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30/4/2015 - Where Growth Went: How Different Cities Answered America’s Urban Rebound

30/4/2015 - Garden cities: can green spaces bring health and happiness?

29/4/2015 - SMARTSPACES guide to using ICT-enabled energy efficiency services in buildings

29/4/2015 - ‘Smart Mobility Test Bed’ to accelerate the introduction of life-saving vehicle communications

29/4/2015 - Electric vehicles help cool cities, study shows

28/4/2015 - We’re Afraid They Might Kill Us: Gender Violence and Urban Design

28/4/2015 - Global Lead Cities Network on sustainable public procurement launched

28/4/2015 - Solutions Gateway now open to all cities

27/4/2015 - Engendering Sustainable Cities

27/4/2015 - Making the case for urban safety: public engagement informs new urban policy in South Africa

26/4/2015 - European Countries Lack Harmony on What Makes A Near Zero Energy Building

26/4/2015 - Cities, the Sharing Economy, and What's Next

25/4/2015 - Making the Case for Designing Active Cities

25/4/2015 - Can the internet of things save us from traffic jams?

24/4/2015 - Lessons From Cairo: How Small Scale Urban Initiatives can Improve a City

24/4/2015 - Where the White People Live

24/4/2015 - Tower Neighbourhood, Tower City

23/4/2015 - Conference on ‘sustainable mobility for everyone’

23/4/2015 - How One Weekend in Dallas Sparked a Movement for Urban Change

23/4/2015 - One Neighbor­hood, One Month, No Cars

22/4/2015 - Streetcar Revival Is Wavering in Some Cities

22/4/2015 - Urban Data goes open with launch of new portal

22/4/2015 - 100 Mayors adopt Seoul Declaration for sustainable cities

21/4/2015 - World Collaborative Mobility Congress to discuss sharing in transport

21/4/2015 - Why Parking Spaces Shouldn't Always Be Wasted on Cars

21/4/2015 - Welcoming a new post-2015 Pacific Urban Agenda

20/4/2015 - Viva Gentrification!

20/4/2015 - Stockholm reveals new '98% recyclable' metro trains

20/4/2015 - Buyers Want Energy Efficient Homes

19/4/2015 - Why Do Old Places Matter? Community

19/4/2015 - Third CIVITAS Activity Fund call now open

18/4/2015 - Smart ways to mobilise more efficient and effective long-term investment in city regions

18/4/2015 - Asia’s urban floods are manmade

17/4/2015 - What Can London Learn from & Teach LA Regarding Urban Transport/Mobility

17/4/2015 - British “New City” Chooses Driverless Cars Over Monorail

16/4/2015 - 2015 Polis Conference: Call for speakers open!

16/4/2015 - California cities required to slash water usage 25 percent

16/4/2015 - Habitat III: Exciting times ahead!

15/4/2015 - Shopping Malls Aren't Actually Dying

15/4/2015 - ETSC calls for PRAISE award applications

15/4/2015 - Fortaleza, Brazil shows why waste matters for sustainable urban development

14/4/2015 - The Four Phases of New Urbanism

14/4/2015 - Joining the Dots: Promoting Interculturalism Through Seed Funding and Strategic Engagement

14/4/2015 - China paves the way for a new definition of urban farming

13/4/2015 - European Commission publishes road safety statistics for 2014

13/4/2015 - Tram planned in Rome city centre

13/4/2015 - Book offers new take on China’s ghost cities

12/4/2015 - European Mayors Band Their Cities Together to Fight Climate Change

12/4/2015 - Some cities are still more unequal than others

11/4/2015 - Using Urban Observation to "Ghost-Bust" Cities

11/4/2015 - SUMP award recognises cities' efforts in monitoring and evaluation of transport planning

10/4/2015 - Is city life the future of sustainability?

10/4/2015 - Lausanne explores geothermal option for eco district

10/4/2015 - The Power of Play in the Public Square

9/4/2015 - Preventing food waste with a social purpose

9/4/2015 - Cities in motion index

9/4/2015 - Urban sprawl costs US economy more than $1 trillion per year

8/4/2015 - New ‘Tactical Urbanism’ Book Signals the Way to Equitable, Funded City Planning

8/4/2015 - What is the most private city in the world?

8/4/2015 - Combining horizontal and vertical integration

7/4/2015 - DIY Wayfinding Signs Are About to Go Mainstream

7/4/2015 - Local and regional authorities key partners in disaster risk reduction

7/4/2015 - Third edition of the Agora of Cities in Barcelona

6/4/2015 - They paved paradise, put up a parking lot …

6/4/2015 - Copenhagen to roll out new smart traffic system

6/4/2015 - Creating Spaces for Peace, Dialogue and Coexistence in Venezuelan Cities

5/4/2015 - Pioneering cities from across the globe approve new action plan to harness culture in sustainable development

5/4/2015 - ICLEI partners with new global program “Renewable Cities”

4/4/2015 - The Case for Converting Street Parking Into Bike Lanes

4/4/2015 - Urban Labs Innovation Challenge to focus on Chicago

3/4/2015 - New Platform Connects Designers Working in "Legacy" Cities

3/4/2015 - E-mobility recent events: presentations available!

3/4/2015 - Our cities must undergo a revolution for older people

2/4/2015 - Johannesburg dares to ban cars from CBD

2/4/2015 - Turning an Infamously Sexist City Into a Safe Place for Women

2/4/2015 - Drones Will Elevate Urban Design

2/4/2015 - Advanced streetlights provide cities with extra eyes

1/4/2015 - Citizens’ lustful tendencies in society

1/4/2015 - Mission Control: A History of the Urban Dashboard

1/4/2015 - Kick-off conference of the Global Parliament of Mayors

1/4/2015 - How are women changing our cities?

