amsterdam to appoint bike mayor
25/6/2016 - Limassol shapes its future by investing in integration
25/6/2016 - New guide on the Right to the City for older persons
24/6/2016 - Paris Declares War on 'Ghettoes for the Rich'
24/6/2016 - Most effective ways to promote electric vehicles studied
24/6/2016 - Cyber attacks - are smart cities safer or more vulnerable?
23/6/2016 - ‘Pact of Amsterdam’ creates urban agenda for EU
23/6/2016 - Can Singapore become a role model for quickly-growing cities?
23/6/2016 - City offering cash to keep apartments affordable
22/6/2016 - ‘Migrant crisis’: what can cities learn about new service design?
22/6/2016 - Local Authorities in Crisis Management : the Local Generalist Approach
22/6/2016 - How cities can revitalize dying urban spaces
22/6/2016 - Hollaback! Say no to street harassment
21/6/2016 - Multilingual training webinars for the Urban Transport Roadmaps
21/6/2016 - The Urbanization of the 'Burbs
21/6/2016 - Munich and Prague: Sharing experience on climate change adaptation management
21/6/2016 - ‘Science of Cities’ Tool Measures Impact of Cities on People
20/6/2016 - Hard-Pressed Rust Belt Cities Go Green to Aid Urban Revival
20/6/2016 - Local Governments contribute their comments on the Habitat III Zero Draft
19/6/2016 - Energy crowdfunding: the new way to boost renewables
19/6/2016 - These are the cities that climate change will hit first
18/6/2016 - Green Infrastructure: An Evolution of City Building
18/6/2016 - Participate in the 2016 World Smart City Awards
18/6/2016 - The Rise of the Urban Energy “Prosumer”
17/6/2016 - Two new takes on shared mobility
17/6/2016 - Key factors for efficient urban transportation policies
17/6/2016 - Creative Placemaking’s Positive Impact on Community Development
16/6/2016 - UCLG calls for a greater voice for cities in global urban governance at the German Habitat Forum
16/6/2016 - Benefits of active mobility outweigh risk from urban air pollution
16/6/2016 - European cities call for clarity on impact of TTIP at local level
16/6/2016 - The Global Urban Footprint: A map of nearly every human settlement on Earth
15/6/2016 - S.F. Eyes “Black Boxes” for City Vehicles
15/6/2016 - Nature notes: sugar-free city bees
15/6/2016 - Allow children autonomy and encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle!
15/6/2016 - Neuchâtel promotes “integration secularism”
14/6/2016 - A new app has been released on what local governments need to know about the SDGs
14/6/2016 - Zero Draft paves way for the final phase of the New Urban Agenda
14/6/2016 - Expansion of Bike Infrastructure Fuels Growth of Multimodal Transit
13/6/2016 - Many great talks at the Polis side event "Creating the liveable, inclusive and healthy city"
13/6/2016 - The Storefront Index
13/6/2016 - Improving humanitarian action in urban crisis: a perspective from cities in crisis
12/6/2016 - Exclusionary zoning robs our cities of their best qualities
12/6/2016 - How the Next U.S. President Could Change Opportunity in Cities
12/6/2016 - No room for trees in Seattle’s new parks
11/6/2016 - How Green Urban Design Lowers Risk Of Climate Change Disaster
11/6/2016 - Report: Smart City Plan, Australia
11/6/2016 - “Foot Traffic Ahead 2016” comes out on June 14. Which metros will be on top?
10/6/2016 - Four storylines to watch in the Habitat III negotiations
10/6/2016 - Want Economic Growth? Try Urban Density
10/6/2016 - Bottled water retailer wins Italian sustainability award
9/6/2016 - Great parks are the foundation of great cities
9/6/2016 - The Clustering Effect
9/6/2016 - EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2016: Smart mobility. Strong economy
8/6/2016 - The Fiscal Tools Cities Need to Pay for Infrastructure
8/6/2016 - Can China's Futuristic 'Straddling Bus' Finally Become a Reality?
8/6/2016 - Balancing the Scales of City Sustainability
7/6/2016 - Delhi’s Air Quality Crisis: Lessons from Beijing, Mexico and Bogotá
7/6/2016 - How to implement “open innovation” in city government
7/6/2016 - Heritage Areas: A Tool to Help Build Sustainable Communities
6/6/2016 - "Small Actions = Big Changes": Seoul delivers on air quality and climate change
6/6/2016 - Smart Cities and Infrastructure issues paper by UNCTAD
6/6/2016 - New Global Alliance Launches Innovative Approach to Addressing Urban Crises
5/6/2016 - Reminder: Just Laying Track Is No Guarantee Riders Will Come
5/6/2016 - Affordable homes vanish as developers outmanoeuvre councils
5/6/2016 - Sit and connect on the Czech Republic's first solar bench
4/6/2016 - UK startups seek to lead the world in smart city technologies
4/6/2016 - Urban Agriculture Can’t Feed Us, but That Doesn’t Mean It’s a Bad Idea
4/6/2016 - Why demand management matters to Europe’s cities.
4/6/2016 - Lyon's active-mobility plan given green light (France)
3/6/2016 - The Women Who Are Changing Mexico’s Cities
3/6/2016 - Louisville Looks to the Edges for New Parks, Once Again
3/6/2016 - Which are Africa’s fastest-growing cities?
3/6/2016 - Can Johannesburg reinvent itself as Africa’s first cycle-friendly megacity?
2/6/2016 - Troubled Bridges Over Danish Waters
2/6/2016 - First driverless rail cars for Honolulu
2/6/2016 - Jaipur to become the first Lighthouse City in South Asia
2/6/2016 - Emerging Urban Districts in Washington and Boston
1/6/2016 - What are ‘green bonds’ and why are cities so excited about them?
1/6/2016 - Can transit-oriented development change travel behavior in cities?
1/6/2016 - UN-Habitat launches the World Cities Report 2016, Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures
1/6/2016 - 10 Ways to Create a New Urban Agenda That Includes Older People
Tree Management Plans are Essential for Sustainable Cities
For the greener cities of the future, a tree management plan for the urban environment becomes a practical discipline that includes tree planting, selection, protection and care. The overall management of trees could be seen as a more collective resource. Let's take San Francisco, for example. They have more than 105,000 trees growing along their streets, which contributes to a more livable and sustainable city. Trees help to eliminate the pollutants from both the water and the air, and trees create a friendlier and more vibrant neighborhood. Imagine San Francisco without any trees.
Kampala aims to lead African cities in fight against climate change
Watson Owamumpiine excitedly scoops up a handful of smelly cow dung in his hands. “This is the best raw material for briquettes,” he says.
