20/10/2017 - Why Leading Smart Cities Are Often Bike-Friendly Cities
20/10/2017 - 6 Major Effects of Urbanization That Will Make you Think!
20/10/2017 - Can nature make your city climate-resilient?
19/10/2017 - The Cities Of The 21st Century Will Be Defined By Water
19/10/2017 - The City as an Instrument of Public Health
19/10/2017 - Using traffic cameras to cut Rotterdam's congestion
18/10/2017 - Japanese cities and regions rally behind 100 percent renewable energy
18/10/2017 - TM Forum Publishes ‘City as a Platform’ Manifesto
18/10/2017 - MaaS White Paper shows the way forward to implementation
17/10/2017 - Amazon's search for a second HQ can change cities for the better
17/10/2017 - Urban Designers Look to Nature as Solution for Flood-Prone Cities
17/10/2017 - America’s New Front Porches: Public Spaces
16/10/2017 - How cities are using innovative climate action to ‘future-proof’ themselves
16/10/2017 - Electric freight in cities: ELIPTIC and FREVUE joined forces in Barcelona
16/10/2017 - How Cities Can Protect Poor People and Minorities From Climate Change
15/10/2017 - Can the world’s megacities survive the digital age?
15/10/2017 - How Commuting Choices Influence Quality of Life in India’s Cities
15/10/2017 - EPA-Polis-CROW parking workshop: presentations now available!
14/10/2017 - Smart Cities are the wave of the future
14/10/2017 - What the New Urban Anchors Owe Their Cities
14/10/2017 - Horizon 2020 ClairCity project tackles air pollution in European cities
13/10/2017 - The power of data in driving sustainable development… Is solid waste the low hanging fruit?
13/10/2017 - Climate Chance World Summit leads to call for urgent, coordinated action
13/10/2017 - MaaS Readiness Level Indicators for local authorities launched
12/10/2017 - Energy Cities Conference 2018 - Save the date
12/10/2017 - Where Smart Cities and Utilities Overlap
12/10/2017 - Turning cities’ focus back to land-based finance
11/10/2017 - Dockless Bike Shares Are Here. Are Cities Ready for Them?
11/10/2017 - New conference gathering research results from H2020 road transport projects
11/10/2017 - UK cities refusing to reveal extent of pseudo-public space
10/10/2017 - The Urbanization of Malnutrition
10/10/2017 - London Illustrates the Benefits – and Risks – of Compact Growth
10/10/2017 - Elon Musk wants to build a “self-sustaining city” on Mars. Experts aren't convinced
9/10/2017 - A New Look Inside the Cities of North Korea
9/10/2017 - Budget-strapped cities are creating financing—out of thin air
9/10/2017 - On the road to becoming a Smart Citizen
8/10/2017 - Protecting Our Cities from Cyber Attacks
8/10/2017 - The Annual Value of Urban Trees Expressed in US$
8/10/2017 - Be the host of the 2019 UCLG culture summit
7/10/2017 - Negotiable parking rights to be tested in a virtual experiment
7/10/2017 - Building virtual cities to solve urbanisation issues
7/10/2017 - Some US cities now have worse inequality than Mexico, a study has shown
6/10/2017 - For Cities, Climate Change Is as Much Global as Local
6/10/2017 - We need to bring ‘agility’ to city planning and development
6/10/2017 - How cycling is being made safer in China
5/10/2017 - Registration for attendance and side events at WUF 9 now open
5/10/2017 - What would an entirely flood-proof city look like?