Where Growth Went: How Different Cities Answered America’s Urban Rebound

Understanding urban development decisions from the past two decades is crucial to understanding how urban areas and regions have grown. This review by Bike Portland, based upon a University of Virginia research study, provides a glimpse into different development patterns among a sample of U.S. cities by examining where housing development concentrated in 1990 and in 2012. What cities managed big economic gains without abandoning their central cities and what urban areas have seen next to zero growth in their central cities over this time period?


Garden cities: can green spaces bring health and happiness?

They’re healthier, more prosperous and safer but how can the benefits of a garden city be experienced by all its residents?
“A void south of Swanscombe.” That was this paper’s verdict on Ebbsfleet eight years ago. Things have picked up a little for the Thames estuary town since then. Springhead Park, described as a “modern reinvention of the traditional Kentish village”, has now gone up. A new high-speed rail line will also get you to central London in a fiendishly fast 19 minutes.
Even so, would you choose to live there? Beyond the neat cloisters of new builds, much is still brownfield scrub. As for entertainment, a trip to Bluewater shopping mall remains the week’s highlight. That could all change. Last year, the UK government unveiled plans to convert the town into a flagship garden city.


SMARTSPACES guide to using ICT-enabled energy efficiency services in buildings

The SMARTSPACES Guide for Replication explains how ICT can be used to improve energy efficiency in non-residential and residential buildings. 
Developed over five years, the guide is based on numerous projects including over 35 pilot sites. The content is updated continuously.
Users of the guide can follow the necessary phases or use the guide to gather the viewpoints of individual stakeholders. The ‘setting the scene’ section explains the technical basics and the different concepts in more detail, while ‘phases’ sets out the necessary steps for successful development, implementation and operation. The ‘stakeholders’ chapters provide content to relevant stakeholders and short pages are provided for specific problems.


‘Smart Mobility Test Bed’ to accelerate the introduction of life-saving vehicle communications

New NTU-NXP smart mobility test bed makes Singapore an innovation hub for secure connected cars and intelligent transport systems
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (Nasdaq: NXPI), technology leader in secure connected cars, today announced it signed an agreement with Singapore's Nanyang Technology University (NTU), ranked the world's top young university, to establish a living, real-world smart mobility test bed on the NTU campus. Supported by Singapore Economic Development Board, the joint initiative paves the way for Singapore's 'Smart Mobility 2030' vision, making the city-state a global innovation hub for intelligent transport systems. It is also an important step to accelerate the introduction of life-saving vehicle communications globally.


Electric vehicles help cool cities, study shows 

A study conducted by Michigan State University in the US and Hunan University in China suggests that electric vehicles can contribute to reducing temperatures in cities.
The research showed that electric vehicles produce significantly less heat than models with internal combustion engines; electric vehicles produce only 20 per cent of the heat generated by conventionally fuelled counterparts.
This in turn reduces the phenomenon of the urban heat island(link is external) effect, where temperatures in cities are noticeably higher than those in rural areas.


We’re Afraid They Might Kill Us: Gender Violence and Urban Design

This past weekend Tanya Carter was assaulted and stabbed while walking on a Chester Creek Trail while on her way to visit family. Sadly, horrific attacks like these are all too common in Anchorage—our city suffers some of the highest rates of violence against women and gender violence in the nation. We all know the statistics; 37 percent of Alaskan women have experienced sexual assault,  one in three American Indian women will be raped or sexually assaulted in her lifetime, Anchorage has the highest rate of violent crime statewide, Alaska has the highest rate of men killing women, and list goes on—yet nothing changes. We hear stories like this all the time; yet as a city we fail to adequately address the root causes.


Global Lead Cities Network on sustainable public procurement launched

Seoul Metropolitan Government and ICLEI have joined forces to establish a Global Lead Cities Network on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP). The aim is to create a worldwide network of leading cities that share and develop their capabilities to implement sustainable and innovation procurement, driving a transition to sustainable production and consumption. The network was launched at the ICLEI World Congress in Seoul (Republic of Korea) on 11 April 2015.
The network marks a recent growth in international interest and understanding of the importance of procurement in the fight against climate change. It has been set up to raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable and innovation procurement, and to help develop a supportive political framework. 
Procurement makes up a significant proportion of public expenditure. According to the United Nations Office for Project Services, an average of 15 percent of global gross domestic product is spent through public procurement systems each year, amounting to over $10 trillion. This level of purchasing power is what makes the transition to sustainable public procurement so powerful. Public authority spending has real potential to change the future, achieve significant value for organisations and provide tangible benefits to the environment and the well-being of our society.

For more information on the lead cities network contact the Global Director of ICLEI’s Sustainable Procurement Capacity Centre:


Solutions Gateway now open to all cities

The Solutions Gateway, an online platform on Low Emissions Urban Development for local governments, was publically launched at the ICLEI World Congress 2015 and is now available for use by all local governments, free of charge. 
This innovative resource, tailor-made for local governments, was developed to assist local governments in mainstreaming low emissions development into their urban plans, projects and processes. Through advanced guidance based on best practices and technologies, this one-stop-shop helps cities to avoid having to “reinvent the wheel”, while including a reality-check that helps cities take into account their local circumstances and context and prevent the risks of the “one-size fits all” mentality.


Engendering Sustainable Cities

A gender forum, hosted by UN-Habitat, and providing a platform for engaging, exchanging and deepening the knowledge base on gender and human settlements recently took place in the sidelines of the second Preparatory Committee for Habitat III.
Under the theme, Engendering Sustainable Cities the forum was led by Diane Dumashie, a mem-ber of UN-Habitat’s Advisory Group on Gender Issues (AGGI) and focused on current pressing issues of gender equality in human settlements.


Making the case for urban safety: public engagement informs new urban policy in South Africa 

The Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), South Africa's new national urban policy currently out for public consultation, envisions the country's cities and towns as liveable, safe and socially integrated urban areas, enabling residents to actively participate in urban life. It recognises that the high rates of violence and crime in South Africa's urban areas threaten this vision. Aimed at enhancing the IUDF's contribution to urban safety, the GIZ Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) programme facilitated a three-week public engagement process culminating in an expert consultation workshop. Logo SaferSpaces
Leading up to the workshop, social media via the online portal "SaferSpaces" raised awareness of the topic of urban safety amongst practitioners in South Africa.