Owamumpiine is the program coordinator of a local NGO here focused on changing the fuel people use for cooking. More than 90 percent of households in Uganda cook with wood charcoal made from trees. So do many restaurants, schools and other places that serve prepared foods.
Owamumpiine’s group, known as the Canaan Pioneering Innovations Development Agency, or CAPIDA, wants to replace that wood charcoal with fuel made from organic waste, food scraps and other materials. These round briquettes are much cheaper and cleaner-burning than charcoal. They also prevent deforestation, which contributes to the problem of global climate change. “We thought that if we can make briquettes from old waste, human waste, animal waste, we can save our trees,” Owamumpiine says. “In Africa, we are facing a lot of challenges through deforestation.”
Designing a Downtown Park for a City “That Knows How to Party”
The 1968 World’s Fair brought 6.3 million visitors to San Antonio, kicking off the city’s hospitality industry — and leaving a 96-acre dead zone in its core. In the decades since, that site has continued to host conventions, museums and tourists, but despite the prime location and massive size, Hemisfair has sat largely underutilized. Now the area is being redeveloped into a place locals will want to visit too, a district featuring three parks, mixed-use retail, even housing. The first park, Yanaguana Garden, is already open and receiving high praise. The designers of its next phase, Civic Park, want to see the revamped Hemisfair do more than just provide green space; they want it to reconnect parts of the city that the 1968 development severed.
Cities Are Not as Big a Deal as You Think
By making "urban" synonymous with "city," we miss the realities of where we live and how our sprawling ways are changing the world.
Last month, the journal Science published a special issue examining the challenges and opportunities of an urbanizing world. Titled “Urban Planet” and featuring an image of clouds wafting across skyscrapers in Dubai, the issue opened with an eye-catching statistic: “More than half of the world’s people now live in cities.”
Of course, that number would be even more impressive if it were actually true.
“We don’t have 50 percent of the world living in cities,” says Karen Seto, a geographer at Yale University who studies urbanization trends. “A lot of these people are living in towns and small centers.” In other words, their surroundings are more urban than a rural village, but a far cry from Dubai.
Can the migration crisis become the focus of a positive political message?
Addressing public opinion with a strong political message about diversity as an asset for cities is a key element of the Intercultural cities approach. In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever that we lean into our core values, and help everyday people understand how we all benefit by being welcoming to people from across the globe.
Successful final conference in Donostia/San Sebastian for CityMobil2
The European project CityMobil2 on automated road transport systems organised its final conference in Donostia/San Sebastian (Spain), POLIS' member on 1st and 2nd June. More than 120 participants attended this two-day event. POLIS together with the local partners Tecnalia and Novadays were in charge of the organisation of the event.
The CityMobil2 final conference was organised in the technological park of Donostia/San Sebastian, where the final CityMobil2 conference took place.
Mayor of London Opposes Building on Green Belt
The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wants to protect the city’s green spaces and has instructed city planners to block any proposals to build on the Green Belt.
Mr. Khan pledged to oppose building on London’s green belt and instructed his planning officers to ensure his view is reflected in all planning decisions made by the Greater London Authority, as he officially launched the start of London’s Tree Week, a series of fun events designed to highlight London’s beautiful green spaces until Sunday 5th June.
The Damaging Influence of Outside Money on Local Elections
The increasing influence of outside spending on municipal elections is creating imbalances in leadership. Cities have powerful models to fix that.
In the current contentious U.S. political climate, concern about the influence of wealthy campaign donors on elections is growing. This is also very much an issue in local elections, which appear to be increasingly influenced by outside money.
As new research from the Brennan Center for Justice reveals, that influence is particularly troublesome for populations that have historically been discriminated against. People from these populations become discouraged from running for local offices because they feel they can’t match the resources of wealthy candidates and their campaign donors, who tend to be white men. This is the finding explained in the research brief “A Civil Rights Perspective on Money in Politics,” from the Brennan Center. The report also shows that issues prioritized by minority communities often go unaddressed because even local elections end up serving the interests of wealthy donors. From the brief:
New eco-city combines ancient practice and modern technology
A new city rising on the edge of the Arabian desert may become one of the most sustainable cities in the world. Perhaps ironically, this attempt at creating a low-carbon city is occurring in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which has grown wealthy exporting hydrocarbons to the world. Yet it’s not pouring money into the making of a sudden utopia. Planners are gradually assembling the elements of Masdar City, putting it together patiently and learning a lot along the way. Their “greenprint” for sustainable city making is becoming a model for the Middle East and possibly the world.
Toronto green roofs second in North America
Washington, D.C. topped North America in the expansion of green roof installations last year with Toronto coming in second, according to the latest edition of the Green Roof Industry Survey.
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), the green roof and wall industry association, announced the industry grew 18.5 per cent in 2015.
A total of 1,595,957 square feet of green roofs were installed in Washington in 2015, attributed by the GRHC to Washington’s public policies and programs that support stormwater management through green roof investment, including rebates of $7 to $15 per square foot of green roof installed and credits that reduce stormwater fees.
Amsterdam to appoint bike mayor
The Dutch capital of Amsterdam is set to appoint the world’s first bicycle mayor next month to help promote and protect cycling in the city.
The bike mayor will be the representative between the city’s cyclists, community groups and the general public, and the local governments.
The idea for a bike mayor came from CycleSpace, a bike-advocacy organisation, which is hoping that the concept is embraced around the world.
Limassol shapes its future by investing in integration
For the third consecutive year the city of Limassol is implementing the “Limassol: One city, the whole world" project, to help the smooth integration of refugees and immigrants to the local communities of Limassol, Ay. Athanasios, Mesa Yitonia and Yermasoyia.
The project is co-funded by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (90%) and the Republic of Cyprus (10%). It includes diverse activities including recreational activities and training sessions.
New guide on the Right to the City for older persons
AGE Platform Europe has published a guide on the Urban Agenda for the EU and older persons’ rights.
The number of people in the EU aged 65 or over is set to nearly double by 2060, and 80% of older people in developed countries already live in urban areas. The aim of this guide is to help European cities use the Urban Agenda for the EU to become more age-friendly and be prepared for the big demographic change to come.
Paris Declares War on 'Ghettoes for the Rich'
“Rich people’s ghettoes in Paris—they’re finished!”
So shouted the headline of an interview with Paris Habitat Commissioner Ian Brossat this weekend. Charged with looking after the city’s housing needs, Brossat is hoping to take Paris into uncharted waters by overseeing an intervention in its wealth map.
