23/6/2017 - Intercultural cities: good practice now online

23/6/2017 - Cities pledge to transform societies towards sustainability to create a more cohesive Europe

23/6/2017 - Smart City: Swisscom and IMD partner again to help cities digitize

22/6/2017 - How to better use social media to ensure the security and safety of large events?

22/6/2017 - Why the Suburbs Are Where Innovation Will Happen

22/6/2017 - Re-think Aleppo | The city always wins #1

21/6/2017 - How fighting energy poverty helps reduce social and spatial exclusion in cities

21/6/2017 - Smart Cities, Big Data and the Built Environment

21/6/2017 - 2017 EcoDistricts Summit

20/6/2017 - GOLD IV report "Co-creating the Urban Future" latest edition is now available

20/6/2017 - Growing Up: New Guidelines Promote Child-Friendly Density

20/6/2017 - Cities, not nation states, will determine our future survival

19/6/2017 - How Autonomous Cars and Buses Will Change Urban Planning

19/6/2017 - Boost human health and happiness through public space design

19/6/2017 - Asian cities set to benefit most from green growth as US retreats

18/6/2017 - Transit Hubs: A Growing Lure for Developers

18/6/2017 - Egypt to adopt the Citywide Urban Upgrading Approach

18/6/2017 - Co-building the city: The draw of participative planning

17/6/2017 - The First Reversal Of Urbanization

17/6/2017 - Artificial connected trees will be scrubbing the air in a city near you soon

17/6/2017 - US water efficiency up in cities, down in country

16/6/2017 - Leading cities recognised through Smart City Innovation Awards

16/6/2017 - What About Traffic?

16/6/2017 - US cities have worse inequality than Mexico

15/6/2017 - Detroit’s DIY Cure for Urban Blight

15/6/2017 - Italian study shows strong growth in shared mobility

15/6/2017 - 8 cool ideas for U.S. cities, courtesy of the Dutch

14/6/2017 - How cities are using nature for sustainable urban development

14/6/2017 - Forget Flying Cars: We Need Floating Ones

14/6/2017 - 10 most magnetic cities in the world

13/6/2017 - London's exclusive 'downsizer' homes for the over-55s

13/6/2017 - Buenos Aires awarded the International Transport Forum’s Transport Achievement Award 2017

13/6/2017 - Why Congestion Charging Failed in New York

12/6/2017 - Can We Prevent The Urbanization Boom From Becoming A Health Crisis?

12/6/2017 - The urban dimension of smart specialisation

12/6/2017 - 200 cities to use new tool to improve disaster-related resilience

11/6/2017 - EVs in Arnhem powered by electricity from braking buses

11/6/2017 - The world’s most dangerous cities

11/6/2017 - EDI-Net project supports cities and regions in improving efficiency of public buildings

10/6/2017 - Opportunities for sustainable energy in African cities

10/6/2017 - Changing the Environmental Trajectory to Build Sustainable Cities in Africa

10/6/2017 - New Study Identifies the Best Cities for Good Government

9/6/2017 - How sustainable mobility can transform Africa’s cities

9/6/2017 - Transforming Water-Scarce Cities into Water-Secure Cities through Collaboration

9/6/2017 - Making Citizens a part of the Smart City

8/6/2017 - Solidarity Cities: What’s new?

8/6/2017 - Paris's mayor wants to go down under to give the city a new lease of life

8/6/2017 - London and the Mainstreaming of Vehicular Terrorism

7/6/2017 - Up to 8 Degrees Extra in Cities by 2100 According Scientific Publication

7/6/2017 - How New Data Practices Reconfigure Urban Governance

7/6/2017 - How Cities Can Help Supply Chains Perfect The Last Mile

6/6/2017 - Hanging Gardens of Babylon inspire residential units in Birmingham

6/6/2017 - By 2020, 10% of smart cities will use streetlamps as the backbone for a smart city

6/6/2017 - To build resilient cities, we must treat substandard housing as a life-or-death emergency

5/6/2017 - Smart Cities for All Initiative Aims at Inclusion

5/6/2017 - Cities perspective on C-ITS summarised in CIMEC publication

5/6/2017 - The XII Metropolis World Congress unveils its Official Program

4/6/2017 - The urban dimension of smart specialisation: building a two-way bridge

4/6/2017 - How can we unlock energy investment opportunities at local level? Lessons learnt from Bristol's use of ELENA

4/6/2017 - Driverless Cars and the Disruptions They Will Bring

3/6/2017 - The Connected City blueprint is now available

3/6/2017 - 5 lessons for cities on the cusp of a smart revolution

3/6/2017 - Boost human health and happiness through public space design

2/6/2017 - The Wrong Way to Grow a City

2/6/2017 - New Approaches to Women’s Empowerment in a Changing Urban World

2/6/2017 - Promoting gender equality in decentralised cooperation: the new guide for towns and regions

1/6/2017 - Is housing really the business of government?

1/6/2017 - A Smart City Utopia: Could It Really Exist?

