30/11/2016 - The Well-Designed City Is A Healthy City, All Over The World

30/11/2016 - Planting healthy air: a natural solution to address pollution and heat in cities

30/11/2016 - Urban play as a means for activating intercultural cities

29/11/2016 - P-REACT - let feel public transport passengers more secure

29/11/2016 - Smart choices for cities. Alternative Fuel Buses

29/11/2016 - Cities urged to adopt long-term climate strategies

28/11/2016 - The city becomes a biotope

28/11/2016 - Free Public Transport: a Good Idea?

28/11/2016 - To Build “Smart Cities,” Look to the Cloud

27/11/2016 - Blame it on the bike: does cycling contribute to a city's gentrification?

27/11/2016 - Report – Innovation and the City

27/11/2016 - Momentum for shift to 100% renewable energy

26/11/2016 - Culture or Conditions? A Look at Sexual Assault on Public Transport

26/11/2016 - The World's Top 10 Smart City Projects

26/11/2016 - How Cities Can Manage the Urbanization Trend

25/11/2016 - India’s Urban Transformation

25/11/2016 - Creating urban environments that inspire young people into ‘creative-tech’ careers

25/11/2016 - Tampere, Finland Plans to Become First Fully-Integrated Smart City

24/11/2016 - 15 Urban innovations initiatives that inspire the World

24/11/2016 - When a City Stops Arguing About Climate Change and Starts Planning

24/11/2016 - Can Montreal fight gentrification by banning restaurants?

23/11/2016 - Organising Smart City Projects: Lessons learned from Amsterdam

23/11/2016 - What City Officials Say About Participatory Budgeting

23/11/2016 - Why Amsterdam Is Giving Up on Natural Gas

22/11/2016 - Is this the future of smart infrastructure?

22/11/2016 - Assessing and improving the accessibility of urban areas

22/11/2016 - In Search of Answers on Gentrification

21/11/2016 - 15 Urban innovations initiatives that inspire the World

21/11/2016 - Mes Amis: The Clothing Drive

21/11/2016 - Ahead of the next Habitat conference, the urban world we want

21/11/2016 - Urbanization in Nigeria: Planning for the Unplanned

20/11/2016 - Scary streets: which are the world's most haunted cities?

20/11/2016 - Cities in Crisis or Crisis in Cities?

20/11/2016 - How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone

20/11/2016 - Big Idea for a Small Space: Tiny Houses for the Homeless

19/11/2016 - EUROCITIES on becoming cybersecure

19/11/2016 - German Cities on the Front Lines of Refugee Response

19/11/2016 - Smart City Vision Involves Understanding Our Buildings

19/11/2016 - Singapore is striving to be the world's first 'smart city'

18/11/2016 - A great mayor can shape a city. A bad one will ruin it

18/11/2016 - Cities increasingly seen as key to strong food systems

18/11/2016 - The new American suburb: diverse, dense, and booming

18/11/2016 - Shaping tomorrow's mobility at CIVITAS Forum 2016

17/11/2016 - Amsterdam launches vacancy map.

17/11/2016 - Sensors alone don't make a city smart - people do

17/11/2016 - World’s biggest cities growing without proper transport planning - report

17/11/2016 - The Big Green Payoff From Bigger Urban Forests

16/11/2016 - Smart phone boxes are coming to London

16/11/2016 - Let’s Give Cities A Greater Role In Managing Migration

16/11/2016 - The City Of Tomorrow Is A Petri Dish—By Design

16/11/2016 - Implementing the New Urban Agenda needs financially strong cities

15/11/2016 - More innovation to energise sustainable economy in cities

15/11/2016 - Australian slums, once abolished, may be returning

15/11/2016 - Putting Cities' Abandoned Spaces To Work

15/11/2016 - Trees temper Barcelone climate

14/11/2016 - Yinchuan offers cautionary tale on Big Data

14/11/2016 - City pollution could be halved by car park filters

14/11/2016 - Lessons from the World’s Largest Megacity?

14/11/2016 - Who owns the city? We own the city!

13/11/2016 - How immigrants can help revitalize America’s cities

13/11/2016 - Lyon cycling increases 370% since 2006

13/11/2016 - Women changing Europe - the rise of female mayors

13/11/2016 - Chicago River, the city's new backyard?

12/11/2016 - New law in Paris allows anyone to plant an urban garden

12/11/2016 - What New York Can Learn From Barcelona’s ‘Superblocks’

12/11/2016 - Urban mobility redefined: sharing is the new buying

12/11/2016 - The Brussels Green Loan

11/11/2016 - World Mayor 2016

11/11/2016 - Migration and the New Urban Agenda

11/11/2016 - Habitat III: Milestone for the World’s Cities or Business as Usual?

11/11/2016 - How Driverless Cars Could Empower Pedestrians

10/11/2016 - Empowering cities

10/11/2016 - Community Energy: from buzzword to paradign change?

10/11/2016 - City-to-city cooperation for sustainable urban mobility

10/11/2016 - Cleantech companies moving into the smart city market

9/11/2016 - Preservation in Hanoi, Demolition in Ho Chi Minh City

9/11/2016 - Which is the world’s most wasteful city?

9/11/2016 - Getting active with the citizen project

9/11/2016 - Six reports you may have missed at Habitat III

8/11/2016 - Over 500 000 EVs on EU roads by year end

8/11/2016 - Invitation to Ecocity World Summit

8/11/2016 - Cities for Life

8/11/2016 - The Next President's Urban Opportunity

7/11/2016 - Austrian court in landmark ruling for cycling safety

7/11/2016 - Smart cities must gain control of their street lights

7/11/2016 - The EU "one-stop shop" website on urban policies

6/11/2016 - Globally, Sprawl Is Getting Worse

6/11/2016 - EC Publishes Special Issue on Low-Carbon Heating and Cooling

6/11/2016 - New Procura+ Manual launched

5/11/2016 - reSITE launches Shared Cities!

