24/5/2017 - Five big ideas to better integrate nature into cities

24/5/2017 - How to make cities more resilient?

24/5/2017 - Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies

23/5/2017 - Edmonton, Canada to host the 2018 Cities and Climate Change Science Conference

23/5/2017 - In Putin's Moscow, an Urban Wilderness Emerges

23/5/2017 - America's geography of wealth: the shrinking urban middle class visualised

22/5/2017 - Is Gent's city centre set to become car-free?

22/5/2017 - Transition tales: A village within a city

22/5/2017 - Tips for States and Cities Trying to Raise Workers' Wages

21/5/2017 - Social inclusion essential for eradicating poverty

21/5/2017 - Can a city become resilient? If so, to what and how?

21/5/2017 - The key to smart city success is to understand the unique context of the project

20/5/2017 - Minding Minority Interests at City Hall

20/5/2017 - Join The Budding Conversation About Resilient Transport

20/5/2017 - IRU Coach Friendly City Award

19/5/2017 - The resurrection of Palermo: how the mafia battlefield became a cultural capital

19/5/2017 - Built-Out Barcelona Makes Space for an Urban Forest

19/5/2017 - Can cities get the global car industry to ‘clean up its act’?

18/5/2017 - Smart Township for cops to be built in Mumbai

18/5/2017 - LED Systems Are A Smart City No-Brainer

18/5/2017 - Redefining Urban Risk and Resiliency

17/5/2017 - Welcome to Yiwu: China's testing ground for a multicultural city

17/5/2017 - CIVITAS SUMPs-Up project launches call for planning authorities

17/5/2017 - Enter the Void | The Budapest experience

16/5/2017 - Four ecological difficulties cities have to face

16/5/2017 - Cities are complex systems – let’s start looking at them that way

16/5/2017 - Smart Mass Transit can lead the Smart City Revolution

15/5/2017 - Social inclusion essential for eradicating poverty

15/5/2017 - Unpicking the secrets to sustainable urban renovation and regeneration

15/5/2017 - The Death of London's Garden Bridge

14/5/2017 - Smart Cities are on the right track

14/5/2017 - Polis and 'Safer City Streets' cooperate for safer roads

14/5/2017 - A place to remember | Call for Proposals now open

13/5/2017 - What can cities learn from Sri Lanka’s landfill tragedy?

13/5/2017 - UN-Habitat showcases its work at the World Assembly of Islamic Cities

13/5/2017 - Urbanization: Are human rights at stake?

12/5/2017 - Co-Governing Smart Cities through Living Labs

12/5/2017 - Investing in space for pedestrians

12/5/2017 - The Hidden Density of Older Buildings

11/5/2017 - Barriers, enablers and KPIs for ITS

11/5/2017 - Habitat III struggled to deliver — but nonetheless, a new global urban agenda is upon us

11/5/2017 - What's the Best Way to Elect a City Council?

10/5/2017 - The Brilliant Simplicity of New York’s New Times Square

10/5/2017 - The Economics of Prison Boomtowns

10/5/2017 - Smart Cities can use Green Techniques to deal with Overflowing Sewers

9/5/2017 - Smart meters ‘changing 85% of consumers’ energy habits’

9/5/2017 - Cycling success: 10 U.S. cities pushing biking forward

9/5/2017 - 2017 Polis Conference: Call for speakers open until 29 May

8/5/2017 - Lessons from Amsterdam’s ‘night mayor’

8/5/2017 - Mayors lead the global debate on the development of cities for peace

8/5/2017 - Triggering a wave of local actions in Europe and beyond

7/5/2017 - Build It Green Initiative

7/5/2017 - Smart Grid Security Market worth $ 7 Billion by 2021

7/5/2017 - Plan International launch ‘Safer Cities for Girls’ programme

6/5/2017 - Changing cities, delivering innovations

6/5/2017 - Smart Cities Vendor Engagement Framework

6/5/2017 - The reality of main street

5/5/2017 - SUMPs-Up first Call for cities to support SUMP development in Europe

5/5/2017 - As Local Food Movement Grows, Who's Policing the Produce?

5/5/2017 - Guidance on electric bicycles

4/5/2017 - Smart Cities Are About People

4/5/2017 - New Urban Agenda ideas ‘are now trickling down’

4/5/2017 - Grant opportunity: mayors for economic growth

3/5/2017 - How not to create traffic jams, pollution and urban sprawl

3/5/2017 - 7 smart approaches to city planning and design

3/5/2017 - Velo-city, the largest cycling conference. Registrations are open!

2/5/2017 - Urban transport roadmaps: a web-based tool to help cities develop sustainable mobility strategies

2/5/2017 - Meet the 'New Urban Luddites'

2/5/2017 - Article 22, a game changer

1/5/2017 - Mexico City : from "melting pot" to an intercultural and welcoming city

1/5/2017 - Picnic benches unite citizens

1/5/2017 - Cities of the Future Will Depend on Resiliency to Meet Urbanization Demands

 

 

Five big ideas to better integrate nature into cities


The downtown Pearl District is among the hottest housing markets in this booming Pacific Northwest city. But a one-block parcel that surely could have fetched millions of dollars if sold to a real estate developer remains an oasis of calm, a wild wetland with freshly designed paths and benches. The grass after a wet winter squishes underfoot, and water trickles gently downhill into a retaining pond.
Tanner Springs Park is a tiny remnant of what was once a large wetland and lake, collecting the water that cascades down from the hills lacing Portland’s western edge. The park was conceived in a 1999 master plan for the Pearl District, a bustling collection of high-end condos and apartments, chic boutiques, and purveyors of the artisanal food and spirits that have made this city a gastronomic destination.
http://citiscope.org/story/2017/five-big-ideas-better-integrate-nature-cities

How to make cities more resilient? 


