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Re-Imagining the Civic Commons [Video]

July 1, 2015 by Future Cape Town

Carol Coletta and Regina Myer.

Civic assets are public spaces, including libraries, parks, trails, plazas and community centers. In the last 10 years, worldwide, public space has acquired renewed interest relating to the sustainability of cities. Public space is now regarded as an essential ingredient in urban development.[read more]

Transit Infrastructure: Why We All Lose by Not Investing

July 1, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

All aboard the BRT?

Infrastructure is an investment without a direct or short-term return, and so is often the first victim when politicians run on austerity and fiscal prudence, but really cater to immediate gratification and private consumption at the expense of long term thinking and communal benefits. Here is the case for long-term investments in infrastructure[read more]

How Mexico City Became More Pedestrian-Friendly, Step by Step

July 1, 2015 by Alex Romaniuc

A holistic approach

We love stories about people taking action to solve a city’s problems, and stories about the pedestrianisation cities. This story ticks both those boxes.This project offers better access to Mexico City's Metrobus station for passengers, and gives Ecobici, Mexico City’s bike-share network, a launch-pad to expand south of the city.[read more]

12 Answers to the Question of How Science Can Better Inform Your Evidence-Based Practice

July 1, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Feeding each other's work

10 scientists and 10 practitioners walk into a bar: what would they talk about? How can research and knowledge generation be co-created to better support practitioners and evidence-based decision making? Every month we feature a Global Roundtable in which a dozen or so people respond to a specific question in The Nature of Cities.[read more]

First Commercial Rooftop Farm Opens in Washington D.C.

Great view, great veg.

Something’s growing atop Washington D.C. restaurant Oyamel. Seedlings poke young leaves out of four inches of soil. The new green roof, which opened in May, is part of Up Top Acres, a network of rooftop farms. Founded by Kathleen O’Keefe, Kristof Grina and Jeffrey Prost-Greene, it installs and farms green roofs around the city.[read more]

How to Create A Sustainable Community with Public Works [infographic]

June 30, 2015 by Kiva Bottero

The figures speak for themselves

This infographic provides an in-depth look at sustainable communities, highlighting their environmental necessity, as well as their financial practicality. It suits both communities both big and small in order to reduce energy demand, utilize renewable power, and lessen their environmental impact.[read more]

Making Lagos Work: Architecture, Economics and Politics

June 30, 2015 by Future Cape Town

Lagos is growing fast

A major city, Lagos' role in Africa, its growth, architecture, economics and politics are all discussed in the third part of this interview by Olamide Udoma with Robert van Kats and Remco Rolvink of DASUDA, a Dutch NGO.[read more]

How Mobile-Access Networks Achieved a 10,000-fold Improvement in Energy Efficiency (Video)

June 30, 2015 by Rich Maltzman

A municipal mobile wireless node

GreenTouch is a non-profit consortium of telecom service providers and equipment vendors, developers, programmers working together on a focused goal to reduce the energy consumption of ‘the network’. It has just announced it has beaten its goal of 1000x energy use reduction by a factor of ten. Here's how.[read more]

How Melbourne Reinvented Itself One Block At a Time [Video]

June 30, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Melbourne street life

Melbourne is famous in urbanist circles for the revitalization of its central area. In 1992, 40% of the buildings were empty above the first floor and only 5 residents actually lived in the core. Today, there are over 29,000 residents in the central area and Melbourne has become revered around the world for its vibrant public spaces and innovative laneway repurposing.[read more]

Should Cities Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags?

June 30, 2015 by Cathy Rust

Their time is over

Should cities ban single use plastic bags or keep them but charge a fee? Plastic bags are definitely a scourge on the environment, particularly once they get into the ocean, but does banning them outright make sense, or is there a better way to phase them out?[read more]

How to Make Smart Growth More Lovable and Sustainable

June 30, 2015 by Kaid Benfield

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]

LEGO to Spend $150m to Make All Its Products Sustainable by 2030

June 29, 2015 by Glenn Meyers

No more plastic waste?

LEGO says it is looking for a way to find sustainable alternatives for making its cute little building blocks and it is putting its money where its mouth is. It will spend $150,000,000 to create a “LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre” that will research new raw materials. The company has pledged to make all of its products from sustainable sources by 2030.[read more]

Can a Building That Communicates Apartheid's Violence Help to Heal Its Wounds?

June 29, 2015 by Future Cape Town

The proposed building

A proposed project for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Cape Town seeks, according to Jaun van Wyk, its young South African architect, “advocate the awareness of such ferocious and inhumane realities in an effort to encourage violence prevention and ultimately embrace reconciliation”.[read more]

exclusive

Meet the Businesses Aiming for 100% Renewable Energy

June 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

The launch at Formula E

Following the webinar last week on Sustainable Cities Collective about the many cities committed to aimng for 100% Renewable Energy, leading businesses are publicizing their own commitment to the same target and chalenging others to follow their example, citing the many benefits of doing so.[read more]

Designing The Sustainable Supermarket Of The Future

June 29, 2015 by Glenn Meyers

Sustainable architecture students

The University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria has a Smart Building program that teaches students how to design and build residential and commercial buildings using sustainable materials that maximize energy efficiency. “The course Smart Building offers a holistic approach. Planning and innovation are essential."[read more]

What's the Point of Taking the Tour de France to a City That Already Cycles?