European Countries Lack Harmony on What Makes A Near Zero Energy Building

A new report finds that many European countries still lack a definition of near zero energy buildings, and are not doing nearly enough to save their residents money and reduce carbon emissions. Where definitions exist, they are not very comparable between nations. But where definitions are legislated for, the market is driving improvements


Cities, the Sharing Economy, and What's Next

It is safe to say that the sharing economy is thriving - it is upending traditional industries, disrupting local regulatory environments, and serving as a benchmark for innovation and growth. This is all happening at once, and there is no status quo; while emerging models are developing, the relative novelty of this issue precludes long-term, tested best practices. Additionally, there is no "one-size-fits-all" regulatory framework that every locality can or should apply to the influx of new economic activity. One of the truly innovative aspects of cities is their ability to experiment and develop unique, locally driven solutions to new challenges.


Making the Case for Designing Active Cities

If you ever spent hours digging for scientific research supporting livable communities, this paper may prove handy. Active Living Research synthesized 418 findings from journal articles and other sources to document features related to physical activity, mental health, social, and environmental benefits.


Can the internet of things save us from traffic jams?

Experts have given the green light to a traffic light revolution – but we’re still some distance from a queuing-free future
Traffic is getting worse. It doesn’t just feel that way, the stats prove it: commuters in 2014 spent an average 66 more hours stuck in traffic than they did in 2013, according to navigation tech firm TomTom. So when internet of things technology is disrupting every part of our lives, when will traffic lights be rethought and rebuilt?
Well, the traffic light revolution is already underway. It is all part of the promise of connected and self-driving cars, which allow data about individual journeys, routes and vehicles to be centrally monitored, controlled and systematised.


Lessons From Cairo: How Small Scale Urban Initiatives can Improve a City

Cairo, like many cities, is deeply wounded by fragmentation and heterogeneity. It is a complex city with a broken public realm. And while policymakers use lack of money as an excuse for not making substantial improvements, money has no relation with innovation and creativity. Inexpensive, short-term actions can give people the confidence that something is taking place. 
Imagine a city as an urban envelope made up of floors, walls, roofs, and dwellers. How can these simple components, with limited capacity, make change?


Where the White People Live

How self-segregation and concentrated affluence became normal in America
Last summer, the Michigan town of Grosse Pointe Park erected a farmer's market in the middle of one of the few remaining streets that allowed cars to pass between the tony suburb and the urban Detroit neighborhoods at its border. It was the latest of many attempts by Grosse Pointe Park residents to close off roads and block traffic between what has become a predominantly white, affluent suburb, and its poorer, urban neighbor.  
There were protests about the border, and Grosse Pointe Park later said it would tear down the farmer's market and re-open the road, but the incident speaks volumes to the segregation that exists in Detroit, and the tensions that can grow as a result.


Tower Neighbourhood, Tower City

Mixed-use zoning opens doors to new opportunities for community, connection and commerce in Toronto’s tower cities
“Every season I have to convince the city that these are not businesses. We have to tell them that we are building communities and supporting local enterprise. If we don’t give them opportunities, how will these newcomers feel confident and integrate?” — Sabina Ali, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee
Sabina’s struggle with the City of Toronto may now be at an end. As of 2014, the new Residential Apartment Commercial (RAC) zone permits a number of small-scale commercial and community uses on highrise apartment sites. Mixed use zoning is more than a planning tool or an investment consideration.  For many newcomers, this means new opportunities for ventures that contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of their neighbourhoods.


Conference on ‘sustainable mobility for everyone’

ELTIS, the urban mobility observatory, invites you to a conference on ‘sustainable mobility for everyone’, to take place in Bucharest, on 16 and 17 June 2015.
Attendees will explore how the sustainable urban mobility plan concept can be adjusted to suit different city geographic contexts, scales and budgets; as well as approaches that can be taken to ensure mobility and accessibility is improved for everyone in society. Alongside this, planning technique sessions will provide practical guidance on specific aspects of urban mobility planning.


How One Weekend in Dallas Sparked a Movement for Urban Change

Vacant lots. Empty storefronts. Run down buildings, and scantly used parking lots. Overly wide streets for driving. This is a disheartening scene that can be found in almost every American city. And while many urban neighborhoods are thriving, too many others have not recovered from a half-century of systemic disinvestment. Bringing needed amenities to those – young and old – who have endured these conditions is hard to achieve because building rehabilitation costs are high and municipal policies and ordinances remain onerous and outdated. Yet, so many of these places have a strong social fabric, an interesting history, and possibly a bright future — and in Dallas, a group of artists and activists have shown us that you don’t need to wait for an angel investor or benevolent government agency to play the role of savior. Instead, the people that live in a neighborhood can jumpstart its revitalization in a single weekend, armed with nothing more than their energy, ideas and donated materials.



One Neighbor­hood, One Month, No Cars

The book Neighborhood in Motion: One Neighborhood, One Month, No Cars by Konrad Otto-Zimmermann and Yeonhee Park describes a unique urban experiment in the South Korean city Suwon, in which all cars were taken off the road for one month.
Neighborhood in Motion: One Neighborhood, One Month, No CarsNeighborhood in Motion shows how a one-month car-free festival in a neighborhood affects the urban spaces and the mindsets and lifestyles of the residents. In September 2013 a conference and a festival on EcoMobility were organized in Haenggung-dong, a neighborhood of Suwon, in which 1,500 registered cars were blocked from the neighborhood for 30 days. The district’s 4,300 residents were forced to switch over to alternative modes of transport, or ‘EcoMobility’ — walking, cycling, ‘wheeling’, public transport and car-sharing. The idea behind this urban experiment was to prepare the citizens of Suwon for urban life in an era of dwindling fossil resources and therefore make them aware of low-carbon energy supply and how this could look like in real life.