1/6/2017 - Beyond Bricks and Mortar, Cities Can Be Equalizers

 

 

 

Intercultural cities: good practice now online


The Intercultural city aims at building its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource for the development of the society.
The first step is the adoption (and implementation) of strategies that facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges, and promote equal and active participation of residents and communities in the development of the city, thus responding to the needs of a diverse population. The Intercultural integration policy model is based on extensive research evidence, on a range of international legal instruments, and on the collective input of the cities member of the Intercultural Cities programme that share their good practice examples on how to better manage diversity, address possible conflicts, and benefit from the diversity advantage.
http://www.coe.int/en/web/interculturalcities/-/intercultural-cities-good-practice-now-online

Cities pledge to transform societies towards sustainability to create a more cohesive Europe


Local governments affirmed their willingness to take major, transformative steps towards greater sustainability at the ICLEI European Membership Assembly, vocalising the need to engage all sectors of society in this transition to prevent European democracies from fracturing further.
Over 100 participants attended the ICLEI-organised event, which took place at the BEL conference centre in Brussels over two days. The Membership Assembly was convened to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the ICLEI European Secretariat.
www.iclei-europe.org

Smart City: Swisscom and IMD partner again to help cities digitize


A new study published by Swisscom and IMD business school supports public authorities on the road to digitization. This document provides a comprehensive methodology and a decision-making tool to assist city leaders in the selection of digital projects.
Smart City initiatives generally lack an operational framework that would guide the process undertaken by the heads of public entities. IMD and Swisscom joined forces on this particular ground two years ago and developed the Smart City Piano.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/05/25/smart-city-swisscom-imd-partner-help-cities-digitize/

How to better use social media to ensure the security and safety of large events?


How to best use information gathered via social media to predict and plan before events? How to use social media to assist their policing both in gathering real-time intelligence and in communicating with participants to ensure security ? How can law enforcement agencies and their partners utilise social media to gather intelligence in criminal investigations after such events? These were the main questions discussed at the workshop on “Riots & Mass Gatherings” of the MEDI@4SEC project, of which Efus is a partner, held in Athens (Greece), on 9 May.
https://efus.eu/en/topics/public/13955/

Why the Suburbs Are Where Innovation Will Happen


They have unrecognized strengths for adapting to a disrupting economy.
It was back in 1997 when Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen coined the phrase "disruptive innovation" to describe a process that transforms an industry in which expensive and complicated processes have been the norm. Disruptive innovations introduce simplicity, convenience, accessibility and affordability. Today we face another period of disruption as technologies like the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence spread.
http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/voices/col-why-suburbs-where-innovation-will-happen.html

Re-think Aleppo | The city always wins #1


Aleppo is on its way of becoming the new urban experiment of the 21st century. The question is, what does it actually mean to rebuilt the city?
On the 5th of May 2017, architects, urban planners, researchers and city-makers came together at Pakhuis de Zwijger for a series of talks and workshops on the future of Aleppo. Discussions on rebuilding the city have already started at a global scale, so it is imperative to begin investigating what could be the future Aleppo on a collaborative basis. During the event, both Dutch and Syrian professionals exchanged ideas on how can we rethink Aleppo as a unified city. Are we talking about ‘tabula rasa’, or co-authorship that interlocks with the existing buildings and systems that have accumulated over time? Opinions variate, yet a look at Aleppo’s history offers a clear perspective – the city always wins.
https://citiesintransition.eu/cityreport/re-think-aleppo-the-city-always-wins

How fighting energy poverty helps reduce social and spatial exclusion in cities


Energy poverty happens when a household finds it difficult or impossible to afford its basic energy needs. It mostly affects low-income households – people who are retired, unemployed or poorly paid, dependent on social benefits. Their economic disadvantage is often matched with poor energy efficiency in their homes (poor insulation, outdated heating systems, expensive or polluting fuel). Not only that, but fuel-poor households are often socially isolated and lack support from others. They tend to be subjected to physical health risks, mental health risks, degradation of dwellings and excessive debt.
http://www.blog.urbact.eu/2017/04/how-fighting-energy-poverty-helps-reduce-social-and-spatial-exclusion-in-cities/

Smart Cities, Big Data and the Built Environment


Smart Cities, Big Data and the Built Environment: What’s Required? is a report published by RICS. This study focuses on exploring the scope for the development of data platforms at city level in the UK and internationally, in order to determine how the RICS and its members (and other built environment professions, including architects, planners and engineers) can benefit from these data platforms.


http://www.urenio.org/2017/05/22/smart-cities-big-data-built-environment/

2017 EcoDistricts Summit


EcoDistricts is the world's only conference dedicated to neighborhood- and district-scale sustainability. On October 10-11, urban leaders worldwide will convene in Atlanta, GA to explore the role of district-scale innovation to address some of most critical issues facing city makers today.
http://smartgrowth.org/event/2017-ecodistricts-summit/

GOLD IV report "Co-creating the Urban Future" latest edition is now available


The Fourth Report of the Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD III) reviews the diverse realities of metropolitan areas, intermediary cities, regions, small municipalities and rural areas, with a view to guiding the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. The report, entitled ‘Co-creating the Urban Future"’, is now available online in English, French and Spanish from the GOLD and UCLG websites.
https://www.uclg.org/en/Gold4

Growing Up: New Guidelines Promote Child-Friendly Density


Soccer in the condo hallway, a stroller in the bathtub, and a public school two neighbourhoods away. For some Downtown Toronto families, this is part of everyday life. Although life in the urban core has plenty to offer young families, most of Toronto's new high-rise communities weren't designed with children top of mind. Now, as the development boom and its residents mature, the City of Toronto is creating new planning guidelines to ensure that high-density communities better meet the needs of children.
http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2017/05/growing-new-guidelines-promote-child-friendly-density

Cities, not nation states, will determine our future survival


Nation states are looking increasingly outdated and even dangerous. Some of them are outright belligerent, and threatening catastrophic war. While some nation states are exhibiting neo-imperial tendencies, most are waning in power and influence. The 369 year experiment in nation-building is coming unstuck with most nation states failing to deal with the major global challenges of our era, including climate change, forced migration, terrorism, pandemics and more.
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/06/as-nation-states-falter-cities-are-stepping-up