The French capital badly needs more affordable housing and is building a large amount of it between now and 2020, with one significant twist. Almost 5,000 of these new affordable units will be built in the city’s center and west, giving future tenants some of the wealthiest neighbors in all France. As you might expect, the plans are controversial. So is this a necessary social rebalancing, or class war?
Most effective ways to promote electric vehicles studied
A new study has assessed the best ways to promote electric vehicles and encourage consumers to adopt them.
The study was conducted in Norway, which now has the highest market share for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) of any country in the world. There are currently over 70 000 BEVs operating on Norway's roads, and they accounted for over 20 per cent of new car sales in 2015.
A survey was circulated to around 3 400 BEV owners who were asked to rate the importance of different incentives such as exemption from taxes, free parking and ferry tickets, and use of bus lanes.
Cyber attacks - are smart cities safer or more vulnerable?
Does technology expose cities more to terrorist attacks? We asked urban technology expert Francis Pisani
In the wake of the Brussels bombings, the French blogger Francis Pisani addressed the quandaries of modern, connected European cities facing terrorist threats. There is no simple answer to attacks, he noted, but most measures have an impact on our mobility.
More controls mean that we need to wait for our luggage to be X-rayed, or to line up for double checks at a gate. And many train stations are slowly turning to airport-like security measures. Mobility, a feature of modern, connected economies, is the first victim of security.
‘Pact of Amsterdam’ creates urban agenda for EU
Cities would play a larger role in European Union policymaking under a newly adopted framework dubbed the “Pact of Amsterdam.”
According to the Eurocities network of municipal leaders, the accord was launched on May 30 by the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Under this “urban agenda” for Europe, cities would have greater input in shaping EU policies and the EU would give more consideration to the impact of its directives on municipalities. The pact underscores the growing political and regulatory clout of cities that are increasingly ahead of national governments in embracing new ideas and bringing about change.
Can Singapore become a role model for quickly-growing cities?
In the 1960s, Singapore was struggling with limited resources, a small domestic market, and high unemployment. Living standards were low, with most residents living in crowded, unsanitary slums.
Today's picture couldn't be any more different: in the span of just a few decades, the city-state has completely reinvented itself to become a model of urban innovation, consistently topping international rankings for livability and competitiveness.
But Singapore's transformation was no happy accident. This success story is the result of an innovative and carefully executed vision that looks at all aspects of urban development in a cohesive way. Singaporean leaders and urban planners have integrated land use, housing, transport, and natural resources management into one coherent, long-term strategy so they can work in sync and reinforce each other.
City offering cash to keep apartments affordable
Boston officials are offering to pay new landlords to keep their apartments affordable.
The Walsh administration Tuesday will announce a $7.5 million program to help community groups and small landlords buy apartment buildings, if they agree to keep existing tenants in place and maintain rents at levels that low- and moderate-income tenants can afford.
The program will try to counter the wave of changes in neighborhoods around the city, where investors are buying buildings, pushing out tenants, and dramatically increasing rents. Tenant groups have been lobbying the city for additional protections for renters and other efforts to keep Boston’s existing housing stock affordable.
‘Migrant crisis’: what can cities learn about new service design?
There’s been a lot of recent talk about the additional pressure new migrant arrivals place on public services. There has been less discussion about how cities – and it is mainly cities – are coping with this. And less still about what we are learning and the implications for future public services.
This was the focus of a recent Social Innovation Europe event in Siracusa Sicily. Meeting on one of Europe’s front lines gave us the chance to see what’s happening and to hear about lessons emerging from our recent experiences. We were particularly interested to examine the range of social innovations emerging to meet new service demands.
Local Authorities in Crisis Management : the Local Generalist Approach
This study investigates the role of local governance in crisis stricken areas and fragile States.
It is the outcome of work carried out over the past 17 years within Cités Unies France (CUF), a network which has served to facilitate and coordinate international actions for French local governments for over 40 years. CUF has often been witness to the hardships experienced by local authorities in times of natural disaster, civil war and, more generally, when the State is absent.
French and European local authorities have often served to give a voice to their afflicted counterparts. CUF work on the issue of "crises and rehabilitation" stems from the request by French local authorities desirous of helping their colleagues in situations of emergency or post-emergency. Their question was the following : how can we help local authorities coming out of a critical crisis situation to continue to perform their duties and provide indispensable local public services ?
How cities can revitalize dying urban spaces
A city is a lot more than a collection of tall buildings on the skyline.
What makes a city a great place to live and visit are the shared spaces in between — the sidewalks, the plazas, the parks, the waterfront, says landscape architect James Corner, the lead designer of New York’s High Line, a much-acclaimed park built on an obsolete elevated railroad spur that winds through portions of Manhattan below 34th Street.
Corner is part of a new wave of muscular landscape architects who say their work is about more than planting trees and grass: It is about reshaping the identity of a place and how the people who live there see themselves. As cities compete for high-tech industry, skilled workers and tourism, that is becoming more important, he says.
Hollaback! Say no to street harassment
Hollaback! is a worldwide movement against street harassment. People who have had experiences with street harassment often feel uncomfortable and powerless, feeling that there is nothing that they can do. Hollaback! however wants to show you that it is possible to take action. Documenting, mapping and sharing incidents of harassment, by the use of your smartphone or computer, takes away the power of the harasser.
Multilingual training webinars for the Urban Transport Roadmaps
The Urban Transport Roadmaps tool was launched at the close of the 3rd Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) in Bremen on 13 April 2016. The tool allows cities to explore which measures and policies are necessary to meet their sustainable urban mobility goals, and plan realistic and feasible roadmaps for implementation.
The Urbanization of the 'Burbs
Regardless of where they live, urban amenities are no longer a bonus but a requirement for many millennials.
Not long ago, I was sitting in a hotel ballroom in a suburban master planned community watching a panel of developers talk about, well, master planned communities. The hotel was located in an urban-ish town center with townhomes and mixed-use buildings and parking garages that cost a lot of money to park your car in. It wasn’t lost upon these developers that the differences between suburban and urban amenities were few and far between.
Munich and Prague: Sharing experience on climate change adaptation management
Munich and Prague are committed to adapting to climate change. They are both vulnerable to extreme temperatures, especially increasing average temperatures and resulting draughts, invasive species and most importantly urban heat island effects. Also extreme weather events (causing floods amongst others) pose a challenge to the cities. Prague was impacted by the 2002 flooding, which also indirectly impacted the Isar-renaturation measures in Munich – as public acceptance and funding for flood protection increased.