5/11/2016 - UCLG elects its new Presidency in Bogotá

4/11/2016 - The new thing in retirement communities: walkable and urban

4/11/2016 - Developing cities urged to ‘leapfrog’ to new innovations

4/11/2016 - Let's get our gentrification story straight

4/11/2016 - Urban mobility reports on Asia, Latin America & Mediterranean released

3/11/2016 - Rise of the 'Urbanpreneur'

3/11/2016 - European families avail of FIESTA project services to lower energy bill

3/11/2016 - Berlin’s City Tree Campaign

3/11/2016 - CityLove: Understanding Preservation’s Role in the Revival of the American City

2/11/2016 - HRE Headlines International Conference on 4th Generation District Heating

2/11/2016 - Creating safe cities through existing smart projects

2/11/2016 - How electronic payment systems for public transport discriminate

2/11/2016 - The right to the city as a civic practice

1/11/2016 - How the world’s slums are shaping their futures

1/11/2016 - Lisbon's Green Corridor to become a structuring path of the city

1/11/2016 - No Free Parking – Leave Your Car At Home

1/11/2016 - Save the date! The second City Makers Summit


The Well-Designed City Is A Healthy City, All Over The World

A major study that monitored 14,000 people in very different cities found that walkability is a universal public good.
If you design a city to get people walking, then people will do more physical activity. A new global study has found that a well-designed neighborhood not only keeps people fit but can reduce obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Planting healthy air: a natural solution to address pollution and heat in cities

Can nature help cities address the twin problems of air that is too dirty or too hot? Based on a new report released by The Nature Conservancy – in collaboration with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group - the answer appears to be a qualified “yes.”
The Planting Healthy Air report identifies the potential return on investment from tree planting in 245 global cities, which currently house about a quarter of the world’s urban population. By collecting and analyzing geospatial information on forest and land cover, particulate matter, and population density and leveraging existing literature, the study estimates the scope of current and future street trees to make urban air healthier. The benefits that trees could afford to cities will be even more crucial in the future, the study finds, as a quarter million people could die each year because of urban heat by 2050, unless cities take proactive steps to adapt to global warming.

Urban play as a means for activating intercultural cities

Urban play has the potential to overcome barriers among people and to entice interaction and engagement between citizens, leading to a social activation of the city.
The UN-Habitat opened its report State of the World’s Cities 2012/13 with the claim - “The City is the Home of Prosperity. It is the place where human beings find satisfaction of basic need and access to essential public goods. The city is also where ambitions, aspirations and other material and immaterial aspects of life are realized, providing contentment and happiness and increasing the prospects of individual and collective well-being”. The report presents a new measurement tool – The City Prosperity Index – defining a prosperous city as one that provides five conditions: Productivity (generating income and employment); Infrastructure development (amenities); Quality of life (public spaces and social services); Equity and social inclusion (ensures distribution of the prosperous city benefits); Environmental sustainability.

P-REACT - let feel public transport passengers more secure

The EU funded P-REACT project has developed a low-cost solution based on an innovative video surveillance system to increase the security (and the perception of) for Public Transport passengers.

Smart choices for cities. Alternative Fuel Buses

This policy analysis focuses on the topic of alternative fuel buses for public transport. This is a hot topic because the introduction of the clean buses is necessary in order to reach the EU air quality targets and clearly impacts a cities CO2 footprint. This document gives in-depth background information to come to a decision on which bus to choose for your city. It provides information, which can help policy makers at European municipalities, public transport authorities and local decision makers for their choice of clean(er) public bus transport.

Cities urged to adopt long-term climate strategies

A new report from the Kresge Foundation and Abt Associates concludes that American cities are making progress responding to immediate extreme weather events. But it also advises city leaders to devote more attention to long-term climate adaptation strategies. The report warns that short-sighted emphasis on climate variability and extreme weather events could leave urban environments unprepared for evolving climactic conditions over the long term.

The city becomes a biotope

Climate change, increasing environmental pollution, and growing social heterogeneity pose enormous social, societal, and economic challenges for Austrian cities. Adapting the existing infrastructure is devouring huge sums. How can these challenges be successfully managed?

Free Public Transport: a Good Idea?

If public transport were free in your city, would you leave your car at home?
That was one question the Tallinn city government was about to answer last year when it introduced free public transport for all residents of the Estonian capital.
The main benefits the city hoped to gain from such a dynamic move were to reduce carbon emissions and road congestion, ease access to jobs for the lower-income and unemployed, and expand mobility and social inclusion.

To Build “Smart Cities,” Look to the Cloud

Throughout history, human migration has been driven by one thing: opportunity. In the search for better living conditions, economic prosperity and a safer existence, people migrate to cities, hoping to improve their way of life. Yet managing community growth and creating opportunity has become decidedly more complex.
By 2050, the United Nations forecasts that more than 65 percent of the world’s population will live in urban environments. The impact will be felt in cities, the suburbs, as well as the villages and towns from which many of the world’s opportunity-seekers originated.

Blame it on the bike: does cycling contribute to a city's gentrification?

Hostility to cyclists and bike lanes often seems to be a proxy for wider anger at gentrification. But does this urban phenomenon really arrive on two wheels – or is new cycle infrastructure a sign the street has already transformed?

Report – Innovation and the City

Drawing on well over 100 interviews with urban policy experts in the United States and around the world—including mayors, city commissioners, academic experts, corporate executives, labor officials, and philanthropic leaders—this report profiles fifteen of the boldest and most innovative municipal policy reforms of the past decade.

Momentum for shift to 100% renewable energy

In a first, 47 governments forming the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) along with cities, business and civil society gathered to pioneer the shift to 100% renewable energy. The Moroccan Presidency of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and CVF hosted a high-level meeting discussing the economic benefits and the moral imperative of a just transition to 100% renewable energy to limit global warming to 1.5C degrees (above pre-industrial levels). 

Culture or Conditions? A Look at Sexual Assault on Public Transport

Bogotá, Colombia was recently named the least safe transit system for women, largely due to an epidemic of sexual assault (defined here as any type of unwanted sexual touching). According to a survey, conducted in Colombia and Bolivia as part of the Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship last year, 38 percent of female TransMilenio users, Bogotá’s bus rapid transit system, have been assaulted. While the case of TransMilenio is extreme, Bogotá’s system is far from alone in facing this crisis. In El Alto, Bolivia, 20 percent of female users, or one in five, have been assaulted.

The World's Top 10 Smart City Projects

"Smart city" projects leverage IoT and networking to make urban living more efficient and convenient through everything: from smart traffic lights and data-driven energy efficiency schemes to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and interactive kiosks which offer free broadband.

How Cities Can Manage the Urbanization Trend

Cities all over the world are consumed with how to be 'smart.' With a flood of new inhabitants in urban areas across the globe, municipalities realize the vital need for technology to address citizens in the most effective way possible, and to manage what is quickly becoming exponential growth. The global smart city market will be valued at US$1.565 trillion in 2020, and more than 26 global cities are expected to be ‘smart’ by 2025 (Frost and Sullivan). 

India’s Urban Transformation

What do cities in India need to be more livable? In the four part series “Spotlight on livable cities”, ISOCARP Vice-President Shipra Narang Suri aims to answer this question by approaching it from various angles, giving examples from different areas of urban planning. In this first part, she outlines the shift in urban growth in India and measures that are being taken in response to it.

Creating urban environments that inspire young people into ‘creative-tech’ careers

Across the whole of Europe, the growing shortage of technical talent is starting to impact on urban economies. In this article, Jim Sims, the Lead Expert on the Urbact GEN-Y City Network, looks at educational and skills policy across Europe and makes the case for cities to be orchestrators of urban environments that can inspire young people into ‘tech’ careers. 