5/10/2017 - How to use public procurement in MaaS
4/10/2017 - Smart Cities shaping the development of Autonomous Cars
4/10/2017 - Why migrant workers are the key to Asia’s green cities of the future
4/10/2017 - How to make cities work for the world’s poorest
3/10/2017 - “Weapons” Cities Use to Keep You off (or on) the Beach
3/10/2017 - People power: how cash-strapped councils are turning to crowdfunding
3/10/2017 - How Mexico City Became A Leader in Parking Reform
2/10/2017 - Redefining Global Cities
2/10/2017 - How green roofs can protect city streets from flooding
2/10/2017 - Why cities need to rethink their marketing to tourists
1/10/2017 - Antwerp's participatory budget
1/10/2017 - Utrecht opens the world's biggest bike parking garage
1/10/2017 - Chinese city starts work on world’s biggest urban cycle network
Why Leading Smart Cities Are Often Bike-Friendly Cities
The International Cycling Safety Conference in Davis, Calif., will explore how data from vehicles, smart and connected devices or sensors and other objects in the urban landscape can work to serve the needs and safety of cyclists.
6 Major Effects of Urbanization That Will Make you Think!
According to The Department of Economic and Social Affairs, half of the global population already lives in cities, and by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s people are expected to live in urban areas. But in cities two of the most pressing problems facing the world today also come together: poverty and environmental degradation.
The majority of people move to cities and towns because they view rural areas as places with hardship and backward/primitive lifestyle. Therefore, as populations move to more developed areas (towns and cities) the immediate outcome is urbanization. This normally contributes to the development of land for use in commercial properties; social and economic support institutions, transportation, and residential buildings. Eventually, these activities raise several urbanization issues.
Can nature make your city climate-resilient?
Among the headlines of summer 2017: disastrous floods in the South of England, Istanbul and Berlin, extreme water scarcity in Rome, wild fires damaging homes on the Croatian coast, the Côte d'Azur and elsewhere… The magnitude and frequency of these and other events indicate that climate change is already a reality, and the impacts will be even bigger in the future. Yes, we need to reduce greenhouse gases to limit climate change, but equally urgent: we need to adapt to the remaining impacts. All cities, depending on their geographical position, are likely to experience prolonged and more intensive heatwaves or droughts, more frequent wild fires, coastal flooding, or an increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall with the associated threat of urban flooding, river flooding or landslides. How can cities cope with these huge predicted impacts of climate change in the future, even when they are faced with tight budgets? Can nature be a solution?
The Cities Of The 21st Century Will Be Defined By Water
Rives Taylor, a principal at the architecture firm Gensler and a 40-plus-year resident of Houston, is lucky.
His home in Houston Heights, an older neighborhood northwest of downtown, was spared from Hurricane Harvey’s flooding. Part of that is due to the natural topography of the area–its elevation is few feet higher than downtown–and that his pier-and-beam house is three feet off the ground. But what’s also remarkable about his neighborhood is that it isn’t connected to the city’s vast network of underground storm sewers. Rainwater flows directly into nearby ditches where it eventually seeps back into the earth.
The City as an Instrument of Public Health
Cities are the future; the near future. According to WHO projections, by 2050 over two-thirds of the world’s population will live in a city.
What does this mean for public health? It could be nothing short of catastrophic, placing an increasing burden on health systems worldwide as unhealthy lifestyles associated with urban areas become commonplace. Food is fast and unhealthy, pollution is rampant, transport is often motorized, making physical exercise unnecessary, and excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption are a part of a common lifestyle: a deadly combination for the development of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Using traffic cameras to cut Rotterdam's congestion
Traffic cameras are an established feature of road infrastructure, and have been broadcasting live to the monitoring centres of transport authorities for a while. Normally that video is reserved for the eyes of operators.
In Rotterdam, however, a new website has been launched that allows members of the public to see the live footage from 24 cameras located in 19 different locations around the city. The new cameras are complementary to the existing traffic information network.
Japanese cities and regions rally behind 100 percent renewable energy
On 8 September 2017, Japanese local and regional governments released the Nagano Declaration at the Local Renewables Conference 2017 in Nagano, Japan to show their support for a future in which cities and regions are fully powered by renewable energy.