‘Science of Cities’ Tool Measures Impact of Cities on People
UN-Habitat will release details of a new scientific tool that measures the rate of global urbanization, its characteristics, and the potential effect of urban sprawl on the quality of life for city dwellers. The UN Sample of Cities uses a representative sample of 200 cities worldwide, both in the developed and developing world, to track and interpret trends relating to aspects of urban life as diverse as air and water quality, the time it takes to travel from home to work, physical proximity to employment, housing affordability, and access to enjoyable public space.
Hard-Pressed Rust Belt Cities Go Green to Aid Urban Revival
Gary, Indiana is joining Detroit and other fading U.S. industrial centers in an effort to turn abandoned neighborhoods and factory sites into gardens, parks, and forests. In addition to the environmental benefits, these greening initiatives may help catalyze an economic recovery.
Depending on how you look at it, Gary, Indiana is facing either the greatest crisis in its 110-year history, or the greatest opportunity. The once-prosperous center of steel production has lost more than half its residents in the past 50 years. Just blocks from city hall, streets are so full of crumbling, burned-out houses and lush weeds that they more closely resemble the nuclear ghost town of Pripyat, near Chernobyl, than Chicago’s glitzy downtown an hour to the northwest. Air, water, and soil pollution are severe.
Local Governments contribute their comments on the Habitat III Zero Draft
The Zero Draft of the Habitat III outcome document, drawn up by the Preparatory Committee has been published this week. UCLG has prepared a document that consolidates their initial feedback, for the Global Taskforce (GTF).
UCLG and the GTF welcome the inclusion of many of the key recommendations that we have made in the zero draft, in particular with relation to finance, legal frameworks and governance. Furthermore, the role of local, regional and sub-national governments is explicitly recognized in the zero draft and we celebrate the integration of the territorial approach. In particular, we celebrate the recognition of the role of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments.
Energy crowdfunding: the new way to boost renewables
Millions of euros have been crowdfunded in four years to finance small and medium renewable energy projects. And there is still potential to be developed
It's a brand new sector: the first steps date back to 2012. Today energy crowdfunding is a way of financing solar panel or wind turbine projects. For some people, like Andrew Yakub, founder of a US solar manufacturing company, it will save the planet.
There is already a big annual conference dedicated to the sector, and a European association that brings together the platforms involved in renewable energy.
These are the cities that climate change will hit first
Climate scientists sometimes talk about something called "climate departure" as a way of measuring when climate change has really changed things. It's the moment when average temperatures, either in a specific location or worldwide, become so impacted by climate change that the old climate is left behind. It's a sort of tipping point. And a lot of cities are scheduled to hit one very soon.
A city hits "climate departure" when the average temperature of its coolest year from then on is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of its hottest year between 1960 and 2005. For example, let's say the climate departure point for D.C. is 2047 (which it is). After 2047, even D.C.'s coldest year will still be hotter than any year from before 2005. Put another way, every single year after 2047 will be hotter than D.C.'s hottest year on record from 1860 to 2005. It's the moment when the old "normal" is really gone.
Green Infrastructure: An Evolution of City Building
For centuries, cities have found remarkable and innovative methods of utilizing nature for man’s advantage. From animal waste recycling in 19th century Brooklyn to landfill-powered generators today, ecological resources don’t just need protecting in the modern day, they might just be what drives the future of urban sustainability through green infrastructure.
Participate in the 2016 World Smart City Awards
The 6th edition of the World Smart City Awards will take place as part of the 2016 Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. The aim of the awards is recognize, promote and support innovative solutions or strategies that can potentially change citizen's lives by increasing efficiency, generating business and improving quality of life.
The Rise of the Urban Energy “Prosumer”
An increasingly important actor on India’s urban scene could help reach the ambitious Indian goal of reaching 40 GW of rooftop solar power capacity by 2022. Meet the urban electricity “prosumer,” a consumer of electricity who also produces it and can sell it back to the grid, often through a rooftop solar PV system. For major cities in developing countries, the prosumer could be an essential ingredient in meeting the growing need for electricity.
Two new takes on shared mobility
Two small American cities are pioneering new shared mobility concepts.
Scott Simon reports for NPR that Altamonte Springs, Florida, near Orlando, partially subsidizes fares for the ride-hailing service Uber. Meanwhile, Rachel Martin reports for NPR that Beverly Hills, California, is developing driverless shuttles.
Beverly Hills, the famously affluent suburb of Los Angeles, initially explored autonomous vehicles as a means to transport residents to a future subway stop. Mayor John Mirisch tells Martin that he now views self-driving vehicles as a cost-effective option for general public transport. He especially sees opportunities for helping seniors, the blind and disabled become more mobile.
Key factors for efficient urban transportation policies
The Seoul Human Resource Development Center conducted a training program on Urban Transportation Policy from last March 15th to 23rd, with participants from our member cities of Guangzhou, Jakarta, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, and Shiraz. The program consisted on lectures and field visits to transportation hubs in Seoul, and also gave participants the opportunity to share the practices and challenges from their own local contexts. Among the great diversity of cases presented, it was possible to identify the key role of metropolitan authorities in the provision of transportation services to growing urban populations. Facing challenges such as the increased number of private cars and congested ways, participants gave common emphasis on the importance of intelligence systems, stakeholder engagement and people-oriented approaches in order to reach effective transportation solutions.
Creative Placemaking’s Positive Impact on Community Development
“Creative placemaking” can mean different things to different stakeholders, but ULI’s recent Housing Opportunity Conference offered participants some very different strategies as to how to incorporate the concept into their own projects.
Kimberly Driggins, a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and former associate director for the office of planning for the District of Columbia, offered this definition of creative placemaking: “The intentional use of arts and culture to shape the physical, social, and economic future of communities, which strengthens economic development, promotes civic engagement, and contributes to quality of life,” Driggins said. “In short, art is a verb, and creative placemaking is doing art to change a place.”
UCLG calls for a greater voice for cities in global urban governance at the German Habitat Forum
The German Habitat Forum took place in Berlin on the 1st and 2nd of June. The meeting was co-organized by the City (Senat) of Berlin, which is a very active member in Metropolis and UCLG, and by the ministry of economic development and cooperation, BMZ. The forum gathered more than 1000 participants to review the New Urban agenda.
UCLG participated in side meetings, and co organized the workshop “Cities as Actors” together with the city of Berlin and Metropolis.
The sustainability governance approach, developed by Metropolis was received as very inspiring and confirmed, once more the importance of integrated planning and management, as well as the consideration of cities as key for innovation, inclusion and integration, in other words, resilience.
Benefits of active mobility outweigh risk from urban air pollution
A new international study has found that the benefits of walking and cycling outweigh the dangers from air pollution in almost all global cities.