Tampere, Finland Plans to Become First Fully-Integrated Smart City

The Finnish city of Tampere, the second largest in the country, recently announced its plans to invest six to ten billion Euros by 2030 in order to become a fully-integrated smart city.
“Our plan is to open the big challenges of the city and develop innovative solutions to them together with companies. The challenges might be, for example, the amount of elderly in the future and making sure they get the best care,” says the Mayor of the City of Tampere, Anna-Kaisa Ikonen.

15 Urban innovations initiatives that inspire the World

Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Conference and Guangzhou International Innovation Festival is the ideal witness to joint efforts of cities around the world to build a better future. This year, the Conference will take place in December 2016 and will announce the winners of the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.

When a City Stops Arguing About Climate Change and Starts Planning

Charleston, South Carolina, is adapting to a hotter, wetter and riskier future.
October has become the cruelest month for Charleston. Last month, Hurricane Matthew roared past the South Carolina coast, sending a 9-foot tide into the city and dumping heavy rainfall across the marshy low country. Abandoned cars stalled in downtown intersections where floodwaters lapped at their windows, and police blocked off dozens of streets.

Can Montreal fight gentrification by banning restaurants?

A controversial law limiting new restaurant openings in Montreal’s Saint-Henri area has pitted business owners against those who believe they are fighting for the very survival of Canada’s ‘culture capital’. Who is right?

Organising Smart City Projects: Lessons learned from Amsterdam

This report, issued by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Amsterdam Smart City, analysed 12 smart city projects in Amsterdam to draw lessons and make future smart city projects more effective. The idea was to analyse the non-technological aspects of smart city projects (partnerships, business models, scaling potential) since smart city solutions are not just about developing and applying technology.

What City Officials Say About Participatory Budgeting

Participatory budgeting, a process that allows citizens a say in how public money is spent, is a fast-growing local governance trend in the U.S. Just one council district used the process in the 2009-2010 cycle. In 2015-2016, 47 cities or city council districts did.
But according to a new report by Public Agenda, whether this trend continues to grow and take root is largely dependent on whether elected officials are motivated to implement it, and stay dedicated once they do. The report, based on confidential interviews with 43 elected officials — 28 who’ve used participatory budgeting, and 15 who haven’t — lays out some of the challenges and successes.

Why Amsterdam Is Giving Up on Natural Gas

The city plans to wean its homes off domestic natural gas by 2050, starting now.
By 2050, Amsterdam hopes to put its gas-heated days behind it. In a city where natural gas warms 90 percent of all homes and contributes 30 percent of all carbon emissions, removing all those boilers won’t be easy—but it could very well be worth it.
From here, the deadline might seem far away, but the journey to that target is beginning right now. This week, the city announced that in 2017, 10,000 public housing units will have their gas supplies removed, and new neighborhoods in the city won’t have natural gas as an option either.

Is this the future of smart infrastructure?

A new bridge in the US can self-diagnose structural problems, send traffic reports and check environmental health levels.
Engineers at the University of New Hampshire and the National Science Foundation have equipped the once ordinary Memorial Bridge with an array of smart technology.
The 40 sensors on the smart bridge, which links New Hampshire to Maine, will also be powered by tidal energy turbines under the water. The centre of the bridge moves upwards to allow ships to pass underneath.

Assessing and improving the accessibility of urban areas

On next December 6th the Final Conference of the European Project “Assessing and improving the accessibility of urban areas” will be held in Brussels (DG MOVE premises).

In Search of Answers on Gentrification

A new report on the affordable housing crisis warns that there’s no one single strategy that has yet proven effective in stemming the displacement of lower-income families.
Back in the 1980s, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was gripped in an economic crisis as it suffered the effects of de-industrialization: Its unemployment rate was triple that of Detroit’s today. “We basically died,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said on a recent press call. But, in a much-celebrated comeback story, the city came back to life. “In 30 years Pittsburgh changed its economy. It built out an entire new city of eds and meds, technology, finance and energy. Now we’re seeing a new Pittsburgh emerge.”

15 Urban innovations initiatives that inspire the World

Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Conference and Guangzhou International Innovation Festival is the ideal witness to joint efforts of cities around the world to build a better future. This year, the Conference will take place in December 2016 and will announce the winners of the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.

Mes Amis: The Clothing Drive

A call to action for refugee clothing launches a store, an online community and a social movement
Twenty-five thousand Syrian refugees were scheduled to arrive in a few short months. Was Toronto ready? For some community members, the reality of refugees arriving during Canada’s harsh winter months meant one thing: warm clothing and footwear.
When friends sponsoring a Syrian family came together to plan what could be done to help the new arrivals, Laura-Jean Bernhardson decided to take on a clothing drive. Simple enough. She put a call out on Facebook and could not have imagined what would happen next.

Ahead of the next Habitat conference, the urban world we want

There is no better way to mark this year’s World Cities Day than reflecting on the adoption of the New Urban Agenda at the recent Habitat III conference in Quito. The agenda reaffirms the political commitment to sustainable urbanization and provides a framework to guide global urban development over the next 20 years, based on a shared vision of cities that are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
In an era of rapid urbanization and climate change, managing urban growth sustainably and building cities that work is indeed one of our most pressing development challenges.

Urbanization in Nigeria: Planning for the Unplanned

Ibadan,  the third largest metropolitan area in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano,  has organically grown from around 60,000 inhabitants in the early 1800’s to more than three million today, and is projected to reach 5.6 million by 2033. The city’s urban footprint continues to sprawl due to weak land use planning that leads to the proliferation of informal settlements in flood prone areas. 

Scary streets: which are the world's most haunted cities?

In Australia, ghosts are mysteriously appearing in photographs; in the US, a city police chief has called in a team of paranormal investigators. And then there are the clowns ...

Cities in Crisis or Crisis in Cities?

UN-Habitat organised a side event at Habitat III together with the Global Alliance for Urban Crises to discuss how the New Urban Agenda can advance the nexus of humanitarian, development and recovery work in an effort to adapt humanitarian action to an increasingly urban world.
Dr. Aisa Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, emphasised that we need a city wide approach to crises in cities and the response has to be people centred. She further underlined that “in the middle of crisis we need to avoid to come in as quick fixers, killing local resilience. We need to build on local resources, on local expertise and local knowledge – and bring this together with international expertise.” UN-Habitat has tools to deal with crises in cities and can also connect mayors and local authorities with other cities that have gone through similar experiences.

How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone

Technology has the power to help people live in communities that are more responsive to their needs and that can actually improve their lives. For example, Beijing, notorious for air pollution, is testing a 23-foot-tall air purifier that vacuums up smog, filters the bad particles and releases clear air.
This isn’t a vision of life like on “The Jetsons.” It’s real urban communities responding in real-time to changing weather, times of day and citizen needs. These efforts can span entire communities. They can vary from monitoring traffic to keep cars moving efficiently or measuring air quality to warn residents (or turn on massive air purifiers) when pollution levels climb.