Streetcar Revival Is Wavering in Some Cities

Just a few years ago, the streetcar revival was all the rage in cities across the country. Some areas are now giving it a second thought. Recently, Arlington, Va., abandoned long-laid plans to build a streetcar line its leaders hoped would help revitalize a neglected corridor. Across the Potomac, he District of Columbia is rethinking the whole idea, after spending $160 million to bring trolleys back to the capital. Elsewhere, New Orleans is extending its streetcar lines, while Atlanta, Tucson and Salt Lake City have also moved ahead with similar systems, almost always pegged to the promise of transit-related economic growth.


Urban Data goes open with launch of new portal

UN-Habitat has launched a new web portal featuring a wealth of city data based on its extensive research into some of the most pressing urban trends of recent decades.
Launched during the 25th Governing Council, Urban Data allows users to explore data from a number of cities and regions around the world and compare indicators such as slum prevalence and city prosperity. For the first time, the data is also available for use under an open licence agreement


100 Mayors adopt Seoul Declaration for sustainable cities

Together with ICLEI President Park Wonsoon (Mayor of Seoul), ICLEI First Vice President James Nxumalo (Mayor of Durban) and ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin, 100 mayors from around the world were onstage at today´s ICLEI World Congress 2015 Opening Plenary to adopt the Seoul Declaration.  
The Seoul Declaration (ES) is a collaborative document that sets out a path to urban sustainability. It acknowledges the grave issues facing our world today and establishes how cities can change in response. The Seoul Declaration is linked to ICLEI´s new Strategic Plan 2015-2021, which will be adopted tomorrow. 
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon began the session by delivering a message commending Mayor Park Wonsoon for his leadership on urban sustainability. Ban Ki-moon expressed his belief that cities would drive a global transformation and encouraged them to strengthen their networks.


World Collaborative Mobility Congress to discuss sharing in transport

On 25 and 26 June 2015, the third edition of "wocomoco" will be held in Insbruck, Austria, the world congress on collaborative mobility. Polis supports the 3rd World Collaborative Mobility Congress as policy partner, which focuses on sharing journeys, transport modes and infrastructure.


Why Parking Spaces Shouldn't Always Be Wasted on Cars

Conventional wisdom says that businesses need parking spots. If would-be customers can't pull up out front, how will they come inside? This is a powerful idea, and it invariably animates the opposition any time cities threaten to redesign roadways, replacing parking spots with bus lanes, cycle tracks, bike racks or wider sidewalks. Remove parking, the argument goes, and business will wither. The reality, though, is more complicated.


Welcoming a new post-2015 Pacific Urban Agenda

The fourth Pacific Urban Forum (PUF 4) has concluded with a stronger call to find sustainable solutions to the challenges of urbanization and its impact on towns, cities and urban centres in the Pacific region. The three-day event, held under the theme Towards a New Pacific Urban Agenda: Harnessing Opportunities in a Post-2015 Environment, took place in Nadi, Fiji in preparation for the next United Nations Conference on housing and sustainable urban development, Habitat III in 2016 in Quito, Ecuador.


Viva Gentrification!

LOS ANGELES — FOR years, our family journeys have taken us from our hillside home, in the multiethnic Mount Washington district of northeast Los Angeles, into the flatlands of the Latino barrios that surround it.
My wife, Virginia Espino, who is Mexican-American, knows these neighborhoods well, especially the community called Highland Park. She grew up there in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was still integrated, before “white flight” was complete. In the decades that followed, Spanish-language ads took over the billboards, and the complexions of the locals became almost exclusively cinnamon and café con leche.


Stockholm reveals new '98% recyclable' metro trains

The Stockholm Traffic Administration and Bombardier Transportation have presented the new design for a fleet of metro trains which will operate on the Swedish capital's Red line.
Stockholm is one of the fastest-growing capitals in the EU, and is focussing on sustainable mobility as a means to address the challenges of its increasing urban population. The new metro trains feature specially designed doors to allow faster boarding, and better seating to maximise passenger comfort and capacity.
The number of priority zones in the trains has been increased to eight, allowing more room for people with reduced mobility, such as wheelchair users, the elderly, and parents travelling with young children.


Buyers Want Energy Efficient Homes

The National Association of Home Builders says a recent survey of prospective home buyers shows energy efficient homes are what they want most, according to a story in The M Report. That’s why the nation’s home builders are adding energy efficient features to their new homes.
“Our builder members are telling us that more and more buyers are looking at new homes for their efficiency in design and functionality,” said NAHB chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “Whether it’s improved insulation or sustainable building materials, today’s new homes can reach higher energy performance and greater durability than was possible even 20 years ago. And programs like the National Green Building Standard help consumers achieve their efficiency needs.”


Why Do Old Places Matter? Community

Old places foster community. Old communities are often the places where people share a common space, a common experience, and a shared sense of what the space means to them. People in a community share a sense of its identity and character, which is often represented by the old places that serve as community landmarks.


Third CIVITAS Activity Fund call now open

CIVITAS opened its third call for applications to the Activity Fund on 30 March 2015. A total of €60.000 is available in the competitive call, for co-funding of tools and opportunities designed to support the take-up of sustainable urban mobility measures in Europe.


Smart ways to mobilise more efficient and effective long-term investment in city regions

‘Smart ways to mobilise more efficient and effective longterm investment in city regions’ arrives at the ideal time to contribute to the discussions leading up to the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development. As the organisation that represents the voices of local and regional governments across the world, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is convinced that investment, particularly in basic service infrastructures, is an essential condition for sustainable urban development.
However, it is essential to acknowledge that the aspirations of the Post-2015 Agenda will simply not be achievable if we rely on current public and private investment models. Systematic change and innovative new tools will be required, particularly at local level. This report is a welcome contribution to the debate.