International conference on “Risks, Security and Citizenship”, in Setúbal, Portugal
Some 300 representatives of European local authorities as well as civil protection stakeholders and academics attended the international conference on “Risks, Security and Citizenship” organised by the municipality of Setúbal, Portugal, and Efus on 30 and 31 March, and hosted by the Portuguese city.
https://efus.eu/en/topics/responses/crisis-management/efus/13748/

Livable Transit Corridors: Methods, Metrics, and Strategies


This report from the Transportation Research Board presents practical planning and implementation strategies to enhance livability in transit corridors. This handbook provides a resource for planning practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders to measure, understand, and improve transit corridor livability.
https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23630/livable-transit-corridors-methods-metrics-and-strategies

Edmonton, Canada to host the 2018 Cities and Climate Change Science Conference


This conference will strengthen our understanding of climate change and cities and lay the groundwork for more effective, targeted decisions. An advocate of science-based policy, Mayor Don Iveson is bringing this milestone to Edmonton in 2018.
The City of Edmonton, Canada has been announced as host city for the 2018 Cities and Climate Change Science Conference. The conference, co-sponsored by the IPCC and a coalition of United Nations agencies, research and local governments network, including ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, promises to boost the scientific understanding of climate change and cities.
http://www.iclei.org/details/article/edmonton-canada-to-host-the-2018-cities-and-climate-change-science-conference.html

In Putin's Moscow, an Urban Wilderness Emerges


Architects Liz Diller and Charles Renfro talk about their latest high-profile commission, a weather-bending (and politically charged) city park in the heart of the Russian capital.
At their hangar-like office in Manhattan, the architects Liz Diller and Charles Renfro click through a slideshow displaying enormous, fantastically shaped structures embedded into a hilly landscape. The renderings depict 32-acre Zaryadye Park in Moscow, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the studio they lead with partner Ricardo Scofidio. The celebrated architects enthusiastically describe the various cultural and civic amenities now under construction, which will include a large glass concert hall for the city’s philharmonic, an open-air museum that will feature multimedia displays of Moscow’s history, and a grassy outdoor amphitheater capable of seating 5,000 people.
https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/05/in-putins-moscow-an-urban-wilderness-emerges/526872/

America's geography of wealth: the shrinking urban middle class visualised


The economic fates of diverse cities such as San Francisco, New York and Detroit would seem to be vastly different – but they share a common thread
The distribution of median household income across each city’s Census tracts, small territorial units of roughly equal population (about 4,000 people each). All amounts are inflation adjusted, quoted in 2017 dollars. Credit: Metrocosm, LTDB at Brown University, and IPUMS National Historical Geographic Information System
Over the last half-century, the story of America’s cities is a tale of booms and busts. New York and tech hubs like San Francisco – once cities in financial distress – have transformed into economic powerhouses. At the other extreme, one-time prosperous manufacturing cities like Detroit now find themselves in economic turmoil.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/may/17/america-geography-wealth-shrinking-urban-middle-class-visualised

Is Gent's city centre set to become car-free?


The local government in Gent is looking to introduce a new mobility plan that would turn the city centre into a car-free zone.
As part of the initiative, the city would be divided into six new districts, including the inner-city. Direct journeys between these new areas would be off-limits for lorry drivers, who would instead be required to use a ring road situated on the outskirts of the city. Money would also be invested in cycle paths and local transport.
http://www.eltis.org/discover/news/gents-city-centre-set-become-car-free-belgium

Transition tales: A village within a city


May 1st 2017 marked the opening of Holzmarkt25, an urban experiment as alternative as the capital city it takes place in. Berlin is setting an unconventional precedent by allowing city quarters to be built by local nightclub owners and party organisers. The shiny, glossy views of property developers are being replaced with recycled wood and secondhand building materials. The Holzmarkt development trades the luxury high-end apartment complexes for a more human-scale approach: a sustainable urban village.
https://citiesintransition.eu/publication/transition-tales-21-a-village-within-a-city

Tips for States and Cities Trying to Raise Workers' Wages


It's all about collective bargaining, according to a new report.
CEOs used to make 30 times their average employee’s salary -- now it's more than 300 times, with no sign of a significant slowdown. With income inequality near a record high and wages failing to keep up with inflation, many government leaders say it's obvious there's a problem.
The solution, however, is less clear.
http://www.governing.com/topics/mgmt/gov-state-local-labor-laws-center-american-progress.html

Social inclusion essential for eradicating poverty


The social inclusion of disadvantaged groups is necessary for reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity, said government representatives, experts, and civil society representatives at a World Bank seminar on Friday, April 21. Persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons form a large part of the world population affected by poverty. They often face multiple discrimination and exclusion because of their overlapping identities, stressed Maitreyi Das, Social Inclusion Global Lead at the World Bank Group. 
http://blogs.worldbank.org/sustainablecities/social-inclusion-essential-eradicating-poverty

Can a city become resilient? If so, to what and how?


