20/2/2017 - Biotopes help Copenhagen plan for a rainy day

20/2/2017 - Smart cities need more industry partnerships, less gadget worship

20/2/2017 - Will States Stop Cities From Combating Climate Change?

19/2/2017 - Densification beyond the city centre

19/2/2017 - Lyon to cut pollution by removing motorway

19/2/2017 - A Natural Solution to Address Pollution and Heat in Cities

18/2/2017 - Migration and development, cities as places of inclusion

18/2/2017 - EcoMobility World Festival

18/2/2017 - Global Rise of Cities Poses Challenge to Sustainable Urban Development

17/2/2017 - Information Systems and Smarter Cities

17/2/2017 - The Swedish-Inspired Way American Cities Are Trying to End Pedestrian Deaths

17/2/2017 - Urban Mining – recovering materials in metropolitan regions

16/2/2017 - EU cities ‘must better exploit new tech to become smarter’

16/2/2017 - Autonomous Delivery Robots Take Off in California

16/2/2017 - New Urban Agenda looks at how to house people flooding into cities

15/2/2017 - More cycling, less car traffic in Vienna

15/2/2017 - Smart Investments Make Smart Cities

15/2/2017 - The Fab City movement

14/2/2017 - Keys to the Smart City

14/2/2017 - Building greener cities: nine benefits of urban trees

14/2/2017 - Long-term investments: Barriers and opportunities for regions and cities

13/2/2017 - People Power Behind Mexico City’s New Constitution

13/2/2017 - High-Density Cities Hold the Key to Transforming Economic Geography

13/2/2017 - Regional/national workshops on C-ITS and cities

12/2/2017 - Essen becomes European Green Capital 2017

12/2/2017 - Want a SUMP in your city but don’t have the expertise or tools?

12/2/2017 - Walking Bus and Bike Train to Promote Sustainable Mobility

11/2/2017 - EVIDENCE final workshop reveals economic impact of sustainable urban mobility

11/2/2017 - CEMR nominates 4 towns and regions to take part in Urban Agenda partnerships

11/2/2017 - City Action Plans for Nearly Zero-Energy Renovation

10/2/2017 - Urban Transportation’s Multimodal Future

10/2/2017 - A roadmap for local and regional governments to contribute to SDGs

10/2/2017 - Why should cities invest in public parks?

9/2/2017 - First transformative actions on the new Sustainable Cities Platform

9/2/2017 - Small cities unprepared for population flood

9/2/2017 - New Adaptation Services Offerings for Cities

8/2/2017 - Fitting hot and cold climates into the “envelope”

8/2/2017 - Gentrification Has Virtually No Effect on Homeowners

8/2/2017 - Should “Urbanization” Drive the Location Decision?

8/2/2017 - Why Big Data Is a Big Deal for Cities

7/2/2017 - Smart Growth Fixes for Climate Adaptation and Resilience

7/2/2017 - First utility cyber attack will happen this year

7/2/2017 - FREVUE Final Conference on 21 June 2017: Save the date!

6/2/2017 - How a design competition changed the US approach to disaster response

6/2/2017 - The International New Town Day 2017

6/2/2017 - Can cities create innovation hubs that work for the entire economy?

5/2/2017 - Toronto's test case for public-private gentrification

5/2/2017 - Need quick public buy-in on climate action? Think urban heat islands

5/2/2017 - Compare City Grids With This Street Network Tool

4/2/2017 - UCLG Culture Summit in Jeju: Online registrations are now open

4/2/2017 - Green Infrastructure: Best Practices for Cities

4/2/2017 - World’s first ‘bike mayor’ to take on cycling in New York

3/2/2017 - Paris launches driverless bus service to tackle pollution and congestion

3/2/2017 - Mobility4EU survey: take part of the consultation process for the future of mobility in Europe

3/2/2017 - Why Urban Parks Are Essential Infrastructure

3/2/2017 - Health in Public Spaces: The challenge of inactive citizens for cities

2/2/2017 - Barcelona Needs Swift Action Against Pollution

2/2/2017 - The Key To Healthier Living Might Be Better Urban Planning

2/2/2017 - In California, the Future Is Still Electric

2/2/2017 - Strategic Directions: Smart City/Smart Utility Report

1/2/2017 - How Does Urban Farming Influence City Life?