Only one per cent of cities have such high levels of air pollution that walking and cycling would pose a danger to a health. Even in heavily-polluted cities like Delhi (India) an individual would have to cycle for over five hours per week before exposure to pollution would cancel out health benefits from physical activity.
European cities call for clarity on impact of TTIP at local level
European city leaders are calling for clarifications on several aspects of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The agreement, currently being negotiated between the EU and US, is set to impact on cities in a number of areas, including: public services; public procurement; state aid; social, labour and environmental standards; and consumer, data, and investment protection.
Negotiators, led on the EU side by Commissioner Malmström, are currently holding informal talks in preparation for the 14th round of negotiations during the week of 11 July.
The Global Urban Footprint: A map of nearly every human settlement on Earth
Urbanization is increasingly central to the global development process, but until recently, basic spatial information on the world’s urban areas has been unavailable, inconsistent, or unreliable. The lack of consistent data on the world’s cities makes it hard to understand the overall impact of urbanization. However, innovations in geospatial mapping are now helping to provide one major piece of the puzzle:maps of practically all built-up areas around the world are available thanks to new uses of satellite data.
Scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have succeeded in using a newly developed method to map the world’s built spaces at an unprecedented spatial resolution, resulting in the ‘Global Urban Footprint’ (GUF), a global map of human settlements at a spatial resolution of 12 meters per grid cell (aggregated to 75m for public use).
S.F. Eyes “Black Boxes” for City Vehicles
In a bid to reduce collisions, save money and encourage safe driving, San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee has introduced legislation to track where the city’s 7,800 vehicles are going and how quickly, reports SFGate. He proposes installing GPS-enabled “black boxes” in city-owned cars, which would allow the city to review vehicle expenses, investigate collisions and improve route planning. The Board of Supervisors will vote on the bill on Tuesday.
“It would tell how you’re driving, where you are driving and when you’re driving. It’s in many ways a preventive measure. People would be a little more cautious about how they do things,” Yee said.
Nature notes: sugar-free city bees
Despite a lack of flowers in ever-developing urban areas, city bees have surprised researchers with their diet preference by sticking to a nectar-based diet and steering clear of processed sugar.
Researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU) collected worker honey bees from 39 colonies in rural and urban sites – 24 of which were managed by beekeepers, while 15 were wild. They analysed carbon isotops in the bees to determine what percentage of their diet came from processed sugars – like table sugar and corn syrup – rather than flower nectar.
Allow children autonomy and encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle!
IPoP- Institute for spatial policies, is developing a new initiative which encourages children to live healthy lifestyles. Many elementary school children do not spend enough time outside and several organisations are working together to show how important it is to create active routes to school to stimulate the health, independence and social development of children. The initiative provides minimum recommendations the amount of physical activity children require and promotes education about road safety and sustainable development.
Neuchâtel promotes “integration secularism”
Neuchâtel is preparing to adopt a law which will enable the official recognition of new religious communities, in addition to the three recognised churches – the Reformed Evangelical Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Christian Catholic Church. The law is supposed to enter into force on 1 January 2018. While the recognition procedure may be lengthy, the advantages are real such as the possibility to carry out religious instruction on school premises outside school hours, religious services in prisons and hospitals and the right to be consulted by the authorities and to participate in public debates on faith issues.
A new app has been released on what local governments need to know about the SDGs
Our new mobile and tablet application is now available and contains everything local governments need to know about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The application will officially be presented at European Development Days (EDD) in Brussels on 15-16 June, however you can download it now from Google Play and the App Store.
Zero Draft paves way for the final phase of the New Urban Agenda
The UN Habitat III Urban Agenda enters a new phase with the publication of the Zero Draft on 6 May 2016 on the Habitat3.org website. The Zero Draft has been prepared on the basis of input from regional and thematic consultations, the Policy Papers produced by the 10 Policy Units and comments by member states and key stakeholders.
The Open Consultations took place in New York from 25-29 April 2016. The EUKN Director Mart Grisel spoke at the Consultation as a panellist in the session on urban governance, where he discussed the role of the New Urban Agenda in relation to Europe. His statement was backed by the EU representatives, stressing the importance of linking the New Urban Agenda to the EU Urban Agenda.
Expansion of Bike Infrastructure Fuels Growth of Multimodal Transit
The big picture in transportation and real estate trends is the growth of multiple transportation modes, shared use of bikes and cars, and enormous expansions of bike infrastructure that are driving real estate investments and urban growth, according to experts who spoke at a session of the Spring Meeting in Philadelphia.
“High-quality infrastructure is a key driver of real estate investment,” said moderator Edward T. McMahon, a ULI senior resident fellow. Improving the quality of public transit, roads and bridges, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure is the highest priority for addressing the nation’s estimated $2 trillion transportation infrastructure deficit. “The public’s willingness to pay for infrastructure is a top factor that will shape cities,” he said. “Funding and financing are seen as resting on cooperation.”
Many great talks at the Polis side event "Creating the liveable, inclusive and healthy city"
Polis in cooperation with the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) - a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Committe for Europe (UNECE) and the World Health Organisation - hosted a well attended Side Event on health and trasnport at the 2016 International Transport Forum's Summit in Leipzig on 18 May.
The Storefront Index
As Jane Jacobs so eloquently described it in The Death and Life of American Cities, much of the essence of urban living is reflected in the “sidewalk ballet” of people going about their daily errands, wandering along the margins of public spaces (streets, sidewalks, parks and squares) and in and out of quasi-private spaces (stores, salons, bars, boutiques, bars and restaurants).
Clusters of these quasi-private spaces, which are usually neighborhood businesses, activate a streetscape, both drawing life from and adding to a steady flow of people outside.
Improving humanitarian action in urban crisis: a perspective from cities in crisis
In preparation of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), UCLG’s Task Force on Local and Regional Government Disaster Response (UCLG), trough its secretariat held by Cités Unies France (CUF), and IMPACT realized a series of broad-based consultations to identify lessons learnt and recommendations stemming from the humanitarian response in seven cities recently affected by crisis. The exercise has been developed and implemented in conjunction with the Global Alliance for Urban Crises, contributing to the Policy Commitments outlined in its Urban Crises Charter.
Exclusionary zoning robs our cities of their best qualities
Eight ways it makes our communities more expensive and less just.
Seattle’s zoning has roots in racial and class exclusion and remains among the largest obstacles to realizing the city’s goals for equity and affordability. In a city experiencing rapid growth and intense pressures on access to affordable housing, the historic level of single-family zoning is no longer either realistic or sustainable.