How Autonomous Cars and Buses Will Change Urban Planning


The driverless vehicle shows promise as one of the biggest technological breakthroughs since the assembly line. The safety benefits alone have prompted the U.S. Department of Transportation to propose a rule requiring new light vehicles to be manufactured with autonomous technology. By expediting its growth, our roadways will be safer and our environmental footprint smaller. The question is, are U.S. cities ready for driverless cars?
http://www.govtech.com/fs/perspectives/How-Autonomous-Cars-Buses-Will-Change-Urban-Planning-Industry-Perspective.html

Boost human health and happiness through public space design


This report presents the outcome of a pilot experiment challenging the attractiveness and liveability of modern public spaces conducted by Happier by Design in the West Palm Beach waterfront. Happier by Design is a collaborative interdisciplinary team comprised of Happy City, the University of Virginia, Street Plans Collaborative and UK-based Space Syntax.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/05/17/happier-by-design/

Asian cities set to benefit most from green growth as US retreats


As Donald Trump pulls the US out of the Paris climate accord, a report points to $1.5tn in increased growth and millions of jobs heading to Asia’s cities
Asian cities will gain by about $1.5 trillion (£1.1tn) a year by 2030 if predictions on green and sustainable growth are proved correct, with tens of millions of new jobs created, and cities across the region seeing improvements in their liveability and environment.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jun/05/asia-benefit-green-growth-us-retreats

Transit Hubs: A Growing Lure for Developers


Rail stations, it turns out, are delivering much more than passengers to surrounding neighborhoods.
Young workers who prefer to walk or take the train — rather than drive — to eat, work and shop are pushing up property values and reshaping the way developers approach their plans.
Few places make this shift more evident than the Somerville suburb of Boston. A new Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subway station was crucial to bringing Partners HealthCare to a new 825,000-square-foot office building at the Assembly Row complex last year, said Chris Weilminster, the president for the mixed-use division of the developer Federal Realty Investment Trust.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/business/transit-rail-property-development.html?_r=0

Egypt to adopt the Citywide Urban Upgrading Approach


As Egypt continues to exert all efforts for enhancing living conditions of its inhabitants, and in line with the Egyptian development vision 2030 and its urban development targets, the Ministry of Housing – represented in the Informal Settlement Development Fund- together with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in Egypt are initiating a new cooperation entitled “Participatory Citywide Urban Upgrading in Egypt”.
https://unhabitat.org/egypt-to-adopt-the-citywide-urban-upgrading-approach/

Co-building the city: The draw of participative planning


The dominant role once occupied by the city planner is under threat. A new paradigm of participative planning is challenging the "business as usual" top-down process for shaping our urban spaces.
Participative planning — whereby members of the community work with designers, architects and planners to decide on the future of cities — is fast becoming the norm.
http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/co-building-the-city-the-draw-of-participative-planning/construction-building-materials

The First Reversal Of Urbanization


Commentary on the fragmenting nature of modern society is not new. Observers recognize the simultaneous growth in supranational entities, treaties, and economic governance, all while small separatist movements and even new nations simultaneously form. The idea that this fragmentation is leading to an unraveling or collapse of core identities that held up the post-World War II system is newer, or at least newer in the pages of progressive.
What is lost in progressive commentary is the massive tailwinds at the back for a decentralization or deurbanization of society.
http://www.socialmatter.net/2017/06/04/the-first-reversal-of-urbanization/

Artificial connected trees will be scrubbing the air in a city near you soon


One startup out of Germany is endeavoring to address urban environmental issues through a novel solution. Green City Solutions creates huge vertical planter boxes for public spaces utilizing plants adept at removing dust, nitrogen dioxide and ozone gasses from low-lying smog.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/05/19/smarter-greener-artificial-connected-trees-will-scrubbing-air-city-near-soon/

US water efficiency up in cities, down in country


US cities are becoming more water-efficient but rural areas are becoming less so.
That’s according to a new study from environmental publication Earth’s Future, which assessed per-capita water consumption from 1985 to 2010.
States like Washington and Pennsylvania showed consistent improvements in efficiency over the entire period, largely as a result of developing more efficient technologies and retrofitting existing systems.
However, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Mississippi recorded worse efficiency ratings with each year that passed.
https://www.energylivenews.com/2017/05/31/us-water-efficiency-up-in-cities-down-in-country/

Leading cities recognised through Smart City Innovation Awards


Technology and innovation play an important role in addressing the most challenging situations in our cities today. From urban crime, water supply, contamination to complex transportation problems, the role of local innovation and technology is fundamental in solving the current urban problems. With rise of urban population, social and environmental degradation, cities need paradigm shift in addressing their day to day needs and planning for future needs. The Urban Environment and Resilience are the most pressing challenges for the entire world. These challenges cannot be addressed or resolved in isolation due to their physical complexities, economic dependencies and increasing connectivity around the world.
https://www.metropolis.org/news/2017/05/25/3073

'What About Traffic?'