1/2/2017 - Tinder for cities: how tech is making urban planning more inclusive

1/2/2017 - We Need Good Cities, Not Just Smart Cities

1/2/2017 - Amsterdam’s council wants rich tourists

 

 

Biotopes help Copenhagen plan for a rainy day


Copenhagen-based design practice SLA wins the Nordic Built Cities Challenge Award for a landscape proposal that uses natural processes to defend cities against natural disasters.
As the world’s weather patterns appear ever more unpredictable and subject to extremes, the search is on for urban design solutions to help protect cities from the resulting floods and heatwaves. Driven as much by local municipalities as by national governments, a number of design initiatives, workshops and competitions have emerged around the world, promoting urban environments that are resilient and climate adaptive. A good example is the Nordic Built Cities Challenge.
http://thegreencity.com/biotopes-help-copenhagen-plan-for-a-rainy-day/

Smart cities need more industry partnerships, less gadget worship


While a dizzying array of connected gadgetry is vying for room on city leaders’ wish lists, industry experts advise less focus on the technology itself and more on industry partnerships that can build out smart cities.
At the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors held in Washington, D.C., Joanne Hovis, president of Maryland-based IT consultancy CTC Technology & Energy, said that expanding broadband internet access is vital for turbocharging a smart city’s capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship.
http://readwrite.com/2017/02/04/cities-need-industry-partnerships-spur-smart-city-success-cl4/

Will States Stop Cities From Combating Climate Change?


With Republicans in full control in half the states, climate change skeptics have more power to target environmental programs.
If there is one word to describe Arizona’s 2016 legislative session, that word is “preemption.” Last year, state lawmakers stripped cities and counties of the authority to regulate everything from backyard chickens and dog breeders to Airbnb and other home-sharing services. Collectively, legislators introduced more than a dozen bills preempting local control. In March, the state passed the mother of all local preemption bills, a law that withholds shared revenue if a town, city or county passes a regulation that “violates state law or the constitution of Arizona.”
http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-climate-change-states-cities-preemption.html

Densification beyond the city centre


Densification of urban areas beyond the core of the cities is not an easy task but it is a challenge worth taking to fight against urban sprawl.. City centres, which are usually already dense and mostly regenerated, are surronded by transitional belts (sometimes called fringe areas) which have diverse urban functions with lower density, offering in principle good opportunities for densifying interventions towards the aim of compact city development. However, the task is not easy at all: physical interventions to achieve environmental benefits have high risks of negative social externalities; moreover they require substantial financial means in a period when the public sector suffers from the consequences of the financial crisis. 
http://urbact.eu/densification-beyond-city-centre-urban-transformation-against-sprawl

Lyon to cut pollution by removing motorway


The city of Lyon is to turn a section of a motorway that cuts through its centre into a pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly boulevard to encourage sustainable mobility and cut pollution.
Lyon recently received state approval to decommission the A6-A7 motorway that runs through the centre and will begin a number of developments to help it reduce congestion in the city.
http://www.eltis.org/discover/news/lyon-cut-pollution-removing-motorway-france

A Natural Solution to Address Pollution and Heat in Cities


Can nature help cities address the twin problems of air that is too dirty or too hot? Based on a new report released by The Nature Conservancy – in collaboration with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group – the answer appears to be a qualified “yes.”
http://thegreencity.com/planting-healthy-air-a-natural-solution-to-address-pollution-and-heat-in-cities/

Migration and development, cities as places of inclusion


There are a wide range of local inclusion policies, but all are the result of the proximity of local institutions to the communities they serve, including the migrant population. The cities and towns of UCLG, meeting on the 2nd of February in Barcelona for a dialogue on migrations, development, diversity and social cohesion, express our solidarity with the cities that are meeting the needs of immigrant and refugee populations, often going beyond their official responsibilities to ensure access to basic services and to guarantee human rights.
https://www.uclg.org/en/media/news/migration-and-development-cities-places-inclusion

EcoMobility World Festival 


The EcoMobility World Festival series is a concept initiated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI). The EcoMobility World Festival shows the world that a committed and visionary city leadership can create people friendly ecomobile lifestyle in a city area. This year, we will bring the exciting Festival to Kaohsiung City, Chinese Taipei on 1 - 31 October 2017. The EcoMobility World Congress will take place on 2 - 5 October 2017.
http://www.ecomobilityfestival.org/

Global Rise of Cities Poses Challenge to Sustainable Urban Development


“Cities are evolving faster than ever and encountering unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic and social challenges. Sustainable urban development is the current global priority; however, most cities lack the capacity and resources to ensure that the city develops in a sustainable manner. Multistakeholder cooperation is essential to fill this gap and build transformation strategies to better shape urbanization outcomes and lead cities towards growth, well-being and prosperity for all,” said Alice Charles, Community Lead, Infrastructure and Urban Development, World Economic Forum.
http://moderndiplomacy.eu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=2214%3Aglobal-rise-of-cities-poses-challenge-to-sustainable-urban-development&Itemid=151#.WJX_H1ltn9I.twitter