TM Forum Publishes ‘City as a Platform’ Manifesto
Like public administrations across Europe, cities are having difficulties getting to grips with the opportunities and challenges generated by digital transformation. The implementation of initiatives that harness the potential of the digitalisation for the benefit of citizens and businesses, such as smart cities, is challenging. A smart city is a place where the traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital technologies.
MaaS White Paper shows the way forward to implementation
The MaaS Alliance, a public-private partnership creating the foundations for a common approach to MaaS, hosted by ERTICO – ITS Europe, has published a White Paper entitled “Guidelines & Recommendations to create the foundations for a thriving MaaS ecosystem”. The White Paper is the result of the work done in the MaaS Alliance working groups, which focus on addressing the good practices, as well as identifying the gaps, barriers and opportunities related to emerging MaaS schemes. The White Paper summarises the first results of this work and gives recommendations for the next steps to be taken to foster the development of a MaaS ecosystem in Europe.
Amazon's search for a second HQ can change cities for the better
In 1898, British stenographer Ebenezer Howard devised a plan for the ideal city. His short opus, "Garden Cities of To-Morrow," became arguably the world's most influential book on city planning. Howard's ideal of balanced growth, proximate open space, clean, efficient transportation and energy, public health and vibrant metropolitan culture caught the rapidly urbanizing world's imagination.
Although Howard's vision inspired international community design, spawned national New Towns legislation in several countries and more recently influenced China's burgeoning new urban explosion, the United States, barring a few efforts, paid the Garden City idea little heed. Committed to highways, malls, subdivisions and office parks, the U.S. found no need for Howard's "quaint" idea of compact green cities. However, Amazon's recent announced search for an ideal city in which to locate its second headquarters could change that.
Urban Designers Look to Nature as Solution for Flood-Prone Cities
From Houston and Miami, to cities in South Asia, 2017 has been a year of intense weather and devastating floods. A combination of climate change and urban development has created a perfect storm for catastrophe.
"We are living in a warmer world. We are living in a world where potentially, hurricanes could be more damaging,” said Bill Patzert, climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Sea levels are rising. They have risen almost nine inches (22 centimeters) in the last century," he said. Rising sea levels, however, make up only a small fraction of the problem, he said.
America’s New Front Porches: Public Spaces
In Meridian, Miss., the town where I grew up, people used to escape the summer heat by sitting on their front porches with a pitcher of lemonade. On those hot afternoons, they chatted with neighbors and strangers who passed by, sometimes inviting them up for a cool drink. They got to know each other that way.
Then air-conditioners showed up and moved everyone indoors.
Across America, we have turned inward to engage more with our televisions, computers, video games and cellphones instead of with each other. This has led to less understanding of people who are "other," less acceptance, less compassion, greater discord -- and sometimes, as recent events illustrate, even violence.
How cities are using innovative climate action to ‘future-proof’ themselves
As Houston, Miami, Mumbai and other communities clean up following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and unusually relentless monsoons, a new report offers strategies for bolstering urban defences against climate change.
“Cities100: A guide to cities preparing for the next Harvey and Irma” profiles the authors’ choices for the “100 best urban solutions to climate change around the world.”
The publication and accompanying online database were released this week as new storms continued to devastate islands in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, power outages plague more than a million residents of Florida and Georgia a week after a ferocious hurricane devastated the U.?S. southeast.
Blunt predictions of worsening weather patterns are a motivation for cities to take preparatory steps now.
Electric freight in cities: ELIPTIC and FREVUE joined forces in Barcelona
On Wednesday 13th September, the FREVUE and ELIPTIC projects organised a joint workshop in Barcelona on the theme of "the use of electric PT infrastructure for charging freight vehicles". The workshop was followed by site visits in the city.
How Cities Can Protect Poor People and Minorities From Climate Change
They're the most vulnerable to disasters, but they don't have to be.
When environmental disasters strike, low-income people and minorities are hit hardest. Not just because they have fewer resources to help them recover, but also because they usually bear the brunt of a disaster in the first place.