Debates about how to address housing shortages in already dense cities raise important points about managing chaos.
America’s fast-growing cities are experiencing housing shortages. It’s a topic I’ve covered in my last two columns, focusing mainly on the emerging YIMBY (“yes in my backyard”) movement and how NIMBYs, or the “not in my backyard” contingent, have impeded efforts to build new construction that promotes density. And while both sides agree that more construction is needed, NIMBYs tend to ask an essential follow-up question: What about traffic?
http://www.governing.com/columns/urban-notebook/gov-density-services-demand.html

US cities have worse inequality than Mexico


US census data and recent American Community Surveys show that in most modern American metropolises, resources are unevenly distributed across the city – think New York City's lower Manhattan versus the South Bronx – with residents enjoying unequal access to jobs, transportation and public space.
In 2014, New York City's GINI inequality index was 0.48, meaning that income distribution was less even in New York City than in the US as a whole (0.39). It was also higher than the most unequal OECD countries, Chile (0.46) and Mexico (0.45).
https://phys.org/news/2017-06-cities-worse-inequality-mexico-rich.html#jCp

Detroit’s DIY Cure for Urban Blight


Recovering from bankruptcy, the city created the country’s largest land bank to transform a surplus of abandoned properties into livable, tax-paying homes.
For the past year, Clement Wright has driven into the Marygrove neighborhood before and after his night shifts at Chrysler to reclaim a small piece of the city where he has spent his whole life. While his friends texted him sunny vacation pictures from the Florida Keys, Wright, 62, spent much of his non-working life tearing down walls, laying bricks, installing electrical outlets, sanding, tiling, nailing, molding and painting.
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/18/how-detroit-is-beating-its-blight-215160

Italian study shows strong growth in shared mobility


According to a study conducted in Italy by URBI (link is external), over 5,000 vehicles were booked a total of 4,265,000 times in the last six months.
URBI is an app that aggregates shared mobility offers such as bike and car sharing services. The study analysed data from services offered in Rome, Milan, Turin and Florence by companies such as car2go, enjoy, Share'n go, DriveNow and ZigZag.
http://eltis.org/discover/news/italian-study-shows-strong-growth-shared-mobility

8 cool ideas for U.S. cities, courtesy of the Dutch


From Mondrian’s colorful, pared-down compositions to a bike- and weed-friendly culture, there’s a lot the Netherlands is known for. And recently, these cultural footings —as well as universal headaches like potholes and road safety—have inspired a number of innovative urban interventions around the country. We’ve gathered a handful below for inspiration—and pure amusement.
https://www.curbed.com/2017/5/15/15642934/dutch-netherlands-cities-bikes-mondrian

How cities are using nature for sustainable urban development


Nature-based solutions can address urban challenges exacerbated by growing urban populations and the impacts of climate change. They are multi-functional, cost-effective and provide a wide range of benefits, from improving public health to reducing energy costs and pollution to regenerating urban spaces.
Local governments can use green roofs and green infrastructure to help cities become more resilient to extreme weather, support urban gardens to strengthen food sovereignty and increase green and blue spaces, improving quality of life for residents and creating popular recreation areas.
http://talkofthecities.iclei.org/how-cities-are-using-nature-for-sustainable-urban-development/

Forget Flying Cars: We Need Floating Ones


In May, New York City made a splash when city officials launched the first new public inter-borough ferry service since the Fulton Ferry between Brooklyn and Manhattan docked for the last time in 1924. By 2018, 20 newly built passenger- and bicycle-only vessels will operate among all the boroughs via 22 landings along 6 routes—except Staten Island, which is already linked by ferry to Manhattan. It’s part of a $325 million effort to refloat a waterborne mass transit system that harkens back to the 19th century, when New York ferries carried more than 50 million passengers annually.
https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/05/forget-flying-cars-we-need-floating-ones/526944/

10 most magnetic cities in the world


We often think of ‘magnetism’ as a human quality, as well as a physical phenomenon. Cities also have the power to draw people to them.
The Global Power City Index (GPCI) ranks the world’s most important cities according to their ‘magnetism’, that is, their perceived power to attract creative people and businesses from across the globe, and to “mobilize their assets” to boost economic, social and environmental development.
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/04/the-top-10-most-powerful-cities-in-the-world

London's exclusive 'downsizer' homes for the over-55s


Why are flats in London’s hippest neighbourhoods being sold exclusively to over-55s, even as the young people who hang out there struggle to afford housing?
As the weekends warm up, east Londoners are descending in their masses on London Fields, a park that has earned a reputation as the epicentre of gentrification in the borough of Hackney. The barbecues, daytime drinking and marijuana haze are as predictable as the media sniffing over the “drunken hipsters and thoughtless brats” who take over the park in droves.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/may/31/downsizer-homes-last-stab-baby-boomers-gentrification-london

Buenos Aires awarded the International Transport Forum’s Transport Achievement Award 2017


On 1 June in Leipzig, Germany, the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina was awarded the Transport Achievement Award at the International Transport Forum 2017 for its “Metrobus 9 de Julio” project.
As part of the Metrobus 9 de Julio, Buenos Aires implemented a new Metrobus corridor along the broad Avenida 9 de Julio, providing a rapid transit public transportation system that covers three kilometers at the heart of downtown Buenos Aires. This project was one part of a comprehensive integrated urban renewal plan that also widened sidewalks, developed infrastructure to encourage cycling and revitalized public space at the center of the city.
http://www.iclei.org/details/article/buenos-aires-awarded-the-international-transport-forums-transport-achievement-award-2017.html

Why Congestion Charging Failed in New York


In 2016, New York City had the third worst traffic congestion in the world. New Yorkers spent an average of 89 hours sitting in traffic, and, due to increased vehicle traffic, car speeds are declining city-wide. From 2010 to 2015, the average traffic speed in Manhattan’s Midtown region decreased 20 percent, to 5.21 mph. Due to the inability of traveling efficiently on city roads, congestion is putting New York City’s future economic growth and competitiveness at risk. Currently, it is estimated that traffic congestion costs the region US $13 billion each year, and this number is expected to grow.
To combat individual car-use, New York City decided to employ congestion charging, a well-known strategy for TDM, where vehicles are charged a fee to enter Manhattan during peak hours. City officials saw it as a viable option to solve their congestion challenges.
http://thecityfix.com/blog/toward-car-free-cities-why-congestion-charging-failed-in-new-york-jacob-sacks/

Can We Prevent The Urbanization Boom From Becoming A Health Crisis?