Asia’s urban floods are manmade

From Yangon to Bangkok to Manila and across Asia, urban floods fueled by climate change are a deepening problem. Amy Leung emphasizes in a blog post for the Asia Development Bank (ADB) that it is erroneous to characterize these events as “natural disasters.” Instead, the floods often result from insufficient city planning and engineering, writes Leung, part of the ADB’s Water Team.
Over-development in urban areas has left waterways without adjacent terrain to accommodate temporary overflow. “Unstoppable expansion of slums on riverbanks prevents engineering interventions and maintenance,” the blog post says. The straightening of rivers means water travels faster than in meandering rivers. Another problem is lack of drainage systems and pipes blocked with garbage.


What Can London Learn from & Teach LA Regarding Urban Transport/Mobility

Just before Christmas I met David Bragdon, who runs TransitCenter—a philanthropy in New York—to speak about transport in London. He contacted me afterward to say a variety of local organizations were organizing LiveRideShare, looking at shared mobility for the City of Los Angeles.
I came today to talk about what we’ve done in London—but I couldn’t come to LA for just a day because that would be a lot of carbon-per-minute-speaking. David Bragdon said he’d fix me up beforehand to meet some city officials and advocacy folks in Seattle and Portland.
I’ve been really impressed in each city by how much is going on—as well as the dedication and commitment both inside and outside of government, given the complicated environment in which they are seeking to operate and improve sustainable transport choices.


British “New City” Chooses Driverless Cars Over Monorail

Milton Keynes Opts for Pod Cars Over Rails
At its birth in 1967, the English “new town” of Milton Keynes was designed to be a city of 250,000 when fully built out. Its population is now just shy of that figure, and borough officials have been weighing how best to move those 248,000 residents around.
Two related announcements reveal that the borough intends to stay true to its futuristic heritage by adopting a new form of transport over two time-tested ones.


2015 Polis Conference: Call for speakers open!

We invite urban and regional transport professionals to submit an abstract for the 2015 Annual Polis Conference "Innovation in transport for sustainable cities and regions". Submission deadline is 15 May.


California cities required to slash water usage 25 percent 

Cities and other communities in California are under orders from Governor Jerry Brown to cut water consumption by 25 percent. Sharon Bernstein reports for Reuters that California’s first mandatory statewide water restrictions follow a multiyear drought that is straining reservoirs.
The requirements call for 50 million square feet of grassy lawns in California to be replaced with landscaping that uses minimal water, the article says. The governor also announced plans for a rebate program intended to encourage Californians to replace outdated appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers with newer, water-efficient models.


Habitat III: Exciting times ahead!

Where will you be during the week of 17 October 2016?  If you are an urbanist, you will undoubtedly be at the HabitatIII conference in Quito, Ecuador, either physically or virtually.
This once-every-20-year meeting comprising the entire United Nations system — formally it is the U.?N.Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development — promises to be both exciting and productive.
It will be the first such convening of the U.?N.’s 193 member states after the General Assembly, in September 2015, approves the new Sustainable Development Goals, likely including a hard-fought marker on cities. It will also be the first major summit after the world’s governments are expected to agree on a major new accord around climate change, in Paris in December 2015. Finally, the Habitat III conference will be the first global meeting on cities to take place since the global population tipped to majority urban, clearly a major turning point.


Shopping Malls Aren't Actually Dying

Photos of creepy, abandoned malls are eerie, but misleading. Most of America's malls are doing just fine.
On March 5, the Miami Herald revealed a new plan to build a 200-acre mega-mall in the suburbs of Miami, complete with an attached hotel and condos, a sea-lion show, and an artificial ski slope. It would be the largest shopping mall in the United States, surpassing Minnesota's Mall of America (developed by the same Canadian company, Triple Five).
On Twitter, the response from urbanists was swift—and incredulous:


ETSC calls for PRAISE award applications

As part of the PRAISE project, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) presents annual awards in recognition of organisations that have made an outstanding commitment to improving work-related road safety.


Fortaleza, Brazil shows why waste matters for sustainable urban development

In 2002, Brazil produced 60,000 metric tons of waste per day, 76 percent of which was disposed of in landfills with no long-term management or water treatment. In response to growing challenges with waste production and trash dumping, the country passed the Política Nacional de Resíduos Sólidos (PNRS) in 2010, which aims to make integrated waste management a national priority.
The PNRS provides tremendous opportunities for cities across Brazil to improve waste management. Still, by 2013, only 33 percent of Brazilian cities reported having plans to address waste management.
Fortaleza was one of those cities and can serve as a model for making the best use of PNRS today. After measuring the extent of its waste challenge, Fortaleza found that its waste—discarded food, plastic, and other materials—more than doubled from 2,375 tons per day in 2001 to 4,816 tons per day in 2011, while the city’s population only grew 14 percent over the same period. Through an inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions, Fortaleza also found that 25 percent of its carbon emissions come from waste.


The Four Phases of New Urbanism

There are four distinct phases to New Urbanism. What began mostly as a large-project, greenfield movement has evolved considerably. We are only part of the way through a change that will take generations. New Urbanism was founded by architects, and we have learned much from them. But transportation planning and street design will set the course for the future.


Joining the Dots: Promoting Interculturalism Through Seed Funding and Strategic Engagement

Case Study of Immigrant Council of Ireland’s Partnership with Dublin City Council and Public Transport Partners (2011-2015 and Beyond)
This opinion piece focuses on a strategic partnership involving public transport companies operating in the greater Dublin area, a local authority (Dublin City Council), a transport regulator (National Transport Authority) and a civil society organisation (Immigrant Council of Ireland). Relationships that underpin the partnership developed as a result of the main actors’ involvement in the work of the Dublin City Council’s Office for Integration. As part of the implementation of the Towards Integration - A City Framework launched on May 29th, 2008, Dublin City Council launched the One City One People campaign in 2010 ‘to promote inclusion, integration and to combat racism and discrimination’. During the campaign, posters were displayed on many platforms, including buses, trams and suburban trains. The campaign has been rolled out on a number of occasions since.