In the process of developing an urban resilience strategy – one that answers these questions, one that addresses the concerns of planners, developers, mayors, local government personnel, investors and concerned citizens – inevitably more questions arise.
Can a city become resilient? How do you know if it is or isn’t? Can you measure it? How do you track improvements or progression? Is it all about reducing risk? It’s expensive, isn’t it? And so on, until reaching the question of ‘resilient to what and how?’
http://www.urbanet.info/can-city-become-resilient/

The key to smart city success is to understand the unique context of the project


Our research last year highlighted that there are four key priorities for councils to consider when developing their smart city initiative.  This article by devex.com supports this, claiming that smart city success is not solely about the technologoes implemented but the context in which they are applied. 
From research that aligns with citizens' concerns, to building strong collaborative relationships, Smart Cities are enhanced through better understanding the applications that best suit the context in which they are to be installed.
https://www.devex.com/news/tips-for-getting-smart-city-tech-into-policymakers-hands-89948

Minding Minority Interests at City Hall


A city council invites a federation of minority groups to improve community relations
When the City of Antwerp was looking to improve its relations with minority communities, it decided to approach the Brussels-based Minderhedenforum (Forum of Ethnic Cultural Communities) for help. The city council wanted a new way to reach out to community organizations and the Forum’s ten years of work appeared to be a successful model to adapt.
http://citiesofmigration.ca/good_idea/minding-minority-interests-at-city-hall/

Join The Budding Conversation About Resilient Transport


Resilience is a tricky topic when it comes to urban transport. The Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals signal a sustainable, resilient path forward for urban transport. But is this translating into resilient transport systems in cities?
Not exactly. At least not on a consistent basis. Transport resilience is way down on the priority list for cities dealing with air pollution, road safety and traffic congestion. There is a disconnect between global ideals and urgent day-to-day issues stemming from fossil fuel-intensive, unsafe transport systems.
http://talkofthecities.iclei.org/join-the-budding-conversation-about-resilient-transport/

IRU Coach Friendly City Award


The City Trophy Award recognises and rewards municipal authorities that implement policies favouring group tourism by coach, and to encourage other cities to follow their example. Cities that invest in good facilities for coaches will reap economic rewards, while those that fail to do so will limit their income from tourism.
http://www.busandcoach.travel/en/smart_policies/smart_awards/iru_city_trophy_award.htm

The resurrection of Palermo: how the mafia battlefield became a cultural capital


The Sicilian capital is using millions of euros seized from crime bosses to fund regeneration – though the scars inflicted by the Cosa Nostra may never fully heal
Every city, at some stage in its history, reaches a tipping point. For Palermo, it was one sweltering afternoon in July 1992, when more than 1,500 soldiers armed with automatic weapons took up positions on every corner of its eerily quiet streets in a show of military force unknown to Italy since the end of the second world war.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/mar/27/resurrection-palermo-mafia-battlefield-culture-capital

Built-Out Barcelona Makes Space for an Urban Forest


The city is planning a major green makeover to combat the heat island and create a more welcoming place for humans and animals alike.
When a city needs green space, but it’s all out of room, what can it do?
It’s an issue that many older, denser cities are facing as they try to make themselves more amenable to their citizens and the environment. For Barcelona, this challenge requires especial ingenuity. Take a walk around what is one of Europe’s most densely populated city cores and you’d be forgiven for pronouncing the place full.
https://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2017/05/barcelona-green-urban-forest-climate-plan/526998/

Can cities get the global car industry to ‘clean up its act’?


As global car sales continue to climb, cities are increasingly girding themselves against the related environmental impacts by using “scoring” systems, placing large municipal orders for electric vehicles and imposing strict regulations.
Last year, consumers around the world purchased 88 million cars, a new annual record. But if cities are to meet their obligations under the Paris climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, municipal officials need the cars on their streets to emit far less carbon dioxide. To that end, they are pressuring car manufacturers by wielding the regulatory and purchasing power of the world’s big cities.
http://citiscope.org/story/2017/can-cities-get-global-car-industry-clean-its-act

Smart Township for cops to be built in Mumbai


Recently a novel undertaking has been initiated in Maharashtra where policemen have come together to build a smart township on the outskirts of Mumbai. The Maharashtra government has cleared the proposal for setting up an integrated township, exclusively for policemen, on a 46-hectare (113 acres) land parcel in Khalapur’s Wayal, which is just about 50 km from the commercial capital.
The Brihanmumbai Police Cooperative Housing Society, a collective formed by policemen themselves had approached the government for the permission to build the township.
http://www.urbannewsdigest.in/?p=22565

LED Systems Are A Smart City No-Brainer


Daunting, futuristic innovations for nearly every aspect of urban infrastructure come to light every day, so it’s unsurprising that light itself can be a Smart City solution. A simple, effective investment, LED lighting is a simple way that a city can take a step towards sustainability and efficiency.
“LED is a gateway technology for cities and companies,” Revolution Lighting’s VP of Development and Communications Jay Black said. “They’re not overly sophisticated to adopt.”
http://www.smartresilient.com/led-systems-are-smart-city-no-brainer

Redefining Urban Risk and Resiliency


In today’s increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world, social, technological and sustainability issues bring new dimensions to risk and have a major impact on the development and competitiveness of our urban centers. This results in urban risk management becoming more complex and increasingly important to the long term health and growth of urban economies.
The need to improve the risk management of urban economies raises many questions. How exposed are our cities to risk? What are the potential impacts to the long-term success of cities facing risks such as fiscal instability, poor air quality, flooding, or lack of affordable housing? Are cities adequately informed and prepared to manage them? Are large, extreme and unexpected or ‘black swan’, events once thought unpredictable, really masking unpreparedness?
http://meetingoftheminds.org/redefining-urban-risk-resiliency-21008