Communities of color are frequently exposed to greater air pollution, water contamination and heat stress than white communities. They also tend to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other types of disaster.
Can the world’s megacities survive the digital age?
Today, megacities have become synonymous with economic growth. In both developing and developed countries, cities with populations of 10 million or more account for one-third to one-half of their gross domestic product.
Many analysts and policymakers think this trend is here to stay. The rise of big data analytics and mobile technology should spur development, they assert, transforming metropolises like Shanghai, Nairobi and Mexico City into so-called “smart cities” that can leverage their huge populations to power their economies and change the power balance in the world.
How Commuting Choices Influence Quality of Life in India’s Cities
Cities across India are undertaking a variety of land-use, transportation and housing projects, but most plans do not consider the connection between the built environment and the health of residents. This is a mistake, according to new research by the University of Massachusetts and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi recently published in Environmental Research.
More than 99 percent of India’s residents live in areas that do not pass the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines. Taken together, India and China accounted for half of all deaths attributed to ambient air pollution worldwide in 2015.
EPA-Polis-CROW parking workshop: presentations now available!
Rotterdam was the central place for the European Parking Congress in the week of 18 September. CROW and Polis organized an additional session for parking stakeholders on 'Parking and behavior' on September 19th, before the start of the congress – and this in close cooperation with the EPA. An international audience listened to practical examples from Leuven, Lille, Southend-on-Sea, Zwolle and The Hague.
Smart Cities are the wave of the future
Imagine approaching an intersection on foot, and without doing anything, the traffic light senses your smartphone beacon and your pedestrian profile. The light changes as you reach the curb, allowing just the 12 seconds it takes you to cross before turning to red. Other than being convenient, this keeps vehicular traffic flowing while also allowing people of various ages and abilities, or with disabilities, to have the amount of time to cross the street customized to their needs.
What the New Urban Anchors Owe Their Cities
As some of the main drivers and primary beneficiaries of the recent urban revival, anchor institutions are often the largest employers in their communities. While typical examples of “anchor institutions” include large universities, hospitals, and medical centers—so-called “meds and eds”—that quite literally anchor urban centers, other powerful anchors, including successful high-tech companies and real estate developers, have the capacity and resources to wield enormous influence on today’s cities.
However, the last decade has given rise to a troubling pattern of “winner-take-all urbanism” in which a select group of large, dense cities and an even smaller number of neighborhoods reap the spoils of innovation and economic growth. Anchors benefit enormously from this recent urban revival. And as a result, they must commit themselves to generating more inclusive prosperity.
Horizon 2020 ClairCity project tackles air pollution in European cities
The Horizon 2020 ClairCity project is seeking to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions in European cities.
ClairCity is a four-year EU project (2016 - 2020) which works with local authorities and their citizens in six European countries to co-design climate and energy policies that tackle air pollution and bring down CO2 emissions. Covenant of Mayors signatories Bristol (UK), Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) are involved in the project, as well as the Polish municipality of Sosnowiec and the regions Aveiro (Portugal) and Liguria (Italy).
The power of data in driving sustainable development… Is solid waste the low hanging fruit?
The data revolution is upon us and the benefits, including improving the efficiency of corporations, spurring entrepreneurship, improving public services, improving coordination, and building profitable partnerships, are becoming more evident.
For public services, the potential gains are impressive. Globally in the electricity sector, an estimated $340 – 580 billion of economic value can be captured by providing more and better data to consumers to improve energy efficiency, and to operators for streamlining project management and the operation of their facilities. Even larger gains ($720 – 920 billion) could be captured in the transport sector.
Climate Chance World Summit leads to call for urgent, coordinated action
The 2017 Climate Chance Conference on 11-13 September concluded with the adoption of the Agadir Declaration of Climate Actors, an urgent call to step up on coordinated climate action.