Strong words from the 2015 Seattle Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) report in support of its headline-grabbing recommendation to “increase access, diversity and inclusion within single-family areas.” Media reaction was incendiary, with commentators rushing to take sides over the historical claim made in the first eight words: “Seattle’s zoning has roots in racial and class exclusion.” (Here, here, here, here, here.)
How the Next U.S. President Could Change Opportunity in Cities
One of the most popular terms being thrown about in this year’s U.S. presidential campaign is “economic populism,” which is one of those vague expressions that can mean almost anything. Economic populism has been cited as the reason to raise the minimum wage (and help solve wage inequality), as well as the reason to not raise it (a higher minimum wage could lead to job loss).
Yet both Democrats and Republicans are zeroing in on this issue. That is odd in presidential election history, as the Democrats have usually cornered the market on raising wages and economic opportunity for the masses, while the Republicans — representing the Wall Street corporate and Main Street business establishment — have always tried to hold the wages down.
No room for trees in Seattle’s new parks
Forget what you think you know about green Seattle parks. A new park just south of Seattle University shows us an important aspect of the future in a more densely developed city.
The recently opened 12th Avenue Square Park is the sort of open space we will likely see more often. It is more like a piazza, surrounded by development — both older and newer, with more buildings to come.
How Green Urban Design Lowers Risk Of Climate Change Disaster
Saving rainwater and increasing green spaces are two small steps shown to help fight the ravages of climate change in cities.
Cities of the future may turn out to be friendlier, cleaner places than the desolate dumps science fiction films have been depicting in anticipation. A range of initiatives being taken around the world — some apparently of little importance, others bigger in scope — are already steering the urban future away from worst-case scenarios. Your children and grandchildren may end up avoiding the world of Mad Max or Blade Runner.
Certainly, cities are grappling with air pollution, massive trash generation and heaving population numbers. But many are also working on becoming more sustainable.
Susana Vélez-Haller, a forestry expert with the World Wildlife Fund, says cities are a paradox right now, requiring so many resources yet producing so little. Cities, she says, generate little other than "a lot of waste. The idea is to change that."
Report: Smart City Plan, Australia
This report represents a renewed national focus on Australian cities, by the national government. Its intention is to focus on the debate and action around the opportunities for cities – metropolitan and regional. The Smart Cities Plan illustrates the Government’s vision for Australian cities, and the plan for maximizing their potential.
According to this report three main pillars can be recognized as key factors of the development of Smart Cities: Smart Investment, Smart Policy and Smart Technology.
“Foot Traffic Ahead 2016” comes out on June 14. Which metros will be on top?
The race is on to capture market demand for walkable urban development, and metropolitan areas across the country have ramped up their efforts to unleash the economic potential of walkable urbanism. Sign up today to get a copy of Smart Growth America’s Foot Traffic Ahead, and be the first to find out which metropolitan areas have pulled ahead since 2014, and which have successfully laid the groundwork for future growth.
Four storylines to watch in the Habitat III negotiations
Last week, national governments finally began debating the details of the draft New Urban Agenda. Here’s what they had to say — and what may continue to define these discussions. -
Since the first draft of the global urbanization strategy known as the New Urban Agenda was released in early May, those closely following these discussions have been slicing and dicing the document’s details.
After all, the scope and 20-year time frame of the New Urban Agenda mean that local leaders, NGOs, multilateral institutions, universities, grass-roots groups and many others with a stake in the urban sector have been weighing in for months with ideas and inputs on what should be in the draft document. They’re now keen to see how that input has been used.
Want Economic Growth? Try Urban Density
Here's a big economic and political thesis: The U.S. has run out of frontiers, both literal and figurative. At first, growth was fueled by expansion into the West, use of natural resources and the build-out of national infrastructure. In the early- and mid-20th century, an unprecedented explosion of new technologies -- electricity, automobiles, airplanes and others -- opened up the suburbs, which acted like a new frontier. More recently, the Internet and globalization, especially China, were frontiers that gave the economy yet more room to expand.
But these growth opportunities may now be running out. Information technology is improving our lives by giving us more fun things to do with our leisure time, but it isn't providing the kind of productivity boost gained from previous technological revolutions. And the heyday of expansion into China may be over, given that country’s economic slowdown, its decreasing openness to Western companies and the broader slump in world trade.
Bottled water retailer wins Italian sustainability award
A new urban freight service that delivers bottled water has won a retail industry award for best sustainable project.
The service by Sanpellegrino Group, launched in April, uses a train to carry mineral water once a week between Padua and Bologna.
By doing so it removes about 500 trucks a year from the road, and saves the emission of 66.5 tonnes of CO2 and 880 000 MJ of energy – a 78 and 74 per cent reduction compared to road deliveries, respectively.
Great parks are the foundation of great cities
Last month, the Miami Foundation, Knight Foundation, Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department convened leaders for the sixth biennial Great Park Summit.
With a focus on “Placemaking, Health and Conservation,” participants were inspired by a discussion on the power of parks and how they can transform our community and improve our quality of life, health and the economy.
In 2006, Miami-Dade Parks began updating its master plan, which was last revised in 1969 when land was cheap and suburban sprawl was the cornerstone of urban planning. Thirty-seven years later, we learned that challenges to Miami-Dade’s quality of life — increased congestion; declining open spaces; visual blight; poverty; and obesity — required a new lens from which to view future development. Residents said they wanted a green community with more parks/public spaces, and more options for recreating, including greenways and trails.
The Clustering Effect
The project’s model for evaluation of replication potential is a framework to help CITyFiED city cluster to review their individual replication potential of the technologies implemented on the demo sites.
One part of the model consists of a quantitative approach, where the current energy demand and supply including energy sources and smart grid solutions are analysed. The model also includes qualitative methods for investigating non-technological barriers and possibilities as well as possible business models for retrofitting. The CITyFiED demonstration cases, Lund and Valladolid have been used as case cities during the development of the model.
EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2016: Smart mobility. Strong economy
Each EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK focuses on a particular topic related to sustainable mobility, the so-called focal theme. Local authorities are required to organise activities for their citizens based on this theme. They are also encouraged to launch and promote permanent measures that support the theme.
The Fiscal Tools Cities Need to Pay for Infrastructure
They no longer can count on Washington or their states. They need the authority to find creative local solutions.
As the infrastructure deficit grows in our cities, so do questions about how to pay for these critical systems. Funding from the federal and state levels is uncertain at best, placing increasing pressure on local governments to take the lead. But political realities coupled with unequal access to local revenue tools means some don't have the authority they need to answer the call.