Information Systems and Smarter Cities


Smart city initiatives around the global seek to leverage information technology to preserve and improve quality of urban life. This paper presents first insights from interviews with municipal stakeholders from European cities that currently undergo smart city transformations. Building upon their responses, an initial framework is developed for information systems research within a smart city context and outline research implications for the discipline.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/02/06/information-systems-smarter-cities-towards-integrative-framework-research-agenda-discipline/

The Swedish-Inspired Way American Cities Are Trying to End Pedestrian Deaths


As dozens of cities try to emulate Sweden's success, they're learning what works and what doesn't.
Shirley Gonzales made no secret of her views on transportation when she ran for the San Antonio City Council in 2013. She laid them out in her answer to a questionnaire: “pedestrians first, followed by cycling, public transportation and private automobiles, in that order.” Gonzales promoted this agenda even though she was running in a city where fewer than 2 percent of commuters walk to work.
http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-pedestrian-deaths-vision-zero-sweden.html

Urban Mining – recovering materials in metropolitan regions


To what extent can cities be used as ‘anthropogenic material stocks’? How can international cooperation contribute? In the following interview, Professor Liselotte Schebek from Darmstadt’s Technical University and Uwe Becker, who manages a GIZ-run project in India, share their views on these issues.
http://www.urbanet.info/urban-mining-materials-metropolitan-regions/

EU cities ‘must better exploit new tech to become smarter’


The EU must become smarter by strengthening co-operation and better exploiting new technologies if it is to meet its climate change commitments and drive green growth.
That was the shared message at a conference in Brussels by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR).
CoR President Markku Markkula believes rolling out the Energy Union and creating smarter cities and regions would demonstrate the benefits the EU brings to its citizens.
https://www.energylivenews.com/2017/02/07/eu-cities-must-better-exploit-new-tech-to-become-smarter/

Autonomous Delivery Robots Take Off in California


Autonomous delivery robots, using cameras, GPS, and radar to sense their urban environment and navigate through it, will soon be introduced in a number of cities nation-wide. Developed by the London-based company, Starship Technologies, they will first be deployed in Washington, D.C. and in Redwood City, California, operated by delivery firms Postmates and DoorDash. Another firm, TeleRetail, plans to test its sidewalk robots in Washington and other cities, including Mountain View, California, this year. The robots are expected to provide an  inexpensive, high-tech, electricity-driven alternative to car-driven shopping trips and delivery trucks that contribute to traffic congestion and pollution.
http://smartcitiesconnect.org/autonomous-delivery-robots-take-off-in-california/

New Urban Agenda looks at how to house people flooding into cities


The Asian Development Bank Institute explains the New Urban Agenda and the options for housing as more people move into cities.
Already more than half of the world population lives in urban areas and the trend to move to cities is expected to continue, until by 2050, the United Nations expects that two-thirds of the people in the world world population will live in cities.
Urbanization will therefore be a major trend shaping societies and economies across the world for the decades to come, especially in Asia and Africa which are both latecomers in terms of urbanization. The key question is how we can achieve sustainable urban development.
http://www.atimes.com/article/new-urban-agenda-looks-house-people-flooding-cities//

More cycling, less car traffic in Vienna


The number of cars on Vienna's roads has fallen, while cycling has risen – that's according to new figures from the Austrian capital's transport operator, Wiener Linien.
An analysis of traffic counts for motor vehicles in the period from 2010 to 2015 shows a drop in car traffic by 6.3 per cent across the city.
In urban areas the decline was particularly high with 11.2 per cent.
http://www.eltis.org/discover/news/more-cycling-less-car-traffic-vienna-austria

Smart Investments Make Smart Cities


Most cities started their journey toward becoming smart with government digitization efforts that focused on benefiting constituents. But with the advent of the Internet of Things and sensor technology, as well as machine learning and advanced analytics, truly smart cities are being born. While evolving to help constituents in new ways, they are also blurring the traditional boundaries between citizens, government, and private industry. Interactions between intelligent assets, commercial entities servicing the community and people have turned business models upside down and changed the way we live.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/02/03/smart-investments-make-smart-cities/

The Fab City movement


Creating locally productive and globally connected self-sufficient cities

More than two hundred years since the Industrial Revolution, global urbanisation keeps accelerating. United Nations projections indicate that 75% of the human population will be living in cities by 2050. Newly created cities and the urbanisation process in rural areas replicates a lifestyle based on consumerism and the linear economy, causing destructive social and economic impact while compromising the ecological system of the planet.
https://citiesintransition.eu/publication/the-fab-city-movement

Keys to the Smart City


The Keys to the Smart City report shows how mobile operators are playing a vital role in the development of smart cities. Discover how secure, smart city solutions are being deployed by Mobile Network Operators all over the world and how governments can benefit from partnering with operators on smart city solutions. 
http://www.gsma.com/connectedliving/keys-smart-city/