If so, we need a multisector, multidisciplinary approach.
Walking through the wealthier streets of cities like Geneva, London or New York, it seems that health and fitness is an international obsession. National food chains boast of fresh ingredients, light options, and low-fat meals. Shelves are stacked with the trendiest superfoods – quinoa, chia seeds, kale and avocado.
On the streets, flocks of brightly-dressed cyclists and runners check their Fitbits as they commute to work. In places like London and New York, diets and exercise seem to have become fashionable habits.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/can-we-prevent-the-urbanization-boom-from-becoming_us_591b15f4e4b03e1c81b00904?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

The urban dimension of smart specialisation


Smart specialisation and its related methodology known as Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) have been assessed as “the most comprehensive industrial policy experience being implemented in contemporary Europe”. In this context, what is the role to be played by cities? Right now, at the time of implementation, a number of major cities feel they have much to contribute in moving RIS3 visions and roadmaps forward. So, what are the pathways and frameworks to enhance better alignment between regions and cities with regard to existing RIS3 strategies? What is the urban dimension of smart specialisation? This article brings some insights to these questions.
http://urbact.eu/urban-dimension-smart-specialisation-building-two-way-bridge

200 cities to use new tool to improve disaster-related resilience


In a bid to boost resilience in the face of disaster, some 200 cities this year say they will start using a new tool to develop strategies for curbing disaster losses from climate change and other risks.
The tool was released last week at the Global Platform for Risk Reduction summit held in Cancún, Mexico. Published by the U.?N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities, as the tool is known, enables urban leaders to align their local disaster risk reduction efforts with an international accord known as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
http://citiscope.org/story/2017/200-cities-use-new-tool-improve-disaster-related-resilience-year

EVs in Arnhem powered by electricity from braking buses


Since 24 May, electric vehicles in the Dutch city Arnhem can be powered by electricity obtained from braking buses.
Jan Jacob van Dijk, a member of the Gelderland Provincial Executive, and Geert Ritsema, a councillor in Arnhem, are opening a special charging station for electric vehicles at the city’s Schuytgraaf shopping centre. This charging station has been integrated into a mast that forms part of the overhead wire infrastructure for the trolleybus network – a first in Europe. Some of the electricity supplied here is obtained from braking trolleybuses that feed energy back into the grid. The plan is to install more of these charging stations over the next few years.
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1416/45/EVs-in-Arnhem-powered-by-electricity-from-braking-buses

The world’s most dangerous cities


The cities with the highest homicide rates are once again nearly all in Latin America
Cocaine is grown primarily in South America, and trafficked to the world’s biggest market, the United States, via Central America and the Caribbean. The land routes originate mainly in Colombia, and pass through the small nations of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala before traversing Mexico. It is little wonder, then, that Latin America remains the world's most violent region not at war. According to data from the Igarapé Institute, a Brazilian think-tank, 43 of the 50 most murderous cities in the world last year, and eight of the top ten countries, are in Latin America and the Caribbean. (War zones, where numbers are hard to verify, are excluded.) Conflicts between gangs, corruption and weak public institutions all contribute to the high levels of violence across the region.
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/03/daily-chart-23?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/

EDI-Net project supports cities and regions in improving efficiency of public buildings


The Horizon 2020 EDI-Net project helps local and regional authorities reduce the energy and water consumption of their public buildings. It brings together cities, regions, Covenant Supporters (Climate Alliance) and numerous renowned universities and research institutions.
http://www.eumayors.eu/news_en.html?id_news=830

Opportunities for sustainable energy in African cities


A new study uses a strategic scenario-based approach to analyze how megatrends, such as population growth and increased energy demand, will shape the future development of African cities. It also sketches out policy options for unlocking climate responsive development.
On 10 May 2017, the European Union Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF), in partnership with ICLEI Africa Secretariat, officially launched their flagship study - “Future Energy Scenarios for African Cities – Unlocking Opportunities for Climate Responsive Development” - at the dedicated Vienna Energy Forum Side Event as a knowledge sharing showcase piece.
http://www.iclei.org/details/article/opportunities-for-sustainable-energy-in-african-cities.html

Changing the Environmental Trajectory to Build Sustainable Cities in Africa


A fast urbanizing Africa is rapidly degrading the natural capital of its cities. Unique features of Africa’s urbanization – such as substantially lower per capita incomes, high reliance on biomass fuels, extensive informal settlement with poor service levels, and the exposure of cities to environmental disasters, such as floods – are putting pressure on African cities’ natural environment and eroding the value of environmental assets
http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2017/06/01/changing-the-environmental-trajectory-to-build-sustainable-cities-in-africa

New Study Identifies the Best Cities for Good Government


The first of a now annual report details what cities are doing well and where they could improve
What is good government and which cities practice it? Those are the questions driving a new annual report of U.S. cities.
For the first time ever, the nonprofit Living Cities partnered with Governing to study how cities measure up to their definition of a high-performing government. The authors of the study, which is called "Equipt to Innovate," hope it will help the best ideas and practices spread.
http://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-living-cities-equit-innovate-report.html