In April, for example, voters in Pulaski County, Ark., rejected a quarter-percentage-point sales tax increase that would have been the area's first tax dedicated to transit, projected to raise $18 million annually for bus-service expansion and the creation of bus lanes. The proposed tax drew widespread support within the city of Little Rock, but not in other parts of the county.
Can China's Futuristic 'Straddling Bus' Finally Become a Reality?
First dreamed up in 1969, the bus may help Chinese cities ease traffic and curb air pollution.
Car ownership in China is soaring, with an estimated 20 million new drivers hitting the roads each year. Cities there can expect no shortage of air pollution and hellish traffic jams. While local governments are hoping that parking regulations and plate restrictions will ease congestion, engineers and designers are trying to find relief in technology.
What if there were a city bus that could carry more than a thousand passengers from one point to another without taking up any space on the road?
Balancing the Scales of City Sustainability
I spend virtually all my professional time thinking about the intersection of human settlement and environmental sustainability. I am particularly interested in the built environment of American cities, towns, and suburbs – what I like to call our “people habitat” – and how it relates to the natural world. How can we make these two realms – people habitat and natural habitat – more harmonious?
These issues are acutely on my mind today because I am preparing a talk I have been invited to deliver early next month on “Urbanism and Sustainability.”
Delhi’s Air Quality Crisis: Lessons from Beijing, Mexico and Bogotá
With 26 million inhabitants, Delhi’s metropolitan area is the fifth largest in the world. But the city also has terrible air quality, with an annual average particulate matter 15 times the recommendation of the World Health Organization. Air pollution is responsible for 10,000 to 30,000 annual premature deaths in Delhi, and is the fifth leading cause of premature death in India, with 620,000 deaths every year.
This high level of harmful pollutants is a consequence of various problems with the city’s transport system. Most of the particles come from the tailpipe of motor vehicles and dust from traffic in unpaved or poorly maintained streets. Delhi has the largest vehicle fleet in India, with close to 7.5 million units. According to India’s Center for Science and the Environment, motor vehicles are the “Silent Killer” of Indian people.
How to implement “open innovation” in city government
City officials are facing increasingly complex challenges. As urbanization rates grow, cities face higher demand for services from a larger and more densely distributed population. On the other hand, rapid changes in the global economy are affecting cities that struggle to adapt to these changes, often resulting in economic depression and population drain.
“Open innovation” is the latest buzz word circulating in forums on how to address the increased volume and complexity of challenges for cities and governments in general.
Heritage Areas: A Tool to Help Build Sustainable Communities
You may live in or near a Heritage Area and perhaps not know it – but if you do, you probably have noticed changes in your community such as new trails and bikeways, more cultural and arts events, a new museum or upgraded exhibits, historic walking tours, downtown streetscape beautification projects, or historic buildings that have found new life as restaurants, inns, and retail shops. In many cases, these changes stem directly or indirectly from the designation of a Heritage Area.
"Small Actions = Big Changes": Seoul delivers on air quality and climate change
Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul and President of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability published an article in the UNEP publication, Our Planet, where he discusses the transformative measures that Seoul is taking to improve air quality and address climate change.
The second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the UN Environment Program (UNEA-2) is ongoing in Nairobi, where UNEA delegations are discussing how the world can deliver on the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This year, the event is focusing strongly on air quality as a central issue in creating a healthy environment with healthy people.
Smart Cities and Infrastructure issues paper by UNCTAD
During the 18th annual session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), Smart Cities and Infrastructure, was selected as one of the priority themes for the 2015-16 period. The objective of this paper, prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat, is to illustrate the key role of STI, including ICT, in the development of a smart city and its infrastructure.
New Global Alliance Launches Innovative Approach to Addressing Urban Crises
A new Alliance aimed at delivering a cohesive and strategic approach to humanitarian crises in urban settings was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
The Global Alliance for Urban Crises emerged in recognition of the need to adapt global crisis response to an increasingly urban world and brings together a coalition of partners from across different sectors and settings, such as local authorities, humanitarian and development actors and professional associations – to provide support and assistance that is more appropriate, effective and sustainable.
Reminder: Just Laying Track Is No Guarantee Riders Will Come
Laying track isn’t enough to build a successful transit system — as some cities are learning the hard way.
A slate of new rail projects — mostly mixed-traffic streetcars, but that’s not the only way to mess up — are attracting embarrassingly few passengers. Some of these projects may be salvageable to some extent, but for now, they don’t provide the speed, frequency, and access to walkable destinations that make transit useful for people. Here are four cautionary tales about the inadequacy of just putting down rails and praying things work out.
Affordable homes vanish as developers outmanoeuvre councils
Industry analysis shows that local authorities routinely miss affordable housing targets, but experts warn that Sadiq Khan’s pledge to boost levels could stall development entirely
Private property developers are outmanoeuvring councils in housing negotiations and routinely delivering fewer affordable homes than town halls want, an industry analysis has revealed.
Amid growing anger at the sale to foreign buyers of almost two-thirds of London’s tallest residential skyscraper, which includes no affordable housing, it has emerged that not one London borough that set targets has met them in the last six years.
Sit and connect on the Czech Republic's first solar bench
Covenant signatory Litomerice is the first Czech city to install a smart solar bench.
Litomerice's solar bench, named "CapaSitty", was developed by a team of the "Full CapaCity Company" in cooperation with designer Jan Vitek and experts from the Czech Technical University in Prague. It was bought in the framework of the "READY 21" project financed by the Swiss - Czech cooperation programme. The smart solar bench is part of the Czech municipality's integrated action plan for energy conservation and renewable energy. Its aim is to promote the use of solar energy in public spaces.
UK startups seek to lead the world in smart city technologies
The face of cities all over the world is changing – cities where seven billion people are forecast to be living by 2050.
As the population influx continues, the world’s cities are gearing up for new kinds of challenges, integrating the real and virtual worlds to improve people’s quality of life.
This is a very lucrative area for business. It is already a £280m market that will grow to £1tn by 2020, according to UK government estimates. The UK’s share of this global market is estimated at 10%.
It is therefore not surprising to see UK startups trying to make their mark in this area, not just in their own country but beyond – typically by focusing on technologies such as cloud computing, mobility, data-driven intelligence and the internet of things (IoT).
Urban Agriculture Can’t Feed Us, but That Doesn’t Mean It’s a Bad Idea
Research shows that the social and cultural benefits of city farms and gardens far outweigh the number of people they can feed.