Building greener cities: nine benefits of urban trees


For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities. By 2050, this number is expected to increase to 66 percent. The shift from rural to urban areas, mainly in Africa and Asia, is due to poverty and related socio-economic factors.
For the most part, the rapid expansion of cities takes place without any land use planning strategy and the resulting human pressure has highly damaging effects on forests, landscapes, as well as green areas in and around cities. The environmental impacts of urbanization are often intensified by climate change and include increased pollution, decreased availability of food and resources, as well as increased poverty and frequency of extreme climatic events.
http://thegreencity.com/building-greener-cities-nine-benefits-of-urban-trees/

Long-term investments: Barriers and opportunities for regions and cities


08 March 2017 European Parliament, Brussels
This event will try and address these questions and will include presentations on key issues, followed by a debate featuring EU institutions, city politicians and financial experts on the current Eurostat rules and their impact on regional and local public investments in several sectors such as transport, energy efficiency and waste management.
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicevents/422/61/Long-term-investments-Barriers-and-opportunities-for-regions-and-cities

People Power Behind Mexico City’s New Constitution


Mexico City’s new constitution, Carta Magna, first emerged from a Change.org petition.
When you think about people drafting a constitution, it might conjure a bunch of white statesmen in powdered wigs. Francisco Fontano Patán doesn’t fit that description.
Last year, the 29-year-old travel agent read in the newspaper that Mexico City was drafting its first constitution and accepting ideas from everyday citizens like him. Anyone could write a petition via the online platform Change.org. If the idea garnered enough signatures, a drafting committee appointed by Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera would meet with the petitioners to consider the proposal.
http://www.citylab.com/politics/2017/02/the-people-power-behind-mexico-citys-new-constitution/515637/

High-Density Cities Hold the Key to Transforming Economic Geography


Location is one of the most important determinants of welfare. Someone who moves from a village of 5,000 to a city of 5 million can expect to see, on average, a wage increase of 25 percent. New insights into economic geography—including the drivers of urbanization and the payoff from transportation investments—are helping policy makers better manage this process.
“Not every place develops at the same rate,” said Director of Research Asli Demirguc-Kunt at a recent Policy Research Talk on the topic of economic geography. “Cities pull ahead of the countryside. And different provinces develop at different rates.”
http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2017/01/26/high-density-cities-hold-the-key-to-transforming-economic-geography

Regional/national workshops on C-ITS and cities


As the CIMEC project enters its final strait, a number of events are being planned in order to provide an opportunity for city authorities and other urban ITS stakeholders to share their views on the main findings to date and to express views on what should happen next at local, national and European level.
A series of national/regional workshops around European are being conducted in February and March to provide an opportunity for reviewing the CIMEC roadmap on the deployment of C-ITS in cities as well as for sharing information on any local/national deployment activities
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1323/45/Regional-national-workshops-on-C-ITS-and-cities

Essen becomes European Green Capital 2017


The town of Essen has officially become the European Green Capital 2017, taking over from Ljubljana.


The European Green Capital Award rewards efforts and commitment to improving the urban environment, boosting awareness of the need for environmental change at the city level.
http://www.eltis.org/discover/news/essen-becomes-european-green-capital-2017-germany

Want a SUMP in your city but don’t have the expertise or tools?


Take a short online survey to help us develop for you tailored training programmes about how to design a sound Sustainable Urban Transport Plan. Deadline is 28 February 2017, and you have a chance to win up to EUR600 and travel to the 4th SUMP Conference in Dubroving this March.
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1324/45/Want-a-SUMP-in-your-city-but-don-t-have-the-expertise-or-tools

Walking Bus and Bike Train to Promote Sustainable Mobility


As the traffic lights change to green, a long line of children on their bikes accompanied by adults wearing reflective safety vests crosses the road. It is the bike train. A form of accompanied school travel that promotes sustainable mobility, daily exercise, and trains children to become independent and capable road users.
http://www.blog.urbact.eu/2017/01/walking-bus-and-bike-train-to-promote-sustainable-mobility/

EVIDENCE final workshop reveals economic impact of sustainable urban mobility


The EVIDENCE project investigated economic evidence for sustainable urban mobility measures.The final workshop on 23 February in Brussels also reveals, how such evidence has been used in cities.
The final workshop will present the findings and recommendations from the project, look at how the evidence has been used in cities and campaigns, and investigate the barriers to integration of sustainable mobility. It will finish with a look at the gaps in the evidence, new forms of mobility to be investigated and how best to implement the evidence.
http://www.evidence-project.eu/

CEMR nominates 4 towns and regions to take part in Urban Agenda partnerships


CEMR has nominated four urban areas for each partnership of the urban agenda: the cities of Helsingborg (Sweden) for digital transition, Weinheim (Germany) for jobs & skills, Kaunas (Lithuania) for the circular economy, and the region of Skåne (Sweden) with the city of Karlsruhe (Germany) as coordinator for urban mobility.
The four partnerships of the Urban Agenda for the EU will kick off end of February. The CEMR secretariat will be present for each one of them, to allow our members to contribute. Want to dig deeper? 
Visit urbanagendaforthe.eu.

