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Smart Cities

Imitate to Innovate: Vitoria-Gasteiz Shows How Cities can Address 21st Century Challenges

July 27, 2015 by This Big City

Before and after the tram

The Spanish city of Vitoria-Gasteiz has recently transformed itself from a congested and car-dominated city into one of the most pedestrian and bicycle-friendly places in Europe. It didn’t achieve this by going at it alone. Its key to success was learning from others.[read more]

Could A City Really Be Redesigned To Build Happiness? An Interview With Charles Montgomery

July 27, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

Planning for fun

Could a city really be redesigned to build happiness? One major aspect of liveability relates to how happy we can feel in the public spaces we inhabit. We talk to one of the leading authors in the field of urban happiness, Charles Montgomery, who will be a plenary speaker in the upcoming Walk21 conference in Vienna.[read more]

Sane Governance in the Digital City

July 24, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

City of numbers

Can tactical urbanism, Internet journalism, direct action, "open data", crowd-funding and social networking provide a local governance solution that is at once local and complex and accessible and less corrupted?[read more]

exclusive

City Leaders: $164m Up For Grabs in the 3rd 100 Resilient Cities Challenge

July 22, 2015 by David Thorpe

Cities are woefully unprepared for the future

Cities around the world are now able to apply for a slice of $164 million from The Rockefeller Foundation in its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge. The opening of the third and final round of this challenge was announced yesterday at the “Cities for Tomorrow” conference.[read more]

Sam Adams On The Main Challenges Faced By Modern Cities

The ex-mayor of Portland and Director of WRI US Climate Initiative.

Sam Adams is the former mayor of Portland and Director of WRI US Climate Initiative. He believes that integrated strategic planning for the city is the most efficient path to a sustainable future. In September, he will be at the Mayors´ Summit and the Cities & Transport International Congress in the session “Cities in the new climate economy”.[read more]

How to Quantify the Stormwater Benefits of Trees Part 1: Overview of Models and Calculators

July 14, 2015 by Leda Marritz

They soak up water, don't they?

Trees can provide significant stormwater benefits and can be integrated even into the densest urban areas. Many cities have tree requirement ordinances. The use of Tree Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) is rapidly growing, so there is also a growing need to quantify tree stormwater benefits. Here's how.[read more]

Must We Put a Monetary Value On Nature In Order to Save It?

July 8, 2015 by Ceri Margerison

Valuing our Life Support Systems

Researchers, business leaders and policymakers gathered this week in London for the launch of the Natural Capital Initiative’s “Valuing our Life Support Systems” summit report. Placing a value on nature, regardless of whether it is expressed in monetary terms, is not a neutral act, but is in itself a value-laden, political decision that can be contested.[read more]

Whose Job Is It to Worry If a City's Water Supply is Sustainable?

July 6, 2015 by Dean Saitta

Dam right it's not the planner's job

Land use planning is typically a local governmental concern, while water planning and allocation occur on multiple local, state, and federal levels. The traditional disconnect between planning and land use decisions and current and future water supply realities can preclude a sustainable balance between water supply and growth.[read more]

How Consumers View Informal Traders in Cape Town [Infographics]

July 2, 2015 by Cape Town Partnership

Vital to the economy

Supporting informal traders is a direct means of redistributing economic control. In this survey, people shopping at traders in the Cape Town Central Business District were asked questions in order to understand how the consumers interact with the sector. Here are the results.[read more]

How to Make Smart Growth More Lovable and Sustainable

June 30, 2015 by Kaid Benfield
1

Walkable... and enjoyable

It does little good to create a place that is sustainable if it is not in fact sustained, if it is not cared about, if it is not nourished and defended over time. That's why we should make places loveable. But unfortunately, lovability is exactly what I find missing in much of what passes for smart growth today.[read more]

Count Me In: Urban Greening and the Return of Primates in Kampala

June 29, 2015 by The Nature of Cities
1

Monkeying about in the city

In this article, I present a case of a municipally initiated effort to ‘green’ the city of Kampala with the motive of addressing climate change mitigation. This initiative has its good aspects, enhancing green patches and biodiversity, but also comes with problems depending on the choice of species planted for greening the city.[read more]

Can Ornamental Plants Remain in the Gardens of California Under Drought?

June 24, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Drought-tolerant plants

With California's current drought, is there a place for ornamental gardens in the state? We’ve been studying this question for a number of years in Los Angeles and its surrounding municipalities, and here is our advice.[read more]