Growing up in Iowa is a good way to become familiar with what a field of corn looks like. My eye is more readily drawn to its shiny, lopping leaves and the spike of an unopened tassel than to most any other plant. Driving across Los Angeles, as I do far too often, the crop still catches my eye, but the plots that it grows on here look nothing like the rolling farms back home that each measure in the thousands of acres. Instead, it’s a small berm pushed up against a park fence outside a homeless encampment, a narrow bed hemmed in by wrought iron along a rougher stretch of Melrose, or an odd triangle of otherwise unused land created by a freeway on-ramp. All are home to tiny cornfields with no more than 20 stalks each.
Why demand management matters to Europe’s cities.
Demand management is the best idea you’ve never heard of. It will become fundamental to the sustainability of our cities. It is the conduit between social innovation in communities and transformative change in bureaucracies. It denotes a set of emerging practices that represent the best chance of controlling cost and improving outcomes in public services.
Lyon's active-mobility plan given green light (France)
The council of the city of Lyon has adopted a four-year action plan for active mobility that will focus on improving facilities for walking and cycling.
The plan, adopted earlier this month, has a budget of € 160 million and will run from 2016 until 2020.
The city hopes to increase the cycling network from its current total length of 600 km to 1 000 km, and encourage residents to walk more – from an average of 650 m to 1 km a day – by 2020.
The Women Who Are Changing Mexico’s Cities
In Mexico, the issue of gender often goes unrecognized. A popular blog documents the all-too-common “all male panels” or public events where all the speakers or participants are men, or where women only occupy placeholder positions, like hostesses. Even in sustainable transport and city events, this can be common.
However, progress in women’s representation is slowly becoming a reality, thanks to a growing interest among women in professional fields—like urban and transport planning—typically associated with men.
Louisville Looks to the Edges for New Parks, Once Again
More than 100 years ago, Frederick Law Olmsted designed a system of 18 parks linked by 14.5 miles of greenery-ed boulevards around the then-urban edges of Louisville, Kentucky. Over the decades, the city grew beyond that green perimeter, absorbing the parks in a spread of suburban development. This month, nonprofit 21st Century Parks is celebrating the completion of a new greenway on Louisville’s now expanded limits, the city’s first major public-private partnership to construct new parks. The Parklands of Floyds Fork, a $125 million project funded by donors and grants, spans over 4,000 acres, creating a nearly 20-mile continuous parkway.
Which are Africa’s fastest-growing cities?
The world is moving to the city. No part of the planet is urbanising faster than sub-Saharan Africa. The continent’s population of roughly 1.1 billion is expected to double by 2050. More than 80 per cent of that growth will occur in cities, especially slums.
The outcome of this unprecedented urban transition depends on what Africa’s political, business and civic leaders do next. If they take the right steps, innovation, employment and economic growth will follow.
If they do not, they can expect poverty, sluggish economies and instability. Many African cities, and thus the continent as a whole, are at a tipping point.
Can Johannesburg reinvent itself as Africa’s first cycle-friendly megacity?
In a city of 10 million designed around the car – but where most can’t afford one – could bicycles be the answer? The legacy of apartheid planning makes change difficult but cyclists are pushing and, crucially, they have the mayor’s support
Troubled Bridges Over Danish Waters
In Copenhagen, a major new bridge won’t close—while another may never open.
Sometime this summer, Copenhagen should open an impressive new bridge that will help reshape the layout of the city’s center. The Inderhavnsbroen (“Inner Harbor Bridge”) will cross Copenhagen’s harbor, connecting the 17th-century waterfront at Nyhavn with the rapidly transforming islands that make up the core of the city’s former port. While the bridge won’t span a vast space, it will make a big difference, cutting out a detour that makes the islands slow to reach, considering how close they are to the city’s heart.
First driverless rail cars for Honolulu
Ansaldo Honolulu has announced in a press release that Honolulu’s Train # 1 was unveiled to the residents of the city at the Rail Operations & Control Center of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). The four car train, manufactured by Hitachi Rail Italy, is a key component of the first driverless rail transit system in the USA. The transit system is being built in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jaipur to become the first Lighthouse City in South Asia
Cisco has recently announced that the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan is going to be the first Smart+Connected Community ‘Lighthouse City’ in South Asia. Jaipur joins the league of Cisco Lighthouse Cities globally such as Hamburg (Germany), Barcelona (Spain) and Adelaide (Australia).
Cisco Lighthouse City status credential is assigned to a select list of cities all over the world. With this development, Jaipur will gain access to Cisco’s huge global network and channel programme capabilities; and the city will also benefit from the economic and social transformation set to occur as the country embarks on the next phase of the Digital India programme. The Lighthouse City engagement will be enabled through a joint working group, which will focus on deploying next generation technologies to impact citizens and society.
Emerging Urban Districts in Washington and Boston
Everyone’s talking about “what’s next” in terms of emerging urban neighborhoods, where property values can surge very rapidly. But why do some districts emerge seemingly out of nowhere? How can developers and investors find the next one?
A panel at the ULI Spring Meeting in Philadelphia provided insights into this issue, primarily by examining the trajectory of two successful emerging districts: Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Union Market in Washington, D.C.
What are ‘green bonds’ and why are cities so excited about them?
Across the globe, implementing the Paris climate agreement is expected to cost more than US$12 trillion over 25 years.
So it’s not surprising that much of the conversation since the agreement was finalized in December has been about climate finance. And one of the big topics in climate finance — particularly among city leaders — is “green bonds.”
But what exactly are green bonds, and why should local authorities care about them? Here’s a brief explanation of the major issues.
Can transit-oriented development change travel behavior in cities?
It is pretty easy to understand how and why land use patterns around public transit stations can influence the way we move around the city.
As more and more people live and work in a neighborhood with a limited land area, it becomes increasingly challenging to drive around without encountering congestion or to find a parking space easily. In this situation, public transit and non-motorized transport (NMT) become attractive alternatives for people who otherwise are reluctant to give up the comfort and flexibility of driving.
UN-Habitat launches the World Cities Report 2016, Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures
The new global flagship report on sustainable urban development launched by UN-Habitat on Wednesday, states that a New Urban Agenda is needed to unlock the transformative power of cities. The World Cities Report 2016, Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures, says that the top 600 cities, with 1/5th of the world’s population, produce 60 per cent of global GDP. However, when unplanned and unmanaged, urbanization can lead to increased inequality, the growth of slums and disastrous impacts on climate change, according to the report.
10 Ways to Create a New Urban Agenda That Includes Older People
The global population is both urbanizing and aging at historically unprecedented rates, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Fifty-seven percent of the world’s older people — that’s 900 million — live in towns and cities, and that figure is projected to rise to over 2 billion by 2050. There are already more older people living in Latin American cities than the entire populations of São Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Bogota and Lima combined, while in African cities, it is more than the entire populations of Lagos, Cairo and Nairobi combined.
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