City Action Plans for Nearly Zero-Energy Renovation


The EU project NeZeR has created a new tool to accelerate the renovation process of Nearly Zero-Energy buildings in European cities.
The NeZeR project, which has been co-funded by the Intelligent Energy-Europe programme, aims to foster the implementation of the European Performance of Buildings Directive by helping cities make their building stock more efficient, sustainable and fit for the use of renewable energy sources.
http://www.eumayors.eu/news_en.html?id_news=794

Urban Transportation’s Multimodal Future


Networked alternatives for getting around are about to redefine our cities as much as the horseless carriage did a century ago.
Second perhaps only to waterways, road systems have had the greatest impact on the design and physical structure of our cities. The car-centric redesign of the American city that began in the early 20th century was embraced with open arms by urban planners and citizens alike. Yet now, in the early 21st century, its limitations are clear. There is a rapidly growing awareness that simply expanding our roadways won't end congestion and gridlock.
http://www.governing.com/blogs/view/gov-urban-transportation-multi-modal-future.html

A roadmap for local and regional governments to contribute to SDGs


As the international community enters a phase of consistent commitment to the implementation of the SDGs, the experience of the MDGs offers a number of lessons to be learned for the close future. The UNDP report provides sub-national governments, local authorities and local communities with significant recommendations and –at the same time – strong responsibilities. It identifies the local level as a game-changer in the process of SDG implementation and localization, and welcomes local actors at all levels of governance to consider the heritage, the shortcomings and, most importantly, the successes of the MDG campaign to guide future action.
https://www.uclg.org/en/media/news/mdgs-sdgs-roadmap-local-and-regional-governments-contribute

Why should cities invest in public parks?


Cities are Brazil’s economic powerhouse—they produce almost 90% of the GDP and are the major drivers of the country’s growth and development. Rapid and unplanned urbanization, however, has led to issues such as concentrated poverty, insufficient access to basic services, and a lack of quality public spaces. Public spaces, such as parks, help enhance livability, while also building up resilience to natural disasters, reducing pollution, and enabling inclusive growth.
http://blogs.worldbank.org/sustainablecities/why-should-cities-invest-public-parks

First transformative actions on the new Sustainable Cities Platform


We are pleased to announce that the new Sustainable Cities Platform, launched at the Habitat III Conference in Quito, is now showcasing the transformative actions being carried out by cities and regions that have endorsed the Basque Declaration. The Sustainable Cities Platform is supported by ICLEI, the Basque Country and the City of Aalborg.
The platform’s Transformative Action Database aims to inspire others with stories of transformation submitted by cities and organisations. Visit the platform and get inspired, or inspire others by submitting your own Transformative Actions 
http://www.sustainablecities.eu/

Small cities unprepared for population flood


As the world's giant cities fill up, the brunt of migration to urban areas will fall on smaller cities that are not ready to deal with big influxes of people, a specialist on Latin America's cities has warned.
“The cities that are set to grow are those that are not prepared to grow - the medium and small-sized ones,” said Eugene Zapata Garesche, Latin America and Caribbean director for the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) initiative.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-latam-cities-population-resilience-idUSKBN1571JA

New Adaptation Services Offerings for Cities


Communities across the U.S. are facing climate change impacts in the here and now that threaten critical infrastructure, livelihoods, and economic development. As more and more local governments are seeking resources and guidance to adapt to climate impacts already affecting their communities, we see that human-centered design processes lead to better outcomes.
In response to this growing necessity and interest from our members, ICLEI USA now offers a host of climate adaptation and resiliency services, including sector-specific training for local government capacity building, adaptation planning, inclusionary stakeholder engagement and activities that connect communities to climate science. Whether your local government plans to hire a consulting firm to prepare your climate adaptation plan or relies on internal resources, ICLEI’s assistance will yield a better result.
http://icleiusa.org/new-adaptation-services-offerings-for-cities/

Fitting hot and cold climates into the “envelope”

The “energy eater” European building stock is aiming for a greener future. Researchers are testing an “envelope” system combining active and passive technologies, fitted over the existing façade, to make buildings more efficient. But will it work efficiently under different temperatures, both in northern and southern Europe?
http://www.bresaer.eu/fitting-hot-cold-climates-envelope/

Gentrification Has Virtually No Effect on Homeowners


Gentrification is the hottest of hot-button urban issues. Many activists and critics see it as essentially a process by which more affluent and educated white newcomers displace poorer, working-class black residents. But those who have studied the subject closely, like Columbia University urban planner Lance Freeman, believe that the issue of displacement is more myth than reality. In fact, Freeman’s detailed empirical research has found that the probability of a family being displaced by gentrification in New York City was a mere 1.3 percent.
http://www.citylab.com/housing/2017/01/gentrification-hurts-renters-more-than-homeowners/510074/

Should “Urbanization” Drive the Location Decision?