The Climate Chance World Summit 2017 in Agadir, Morocco, the largest gathering of climate actors before COP23, the 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference, hosted more than 5,000 participants representing over 80 nations. The resulting Agadir Declaration of Climate Actors is supported by many leading networks of climate actors including ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, UCLG, R20 and C40.
MaaS Readiness Level Indicators for local authorities launched
This new tool - Moblity as a Service (MaaS) Readiness Level Indicators for local authorities – offers a new approach to understand how local authorities can speed up the process of MaaS in their local context.
It can be used as a discussion tool and a check list to develop measures in the local authorities.
Energy Cities Conference 2018 - Save the date
This time it’s the City and the Urban Community of Rennes, in the north-western tip of France, which will host the 2018 Annual Conference of Energy Cities. Save the date now: 18 to 20 April 2018
Each year, this gathering of urban professionals and national and European decision-makers is a great opportunity for fruitful exchanges, to find partners or new ideas for you projects in a dynamic and positive atmosphere!
During 2,5 days, we will take time to discuss the link between energy transition, local development, governance and democracy.
Where Smart Cities and Utilities Overlap
The concept of Smart Cities offers the promise of urban hubs leveraging connected technologies to become increasingly prosperous, safe, healthy, resilient, and clean. What may not be obvious in achieving these objectives is that many already-existing utility assets can serve as the foundation for a Smart City transition. The following is a broad discussion on the areas of overlap between utilities and smart cities, highlighting working knowledge from experience at PG&E.
Turning cities’ focus back to land-based finance
Last month, the South African Independent Electoral Commission announced in frustration that it needs USD 22.9 million to collect addresses ahead of a court-mandated deadline, a problem compounded by the fact that most townships don’t have well-marked street names.
Elsewhere, this problem is even worse. For instance, successive generations of leaders have tried — and failed — to name the streets in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott. Once a small village, Nouakchott’s population has boomed to nearly a million over the past half-century. But even today, many of the capital’s streets still lack formal names.
Dockless Bike Shares Are Here. Are Cities Ready for Them?
A new wave of companies could disrupt the way city bike-share programs are run.
A new kind of bike share has popped up in many U.S. cities in recent months, and it’s most noticeable for what it’s missing: a designated place to park the bikes.
The new “dockless” bike shares have arrived in places like Seattle, Dallas and Washington, D.C., since the summer. They’re run by private companies like LimeBike, MoBike and Spin. Riders locate and unlock the bikes using their mobile phones and they can leave them, well, almost anywhere. The bikes have kickstands and lock themselves, so most don’t even have to be next to a pole, rack or fence to attach them to.
New conference gathering research results from H2020 road transport projects
On 29 and 30 November, the 1st EGVIA-ERTRAC conference is taking place in Brussels, entitled "Results from Road Transport Research in H2020 projects". With the support of the European Commission, the conference shall be a display of research results from road transport projects funded under Horizon2020.
UK cities refusing to reveal extent of pseudo-public space
City administrations in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and seven others decline to outline the spread of privately owned public areas, or their secret prohibitions – which may include protesting or taking photos
The Urbanization of Malnutrition
Rapid urbanization is increasingly shifting the impacts of malnutrition from rural to urban areas. One in three stunted under-five children out of 155 million across the world now lives in cities and towns.
Degrading land productivity, deepening impacts of changes in climate, conflict, and food insecurity, poverty and lack of livelihood opportunities are driving mostly the rural poor into towns and cities, with projections that just 13 years from now, 5 billion people will be living in the world’s urban areas. While the urban population is forecast to double within these 30 years (starting in 2000), the area taken over will triple, increasing by 1.2 million square kilometers, says the Global Land Report 2017.
London Illustrates the Benefits – and Risks – of Compact Growth
Islington is the most densely populated area in the United Kingdom, yet wandering around the quiet streets of the north London borough, it is difficult to appreciate just how many people live there. Handsome terraces, elegant squares and a plethora of parks disguise the fact that there are nearly 14,000 people packed into each square kilometer.