Welcome to Yiwu: China's testing ground for a multicultural city


Unlike Guangzhou’s African community – who have faced prejudice and hostility – Yiwu’s foreign residents enjoy an ‘unusual freedom of worship’, with the municipal government even consulting international traders on city business
After dark on Exotic Street in China’s eastern city of Yiwu, three Yemeni boys crowd round a large charcoal barbecue rack selling lamb kebabs and baked breads. They order in confident Mandarin, chatting rapidly between themselves in Arabic.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/mar/23/welcome-yiwu-china-testing-ground-multicultural-city

CIVITAS SUMPs-Up project launches call for planning authorities


The CIVITAS SUMPs-Up project has launched a call for applications for its Innovation Pilot Pool (IPP), a select group of transport and urban planning practitioners who will develop tools and services to help SUMP development in European cities.
IPP participants will receive SUMPS-Up funding and participate in learning activities known as SUMP Learning Programms (SLPs) to test and apply SUMP approaches, tools and methodologies under real conditions.
http://www.eltis.org/discover/news/civitas-sumps-project-launches-call-planning-authorities

Enter the Void | The Budapest experience


In a time of governmental unrest, the youth subculture in the Hungarian capital is reclaiming its role in the city.
The European project Enter the Void gathered last week in Budapest. The third meeting of the youth think-tank had a more hands-on approach, as participants got to witness the rise of activism and youth counterculture in the Hungarian capital, through actions organised against transformations imposed by governing structures. After Berlin, Amsterdam, and now Budapest, it is becoming obvious for the European collective that the young generation is actively calling for its place in the city.
https://citiesintransition.eu/cityreport/enter-the-void-the-budapest-experience

Four ecological difficulties cities have to face


Since 1976, the UN has recognized the ecological difficulties that ever-growing urbanization places on the environment, and indeed, on the inhabitants of cities. People continue to move to urban areas in the hope of improving their economic situation. The evidence shows that relocation can work in their favor, but it can also result in extreme poverty and increased vulnerability to disease and natural disasters.
With this in mind, the UN World Cities Report has identified the sustainability of cities as a priority, and in so doing, the interface between human communities and the environment cannot be ignored.
http://ecourbanhub.com/four-ecological-difficulties-cities-face-sustainable-urbanization/

Cities are complex systems – let’s start looking at them that way


The way we design our cities needs a serious rethink. After thousands of years of progress in urban development, we plateaued some 60 years ago. Cities are not safer, healthier, more efficient, or more equitable. They are getting worse on these measures.
The statistics on chronic disease, rising road tolls and congestion in our urban environments paint a bleak future. The clues to why lie in how we think about and design our cities.
http://theconversation.com/cities-are-complex-systems-lets-start-looking-at-them-that-way-72665

Smart Mass Transit can lead the Smart City Revolution


The discussion over Smart Cities has been going on for years. Some Smart solutions, such as street lights and sensors, have been applied in many cities, but these small and usually isolated interventions are not enough to make a city truly Smart. Smart Solutions need to be connected and to achieve critical mass. However, comprehensive and large-scale innovations are about to emerge, and Smart Transit is the component that can lead the way to a true Smart City revolution.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/04/20/smart-mass-transit-can-lead-smart-city-revolution/

Social inclusion essential for eradicating poverty


The social inclusion of disadvantaged groups is necessary for reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity, said government representatives, experts, and civil society representatives at a World Bank seminar on Friday, April 21. Persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons form a large part of the world population affected by poverty. They often face multiple discrimination and exclusion because of their overlapping identities, stressed Maitreyi Das, Social Inclusion Global Lead at the World Bank Group. 
http://blogs.worldbank.org/sustainablecities/social-inclusion-essential-eradicating-poverty

Unpicking the secrets to sustainable urban renovation and regeneration


The CITyFiED consortium met in at demonstration site Laguna de Duero, Spain 27 and 28 February 2017 to keep the project on track to achieving substantial energy savings, emissions reductions and a climate of confidence for energy efficient renovations across Europe. 
Partners and stakeholders are growing in stature, confidence and a number of successful deliverables and milestones have been achieved as we hit the mid-way point – giving substantiated insights on everything from social acceptance to biomass and business models. “We are entering the richest part of the project” confirmed coordinator Ali Vasallo, “moving from ‘technical’ to ‘tangible’ so a community of over 50 cities, regions and agencies can meet and surpass their energy efficiency obligations, creating districts that reward our communities and the planet around us”.
http://www.cityfied.eu/News/ArticlesInterviews/Unpicking-The-Secrets-To-Sustainable-Urban-Renovation-And-Regeneration.kl

The Death of London's Garden Bridge


It’s over. After years of debate and funding battles, London’s proposed Garden Bridge has finally received what must surely be its death sentence. London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced Friday that the city would not cover the project’s maintenance costs, which were a precondition for its approval but would have placed an open-ended (and never quantified), financial burden on the city.
https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/05/the-death-of-londons-garden-bridge-marks-the-end-of-an-era/524886/

Smart Cities are on the right track


Kochi has been declared a Smart City – what does this mean?
Kochi is one of currently 20 Indian cities included in the first round of the national Smart Cities Mission, run by India’s Ministry of Urban Development. City improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield development) are the strategic components of the Smart Cities Mission.
There are several reasons for turning Kochi into a Smart City. The city needs to become better connected and accessible, and be developed into a clean, green and healthy city that is governed in a smart way. Like the other cities that are part of the Smart Cities Mission, Kochi has set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Cochin Smart Mission Ltd. The SVP is responsible for implementing the Smart City proposal, commencing with preparation of a master plan and detailed engineering reports, fund management, financial modelling and establishing a self-sustainable, smart eco-system.
http://www.urbanet.info/interview-gp-hari-kochi-metro-rail/