June 29, 2015 by Mark K Ames

See cycles by cycle or car?

This Saturday the Tour de France is starting in the Dutch city of Utrecht. It's a compact and charming university city stuffed with cycle tracks and people on bikes. So, in a city that already has a mainstream cycling culture, will the Grand Depart be all of that big deal for the Dutch?[read more]

Modi Launches India's Smart Cities and Housing for All Initiatives

Ahmedabad – beacon of smart development

Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally launches the government’s ambitious Smart Cities initiative, which aims to tackle key issues resulting from India’s rapid urbanization. In addition, the ‘Atal Mission’ and ‘Housing for All by 2022’ will also be announced.[read more]

Reshaping Growth Centers with Open Space = Smart Growth

June 26, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

Germany does it well

It is time to look more carefully at what happens inside the development envelopes about open space. In retrofitting suburban centers open space is the ace card. Requirements and fees are not there to repel or sink development but to make it more valuable in the long run. Only shortsighted developers would fight that.[read more]

2030 Districts: Communities Collaborating to Reach Inspirational Goals with Measured Performance

June 26, 2015 by GBIG Insight

The plan

If buildings are a major contributor to climate change, then what’s the solution? Reductions in energy use, water use, and transportation emissions, of course. For almost a decade, The 2030 Challenge has provided an inspirational, measurable goal for properties to reach for – and measures for figuring out how we’re doing.[read more]

Four Months to Dream Up a Smart City Plan for Mumbai

From slumdogs to smart canines?

How can Mumbai become a Smart City that the nation is proud of? The recently published Draft Development Plan (DP) for Mumbai was so poorly received by various stakeholders that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis scrapped it and it has to be reworked in just four months.[read more]

How Our New Buying Habits are Changing Design Approaches to Public Markets

June 26, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Markthal Rotterdam

Today’s markets are more and more becoming community hubs where visitors can gather, shop, eat, socialize, and learn. Many of these new hybrid spaces are “changing the way we define a market". So operational strategies continue to evolve in order to meet the changing needs of today’s customers.[read more]

Big Office Buildings In 'First Tier' U.S. Cities Still in the Lead on Being Green

June 26, 2015 by GBIG Insight

Minneapolis remains ahead of other cities

The 2015 Green Building Adoption Index cover finds that buildings going green is primarily a “first tier city phenomenon” and much more common in large office buildings, than it is in small office buildings. Minneapolis took the top spot once again, with more than 70% of all office space considered ‘green’.[read more]

Photo Essay: Why City Street Level Design Matters

June 26, 2015 by Future Cape Town

People watching in Cape Town

Urban design can promote active and vibrant street life but it can also threaten it. A photo essay by street photographer David van der Want, who observes the streets of Cape Town and communicates something about the places and spaces people use[read more]

How Can Local Design Impact Large Infrastructure Plans and Projects?

June 25, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Theater in the Eco-Park

After decades of “progress” and aggressive, mostly unplanned, growth, the modern city in the “developed world” collapses under the weight of its heavy infrastructure. Instead, the city needs all of its layers to be considered simultaneously: its natural substrate, infrastructure, buildings, and cultural values.[read more]

How Campaigners Won High Quality Cycling Lanes for London – and What's Next

June 25, 2015 by Mark K Ames

Cycling heaven in London

As construction in London's centre begins of high quality cycle routes for the first time, we assess how we got to this point, and ask "what happens next"?[read more]

Hundreds of Young Cities are “Londonizing” – Suburban Districts Re-municipalizing and Seeking Community Renewal

Scarborough, Ontario – renewing itself

Hundreds of young cities like Toronto are going through a “Londonizing” phase, as suburban districts sort of re-municipalize and assume some of their old duties (and identities). Scarborough is a major suburban jurisdiction lying to the east of old Toronto that provides a good example.[read more]

Publicizing the Benefits of Landscape Architecture

June 25, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Mia Lehrer, FASLA, wants the world to know

Mia Lehrer wants the world to know that great design + ecological principals + environmental justice = beauty + function in our cities = Landscape Architecture. Let's value it more.[read more]

How Transit-Oriented Development Benefits Local Economies

Putting people first

Urbanization can be an opportunity to change how cities are planned, making them more sustainable, people-centered places. Rethinking current patterns of expansion for a more compact and connected model can expand employment opportunity, access to quality public spaces, the supply of sustainable transport, and enhance economic activity.[read more]

Water, Education and Development: Making an African City Work

June 25, 2015 by Future Cape Town

The future of Lagos?

“Africa just keeps getting skipped during these larger discussions.” Water cities, protest over water privatization, working with decision makers, and the role of education in innovative change are covered in this conversation between Olamide Udoma andh Robert van Kats and Remco Rolvink of Dutch NGO DASUDA.[read more]