Elon Musk wants to build a “self-sustaining city” on Mars. Experts aren't convinced
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has released new details of his vision to colonise parts of the solar system, including Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus. His gung ho plans – designed to make humans a multi-planetary species in case civilisation collapses – include launching flights to Mars as early as 2023.
The details, just published in the journal New Space, are certainly ambitious. But are they realistic? As someone who works on solar system exploration, and the European Space Agency’s new Mars rover in particular, I find them incredible in several ways.
A New Look Inside the Cities of North Korea
Amidst heightened political tensions, city life in the hermit kingdom goes on.
As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un trade personal barbs and threats of annihilation (and Trump prepares to visit the Korean peninsula in November), South Koreans are famously greeting the potential of war with a shrug. The same seems to be the case across the 38th parallel in North Korea.
Budget-strapped cities are creating financing—out of thin air
The world is urbanizing fast—200,000 people are moving to cities every day in search of homes, jobs, as well as education and healthcare services for their families. Supporting this influx with proper infrastructure and services for water, sanitation, transport, and green spaces will require an estimated $1 trillion each year.
Given the difficulties of further increasing the tax burden or the level of public debt, it’s time for cities to think more creatively about alternative sources of funding.
Not willing to wait for their national governments to bless them with scarce infrastructure funds, innovative mayors have figured out how to squeeze a new source of urgently needed capital out of thin air, literally
On the road to becoming a Smart Citizen
This report, created by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) names the current challenges of digital inclusion, describes the skills required by a Smart Citizen and attempts to locate those skills geographically. Last but not least, it describes tools aimed at developing competences in a targeted way.
Digital competences are necessary to allow all people to have a share in the increasing networking and digitisation of the city, also known as the Smart City.
Protecting Our Cities from Cyber Attacks
As a city’s digital infrastructure improves, the distribution of digital skills and the culture of the digital economy will also improve — making it more likely that as each gets better, the city’s goals can be achieved more effectively. Cities can attract and retain higher quality workers if and when cities draw more businesses, new investments, and improved social and cultural amenities. Through joint planning between varied stakeholders (including the city government, businesses, and artists), all involved can thrive off each other and do so at a lower cost, thanks to shared resources in the cloud, accessible via mobile networks, etc.
In addition to making cities more efficient and productive, the emergence of new digital connections has the potential to also make them more human. Those who are innovating to create the smart city are sometimes overwhelmed by the pace and scale of technology change, and are forced to adapt quickly. This is likely to be the norm for years to come, due to IoT‘s on-going impacts. This is especially the case now that cities are pivoting from “doing digital” to actually “being digital”.
The Annual Value of Urban Trees Expressed in US$
What is the value of urban trees in megacities, measured in money? Is it even possible to express the value of urban trees in monetary terms? Researchers from ESF Department of Environmental Resources Engineering in the US have taken the trouble to evaluate the benefits of city trees. Their recently published study points out the findings – the value of urban trees – and puts hard facts on the table. Ten megacities from five continents were examined.
Be the host of the 2019 UCLG culture summit
Does your local government want to place culture at the heart of its action in 2019? Would you be interested in giving international visibility to your city? You could become the host city for United Cities and Local Governments’ (UCLG) Culture Summit in 2019. Apply by 31 October 2017.
Negotiable parking rights to be tested in a virtual experiment
A trial beginning this month in Amsterdam will test negotiable parking rights: the price of a parking space will come to depend on the 'market'.
Conducted by the Vrije University of Amsterdam (VU), 500 motorists from Rotterdam are set to take part. A so-called "lab-in-the-field" experiment, the trading behaviour of participants will be tested in a virtual environment.
Each participant receives a stipulated parking budget and a number of parking permits which they then use to decide how the parking spaces are allocated.
Building virtual cities to solve urbanisation issues
Over the next 30 years, the world’s population is expecting an unprecedented increase, particularly in urban areas. To put this into perspective, by 2050, it is expected that 9.6 billion people will be living on the planet with an estimated 66% living in urban areas.