Polis and 'Safer City Streets' cooperate for safer roads


Cities from the Polis network and from the International Transport Forum’s ‘Safer City Streets’ network meet in Paris today. Local authorities from Europe and around the world work together to protect people from road crashes.
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1384/45/Polis-and-39-Safer-City-Streets-39-cooperate-for-safer-roads

A place to remember | Call for Proposals now open


Submit your proposal for the Placemaking Week 2017, organised by Project for Public Spaces and Pakhuis de Zwijger.
The Placemaking Week 2017 in October is an opportunity to join activists and leaders from around the world to envision a place-led future for cities. To make sure that you are able to both attend and share your work with conference attendees from across the world, Project for Public Spaces is offering access to the Call for Proposals.
https://citiesintransition.eu/publication/call-for-proposals-now-open

What can cities learn from Sri Lanka’s landfill tragedy?


he massive Meethotamulla garbage dump is eerily silent these days. Only the sounds of heavy earthmovers working in the distance create a background hum.
The crows flutter above the 19-acre, 300-foot-high garbage mountain, parts of which slid down the afternoon of 14 April, the day Sri Lankans celebrate the traditional New Year. Today, it looks as though a giant has stepped on the side of the mound, sending parts of it cascading downhill and crashing into the neighbourhood below.
http://citiscope.org/story/2017/what-can-cities-learn-sri-lankas-landfill-tragedy

UN-Habitat showcases its work at the World Assembly of Islamic Cities


At the latest World Assembly of Islamic Cities UN-Habitat had the opportunity to brief the delegates present on some of the work it is engaged in globally.
The World Assembly of Islamic Cities (WAIC) summit was convened late April in the Iranian city of Qazvin to discuss sustainable urbanization according to the ideals of Islam. The fifth in a series of conferences, the WAIC seeks to provide a forum for exchange of approaches to sustainable Islamic Cities from technological, scientific, managerial, cultural and spiritual perspectives.
https://unhabitat.org/un-habitat-showcases-its-work-at-the-world-assembly-of-islamic-cities/

Urbanization: Are human rights at stake?


Societies are always looking to develop. After all, with change can come flourish. A popular theme for some parts of the world is now – urbanization. Societies are looking to have state-of-the art amenities, skyscrapers, marble-walled houses etc. Urbanization is a good thing. At least it is supposed to be a good thing. However, urbanization goes wrong when a society’s poor are further pushed to the margins, while the rich get richer.
https://blurredcreations.com/2017/04/25/urbanization-are-human-rights-at-stake/

Co-Governing Smart Cities through Living Labs


This article Co-Governing Smart Cities through Living Labs: Top Evidences from EU by F. Bifulco, M. Tregua, C. C. Amitrano, aims to identify relevance between participative governance and smart cities projects that implement Living Labs initiatives. Reviewing the literature on participative approaches to innovation and city governance and highlighting the gaps where further research is needed, their contribution is proved. Through research on EU smart cities, they demonstrate the the determining role of Living Labs for co-governing the smart cities.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/04/25/co-governing-smart-cities-living-labs/

Investing in space for pedestrians


Living Streets, a campaigning organisation that promotes walking, has produced a report reviewing the evidence for the benefits of investing in walkable public spaces. It presents successful case studies and arguments for convincing stakeholders to support walking, and draws on inspiring case studies of schemes which have resulted in safer and more attractive public places in neighbourhoods and city centres in the UK and elsewhere.
http://www.eltis.org/resources/tools/investing-space-pedestrians

The Hidden Density of Older Buildings


Through ReUrbanism, the Preservation Green Lab staff has focused its attention on the relationship between old buildings and the challenges and solutions for cities in the 21st century. Our team lives and works in cities—including Seattle; Denver; Washington, D.C.; and New York—and we’re tuned in to the conversations around livability, affordability, density, and displacement in our hometowns and across the country. One issue that seems to keep coming up and overshadowing other debates is density.
http://forum.savingplaces.org/blogs/mike-powe/2017/04/18/the-hidden-density-of-older-buildings

Barriers, enablers and KPIs for ITS


The European project NEWBITS aims to improve the understanding of the conditions affecting deployment of ITS services for a variety of market segments. To this end, the project is conducting a survey in order to gain input on the most important barriers, enablers and key performance indicators for the deployment of ITS services
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1390/45/Barriers-enablers-and-KPIs-for-ITS

Habitat III struggled to deliver — but nonetheless, a new global urban agenda is upon us


Eights trends binding together the Sustainable Development Goals, New Urban Agenda and Paris climate agreement — and pointing toward a future of sustainable cities.
Urbanization is a millennial trend that is altering humanity’s relationship with both itself and the planet that created us. It brings with it the most profound set of systemic economic, social, political and ecological changes we have seen since the “agricultural revolution”, moving both spatially across the globe and irreversibly across time.
http://citiscope.org/commentary/2017/05/habitat-iii-struggled-deliver-nonetheless-new-global-urban-agenda-upon-us

What's the Best Way to Elect a City Council?