China paves the way for a new definition of urban farming

2011 marked a paramount year in modern chinese history- the year that the majority of the population went from inhabiting rural farmland to living in urban sprawl. it doesn’t seem like a particular accomplishment considering that numerous countries have already reached this milestone, but when you consider that china contains 20% of the world’s population and only 10% of its arable land available to feed this population (a large percentage of that already deemed too polluted), the scale of a potential catastrophe suddenly casts a long and seemingly endless shadow on the topic. if china’s farmers are leaving the countryside- due to both eviction and personal choice- then who is to cultivate all the food for a traditionally self-sustaining culture with over a billion mouths to feed?


European Commission publishes road safety statistics for 2014

How save are Europe's roads? The data revealed by the European Commission last week shows only small road safety improvement for 2014.


Tram planned in Rome city centre

A new tram line is being planned in Rome that will connect services operating on either side of the city and give tourists a way to see historic buildings such as the Colosseum and the Forum from public transport.
The process of finalising the route of the planned tram is currently being carried out and is expected to be completed before the summer. The tram will run from Via Labicana through the Imperial Forum and link up with the terminus of the current Line 8 at Piazza Venezia.
The pedestrianisation of the Forum in summer 2013 provided the concept for a tram through the area. Rome's mayor, Ignazio Marino, imagined a 'cultural tram' allowing visitors and commuters to view the archeaological remains of Ancient Rome in comfort.


Book offers new take on China’s ghost cities

China’s empty new metropolises, or ghost cities, have drawn unflattering worldwide media attention and ample scorn. Empty urban husks such as Tianjin Eco-City and Ordos reflect China’s abysmal planning and the zeal of developers and local officials to cash in on projects that lack demand, the theory goes.
A forthcoming book argues that China’s empty cities are a “temporary phenomenon,” Deljana Iossifova writes for The World Today.  The book, Ghost Cities of China, by South China Morning Post contributor Wade Shepard, concludes that these developments are works in progress whose results will take some time to judge.


European Mayors Band Their Cities Together to Fight Climate Change

Mayors of 30 cities in Europe have signed a joint initiative on climate change in which they pledged to undertake to "reduce by at least 40% (their) greenhouse gases by 2030", in line with the European Union's goal, and pledged to collectively purchase clean energy technology to make it more competitive.
The declaration was made last Thursday in Paris under the chairmanship of Rome's mayor Ignazio Marino and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and mayors from Athens, Brussels, Bucharest, Geneva, Lisbon, Madrid, Sofia, Stockholm, Warsaw, Vienna, Lyon and Bordeaux were notably present at City Hall. Also present were Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and European Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.


Some cities are still more unequal than others

More than five years after the end of the Great Recession, and three years since the Occupy movement took on Wall Street, high and growing levels of income inequality continue to animate debates on politics and public policy. Inequality provided the economic backdrop for President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, the recent report of a transatlantic Commission on Inclusive Prosperity, and one of the most talked-about books of 2014, French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
Although each of those examples focuses on the actions that national governments should take to address inequality, continued gridlock in Washington has inspired growing interest and activity at the sub-national level around ameliorating inequality and promoting social mobility. In 2014 alone, 14 states and the District of Columbia enacted increases in their minimum wages. Many cities adopted or considered similar measures, most notably Seattle, which is raising its minimum wage to $15/hour by 2017. Some observers argue that cities themselves are better positioned to enhance social mobility for low-income residents than the federal government.


Using Urban Observation to "Ghost-Bust" Cities

In Seattle, last week, I looked across the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Olive Way, into McGraw Square, and towards the Westin Hotel, noting a Seattle urbanism trifecta---the Lake Union Streetcar, the skillet food truck and one building of Amazon's new headquarters complex under construction.  What's not to like about that view?
Well, one thing for sure. I saw a ghost, of a missing building from a boyhood memory---something that Amazon might have retrofitted, today, if it were still there for the taking.
Gone from this layered, contemporary scene was something significant to the history of Seattle, the Orpheum Theater, demolished in 1967, once the largest theater in the Pacific Northwest, and the temporary home of the Seattle Symphony.  Begun as a vaudeville house, the design, by theater architect Marcus Priteca also featured street-level retail, and offices---a reminder that mixed-use development is nothing new.


SUMP award recognises cities' efforts in monitoring and evaluation of transport planning

On Monday 25 March in Brussels, European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc presented Bremen (Germany) with the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) Award. Polis members Ghent and Dresden are runners up while Thessaloniki received the "Special Prize of the jury".


Is city life the future of sustainability?

The growth of the city demands our attention. With an increasing proportion of the global population living in cities - and a boom in the growth of Asian megacities in particular - we have no choice but to find ways of making them more sustainable.
There are already plenty of examples of good practice both on a local and city-wide scale. However, as Francesca Perry on Guardian Cities pointed out recently, everyone praises Copenhagen, but what do you do if your city has 20 million inhabitants?


Lausanne explores geothermal option for eco district

As one of the main axes of Lausanne’s large urban-planning project called Métamorphose, the Plaines-du-Loup eco-district, the construction of which is due to start in 2017 on a 34-hectare area, will have to comply with the requirements set in the energy concept "2000-watt society". The eco-district will have to guarantee a low energy consumption and to give priority to renewable energy sources.
To meet the challenge, Lausanne’s industrial departments are actively seeking new renewable energy sources and explore the possibilities provided by geothermal energy, which is not so used in Switzerland yet but shows great potential.


The Power of Play in the Public Square

Paris is a city of grand projects. Its landmarks—the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, and Notre Dame cathedral—are massive public works of the grandest order. Designed by Frank Gehry, the newest museum in Paris cost $130 million and, while it is a private venture of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, it’s indicative of the scale of this market. That “pop-up beach” on the banks of the Seine each summer? Price tag: $2 million.
That’s why it was so gratifying to see, on a visit to Paris last year, a fantastic urban project that cost the city very little, but has produced big results. The Place de la République is one of the city’s most beloved public squares, presided over by a colossal statue of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic.