How sustainable mobility can transform Africa’s cities


Over the next 15 years, African cities will add 300 million new urban residents—fully two-thirds above today’s urban population1. This unprecedented demographic shift presents a tremendous opportunity for economic uplift and poverty reduction, but these benefits hinge on the ability of African cities to dramatically improve the delivery of infrastructure and services to drive future growth. 
http://www.urbanet.info/sustainable-mobility-africas-cities/

Transforming Water-Scarce Cities into Water-Secure Cities through Collaboration


Cities house a growing number of the world’s population, and current estimates show that the future of humanity looks ever more urban. The demand for water grows by the day: a 50 percent increase in urban water demands is anticipated within the next 30 years.  
Hence, the need for securing an inclusive and sustainable water supply for cities is fairly obvious. Historically, a reliable source of safe water is intricately linked with inclusive economic growth, public health, and political stability. Given the key role played by water, it is imperative to ensure that water availability keeps up with the escalating water demands of expanding urban populations.  
However, urban water scarcity remains a common reality. Many cities, regions, and countries around the world are faced with a trifecta of pressures: rapid urban population growth, economic expansion, and competing demands. These forces of change are tightening the availability of water resources in areas where tackling water scarcity is already a critical challenge.
http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2017/05/15/water-scarce-cities-initiative?CID=SURR_WBGCitiesEN_D_EXT

Making Citizens a part of the Smart City


Students at the University of Sterling are undertaking a research project that looks at Smart Governance of Sustainable cities, which has highlighted that the common component in a smart city is the citizen. Their article on Urban Transformations, a website launched by the University of Oxford, states that "a key feature of the smart city is about incentivising and engaging the ordinary citizen to participate in the life of the city, through new technologies, in ways in which they may not have tried before, including taking part in decision-making or shared learning"
http://www.citihorizons.com/smart-city-news/post/citizens-smart-city

Solidarity Cities: What’s new?


It’s been a year since the Solidarity Cities initiative was announced by the mayor of Athens, Giorgios Kaminis, during the meeting of the European Capitals in April 2016. Since then, EUROCITIES and its members have been working to make this idea of solidarity between cities on the refugee crisis a reality on the ground.
The initiative was launched in Athens in October 2016, and has attracted support from major European cities both inside and outside the EUROCITIES network. Find out more about what these mayors had to say about the initiative . A video explaining the principles of Solidarity Cities was released in January 2017.
http://www.eurocities.eu/eurocities/news/Solidarity-Cities-What-s-new-WSPO-AMUKER

Paris's mayor wants to go down under to give the city a new lease of life


Paris’s history has always been as much underground as above ground. 
The city’s catacombs, an underground labyrinth stacked floor to ceiling with the bones of six million Parisians, is a key attraction. Half a million tourists visit every year. The Paris metro has one of the densest networks of underground stations of any city in the world.
And excavation of limestone, chalk, and gypsum in what were then the mostly rural areas of Montmartre and Montparnasse gave the city’s aesthetic its soft cream colour – the texture of the buildings of Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s era, from the Opéra Garnier to the Arc de Triomphe, as well as the Louvre. The excavation also left behind a vast network of underground tunnels and former quarries, stretching for nearly 200 miles.
http://www.citymetric.com/fabric/pariss-mayor-wants-go-down-under-give-city-new-lease-life-3075

London and the Mainstreaming of Vehicular Terrorism


This weekend’s attack, which began when three men in a van mowed down pedestrians crossing London Bridge and culminated with a stabbing rampage in nearby Borough Market, has resulted in seven fatalities, not including the perpetrators who were all shot and killed by police, and 48 injuries. As this most recent attack reminds us, “rammings” have become mainstream—and the trend is worrisome.
After authorities made it much more difficult to hijack planes and obtain weapons of mass destruction following 9/11—depriving terrorists of the means to launch spectacular attacks—extremists shifted to simple, easy-to-execute acts of violence like mass shootings and automobile rammings. The unsophisticated and omnipresent threat posed by vehicular terrorism is now forcing those entrusted with security to rethink their paradigms.
https://www.citylab.com/crime/2017/06/london-attack-vehicular-terrorism/529134/

Up to 8 Degrees Extra in Cities by 2100 According Scientific Publication


It’s quite probable that cities will suffer greatly under the consequences of climate change. Especially coastal cities, however sustainable they may be, have to suffer the rising sea level as visualized by Climate Central. Amongst other ecological difficulties, generally increasing temperatures in conjunction with the urban heat island effect might heat up cities far beyond the envisaged maximum of the well-known ‘two-degree’ objective. According to a new scientific publication, the world’s cities can warm up by 8°C / 14.4F by 2100.
http://ecourbanhub.com/cities-by-2100-warm-up-8-degrees/

How New Data Practices Reconfigure Urban Governance


The urban archetype of the flâneur, so central to the concept of modernity, can now experience the city in ways unimaginable one hundred years ago. Strolling around Paris, the contemporary flâneur might stop to post pictures of her discoveries on Instagram, simultaneously identifying points of interest to the rest of her social network and broadcasting her location (perhaps unknowingly). The café she visits might be in the middle of a fundraising campaign through a crowdfunding site such as Kickstarter, and she might be invited to tweet to her followers in exchange for a discount on her pain au chocolate. As she ambles about Paris, the route of her stroll is captured by movement sensors positioned on top of street lights, and this data – aggregated with that of thousands of other pedestrians – could be used by the City of Paris to sync up transit schedules. And if those schedules were not convenient, she might tap Uber to whisk her home to her threadbare pension booked on AirBnB.
http://bigdatasoc.blogspot.co.nz/2017/05/the-cloud-crowd-and-city-how-new-data.html?platform=hootsuite