It’s surprisingly difficult to design a method for electing city councils that are fully representative. If you elect your city council by district, as Chicago and Philadelphia do, you risk having members who are too parochial in their outlooks, with limited incentives to think about the city as a whole. Conversely, electing council members through citywide elections runs the risk of leaving parts of the city unattended.
Courts have ruled against the latter, particularly councils that ignore areas heavily populated with members of protected racial or ethnic groups. Last year, Yakima, Wash., withdrew its appeal against a ruling that found that its prior system of electing council members citywide disenfranchised Hispanics. Up until that ruling, no Latino had ever won a seat on the council. After it, though, three Latinos won district elections in 2015.
http://www.governing.com/topics/elections/gov-city-council-elections.html

The Brilliant Simplicity of New York’s New Times Square


Times Square recently completed its six-year transformation from a congested thoroughfare into a European-style piazza. The redesign doubled the amount of pedestrian space. Remaking the Crossroads of the World follows a broader trend by cities around the world to create more pedestrian-friendly spaces that favor people over cars.
https://www.wired.com/2017/04/brilliant-simplicity-new-yorks-new-times-square/

The Economics of Prison Boomtowns


In many towns in the rural South, new prison construction represents critical jobs and growth. But not everyone wins.
Between 1970 and 2005, the number of prisons in the U.S. increased from around 500 to over 1,800, a boom fueled by a commensurate rise in incarceration rates. The country’s prison population climbed 700 percent during this time, which more closely reflected discriminatory criminal justice policies than crime rates.
https://www.citylab.com/housing/2017/05/the-economics-of-prison-boomtowns/524364/

Smart Cities can use Green Techniques to deal with Overflowing Sewers


Overflowing sewers, caused by intense rainfall, can be one of the most severe ecological problems that a city can face, especially in old cities with inadequate infrastructure. A Smart Solution for this problem, already tested by some cities, is to copy nature and create natural “sponges” for the excess water.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/04/26/smart-cities-can-use-green-techniques-deal-overflowing-sewers/

Smart meters ‘changing 85% of consumers’ energy habits’


Around 85% of people with smart meters have cut energy use by changing how they act around the house.
That’s according to a new report from Smart Energy GB, based on a 2,557-person survey of energy behaviour before and after upgrading to the new technology.
The research shows smart meters are generally having a positive impact on how people interact with electricity.
Nearly two in three (63%) consumers have looked into ways they could reduce their energy use and more than half (56%) have improved the energy efficiency standards of their homes.

http://www.energylivenews.com/2017/05/02/smart-meters-changing-85-of-consumers-energy-habits/

Cycling success: 10 U.S. cities pushing biking forward


London announced a plan to spend a billion dollars on bike highways and cycling infrastructure late last year. Oslo wants to transform its downtown into a car-free zone by 2019. German cities are testing out bike-based cargo delivery services. And bike-friendly policies have made Copenhagen and Amsterdam cycling havens.
When it comes to designing cities for cycling, the United States can often seem painfully behind other countries, a toddler in training wheels beside sleek, sophisticated riders on custom road bikes. Our reputation reflects our roadways: The U.S. boasts 4 million miles of roads, but fewer than 200 miles of protected bike lanes.
https://www.curbed.com/2017/4/18/15333796/best-cities-bike-commute-us-cycling

2017 Polis Conference: Call for speakers open until 29 May


We would like to remind you that the Call for Speakers for the 2017 Polis Conference "Innovation in transport for sustainable cities and regions" is open and kindly invite you to submit your abstracts! Download the call for further information, including the list of priority topics.
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1389/45/2017-Polis-Conference-Call-for-speakers-open-until-29-May

Lessons from Amsterdam’s ‘night mayor’


On a Tuesday, normally the sleepiest night of the week, a buzz fills the Leidseplein neighbourhood near Amsterdam’s city centre. Throngs of young people chat and flirt at pubs spilling patrons onto the sidewalk. The scent of Holland’s legal marijuana drifts through the air. Around midnight on a side street, lines begin to form outside Milkweg and Sugarfactory, two warehouse-sized clubs that boast long-running weekly techno parties.
The scene is illustrative of how Amsterdam has become one of the top nightlife capitals in Europe. That claim to fame brings tourism revenue, jobs and bragging rights, but it also brings challenges such as litter and noise complaints.
http://citiscope.org/story/2017/lessons-amsterdams-night-mayor

Mayors lead the global debate on the development of cities for peace


Local leaders from around the world met with civil society in Madrid to address urban violence and alternatives for peaceful coexistence
The World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace opened its doors in Madrid from 19 to 21 April. The Forum, held at La N@ve exhibition centre in the Villaverde district, brought together local leaders, UN agencies, international networks, the academic world, NGOs and civil society to launch a process of debate and reflection on how to create urban environments capable of eliminating violence in all its forms.
https://www.uclg.org/en/media/news/mayors-lead-global-debate-development-cities-peace

Triggering a wave of local actions in Europe and beyond


It is essential, as the UN does, to call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and promote peace and prosperity for all, through the 17 UN Global Goals (SDGs). It is equally essential to make sure these Global Goals are successfully implemented: this part is championed by local and regional governments.
Come to our event, “UN Global Goals: Triggering a wave of local actions in Europe and beyond,” on 29 May in Brussels (Rue de la Science 14 B), to find out how towns and regions can lead positive global change.
http://www.ccre.org/en/actualites/view/3501

Build It Green Initiative


Reducing combined sewer outflows while making neighborhoods and downtowns better places to live, work, and invest.
Twenty-one New Jersey cities face a monumental challenge: to upgrade dysfunctional combined sewer overflow (CSO) systems without jeopardizing budding revitalization activities and other pressing community initiatives.  Since 2014 New Jersey Future has mobilized resources to help catalyze innovative CSO solutions that can strengthen and enrich host communities.
http://www.njfuture.org/issues/environment-and-agriculture/water-sewer/build-it-green-initiative/