Preventing food waste with a social purpose

Recently launched supermarkets in London and throughout the UK make surplus food more accessible to those in need.
“Community supermarkets” are now selling the surplus food donated from various mainstream supermarkets in the UK to be sold to struggling families. These are foods in which either packaging was damaged, wrongly ordered or mislabeled. Community Shops give the option to local members that need income support to buy food at a 70% discount rate. In addition to the discount, members are enrolled in a career development program that assist them in their job hunt and with a confidence boost. After the success of the pilot store with 25% of the participants finding jobs, the program is expanding throughout the UK. What makes the program so great is its combination of addressing the problem of corporate food waste, hunger in the lower socioeconomic groups and assistance/social service (inclusion) to these groups into the economy all at once.


Cities in motion index  

A report to evaluate cities’ performance in the XXI century
The Cities in Motion Index evaluates cities worldwide on the basis of 10 dimensions: urban planning, public management, technology, environment, international outreach, social cohesion, mobility and transport, human capital and economy. 
This report is carried out by the par IESE business school in Spain and is addressed to mayors, local elected representatives, urban solutions companies and all those groups that aim to improve the quality of life of city inhabitants.


Urban sprawl costs US economy more than $1 trillion per year

Urban sprawl costs the American economy more than US$1 trillion annually, according to a new study by the New Climate Economy. These costs include greater spending on infrastructure, public service delivery and transportation. The study finds that Americans living in sprawled communities directly bear an astounding $625 billion in extra costs. In addition, all residents and businesses, regardless of where they are located, bear an extra $400 billion in external costs. Correcting this problem provides an opportunity to increase economic productivity, improve public health and protect the environment. The report identifies specific smarter growth policies that can lead to healthier, safer and wealthier communities in both developed and developing countries.


New ‘Tactical Urbanism’ Book Signals the Way to Equitable, Funded City Planning

In some ways, tactical urbanism is a rejection of wonk — a way to show and not tell.
That characterization comes from a new book on the subject, Tactical Urbanism: Short-Term Action for Long-Term Change, by two of the buzz-term’s leading advocates, Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia. Set for release March 17th, it delves into the phrase’s history, presenting trends, examples and stories from a movement still defining itself.


What is the most private city in the world?  

The proliferation of high-security, privatised plazas is making parts of world cities such as London and Dubai reminiscent of an airport lounge
“It may well be the case that democracy and capitalism, which at moments in their youth were allies, cannot live together once both have come of age.” So wrote the historian EH Tawney in 1938.
Tawney’s prescient quote could well apply to London today, where the “Boris Boom” is overseeing a version of extreme capitalism that is privatising vast swaths of the capital. Publicity so far has focused on the 250 planned skyscrapers, but at least as important is the fact that all this new development will be privately owned and privately controlled. Nine Elms in South London, for example, an enormous, 195-hectare private estate that will be home to the new ultra-high security American embassy, is typical of this new wave of privatisation. So is London’s Olympic Park, which is private in as much as all the new communities within it, such as the Olympic Village, are also privately owned.


Combining horizontal and vertical integration

There are many different interpretations and meanings attached to the integrated approach. These include balancing environmental quality, social cohesion and economic compeitiveness, bringing together all relevant departments to address a challenge, complementing ‘hard’ investments with ‘soft’ investments, and combining European Social Fund with European Regional Development Fund. URBACT II has pioneered integrated approaches to policy challenges as diverse as Roma inclusion and the regeneration of historic city centres. Maybe it is better to acknowledge that there are many integrated approaches, each adapted to specific policy aims. To compound the confusion, the word integration is often used in policy debates alongside holistic approaches and joined-up government to describe a process in which people with different professional backgrounds from different parts of government at all levels are engaged together in a common task. Not to mention the specific use of the term integration in relation to migrants.


DIY Wayfinding Signs Are About to Go Mainstream

It started as a technically illegal exercise in improving how people experience the streets of Raleigh, NC. Just some simple signs, lashed to light poles, at a few of the city's key intersections, letting residents and visitors know what attractions and amenities could be found within walking distance. The city's planning director was a fan of the concept and soon a Kickstarter campaign was started to create a website, Walk [Your City], that would allow activists around the country to design their own low-cost wayfinding signs, complete with QR codes that users can scan for detailed directions.


Local and regional authorities key partners in disaster risk reduction

The United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which took place in Sendai, Japan, between 14 and 18 March 2015, resulted in a historic agreement by the international community to reduce disaster risk, and recognized local authorities and the local level as essential to achieving this. Strongly represented at the Conference, local and regional authorities showed the world that they are fully engaged in the risk reduction process at all levels.


Third edition of the Agora of Cities in Barcelona

On March 10th, Barcelona hosted the third edition of the Agora of Cities, a platform of exchange for mayors, elected representatives, civil society and private sector that are directly involved in the management of cities, aiming at promoting an ongoing debate and exchange of knowledge on local governance in order to face global challenges


They paved paradise, put up a parking lot …

“Big Asphalt” has compromised our health, safety, and welfare—but we can defeat it if we try.
In America we have 2.5 million miles of paved roads, and an estimated 800 million parking spaces. Thanks to the "asphalt-industrial machine," which is like a Borg that exists to expand itself, we have the largest asphalt paving industry in the world, producing 400 million tons annually.
The paving promotes more driving, which in turn raises the demand for paving. In the last 100 years we paved a total area that is half the size of Pennsylvania1, and this requires ongoing service and maintenance, which feeds the industry perpetually.


Copenhagen to roll out new smart traffic system

Copenhagen City Council has approved spending 60 m Krone (€ 8.04m) to implement intelligent transport systems (ITS) that will adapt traffic signals to weather and real-time traffic conditions.
The proposed plan will see commuters in Copenhagen relay anonymous information via their smartphones and mobile devices to street sensors, allowing traffic lights to change based on the number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists on the road at that specific time.