Undoubtedly these projections present significant urban planning challenges and it is a useful reminder that we need to start looking at the barriers to successful urbanisation today.
As pressure mounts on the world’s capital cities to make better use of space to support the increasing numbers of residents, the planners of these urban environments need to predict patterns, forecasting well into the future. Add globalisation, IoT, climate change and citizens’ high technology expectations to the list of challenges and you begin to understand how cities are growing beyond the capabilities of city planners and administrators.
Some US cities now have worse inequality than Mexico, a study has shown
The cities of the Americas are unequal places. 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).
For Cities, Climate Change Is as Much Global as Local
The devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused the city of Houston was still in the news when Hurricane Irma struck several Caribbean islands before grazing Tampa, Florida, and Hurricane Maria rocked Puerto Rico. Out of the glare of the international media, extreme rainfall in eastern India caused even greater damage, killing more than 1,000 people. And these were only the latest of many flooding disasters in recent years, such as those in Wuhan, China, in 2016, and in Chennai, India, and Columbia, South Carolina, in 2015.
We need to bring ‘agility’ to city planning and development
To realize increased efficiency, city leaders, planners and developers should look to the technology sector, where the principles of “agile” software development have transformed project delivery.
How cycling is being made safer in China
Green and healthy traveling with bicycles is experiencing a renaissance in China. With more than 16 million shared bikes in more than 150 cities, provided by companies such as Mobike and ofo, fundamental infrastructure changes have to be made to create a safe, convenient and enjoyable cycling experience.
Right now, traffic safety, bike lane design and network coverage are all problem areas. Often, other vehicles block the bike lane and force cyclists to use the traffic lane or even sidewalks. To change that, Chinese officials now have and want to formulate proper regulations and enforcement.
Registration for attendance and side events at WUF 9 now open
Registration for the world’s premier conference on cities and urbanization, the World Urban Forum, has now opened.
UN-Habitat, which coordinates the biennial event, is inviting stakeholders and partners from across the spectrum to register for attendance for the ninth such conference which will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2018.
What would an entirely flood-proof city look like?
The wetter the better. From sponge cities in China to ‘berms with benefits’ in New Jersey and floating container classrooms in the slums of Dhaka, we look at a range of projects that treat storm water as a resource rather than a hazard
How to use public procurement in MaaS
Jointly hosted by the ITS Observatory and SPICE projects, this webinar provided a brief overview of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) for parties interested in starting or joining a MaaS scheme, and included a demonstration of how to use the ITS Observatory interactive information marketplace.
Funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 program, the two-year SPICE project (Smart Procurement for Better Transport) aims to help public authorities use smart procurement in order to facilitate a quick adoption of innovative and sustainable transport solutions. SPICE’s objective of letting public authorities share their experience with the procurement of new transport solutions – including MaaS – intersects naturally with the goals of the ITS Observatory, as participants heard during the course of the Webinar.
Smart Cities shaping the development of Autonomous Cars
The ongoing development of autonomous cars is intertwined with the development of smart cities. In fact, advances in smart cities are the most important factor that shapes the way in which autonomous cars are designed, manufactured and used.
Since the current generation of autonomous cars rely on their surroundings to make crucial decisions as they move along the road, relying on local landmarks and features to determine the most efficient route to their destination and to avoid collisions with others along the way, the way in which smart cities revolutionize living and travel spaces has the potential to fundamentally reshape how these cars operate.
Why migrant workers are the key to Asia’s green cities of the future
Building Asia’s green cities of the future is about more than energy efficiency - it can drive a virtuous cycle of economic growth and restructuring, as low-skilled jobs on large construction sites provide income opportunities for millions of migrants.
On-the-job training can equip these labourers to build efficiently — and to build buildings and urban systems that operate more efficiently. Over time, formerly itinerant workers will be able to settle as residents of the cities they helped to build, and to move from having a toehold on the economic ladder into the consuming, urban middle classes.