Smart Grid Security Market worth $ 7 Billion by 2021


The smart grid security market is growing rapidly because of the growing security needs of Internet of Things (IoT) and digitization in energy sector and increased deployment of web & cloud-based business applications.
According to the new market research report “Smart Grid Security Market by Solution, Service, Deployment Mode (Cloud, On-premises), Subsystem (SCADA/ICS, AMI, Demand Response, and Home Energy Management), Security Type (Endpoint, Network, Application, Database), and Region - Global Forecast to 2021”, published by Markets and Markets, the smart grid security market is estimated to grow from USD 4.29 Billion in 2016 to USD 7.00 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.3%.
https://www.smartscities.com/en/news/smart-grid-security-market-worth-7-billion-by-2021

Plan International launch ‘Safer Cities for Girls’ programme  


Plan International recently launched their programme ‘Safer Cities for Girls’ in Kenya with the help of UN-Habitat. The programme launch started with a one-week workshop with community leaders, all young men and women from Jipange Youth Groups – a coalition of youth groups that empowers young people and promotes the practice of good governance on community development projects.
https://unhabitat.org/plan-international-launch-safer-cities-for-girls-programme/

Changing cities, delivering innovations


Cities are constantly changing–they always have. Innovations in particular are accelerating these changes and amplifying their impact. TNO is helping cities and stakeholders bring the future closer, by giving the most promising innovations a helping hand, and by integrating them.
“There is a lot of talk about innovations and plenty of ideas are being tentatively floated but, ultimately, what really matters is that they must be of genuine benefit,” says Leo Kusters, Managing Director of Urbanisation at TNO. “Changing cities, delivering innovations means that we are backing innovations that can really cut it, and that have a real impact on the larger scale. We are focusing on this, for instance, by examining cities in great detail.”
http://www.urbangateway.org/news/changing-cities-delivering-innovations

Smart Cities Vendor Engagement Framework


In the past five years, leading cities across North America have made tremendous inroads to testing and deploying smart city technologies to address key challenges related to maintaining and replacing aging infrastructure, managing maintenance costs and providing improved services to residents and community members. Building upon previous research conducted by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) and Nutter Consulting, DNV GL partnered to capture the lessons learned and best practices for cities to engage with a diverse set of smart technology vendors.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/05/02/smart-cities-vendor-engagement-framework/

The reality of main street


Louis Hyman’s recent piece in The New York Times Sunday Review, The Myth of Main Street, presents a bleak choice for rural and rust-belt America: persist in hopeless efforts to rebuild your downtown or graciously accept a future of telecommuting for a distant corporation. The former he decries as nostalgia; the latter as the only economically viable option. But this offer is a false choice: there is another way for smaller communities to compete in today’s economy and we believe a strong main street strategy is at the heart of it. 
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/metropolitan-revolution/2017/04/20/the-reality-of-main-street/

SUMPs-Up first Call for cities to support SUMP development in Europe


Is your city preparing its first Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP)? Is your city a small or medium-sized city that wants to prepare a tailor-made SUMP? Your city is more advanced and you want to take part in the uptake of SUMPs in European cities? Apply to the first CIVITAS SUMPs-Up call for planning authorities by 24 May 2017.
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1386/45/SUMPs-Up-first-Call-for-cities-to-support-SUMP-development-in-Europe

As Local Food Movement Grows, Who's Policing the Produce?


Many cities and states have made commitments to support and promote farm-to-table food. But few have fraud protections in place to make sure people are eating truly "local."
At Local 360, an airy, loft-like restaurant in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, nearly everything on the menu is harvested nearby. The oysters come from Taylor Shellfish, 75 miles north of town. The vegetables are from the organic Newaukum Valley Farm, halfway between Seattle and Portland. Wines come from Chinook Wines in south-central Washington. As the restaurant’s name implies, almost all of its foods are sourced from within 360 miles, and the staff is aggressive about ensuring that, says Director of Operations Nicole Burrows. “We like to say that we’re 95 percent local in the summer and 80 percent in the winter,” she says, acknowledging that the restaurant does “make small concessions to make things more accessible. People really don’t like to give up limes for their cocktails. We have bottles of Heinz ketchup.”
http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-seattle-local-food.html

Guidance on electric bicycles


Although electric bicycles are an increasingly common sight in European cities, the differences and added benefits compared to standard bicycles are not as well recognised. Bicycles assisted by electric motors offer a wider range of people the opportunity to cycle, particularly those who do not have a high level of fitness. It is also a good alternative method of transport for people who have to commute for short distances throughout the day.
http://www.eltis.org/resources/tools/guidance-electric-bicycles

Smart Cities Are About People


The growing appreciation of the importance of cities, especially by leaders in business and science, is much appreciated and long overdue. Many have embraced the Smart City banner. But it seems each observer defines “city” in the image of their own profession. CEOs of IT firms say that cities are “a system of systems,” and visualize the city as an increasing and dense flow of information to be optimized. Physicists have modeled cities and observed relationships between city scale and activity, treating city residents as atoms and describing cities as conforming to “laws.”
https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/05/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-smart-city/524769/

New Urban Agenda ideas ‘are now trickling down’


Six months have passed since 167 countries adopted the 20-year urbanization strategy known as the New Urban Agenda at last year’s United Nations Habitat III summit in Quito, Ecuador. That the world made it to that milestone is due in no small part to the efforts of Joan Clos, executive director of UN-Habitat, the U.?N.’s lead agency on urban issues. The indefatigable former mayor of Barcelona traveled to over 40 countries on the road to Habitat III, drumming up interest and support from heads of state, housing ministers, big-city mayors and civil society activists.
http://citiscope.org/story/2017/joan-clos-new-urban-agenda-ideas-are-now-trickling-down