Big Idea for a Small Space: Tiny Houses for the Homeless

Tiny houses are having a moment. On TV, there are at least six shows devoted to the topic. Off the air, the craze has spread from the environmentally and pocketbook-conscious house hunter to the government. This summer, Yuba County, Calif., opened 20 tiny houses for the homeless. Using $100,000 in taxpayer money and raising the rest from nonprofits, the county designed the shelters to be temporary: Participants are allowed to stay for 21 days, during which time they’re evaluated and offered a variety of services that include health care, meals, employment services, showers at a nearby facility, legal assistance, mental health services and more. The tiny houses are open to individuals currently living in encampments along rivers surrounding Yuba City and Marysville.

EUROCITIES on becoming cybersecure

City infrastructure such as smart grids and traffic control sensors are among key targets for cyberattacks. The manipulation of systems such as traffic lights or electronic road signs can have serious implications and lead to public safety issues. Increasing dependence of different sectors on ICT solutions, as well as the interdependence between current and future infrastructures makes cities more and more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybersecurity incidents have the potential to disrupt the supply of essential services such as water, healthcare, electricity or mobile services. Failure of these systems could have a considerable impact on the functioning of critical public services resulting in economic turmoil and social consequences for citizens and businesses.

German Cities on the Front Lines of Refugee Response

Much of the responsibility in caring for refugees arriving in Germany has fallen to local authorities. This has brought challenges, but also successful innovations that must be widely shared – and quickly, says Brookings Institution scholar Bruce Katz.
Between January 2015 and July 2016, 1.3 million migrants and refugees fleeing poverty and economic deprivation arrived in Germany. The arrival of so many people, most of them in need of a home, food and healthcare, posed immense humanitarian challenges for the country’s leaders and communities as a whole.

Smart City Vision Involves Understanding Our Buildings

Adelaide can become a genuine “smart city” in terms of energy conservation and emissions reduction and then develop a capability to export to the world. That’s Switch Automation’s pitch to local companies and the driver behind its entry for the inaugural State Government’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize.
The Sydney-based company already connects thousands of buildings across the US, allowing owners to monitor their performance in fine detail. The potential is to link every building in a city, as well as everything from park irrigation systems and traffic lights to solar powered lighting or wind turbines, to continually monitor live data, benchmark performance and determine where greater efficiencies can be achieved.

Singapore is striving to be the world's first 'smart city'

There are few places better positioned to become a "smart city" than Singapore.
That's an easy statement to justify. Singapore is an island city-state just 30 miles across that has been governed by the same party for decades. Putting the implied democratic flaws to one side, the geography and political stability of Singapore have aided the city in preparing for the future.
Two years ago, those preparations got a name: "Smart Nation," an ambitious program to push the city, its residents and its government into the digital age. Or perhaps, even further. A fiber network already stretches the length and breadth of the island, bringing high-speed internet access to every home and office; there are already three mobile devices for every two of its citizens. This is about the next step.

A great mayor can shape a city. A bad one will ruin it

Along with urban cable cars, bids to stage the Olympics, cycle hire schemes and the building of outposts of the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry, creating elected mayors has become one of those ubiquitous remedies for all urban ills. For a while they are presented everywhere as a magic surefire formula, before their attractions fade to make way for the next big thing. But in itself, appointing a mayor is not enough. It’s the kind of mayor, and the context in which they work that is the issue.
Today’s Barcelona is the product of Pasqual Maragall, who in 15 years as mayor revitalised the post-Franco city. For a while he brought the world flocking to see how he had done it, until tourists swamped the Ramblas, and a new mayor led a revolt against any more new hotels.

Cities increasingly seen as key to strong food systems

The New Urban Agenda adopted last month was surprisingly robust on the issue, advocates say, and food could now be key to implementing the strategy.
To paraphrase a famous saying by Napoleon Bonaparte, a city marches on its stomach. That, at least, is the thinking of the United Nations’ food specialists, who argue that urban development is the new locus of action to solve hunger and nutrition.

The new American suburb: diverse, dense, and booming

American suburbs are far from a static set of cookie-cutter housing developments, the rows of infamous “ticky-tacky little boxes” popularized as soon as the postwar housing boom started. But a forthcoming new report, Demographic Strategies for Real Estate, suggests that this archetypical part of the American landscape, which has constantly been evolving, is in for some massive changes over the next decade that will reshape planning, land-use, and the real estate market.
Compiled by John Burns Real Estate Consulting for the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the report lays out a vision of suburbia at odds with the Betty Draper stereotype of the ‘50s. Powered by social and demographic shifts involving young workers, immigrants, working women, and retirees, suburbs will get denser, more diverse, and more urban.

Shaping tomorrow's mobility at CIVITAS Forum 2016

In September, the city of Gdynia (Poland) hosted the CIVITAS Forum Conference, a flagship event of the CIVITAS Forum Network and an important occasion in the field of urban mobility. Already in its 14th year, the conference gathered hundreds of CIVITAS stakeholders from around Europe, all of whom are devoted to developing sustainable urban mobility in their cities.
The three-day conference, held under the theme of Shaping the Mobility of Tomorrow, organised collaborative workshops, state-of-the-art presentations and site visits. It provided a welcome opportunity for cities to discuss and exchange knowledge on urban mobility with European politicians and urban mobility experts.

Amsterdam launches vacancy map.

Entrepreneurs, rejoice! This map will help you find space.
De Municipality of Amsterdam has opened a hotline to report empty offices and battle vacancy. The map shows spaces available for residential or educational purposes, bars, cafés and restaurants. The City of Amsterdam strongly encourages redevelopment of vacant properties to improve quality of public space, sustainable reuse and boost affordable housing.

Sensors alone don't make a city smart - people do

Smart sensors are part of what makes a city smart. But recent visits to Berlin and Barcelona suggest that ground-up, collaborative efforts by citizens and entrepreneurs are the essential ingredients to turn a smart city into a truly compelling place to call home.

World’s biggest cities growing without proper transport planning - report

Many of the world’s most important cities are expanding rapidly without adequate transport planning, according to a new report released by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (link is external) (ITDP).
The report, People Near Transit: Improving Accessibility and Rapid Transit Coverage in Large Cities, highlights that very few cities are investing in the rapid transit systems that serve the less wealthy communities living outside of the urban core, even in Europe and especially in North America.

The Big Green Payoff From Bigger Urban Forests

Trees clean and cool the air, but just how much depends on where you are, a new report finds.
Plant a tree in a city, and it pays off in dividends. You’ll get carbon sequestered, pollutants and rainfall absorbed, a provision of oxygen, shade and cooling, and psychological boosts to boot. Especially as climate change worsens heat waves (already the world’s leading weather-related cause of death), and as growing urban populations generate more harmful fine particulate matter, trees are one of the single best infrastructure investments cities can make, and an emerging body of scientific literature proves it.