Companies have been following the millennial talent pipeline to the urban locales this population cohort prefers, but as this group ages their lifestyle preferences — and your company’s location choices — may change.
http://www.areadevelopment.com/skilled-workforce-STEM/December-2017/urbanization-driving-location-decision-amid-labor-shortage.shtml

Why Big Data Is a Big Deal for Cities


As a new study shows, cities are moving rapidly to harness it and put it to work to make better decisions.
We hear a lot about "big data" and its potential value to government. But is it really fulfilling the high expectations that advocates have assigned to it? Is it really producing better public-sector decisions? It may be years before we have definitive answers to those questions, but new research suggests that it's worth paying a lot of attention to.
http://www.governing.com/blogs/bfc/col-cities-big-data-better-decisions.html

Smart Growth Fixes for Climate Adaptation and Resilience


EPA’s new publication, Smart Growth Fixes for Climate Adaptation and Resilience: Changing Land Use and Building Codes to Prepare for Climate Change, can help local governments find strategies to prepare for climate change impacts while achieving other environmental, economic, health, and social benefits.
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-01/documents/smart_growth_fixes_climate_adaptation_resilience.pdf

First utility cyber attack will happen this year


The first reported instance of a cyber attack on a utilities provider will happen this year.
That’s according to Perry Stoneman, Global Head of Utilities at consulting firm Capgemini, who told ELN it would likely take the form of a ransomware attack.
This is when computer systems are hacked by criminals who then demand a sum of money to avoid a major city having its power cut off.
Mr Stoneman believes the hackers would want their attack to be “visible, attention-catching and newsworthy” – turning the lights out is just that.
https://www.energylivenews.com/2017/01/25/first-utility-cyber-attack-will-happen-this-year/

FREVUE Final Conference on 21 June 2017: Save the date!


After more than four years of exposing Electric Freight Vehicles to the day-to-day rigours of urban logistics in eight of Europe’s largest cities, the FREVUE partners would like to share with you project results and their thoughts for the future deployment of Electric Freight Vehicles in Europe.
http://www.frevue.eu

How a design competition changed the US approach to disaster response


Ten years ago, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg released a plan to create what he called “the first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city”. The blueprint, known as PlaNYC and released on Earth Day, outlined more than 100 projects and policies to create that sustainable city by 2030.
It set a precedent for local action on climate change; cities around the world began drafting their own sustainability plans. But then in October 2012, it got a harsh reality check.
“We would talk about sea-level rise and how it was this thing that would happen in the future,” says Amy Chester, part of the team that created PlaNYC. “Never once in that office did we imagine a storm like Hurricane Sandy could hit New York.”
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/18/rebuild-by-design-competition-disaster-respone-climate-change

The International New Town Day 2017 


will be held on June 28, 2017 in Milton Keynes (UK), a New Town celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Organized in cooperation with the local municipality and the Academy of Urbanism, this second edition will reflect on New Towns as Cities of Comings and Goings with an impressive number of UK, European and other international speakers.
The program is open to proposals and contributions. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us to discuss your possible involvement. 
http://www.newtowninstitute.org/

Can cities create innovation hubs that work for the entire economy?


Silicon Valley may still be the center of today’s tech world, but if you want to see the future of American innovation, take a trip to Durham, North Carolina. In a restored factory complex near downtown, entrepreneurs are building companies inside warehouses where generations of workers once manufactured and packaged cigarettes.
The 13-year-old American Tobacco Historic District, a 1 million-square-foot mixed-use hub of apartments, restaurants, and businesses has provided a massive boost to Durham’s rebounding downtown. But much of the action, in terms of new business development, happens in a basement. American Underground, a subterranean startup hub situated underneath one of the turn-of-the-century buildings, has become an anchor in the city’s tech resurgence, attracting more than $50 million in venture funding in the last two years
http://www.curbed.com/2017/1/10/14214842/startup-economic-development-innovation-cities-incubator

Toronto's test case for public-private gentrification


Once notorious for bedbugs and crime, the Regent Park social housing development has been transformed with a $1bn revitalisation – and more than a few luxury apartments. But has it managed to avoid social cleansing?
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/dec/08/inside-regent-park-torontos-test-case-for-public-private-gentrification