How to make cities work for the world’s poorest
UN projections suggest that the world’s urban population will reach 6.3 billion by 2050, up 2.7 billion from the roughly 3.6 billion people living in cities as of 2010.
The vast majority of these new urban residents – over 90 per cent – will be added to the cities of low- and middle- income countries – such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, China, and India.
All of this urbanisation should be good for global poverty reduction. Historically, countries grow more prosperous as they urbanise.
“Weapons” Cities Use to Keep You off (or on) the Beach
Learning why free, public beaches are so elusive from a new encyclopedia of the policies, practices and physical artifacts that drive both exclusion and inclusion.
Our new book, “The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion,” examines some of the policies, practices and physical artifacts that have been used in the United States by planners, policymakers, developers, real estate brokers, community activists, and others to draw, erase or redraw the lines that divide. The book inventories these weapons of exclusion and inclusion, describes how they have been used, and speculates about how they might be deployed (or retired) for the sake of more open cities in which more people have more access to more places.
People power: how cash-strapped councils are turning to crowdfunding
As local government budgets are stripped back across the UK, city councils are turning to crowdfunding as a way for communities to support major projects
How Mexico City Became A Leader in Parking Reform
On July 11, Miguel Ángel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City announced the “limitation of parking spaces in the city construction code”. This new norm changes minimum parking requirements to maximum depending on the land use of the construction. This puts Mexico City, the largest city in North America, far ahead of American cities in this commitment improving land use, prioritizing people over cars.
Redefining Global Cities
A new report by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program provides detailed data on the 123 largest global cities based on their metro economies and uses these data to create a new typology of the seven types of global cities. Through this typology, this report aims to provide a valuable lens through which to understand the evolving global economy.
How green roofs can protect city streets from flooding
Spring and summer 2017 have been among the wettest on record in eastern North America. And the world is watching Houston this week, where the remains of Hurricane Harvey have caused devastating flooding.
Rainfall amounts in the spring broke records in places like Toronto, where 44.6 millimetres of rain fell in 24 hours. The downpours earlier this spring caused the stormwater infrastructure in Canada’s biggest city to overflow, leading to flooding of busy downtown streets.
Why cities need to rethink their marketing to tourists
August is a month when Venice is so stuffed with tourists that the city’s head of tourism has said “it’s like war.” In Dubrovnik’s walled historic centre, the city is using cameras to monitor and limit the crush of visitors. And Barcelona is pushing back on tourism by banning new hotels, hostels and tourist apartments in the city centre.
These headlines have put tourism in the news in a negative light. But “over-tourism” is only one of many trends playing out in cities today when it comes to handling visitors. Social media, the sharing economy, and changing tastes are all impacting city tourism in profound ways.
Antwerp's participatory budget
Antwerp has developed a unique approach to participatory budgeting that gives citizens autonomy to spend public funds of €1.1m a year.
By focusing on face-to-face debate, consensus decision-making and hard-to-reach residents, the city has been able to activate individuals and connect communities to help realise bright ideas for enhancing all aspects of city life.
Utrecht opens the world's biggest bike parking garage
As a university town and major traffic hub in the Netherlands, bike usage in Utrecht is incredibly high. Yet keeping the two-wheeled vehicles at its main station has become a problem.
An ocean full of bikes enveloping the square in front of the station has become a common sight. Finding bikes again after depositing has become a problem, whilst they are also regularly targeted by thieves. That is all set to change, however; the city has just opened the world's largest parking garage for bikes.
Chinese city starts work on world’s biggest urban cycle network
Chengdu aims to provide 17,000km of protected bicycle lanes as part of plans to tackle pollution and traffic congestion
Chengdu has started the construction of the world’s longest urban cycle lane network with a total length reaching 17,000km.
Work began on Saturday and the city government plans to finish the project in less than a decade, the Chengdu Evening News reported on Monday.
Further archived news available on request from: Kate More