Smart phone boxes are coming to London

BT has revealed new plans for ‘the next evolution’ of its public payphones.
With the number of people using traditional phone boxes dwindling, BT have announced plans for new smart phone boxes to be rolled out across London. The new phone boxes, known as Links, will replace at least 750 existing payphones, with work set to begin in 2017.
Each Link will offer free calls to UK mobiles and landlines, alongside ultrafast Wi-Fi (with speeds of up to 1Gbps) to those in range. They will also have two USB charging ports, to allow mobile device charging, and a touch-screen tablet that will give users access to maps, directions and other tourist information.

Let’s Give Cities A Greater Role In Managing Migration

The International Organization for Migration estimates that more than 4,300 persons have died or went missing along migratory routes worldwide so far in 2016; more than 3,200 perished in the Mediterranean alone.
The causes of this human-made catastrophe are complex. There is a complicated interplay between national governments and their policies, international organizations, civic institutions, and surveillance and control technologies. Many migrants die as they take ever greater risks to avoid the grip of these “border regimes.”

The City Of Tomorrow Is A Petri Dish—By Design

Our cities are covered in microbes. An increasing number of architects, urbanists, and scientists say we should be designing for them.
Seven thousandths of an inch. That’s how much Tyvek fabric separates researcher Elizabeth Hénaff from the toxic river beneath her feet.
If her boat should tip and her hazmat suit should tear, she’d be exposed to any number of pathogens floating around her. For 100 years, factories dumped indiscriminately into the Gowanus Canal. Coal. Heavy metals. And to add insult to injury, Brooklyn’s sewage still frequently spills into the canal, too. The water is so dirty that it actually bubbles, stinking of bacteria found in the human gut and waste. Microbiologists have discovered gonorrhea, typhoid, and cholera floating in its murk, even though, technically, oxygen levels in the water are supposed to be below thresholds for supporting life

Implementing the New Urban Agenda needs financially strong cities

Cities around the world face increasingly complex challenges such as rapid urbanization and climate change. Meanwhile, many cities facing the most pressing problems lack sufficient funding to meet local needs. This is especially the case for developing countries, where cities require significant infrastructure investment to provide basic services to growing populations and expanding urban areas.

More innovation to energise sustainable economy in cities

Cities need to innovate faster and learn from each other in order to deal with the very real economic, social and environmental challenges ahead.
More than 100 representatives from local governments and sustainability organisations across the UK and Europe attended the Energising the Sustainable Economy in Cities summit, held on 18 October in the London Borough of Sutton.

Australian slums, once abolished, may be returning

Truth be told, most Australians live in good housing: this is good news for all of us because our housing is a major determinant of our health and wellbeing. But the lessons of history, and our recent research findings, published in August in the Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, tell us this good news story is at risk.
Ideally, housing provides us with the secure, comfortable shelter that people and their families need to live healthy, productive lives. In general, Australia has modern housing stock with good heating and cooling, few major structural problems and few problems with damp and mould. By contrast, bad housing makes it much more likely you will get sick and stay sick once ill.

Putting Cities' Abandoned Spaces To Work

City infrastructure—like sewer pipes, for instance—are built to accommodate a certain number of people, and withstand a certain amount of bad weather. But with climate change heralding higher temperatures and larger storms and more unexpected weather events, American cities' 19th century infrastructure will only be resilient up to a point.
But what if you could create a network of sites across a city, that together could mitigate particular ecological threats, from sudden storm waters to heat waves? What if you could use a computer program to create thousands of site-specific designs for abandoned land in that city, maximizing its positive ecological impact?

Trees temper Barcelone climate

As a Mediterranean coastal city, Barcelona is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Its high population density also magnifies the local heat island effect which causes an array of health and environmental challenges.
Climate change projections include a rise in average temperature and a significant decrease in rainfall, with expected lasting droughts and intense heat waves.

Yinchuan offers cautionary tale on Big Data

For cities who are eager to collect and analyze reams of data about everything from traffic to garbage collection, privacy of citizens is often an afterthought. Federico Guerrini writes for Forbes that Yinchuan, China offers a cautionary tale for cities making the leap to Big Data.
Located in northern China, Yinchuan is among the nation’s earliest adopters of the so-called “Internet of Things.” The city relies on a network of wireless sensors for traffic management and optimized garbage collection, and is a telemedicine pioneer. Less clear, Guerrini writes, is how data collected in Yinchuan and elsewhere might be used and whether it would be anonymized.

City pollution could be halved by car park filters

Purifying the air in underground car parks could reduce air pollution in cities by up to half.
Researchers from Eindhoven’s University of Technology have tested ENS Technology’s new filtering system, which captures harmful soot and smoke particles in the air and converts them into a heavier material that can’t be picked up by the wind.

Lessons from the World’s Largest Megacity?

If a product says “Made in China,” chances are that product, or parts of it, came from the Pearl River Delta. This region in southern China is the world’s largest megacity: eight major urbanized zones with a combined population of 55 million people, spread in a horseshoe-shaped ring around a complex watershed ecosystem. Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou dominate the region, which, incorporating five other emerging cities, has experienced explosive growth over the past 30 years. By studying the Pearl River Delta, we can better understand the challenges ahead as the world’s population becomes increasingly dense and urbanized.

Who owns the city? We own the city!

How commons makes cities more inclusive, righteous and democratic
Needless to say, the city is a system, which is in a continuous progress or – as David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography would say – in a ‘process of becoming’. The city is a complex and incomplete event, a space and a condition at the same time, and that is why a city today is completely different from what it was centuries ago. This process of becoming should be perceived with caution, because sometimes cities might end up in a tragic event – cities might lose their ‘citiness’. Democracy is at stake here. In order to understand these processes, it is necessary to focus on a couple of particular questions. What is a city and who owns it? What processes in our cities are accelerated by the current economic and political system? And what could be the potential practice that would lead the way towards sustaining cities for everyone, and hence renovating democracy, that is, towards a ‘new democracy’?

How immigrants can help revitalize America’s cities

Far from the rhetoric of the presidential election, local mayors, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, and other community leaders quietly have been embracing immigrants as a source of economic growth and community revitalization. Nearly two-dozen initiatives across the Rust Belt have launched innovative programs that range from international student retention of STEM talent to immigrant entrepreneurship training programs. These relatively young programs collaborate through the Welcoming Economies Global (WE Global) Network, a project of Welcoming America in partnership with Global Detroit.

Lyon cycling increases 370% since 2006

New figures show that cycling in the French city of Lyon has grown by 370 per cent over the last 10 years – putting it on course to overtake Strasbourg as the first cycling city in France.
On 28 September 2016, the local authority made the data from 55 automated bicycle-counting devices across the city publicly available online.