Need quick public buy-in on climate action? Think urban heat islands


As a strategy, it’s local, less controversial and far more manageable, with actionable steps that give quick, tangible feedback while simultaneously addressing climate change.
Climate change is arguably the biggest challenge facing humanity. It is categorically and qualitatively different from the long list of chronic troubles that civilization has always faced, from poverty and disease to crime and war. Importantly, cities are no longer seen as the problem, as they were a half century ago, before their robust renewal and explosive growth. Today we are in the midst of a golden age for cities — and their resurgence offers some timely optimism for our ability to respond positively to climate change.
http://citiscope.org/commentary/2017/01/need-quick-public-buy-climate-action-think-urban-heat-islands

Compare City Grids With This Street Network Tool


Long blocks, in their nature, thwart the potential advantages that cities offer to incubation, experimentation, and many small or special enterprises,” Jane Jacobs wrote in “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” Short blocks and frequent streets, however, are valuable, she said, because “of the fabric of intricate cross-use that they permit among the users of a city neighborhood.”
The concept is, of course, deeply familiar to planners and architects and city lovers at this point. But it’s not necessarily an intuitive one. Jacobs herself included diagrams in the short blocks chapter to help illustrate her argument to readers.
https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/city-street-grid-maps-visualize-density

UCLG Culture Summit in Jeju: Online registrations are now open


The second UCLG Culture Summit will be hosted by the Province of Jeju (Republic of Korea) from 10-13 May 2017. The UCLG Culture Summit is the main meeting point at global level for cities, local governments and other stakeholders that are committed to the effective implementation of policies and programmes on culture and sustainability.
https://www.uclg.org/en/media/news/uclg-culture-summit-jeju-online-registrations-are-now-open

Green Infrastructure: Best Practices for Cities


Next time you take a walk around your city, look around. Is there green infrastructure near you? If not, there might be soon! Green infrastructure is becoming a more widely adopted strategy for addressing city challenges and goals.
In addition to taking root in climate action planning, cities are weaving green infrastructure into sustainability efforts and throughout myriad other initiatives. Recent articles on city climate action planning and fostering equity highlighted trends and best practices.
http://www.theenergycollective.com/usgbc/2396197/green-infrastructure-best-practices-for-cities-2

World’s first ‘bike mayor’ to take on cycling in New York


The world’s first “bike mayor” is taking her groundbreaking program from Amsterdam to New York — and wants to rebuild Manhattan around cycling.
Anna Luten has learned her craft in a city that has around a million bicycles for 1.1 million inhabitants, and where two thirds of journeys are made by bike.
“New York is such a different city,” she told Apolitical. “In Amsterdam, everyone already knows how to cycle, a lot of people use the bicycle to go to their work, and it’s just a really easy way to get around the city. But it’s also because the whole infrastructure is based around cyclists. In New York, it isn’t. The traffic is still based around cars.”
http://citiscope.org/partner/2017/worlds-first-bike-mayor-take-cycling-new-york

Paris launches driverless bus service to tackle pollution and congestion


On January 23rd, Paris  launched its first driverless electric shuttle bus service, aiming to curb congestion and pollution that many Parisians blame for a whole raft of health complaints.
The French capital has a serious pollution problem and numerous schemes have already been tried to cut smog levels, including shutting the Champs-Élysées thoroughfare to traffic once a month.
http://erticonetwork.com/paris-launches-driverless-bus-service-to-tackle-pollution-and-congestion/

Mobility4EU survey: take part of the consultation process for the future of mobility in Europe


The Mobility4EU project aims to develop a vision and action plan for mobility and transport in Europe in 2030. Its priority is to involve a wide range of stakeholders in this process by means  of a thorough consultation based on a Multi-Actor-Multi Criteria analysis.
http://www.polisnetwork.eu/publicnews/1319/45/Mobility4EU-survey-take-part-of-the-consultation-process-for-the-future-of-mobility-in-Europe

Why Urban Parks Are Essential Infrastructure


As we talk about rebuilding our public works, we need to remember that parks are as important to our cities as roads and bridges.
The new presidential administration has signaled a strong desire to rebuild our infrastructure, especially in our cities. This is sparking a renewed and welcome national conversation on how to make it happen. But along with roads, rails, bridges and water systems, let's remember the profound role that city parks play as a necessary ingredient in those plans. Urban parks are not luxuries; they are essential infrastructure for 21st century cities.
http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/voices/col-urban-parks-essential-infrastructure.html

Health in Public Spaces: The challenge of inactive citizens for cities


One of the main challenges for cities in the coming decade is how to make their citizens become physically active again.
Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles have become a leading risk factor for health. Cities are affected by the dramatic increase in the frequency of chronic diseases related to physical inactivity amongst their citizens. These chronicle diseases like coronary heart and respiratory diseases, colon cancer and obesity are resulting in high and early morbidity, loneliness and social exclusion. Collectively physical inactivity has substantial consequences for direct health-care costs but also causes high indirect costs due to increased periods of sick leave, work disabilities and daily care. With decentralising tendencies of tasks like (un)employment, social care and basic health care from national levels to local levels, cities have become a key player in keeping their citizens active.
http://urbact.eu/health-public-spaces-challenge-inactive-citizens-cities