How Cities Can Help Supply Chains Perfect The Last Mile


Urban freight is expected to increase 40 percent by 2050, going hand-in-hand with the slew of retail stores closing due to e-commerce growth. That means more trucks on the road, clogging precious residential and downtown street space while making deliveries. “Where you now see UPS and FedEx trucks in neighborhood once a day, you will see them four to five times a day, plus the smaller players,” says Andre Pharand, Accenture’s global management consulting lead for the postal and parcel industry.
http://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/last-mile-spotlight-cities-logistics-congestion-urban-delivery/443269/

Hanging Gardens of Babylon inspire residential units in Birmingham


A new housing complex in the form of 500 terraced units has been proposed by London practice Architects of Invention for the city of Birmingham. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Garden Hill’s formal composition is that of two staggered 25-storey towers, with private and communal gardens on each level of terraces.
With the project’s swooping mass, the residences aim to offer panoramic views of Birmingham, given its central location in the Digbeth area, a 10-minute walk from the city centre. Additionally, the staggered towers capture ample daylight over the course of the day, with the south end benefitting from the morning sun and the north end, in the evening.
http://www.urbannewsdigest.in/?p=22798

By 2020, 10% of smart cities will use streetlamps as the backbone for a smart city


According to Gartner's blog, by 2020 10% of smart cities will use streetlamps as the backbone for smart city Wide Area Networks (WAN).
Cities switching from conventional streetlamps to LEDs presented an interesting opportunity for smart city CIOs to utilize the new lamps’ already connected status. Most LED streetlights have some form of connectivity, usually to monitor the lamp and meter the power. It’s not a very strong connectivity; generally they have low bandwidth and limited communication. However, the simple fact that they offer connectivity means CIOs have a unique opportunity to create a citywide WAN using streetlamps. This would actually supply more bandwidth to the streetlamps, which allows for more sophisticated streetlamp technology such as video, and creates a network. It solves the immediate problem of streetlamp connectivity, but also lays the groundwork for future smart city projects. This will reduce the need to have multiple networks within the smart city infrastructure, and eliminate each future projects from having their own WANs.
http://www.citihorizons.com/smart-city-news/post/-streetlamps-backbone-for-smart-city

To build resilient cities, we must treat substandard housing as a life-or-death emergency


The scene is as familiar as it is tragic: A devastating hurricane or earthquake strikes a populated area in a poor country, inflicting a high number of casualties, overwhelming the resources and capacity of rescue teams and hospital emergency rooms. First responders must resort to “triage” – the medical strategy of maximizing the efficient use of existing resources to save lives, while minimizing the number of deaths. 
But if governments could apply triage to substandard housing, medical triage would be a much less frequent occurrence – because in the developing world, it is mainly housing that kills people, not disasters.
http://blogs.worldbank.org/sustainablecities/build-resilient-cities-we-must-treat-substandard-housing-life-or-death-emergency

Smart Cities for All Initiative Aims at Inclusion


Microsoft, along with the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and World Enabled, have launched the Smart Cities for All initiative to define the state of information and communications technology (ICT) accessibility in smart cities worldwide. The initiative provides a ‘smart cities for all toolkit’ that contains four tools to help smart cities worldwide include a focus on ICT accessibility and the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons.
http://smartcitiesconnect.org/smart-cities-for-all-initiative-aims-at-inclusion/

Cities perspective on C-ITS summarised in CIMEC publication


CIMEC has published a booklet providing a round up of the main project findings on the subject of C-ITS deployment in cities.
The publication provides an introduction to the subject from the perspective of a local road authority and offers an overview on how the city C-ITS market is expected to evolve in the future. It is intended to provide a vision that European cities can collectively recognise and that other stakeholders, public and private, can benefit from in their political or commercial planning.
http://cimec-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/CIMEC-Brochure.pdf

The XII Metropolis World Congress unveils its Official Program


The official program for the XII Metropolis World Congress, set to take place in Montreal from June 19 to 22, promises to be a rich and diverse event, featuring prominent speakers, opportunities for unique discussions on current global challenges, with 100 mayors and 1,000 delegates from around the world in attendance.
http://montreal2017.metropolis.org/registration/

The urban dimension of smart specialisation: building a two-way bridge


Smart specialisation and its related methodology known as Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) have been assessed as “the most comprehensive industrial policy experience being implemented in contemporary Europe”. In this context, what is the role to be played by cities? Right now, at the time of implementation, a number of major cities feel they have much to contribute in moving RIS3 visions and roadmaps forward. So, what are the pathways and frameworks to enhance better alignment between regions and cities with regard to existing RIS3 strategies? What is the urban dimension of smart specialisation? This article brings some insights to these questions.
http://urbact.eu/urban-dimension-smart-specialisation-building-two-way-bridge

How can we unlock energy investment opportunities at local level? Lessons learnt from Bristol's use of ELENA


In the framework of the Covenant of Mayors webinar “ELENA - European Local Energy Assistance: Inspiration from successful projects”, held on 27 April, Mareike Schmidt, Service Manager for Energy at Bristol City Council, has identified a series of useful lesson learnt from the use of the EIB technical assistance.
As a result of ELENA grant funding, Bristol City Council has delivered thousands of insulation measures on social and private housing, hundreds of solar PV panels on municipal buildings and kick-started the development of the city’s Heat Network. This large-scale programme, called BRITE, has seen over £50m of investment over the last three years and laid strong foundations for Bristol to be on track to be carbon neutral by 2050.
http://www.eumayors.eu/news_en.html?id_news=827