Women changing Europe - the rise of female mayors 

Paris – the capital of fashion is currently re-labelling itself as one of the most feminine cities in Europe. Paris is recently undergoing transformations in its political sector. With the election of Anne Hidalgo as the new Mayor of Paris and Célia Blauel as Deputy Mayor, the French capital is setting a new line of changes in the decision-making process.
The story of women’s participation in decision-making began more than fifty years ago, when Sirimavo Bandaranaike was elected as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, becoming the first female head of government the world had ever known. Her victory was so unexpected, it started a whole debate at that time on what to call her.

Chicago River, the city's new backyard?

Chicago's lakefront is a triumph of city planning — the preservation of the city's chief physical asset for use by the public instead of by factories and wealthy, private homes. It's the city's front yard.
Until recently, the Chicago River has not received the same loving attention. Though Daniel Burnham included riverfront promenades in his 1909 Plan of Chicago, most of the land along the river has long been inaccessible or unappealing — a mix of scrub trees and litter, industry and private property. The river was known mainly for pollution and the fact that it was engineered to flow backward.

New law in Paris allows anyone to plant an urban garden

Paris just passed a new law that allows anyone to plant an urban garden within the city’s limits. Upon receiving a permit, gardeners can grow plants on walls, in boxes, on rooftops, under trees, or on fences.
They can cultivate greenery in front of their homes or offices. They can grow flowers, vegetables, and fruit. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s goal is to create 100 hectares of living walls and green roofs by the year 2020, with one third of that greenery dedicated to agriculture.

What New York Can Learn From Barcelona’s ‘Superblocks’

Imagine if streets were for strolling, intersections were for playing and cars were almost never allowed.
While it sounds like a pedestrian’s daydream, and a driver’s nightmare, it is becoming a reality here in Spain’s second-largest city, a densely packed metropolis of 1.6 million on the Mediterranean. Ever since the 1992 Summer Olympics focused global attention here, this thriving center of tourism, culture and business — often viewed as a hipper, more easygoing cousin to Madrid, the Spanish capital — has seen its popularity soar along with congestion on its streets and sidewalks.

Urban mobility redefined: sharing is the new buying

Urbanization drains natural resources, while digitization disrupts distribution channels
Rapid urbanization, megacity population explosion, pollution and congestion are exerting tremendous pressure on natural resources. At the same time, digitization, mobile connectivity and social media are making content access without ownership more attractive for consumers.
Digitization has also reduced barriers to entry into markets that were previously dominated by companies owning significant assets and distribution channels.

The Brussels Green Loan

Buildings are responsible for 72% of the energy consumed in the area of Brussels-Capital Region. Since 2004, the region has launched a number of incentives, encouraging homeowners to improve energy performance of their dwellings. After an ‘energy grant’ and a ‘renovation grant’, the region has recently launched a revamped Brussels Green Loan.

World Mayor 2016

15 refugee-friendly mayors shortlisted for World Mayor Prize
The names of the 15 nominees shortlisted for the 2016 World Mayor Prize have now been made public. These are 15 mayors who, with their communities, “have made exceptional efforts to welcome refugees and integrate migrants.”
Want to have your say on who will be the next World Mayor Prize winner? You can express your support to the mayor of your choice until the middle of December 2016, and the winner will be announced by the end of January 2017.

Migration and the New Urban Agenda

While migration is a global phenomenon, with one in seven people in the world being an internal or international migrant, the effects of migration are most felt at the local level. The reasons are twofold: first, migration is a key driver of cities’ growth. In many parts of the world, migration is driving much of the increase in urbanization, making cities much more diverse places in which to live. Second, migrants are individuals with specific needs during times of crises, but who can also become agents of development when the right policies are put in place.

Habitat III: Milestone for the World’s Cities or Business as Usual?

Two weeks ago, 30,000 people gathered in Quito, Ecuador, for Habitat III, the once-every-20-years UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development. At the conference, 167 country representatives adopted a non-binding but influential vision for cities of the future known as the New Urban Agenda (NUA). This declaration will help steer national decision-making over the next two decades while it supports the Sustainable Development Goals – especially Goal 11 on cities – and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Going forward, what does the Quito meeting mean for urban leaders?

How Driverless Cars Could Empower Pedestrians

The hierarchy of the roads might be upended once walkers realize how law-abiding AVs are.
Currently, most roads in the U.S. are designed around the needs of drivers, making them inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst for walkers and cyclists. With more vehicles on the roads, pedestrian fatalities are surging nationwide. You’ve already heard that autonomous vehicles stand to make streets much, much safer by putting a computer fully in charge of the split-second road-reactions that human drivers so routinely flub. They might also succeed in upending an age-old vehicular hierarchy: In a world where most cars are driving themselves, pedestrians could reign supreme.

Empowering cities

The potential for sustainability at the local level is huge, fundamental and achievable.
Europe, Africa and Latin America now each have roughly half a billion people living in cities. In Asia, there are two billion city-dwellers. Very soon, two-thirds of the global population will be urban.
These are impressive numbers, but what do they mean, in practical terms, for local leaders and civil servants? They mean that more people need access to essential services, and that cities must outpace urbanization with quick, innovative and adaptive plans. We have to think ahead, to ensure more sustainable cities for all.
The potential to achieve sustainability at the local level is huge, fundamental and achievable. But local governments and civil servants cannot do it all on their own.

Community Energy: from buzzword to paradigm change?

“Energy citizens”, “community power” and “energy democracy” have all become buzzwords EU policy makers and representatives make repeated use of across their power point presentations, keynote addresses, twitter accounts and the like. But what is the gap between statement of intent and actual legislative change? Between the nice acknowledgement that “citizens should be at the core of the energy union”, and the expectation for a definition of the community energy concept in the renewables directive due end of this month, can we expect a turning point for cooperative energy projects?


City-to-city cooperation for sustainable urban mobility

The EU-funded SOLUTIONS project presented the potential of city twinning for transferring and implementing sustainable urban mobility solutions at two events at the Habitat III Conference.
At the Transport and Mobility Special Session, organised by UN-HABITAT and attended by around 200 participants, ICLEI Europe Deputy Regional Director Ruud Schuthof introduced the aim, the progress and the main outcomes of SOLUTIONS, as well as the pairs of cities that have been partnering in the project.

Cleantech companies moving into the smart city market

Many clean technology (cleantech) startups are rebranding themselves as smart city companies, according to Bloomberg.
Startups are targeting their existing products at the smart city market, a market that has seen rapid growth in recent years. They’re aiming to attract investments from venture capitalists who recognise the opportunities in the smart city arena. It seems to be an effective strategy – data from PitchBook shows that around $741 million was invested in cleantech startups in Q3 2016, the highest in a single quarter since 2014.

Preservation in Hanoi, Demolition in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam's two largest regions are taking very different approaches to urban development.
Before locals could mourn the recently demolished Ba Son shipyard, an important marine heritage site in Ho Chi Minh City, plans to redevelop the site with luxury condos had already broken ground.
The site is any developer’s dream: A stretch of prime riverside land in one of the region’s fastest growing cities. With 16 new towers going up in place of the 150-year-old shipyard, the project is set to change the city’s skyline forever.  