Grant opportunity: mayors for economic growth


The aim of the European Commission’s Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) initiative is to strengthen local governments’ capacity to implement smart local economic development. Cities joining the initiative make and implement sustainable economic development plans with EU support. The “champions” will receive grant support to implement pilot projects.
http://cor.europa.eu/fr/news/Pages/Mayors-for-Economic-Growth.aspx

How not to create traffic jams, pollution and urban sprawl


EVEN if the new headquarters that Apple is creating in California does not prove to be “the best office building in the world”, as Steve Jobs boasted shortly before his death in 2011, it will be an astounding sight. The main building resembles a flying saucer with a hole in the middle. Through its large, gently curving windows, workers will eventually look out on a wood containing some 7,000 carefully chosen trees. It is as though a race of high-tech beings has landed on a pristine planet.
http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21720269-dont-let-people-park-free-how-not-create-traffic-jams-pollution-and-urban-sprawl

7 smart approaches to city planning and design


Our cities are faced with the mammoth task of accommodating an additional 2.5 billion new urban dwellers by 2050. This is the equivalent of creating a city the size of Singapore each month for the next 30 years.
If cities are to house and employ these people, they will have to do more with less; become smarter, greener and more efficient. Central to this is employing smart and innovative approaches to city planning and design. Here are seven ways to achieve this, and practical examples of implementation.
https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-7-smart-approaches-to-city-planning-and-design-89920

Velo-city, the largest cycling conference. Registrations are open!


The main theme of Velo-city 2017 is ‘The Freedom of Cycling’, as cycling has a major impact on the well being of our citizens and makes our cities more livable and enjoyable. Themes like Governance, Infrastructure, People, Bikenomics and Urban Planning are the main topics of this edition. In addition, it will explore the Dutch story and the relation between health and sustainability.
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1380/45/Velo-city-the-largest-cycling-conference-is-hosted-this-year-by-Polis-member-Arnhem---Nijmegen-Region-Registrations-are-open-33

Urban transport roadmaps: a web-based tool to help cities develop sustainable mobility strategies


The urban transport roadmaps tool is a web-based tool to help city authorities develop urban transport roadmaps that address the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues faced by their transportation systems between now and 2030.
The tool provides cities with the ability to identify, develop, screen and assess different transport policies and measures. In particular, it helps cities to quickly and easily assess the likely costs and impacts of measures that could help them improve the sustainability of their transport systems. Cities can explore combinations of different policy scenarios and assess the impacts of these scenarios on the environment, safety, mobility, the economy and the city’s transport system. This type of scenario analysis helps cities to rapidly identify which policy measures are likely to be useful in supporting their own urban transport sustainability goals.
http://www.urban-transport-roadmaps.eu/

Meet the 'New Urban Luddites'


We need a stronger word than ‘NIMBY’ to describe how destructive “winner-take-all” urbanism can be.
Over the past several years, a growing chorus of urban economists has decried the way that NIMBY sentiment, an acronym for “not in my backyard,” keeps urban housing prices unnecessarily high. Traditionally, the presence of NIMBYs was a sign of a healthy community: These were concerned residents who were motivated to keep “bad” things, like prisons or waste treatment plants, out of their neighborhoods. But NIMBYism has grown substantially over time, and it now erupts in opposition to all manner of new development. This behavior isn’t just selfish; it’s destructive. By limiting density and clustering, NIMBYs hold back the urban innovation that powers growth.
https://www.citylab.com/housing/2017/04/meet-the-new-urban-luddites/521040/

Article 22, a game changer


“It is like Wallonia with the CETA: it’s a little revolution inside.” This is how Damien Ernst*, an international expert for electricity networks, called Article 22 of the EU Renewable Energy Directive promoting renewable energy communities.
The inclusion of such an article opens the energy markets to new and small players, Ernst explained during a citizen’s debate on energy transition in Liège, Belgium. It has the potential for offering a level playing field to decentralised and community energy producers.
http://www.energy-cities.eu/Political-brief-Article-22-a-game-changer?pmv_nid=2

Mexico City : from "melting pot" to an intercultural and welcoming city


Mexico City is the first city to recognize the intercultural approach in its Constitutional Charter. After four and a half months of strong debates ‘interculturalism’ is placed as one of the major issues in the Constitution.
On 31 January 2017, the Constitutional Assembly of Mexico City issued the first Political Constitution in its history. The city is about to celebrate seven hundred years since its foundation, resulting from intense migration flows which nowadays qualifies Mexico City a welcoming city.
http://www.coe.int/en/web/interculturalcities/-/mexico-city-from-melting-pot-to-an-intercultural-and-welcoming-city

Picnic benches unite citizens


It was in 2012 when the government of Ghent decided to look at the city from a greener perspective. Civil servants wanted to engage citizens in processes through which their city could turn into a more livable, eco-friendly and citizen-centered space. In order to achieve that, people of the local government appointed to “Lab of Troy” to launch an experiment investigating in depth and realizing the extent to which citizens dream of their city. As a result, “Lab of Troy” laboratory implemented the “Living Streets” experiment, which set the principles of sustainable mobility and citizen priority for the following years.
https://citiesintransition.eu/publication/picnic-benches-unite-citizens

Cities of the Future Will Depend on Resiliency to Meet Urbanization Demands


Urbanization and the notion of smart cities have been emerging topics for some time now. This is no surprise, given that urban residents accounted for 54 percent of the total global population in 2015, and are expected to grow to 60 percent by 2030, according to the World Health Organization.
In order to accommodate this urban population growth, cities will continue to face increasing challenges, including congested transportation and housing and the need to reliably supply sufficient energy to meet growing demands.
http://www.triplepundit.com/2017/04/cities-future-will-depend-resiliency-meet-urbanization-demands/

 

 

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