Barcelona Needs Swift Action Against Pollution


The capital of Catalunya is suffering from persistent high pollution due to car density and the largest number of motorcycles of any European city. City administrators, while acknowledging the seriousness of the problem, have been unwilling to take any action that would upset drivers.
https://citiesofthefuture.eu/barcelona-needs-swift-action-against-pollution-a957f66ae3cd#.j5wup73nw

The Key To Healthier Living Might Be Better Urban Planning


When it comes to combating health problems like obesity or diabetes, most people think it’s the responsibility of doctors and nutritionists. But urban planners, architects and engineers play a role as well. The way a city or a building is planned can encourage people to walk more and be healthier in their everyday lives.
http://keranews.org/post/key-healthier-living-north-texas-might-be-better-urban-planning

In California, the Future Is Still Electric


At every level, the state is ramping up for widespread electric vehicle adoption. And it’s ready to throw down with President Trump.
No question about it: The next four years will darken U.S. action on climate change.
In a meeting yesterday with automakers where he promised to roll back environmental regulations, President Donald Trump declared, “I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist.” Here is that extent: The man himself has shown weak signs of backpedaling on his climate denialism. He has appointed a cabinet full of unapologetically pro-oil leaders: The former chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, is the designated Secretary of the State. Scott Pruitt, the climate-denying Oklahoma attorney general who built his career suing the EPA over emissions-reduction standards and clean-energy targets, is now set to lead that very agency. And this week, the the administration leveled a blanket freeze on all EPA grants and contracts—as well as a media gag.
But momentum behind electric vehicles—one of the most promising avatars of emission-reduction efforts—is building. That’s especially true in California, which is rapidly forging plans to battle the federal administration on most conceivable issues—particularly climate. 
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2017/01/in-california-the-future-is-still-electric/514199/

Strategic Directions: Smart City/Smart Utility Report


The Black & Veatch 2017 Strategic Directions: Smart City/Smart Utility Report measures the progress made by communities and utilities on the path toward smarter cities. The report also discusses potential hurdles that may impede success.
http://www.urenio.org/2017/01/25/2017-strategic-directions-smart-citysmart-utility-report/

How Does Urban Farming Influence City Life?


With funds from the US Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation, an interdisciplinary team of Arizona State University researchers is working to create a model that will examine the effects of urban farming on various aspects of city life and its environment. The planning model to be created will incorporate such factors as air pollution, land cover, water use, and energy sources.
The team, led by Dr. Alex Mahalov, includes mathematicians and experts in agribusiness, geography, and sustainability. “This is an integrated project; it’s not just about agriculture. It’s about food, energy and water,” stated Mahalov, the lead principal investigator.
http://smartcitiesconnect.org/how-does-urban-farming-influence-city-life/

Tinder for cities: how tech is making urban planning more inclusive


Having a say in what your city or neighbourhood should be like is often complicated, time-consuming and full of confusing jargon. A new wave of digital tools are trying to make the process transparent and interactive
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/24/tinder-cities-technology-making-urban-planning-interactive

We Need Good Cities, Not Just Smart Cities


Simply building IoT-based applications for a city is sufficient to improve a citizen’s quality of life, is not really building a smart city.
There is a lot of focus on the concept of ‘Smart Cities’ at the moment. The capacity for the Internet of Things (IoT) to power just about anything in a community, from the streetlights to the waste bins right through to cars and the roads themselves, and provide data in real time, means that we now have an unprecedented capacity to make our cities run with greater efficiency and productivity than ever before.
However, too often the benefits of Smart Cities are expected to be self-evident. The mistaken belief is that simply building IoT-based applications for a city is sufficient to improve a citizen’s quality of life. In our drive towards hyper-connected and ultra-efficient cities, there’s a real need to make sure that, rather than just building IoT into a community for the sake of it, we’re working towards each component of a smart city having real and measurable citizen outcomes.
http://www.zdnet.com/article/we-need-good-cities-not-just-smart-cities/

Amsterdam’s council  wants rich tourists


Amsterdam has a new resolution for 2017: care less. Between Christmas and the New Year – when everyone was still scrambling to work out which way was up and who shoved Uncle Richard’s homemade mince pies behind the radiator – the city council announced that it was upping the city’s tourist tax. This will reduce the number of cheap hostels in the city centre, while having little impact on the more expensive hotels.
http://www.citymetric.com/business/amsterdam-s-council-has-helpfully-explained-it-only-wants-rich-tourists-future-2657

 

 

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