Which is the world’s most wasteful city?

Mumbai produces 11,000 tonnes of trash per day, Cairo feeds garbage to pigs and China’s waste is growing twice as fast as its population – but it’s the wealthiest cities that throw the most away.
New York City endured another brutal summer this year, and you know what that means: a severe urban heat island effect and the omnipresent stench of rotting garbage. Summer in New York makes one acutely aware of the near-constant presence of waste piling up on pavements waiting to be collected and trucked to an out-of-state landfill.

Getting active with the citizen project

In 2016, within the CitiZEN project, six Energy Cities member cities organised participatory events dedicated to citizens. Some ideas to get inspired from!
Throughout 2016 the city of Cacak (Serbia) organised several events to stimulate cycling as a means of transport, dedicated to different target groups: large school cycling race, mass bike rides, recreational riding and participation to the European Mobility Week. 

Six reports you may have missed at Habitat III

The flurry of activity last month during the U.?N.’s Habitat III conference on sustainable cities was enough to make anyone’s head spin.
With book launches, announcements and receptions happening every hour, more than a few nuggets of wisdom slipped through the cracks.
So, here’s a taste of the fascinating urban research unveiled during those heady four days in Quito.

Over 500 000 EVs on EU roads by year end

Europe will see more than half a million electric vehicles (EVs) on its roads by the end of 2016, a new report reveals.
The study by Transport & Environment (T&E), an organisation that campaigns for smarter, cleaner transport in Europe, shows that drivers in the European Union bought 145 000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in 2015 – double the amount sold in 2014.
Including Norway (and other non-EU members) Europe is the second largest market for purely electric cars in the world.

Invitation to Ecocity World Summit

Join us at the Ecocity World Summit 2017 to be held in Melbourne, Australia from 12-14 July 2017.
The Ecocity Summit series, held every two years since 1990, has developed into one of the most globally significant forums for addressing the complex challenges facing humanity in a rapidly urbanising world.
Ecocity 2017: Changing Cities: Resilience and Transformations will bring together a diverse mix of researchers, policy makers and citizens with a common focus on identifying and creating pathways to more sustainable, resilient and equitable cities.

Cities for Life

The global summit you can't miss on inclusion, innovation, and resilience
Have you heard? Cities for Life, the global summit on inclusive, smart and resilient cities will take place on 21-22 November in Paris. Here’s why you can’t miss it:
For two days, hundreds of mayors, local leaders, businesses, NGOs and experts from all over the world who believe in making their city a “city for all” will meet. The “city for all” is a city in which new economic opportunities and technologies tackle inequalities and promote a more harmonious and ecological urban future. Cities for Life will be the opportunity for all major city players to reinvent the “city for all”.

The Next President's Urban Opportunity

If voting patterns follow population trends, Tuesday’s election will be the most “urban” the United States has ever seen. More people live in America’s cities and metropolitan areas today than ever before. And for the first time since World War II, many U.S. cities are growing at the same rate or faster than their suburbs, which for decades absorbed most of the population growth in metropolitan areas.

Austrian court in landmark ruling for cycling safety

An Austrian court has ruled that cyclists are legally allowed to keep a distance of between 1.2 and 1.8 metres from parked vehicles to protect them from car doors suddenly swinging open.
The ruling came after Vienna’s Administrative Court accepted the appeal of a cyclist taken to court last year by police for ‘not cycling close enough to parked cars to allow traffic to drive past’.

Smart cities must gain control of their street lights

Street lights are prime real estate for smart development, and cities are starting to realise their potential.
Smart cities will need advanced wireless transmissions, and these transmissions require access to fibre optic cables at regular geographic intervals. It also needs to be low-cost to access, and a ‘dark’ passive transmission medium that can handle a high volume of data. Street lights are owned by local government, closely spaced and can easily hold the wireless transmission boxes needed to provide advanced, high-capacity wireless services to citizens.

The EU "one-stop shop" website on urban policies

A brand-new portal for urban policies has been recently launched by the European Commission. The website aims at becoming the "One-stop shop" website that can further enable cities to foster the exchange of best practices and the development of urban strategies across Europe.

Globally, Sprawl Is Getting Worse

By 2050, an expected 2.5 billion people around the world will be moving to cities. And these numbers don’t even account for the impending migration of communities who are most at risk from climate change. The question of what form and shape global cities will take to absorb future residents was at the heart of a presentation by Ricky Burdett, the director of LSE Cities, at The Atlantic’s CityLab 2016 summit in Miami Monday.

EC Publishes Special Issue on Low-Carbon Heating and Cooling

The European Commission quarterly SETIS Magazine, which addresses the latest developments in the low-carbon energy sector, featured low-carbon heating & cooling in its June 2016 edition. The publication reinforces the importance of low-carbon heating and cooling in the transition to a sustainable energy system. The magazine contains contributions from HRE4 consortium members EHPA, Euroheat & Power, and Advisory Board member COGEN. 

New Procura+ Manual launched

The 3rd Edition of the Procura+ Manual was launched at the Procura+ Seminar in Rome on 13 and 14 October 2016. This fully updated and revised edition of the Procura+ Manual aims to position sustainable procurement in the current economic, political and legal framework. As with previous editions, it acts as a central point of reference for public authorities and others wishing to understand and implement sustainable procurement.

reSITE launches Shared Cities!

reSITE is the lead curator and program director in a 4-year ambitious project, Shared Cities: Creative Momentum, a seminal cultural project that brings together 11 partners from 7 major cities throughout Europe. 
Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, the project aims to define an innovative, bolder vision and urban design for the future of Central Europe’s cities. Expect festivals, films, exhibitions, discussions, residencies and research that will take place in Belgrade, Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Katowice, Prague and Warsaw between June 2016 – February 2020. 

UCLG elects its new Presidency in Bogotá

The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders culminated on Saturday 15th of October in Bogota with the announcement of the new Presidency of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the adoption of the “Bogotá Commitment and Action Agenda” as the main political output of the Congress. During four days, more than 4000 participants from more than 100 countries gathered under the theme “Local Voices for a Better World”. 

The new thing in retirement communities: walkable and urban

Few people in America walk to work. Most of us drive to the supermarket. Yet a growing number of older people these days are looking for a community where they can enjoy a full life without a car.
Ben Brown and his wife, Christine, say they weren’t thinking about retirement when they moved to Franklin, N.C., a lovely small town nestled in the Smoky Mountains near Asheville, a haven for many East Coast and Midwest retirees.
“We loved the idea of living in a small town in a rural mountain area,” Brown recalled. “And we converted a summer house to a year-round home to suit our tastes.”
Yet Brown, a 70-year-old writer, and his wife, 66, said they had second thoughts as they made the transition toward retirement.