Driverless Cars and the Disruptions They Will Bring


In planning for an autonomous-vehicle future, governments need to pay attention to the broader picture.
It's easy to understand why the media is fascinated with autonomous vehicles. Scarcely a day goes by without another company's announcement of new driverless technology. The latest is Apple, which just received permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test self-driving cars on the state's roadways. This brings the tally to 30 companies, not only the likes of Google and Tesla but also a long list of traditional automakers including BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Volkswagen and Subaru.
http://www.governing.com/blogs/view/gov-disruptions-autonomous-driverless-vehicles-will-bring.html

The Connected City blueprint is now available


The Connected City Advisory Board (CCAB) from the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) would like to share with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) the release of the first Connected City Blueprint.
This report intends to work as a guideline to support cities and government authorities to develop Connected City plans outlining factors to consider. It also provides a set of case studies to be used as a benchmark for future connected city deployments.
http://www.uclg-digitalcities.org/en/el-plan-de-accion-de-ciudad-conectada-ya-esta-disponible/

5 lessons for cities on the cusp of a smart revolution


When it comes to creating an urban space infused with technology, there are many cities in both developed and developing country contexts that are seeing success.
Barcelona, Spain, is just one city gaining a reputation as a leader in smart innovation. In 2014, the Catalan capital was awarded the first European Capital of Innovation Award by the European Commission, “for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens,” and in 2011 was chosen to host the Mobile World Congress for seven years.
https://www.devex.com/news/5-lessons-for-cities-on-the-cusp-of-a-smart-revolution-89452

Boost human health and happiness through public space design


This report presents the outcome of a pilot experiment challenging the attractiveness and liveability of modern public spaces conducted by Happier by Design in the West Palm Beach waterfront. Happier by Design is a collaborative interdisciplinary team comprised of Happy City, the University of Virginia, Street Plans Collaborative and UK-based Space Syntax.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/05/17/happier-by-design/

The Wrong Way to Grow a City


A lesson from Cleveland: To avoid deepening inequality, prepare for economic growth before it starts.
The story of Cleveland, as with many other Rust Belt cities, is a story of falling from grace. How is “grace” measured? Population rankings, mostly. Cleveland was America’s 5th biggest city in 1920, beneath only New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit. By 1950 it was 7th. By 1980, 20th. Then down to 45th by 2010. And so on.
https://www.citylab.com/politics/2017/05/the-wrong-way-to-grow-a-city/526653/

New Approaches to Women’s Empowerment in a Changing Urban World


The 26th Session of the UN-Habitat Governing Council provided the perfect opportunity for the 2nd Gender Forum. The Gender Forum brings together women and men passionate about sustainable development, gender equality and women’s empowerment. This year the theme was ‘Achieving Gender Equality in a Fast Urbanizing World.’
The Gender Forum provided a platform for many passionate women to share ideas about how women can participate in urban governance and the help achieve the vision of the New Urban Agenda. Women from all corners of the globe spoke about their own experiences, the challenges in their communities and the amazing work they are doing. The room was a hive of activity, passion and solidarity.
https://unhabitat.org/new-approaches-to-womens-empowerment-in-a-changing-urban-world/

Promoting gender equality in decentralised cooperation: the new guide for towns and regions


“Unfortunately people, even politicians, think that in our European societies the same opportunities are granted for both women and men, but the truth is they aren't”, stated the mayor of Galdakao (Basque Country, Spain) and CEMR spokesperson for gender equality Ibon Uribe, in 2016. This statement is still true today. In Europe, as elsewhere in the world, gender equality is not a given. But what can be done? The new guide, “Promoting gender equality: towards a gender-based approach in decentralised cooperation projects”, written by AFCCRE (CEMR’s French association) in the scope of its activities with PLATFORMA, brings concrete answers to this question.
http://www.ccre.org/en/actualites/view/3503

Is housing really the business of government?


Urbanisation and changing demographics have pushed the demand for housing far beyond current supply
India is the grip of a housing crisis. The country’s urban housing shortage is estimated at approximately 19 million households, and, with another 230 million Indians projected to move to urban centres within the next 20 years, this shortage is set to deteriorate further. This problem is replicated on a global scale. If nothing is done to tackle the shortage, this will leave the next generation priced out of the market and an estimated 889 million people living in slums by 2020.
http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/real-estate/is-housing-really-the-business-of-government-2278049.html

A Smart City Utopia: Could It Really Exist?


Let’s say you could design a prototype of an ideal city.
A large enough population to be substantial but not unmanageable;
A form of government that is both respected and stable, yet flexible;
A society focused on racial harmony and tolerance;
A culture committed to innovation and prosperity that embraces change;
Reliable and fast public transportation, reasonable tax burden and a strong education system; and
A robust economy that creates ample opportunity for global businesses.
http://smartcitiesconnect.org/a-smart-city-utopia-could-it-really-exist/

Beyond Bricks and Mortar, Cities Can Be Equalizers


The U.N. projects that by 2050 nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will be urban, an increase of 2.4 billion people with approximately half from rural migration. There is no doubt that cities provide a better future with rising incomes, better job opportunities and better access to higher-quality education and healthcare to its residents. If one were to give an example, the Chinese module would be best to underlay, in terms of the positive effect of urbanization on a population. Urbanization in China increased between the years
1980 and 2013, by nearly four folds from 18 percent to 53 percent, with an associated dramatic reduction in the poverty rate from 84 percent to 10 percent.
http://newsweekme.com/beyond-bricks-mortar-cities-can-equalizers/

 

 

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