Developing cities urged to ‘leapfrog’ to new innovations

Conventional wisdom is that emerging cities have fallen hopelessly behind their developed counterparts on infrastructure and could never catch up.
But in a blog post for the Asian Development Bank, Tony Wong offers a contrarian view. Impoverished cities can match or exceed the developed world by “leapfrogging” directly to modern architecture and technology.

Let's get our gentrification story straight

Much rage against change that makes neighbourhoods more posh is contradictory and misses the point
Are we quite sure we’re against gentrification, the urban phenomenon routinely blamed for everything held to be destroying London’s soul, from high housing costs, to corporatised shopping streets, to the pricing out of artists and other creative folk, to the alleged “social cleansing” of the poor? Do we absolutely know that gentrification is to blame for such bad things? Do we really know what we mean by the word?

Urban mobility reports on Asia, Latin America & Mediterranean released

The EU-funded SOLUTIONS project has released three reports that present the urban mobility needs, policy barriers and recommendations for sustainable solutions in countries in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean.
The reports - which focus on Brazil, China, India, Israel, Mexico, Morocco and Turkey, are based on research conducted by leading climate, mobility and transport experts from local authorities, consultancies and research institutes.

Rise of the 'Urbanpreneur'

How the internet ushered in a new era for entrepreneurs in the urban ecosystem.
For years we’ve heard that geography doesn’t matter, we’ve conquered distance and the world is flat. Modern communication and transportation technology means it doesn’t really matter where we live or work. Even with the ongoing back-to-the-city movement, high-tech startups and the ecosystems in which they flourish are supposed to be the last bastion of suburban nerdistans—arrayed in office parks in Silicon Valley or the suburbs outside of Boston, Austin, and Seattle.

European families avail of FIESTA project services to lower energy bill

Families across Europe are taking steps that will reduce their energy consumption by more than 3,000,000 kWh thanks to the work of the EU funded FIESTA project. 
The project, coordinated by Area Science Park Trieste, has carried out more than 1022 energy audits with families in five European countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary, Italy and Spain. The project includes five technical partners (one for each participating country) and 14 cities.


Berlin’s City Tree Campaign

The aim of the Berlin’s City Tree Campaign is to plant and care sustainably for up to 10,000 additional roadside trees between 2012 and 2017. The trees, which are partly funded by donations, contribute to improve people’s quality of life in the city.

CityLove: Understanding Preservation’s Role in the Revival of the American City

Americans’ fondness for urban areas is stronger than ever—and preservation is playing a major role. In places across the country, developers have transformed Beaux Arts banks, Art Deco office buildings, and industrial-era warehouses into the centerpieces of Americans’ move back to city centers.

HRE Headlines International Conference on 4th Generation District Heating

David Connolly, HRE4 project coordinator, was the keynote speaker at the 2nd International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating, which took place in Aalborg (Denmark) on 27-28 September. Addressing a plenary audience of almost 300 international researchers from universities and industry representatives, David discussed heating and cooling strategies in Member States. Over the course of two thought-provoking days, consortium members from the University of Zagreb, Europa-Universität Flensburg, and Aalborg University shared findings from HRE4 and its predecessor project STRATEGO. 

Creating safe cities through existing smart projects

With IoT devices becoming a vital part of our cities, it is easier than ever for local authorities to monitor the urban environment. This greater level of control means that cities could become safer as they become smarter.
For maximum efficiency, a ‘safe city’ initiative could be carried out in conjunction with other smart schemes. Smart street lighting is often used by councils to save energy, with lights dimming when nobody is around. In a safe city, the council could give police access to lighting controls so that they could turn street lights up to full brightness in areas where there has been a recent burglary, for example.

How electronic payment systems for public transport discriminate

The change from analogue to digital payment systems for the urban transportation services in Toronto exemplify how marginalized groups are discriminated. First, the technical development involves a great investment that, if invested in public transportation of poorer neighborhoods, could actually improve the economic situation in the respective areas. Secondly, it discriminates low-income people in the way that it is first and foremost designed for being recharged with credit and debit cards. Minimum balances to be able to recharge and an issueing fee add to the financial obstacle to access public transportation and thereby other services.

The right to the city as a civic practice

John Lennon wrote that "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".  In the 21st Century, at a time when citizens are taking the lead in almost all areas, the right to the city could be what is happening in civil society while experts are agreeing on its definition. The global uprisings of 2011 shook the "right to the city" profoundly, not with theoretical redefinitions, but rather with an icon (camping in public spaces) and a method (collective action which connected the local and global in real time). The occupations of the Arab Spring, 15-M/Spain's Indignants or Occupy Wall Street gave visibility almost performatively to civic practices, forms of organization and ways of building the city. The captivating image of occupied squares led to a wave of academic reviews of the "right to the city". Practice did indeed precede theory.

How the world’s slums are shaping their futures

Home to 900 million people — nearly 1 in every 7 people — slums are emerging as a “dominant and distinct type of settlement” in the 21st century, the United Nations says.
One-quarter of the world’s city dwellers live in slums — and they are there to stay.
The U.N.’s 193 member states on Thursday adopted the first detailed road map to guide urban growth so it is sustainable, does not destroy the environment and protects the rights of the vulnerable.

Lisbon's Green Corridor to become a structuring path of the city

For several years now, Lisbon has been putting a lot of efforts in developing green areas in the city, to protect the environment and improve its citizens' quality of life.
One of its current projet is the Vale de Alcântara green corridor. This 3-km corridor will link the city's major forest parks to the Tagus River. It will be entirely travelable by bicycle or foot, and will be lined with tree-populated green areas, irrigated with recycled water.

No Free Parking – Leave Your Car At Home

“There is no such thing as free parking! Free parking represents lost revenue, squandered land and polluted air. Parking garages are not more than an antisocial car subsidy,” writes Donald Shoup in his book “The High Cost of Free Parking.”
Free and cheap parking is expensive for cities. It becomes a pull factor for commuters to bring their cars every day, together with the pollution they create, traffic congestion, accidents and lost revenue for public transport.
It is estimated that over 30% of traffic in a city is created by people looking for parking. If cities could reduce that number to about 10%, it could mean a significant reduction of overall traffic congestion and pollution.

Save the date! The second City Makers Summit

Over the past couple of years, the City Makers movement has been taking off. You find City Makers everywhere, people who singlehandedly initiate change in their urban surroundings and contribute to the public cause. Citizens in different countries and contexts are inspired, either out of dissatisfaction or a strong believe in local social innovation, to take ownership over the liveability of their neighbourhoods and cities. This is a shift taking place all across Europe as was demonstrated during the first City Makers Summit on May 27-30, 2016 in Amsterdam.
The second City Makers Summit will be held on May 17-21, 2017 in Athens



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Further archived news available on request from: Kate More