Creating Spaces for Peace, Dialogue and Coexistence in Venezuelan Cities

Last year, Venezuela became an urban laboratory for architects and urban designers who believe in the implementation of participatory processes and collaborative design techniques in order to change communities who live under threat.
The Venezuelan firm PICO Estudio in hand with the National Government of Venezuela organised Espacios de Paz (EDP) (Spaces of Peace); an urban journey where professionals, students, local residents and public entities worked together to benefit their cities and people. This initiative activated urban processes of physical and social transformation through architecture, using self-building techniques in public spaces located in conflictive urban contexts.


Pioneering cities from across the globe approve new action plan to harness culture in sustainable development

Local leaders launch “Culture 21: Actions” and call for international community to follow suit and fully integrate culture into Post-2015 Agenda
Representatives of more than fifty cities from every continent came together in Bilbao from 18-20 March for the first ever United Cities and Local Governments Culture Summit. Over the three days of this landmark event, local leaders and practitioners demonstrated how they are taking the lead in recognizing, not just the potential of culture, but its absolute necessity for sustainable development.


ICLEI partners with new global program “Renewable Cities”

ICLEI is delighted to be partnering with the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, Canada, on a new global program entitled “Renewable Cities”. 
Renewable Cities aims to accelerate the adoption of 100% renewable energy within cities globally and recognizes that an integrated approach to energy efficiency and urban design is required. It is a five-year program that has been co-designed with leaders in local government, the private sector, key innovators and thought leaders, and utilities. 
The pressure on cities and city staff to provide affordable energy services to citizens while ensuring livability and reducing emissions has never been greater. Cities now face unprecedented pressures to provide affordable energy to their citizens, while at the same time ensuring livability and reducing emissions. Renewable Cities will examine the best practices and affordable models for transitioning to renewables and energy efficiency in the electricity, heating, and transportation sectors.


The Case for Converting Street Parking Into Bike Lanes

San Francisco is moving forward with a plan to add protected bike lanes on Polk Street, one of the busiest cycling corridors in the city, but the decision didn't come easy. The San Francisco Examiner reports that the plan endured about 2.5 years of debate. At the center of the dispute was an objection to the loss of on-street parking spaces by local merchants (our emphasis):
Some business owners had argued that a proposed loss of 140 parking spaces in the area would lead to financial losses, and they had pushed hard for studies on possible economic impacts in order to pause construction of the bike lane.


Urban Labs Innovation Challenge to focus on Chicago

The Urban Labs Innovation Challenge seeks to generate evidence on what urban policy interventions work, for whom, and why. Urban Labs are seeking letters of interest from organizations or agencies with promising strategies for addressing one of the focus areas of the three newly created Urban Labs: energy and the environment, health, and poverty. The labs also welcome interventions that span multiple issues. Although the work of UChicago Urban Labs is global, its inaugural competition for partners seeks promising ideas that can be implemented in the city of Chicago. Initial letters of interest are due May 1, 2015.


New Platform Connects Designers Working in "Legacy" Cities

Many legacy cities, cities that have lost more than 50 percent of their population since their peak, are doing interesting and innovative design work. In response to the desire of designers in legacy cities to stay connected, the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City (JMBC) launched the website for the Legacy City Design Network (LCD), The Legacy City Design network connects professionals working in legacy cities, shares successfully designed and implemented projects, hosts gatherings, advocates for innovative design, and develops new solutions through research and pilot project collaborations. It seeks to inspire ideas and creative development for confronting a wide range of physical and socioeconomic challenges.


E-mobility recent events: presentations available!

Several e-mobility meetings took place in Brussels during the last week of February. The presentations of the events in which Polis participated are now on-line.


Our cities must undergo a revolution for older people

Stand at the traffic lights on a major street in any city. Now, when the green man invites you, try to cross the road. Unless you have the acceleration of an Olympic sprinter, the chances are that the beeps will stop, the green man will flash and cars will rev impatiently before you’ve reached the sanctuary of the other side. Especially if you have a disability, are pushing a buggy or laden with shopping. Or are old. The Department of Health says the average walking speed demanded by pedestrian crossings is 1.2 metres a second, while the average speed of the older pedestrian is just 0.7 to 0.9 metres per second.
Cities are designed for a mythical average person – super-mobile, without dependants or disabilities but with a cast-iron bladder. This person is more likely to be young than old. And yet by 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities and, in high-income societies, a quarter of them will be over the age of 60.


Johannesburg dares to ban cars from CBD 

In October this year, the world will see a first-of-its-kind experiment to bring about a shift from car-dominated transport to EcoMobility in cities: Johannesburg will close a key part of Sandton Central Business District to cars and encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport for the entire month. The happening is framed as EcoMobility World Festival, the first such event in Africa and the second in the world. Mayor Parks Tau has officially launched the EcoMobility World Festival project on 17 March 2015 at an event attended by key stakeholders in Johannesburg.


Turning an Infamously Sexist City Into a Safe Place for Women

How the next generation of Latin American women is embracing feminism and transforming street culture.
“Our uniform is not your sexual fantasy,” yelled 50 Rio de Janeiro public school students as they marched down Copacabana Beach on March 8th, International Women’s Day. The previous week, one of their classmates had fallen asleep while riding a public bus and awoke to find a strange man’s hand beneath her pleated school skirt. Scared he had a gun, the 16-year-old messaged her father, who began to tail the bus in his car, eventually reporting the man for arrest.


Drones Will Elevate Urban Design

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently released long-awaited guidelines for commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drones. Despite many skeptics’ earlier expectations of stringent laws that would essentially ground the drone industry in the United States, these proposed regulations, which include height restrictions and licensing requirements, are pragmatic and will undoubtedly lead to growth and innovation. The announcement has unleashed a wave of predictions about the future of the technology, which has already proven valuable in agriculture, environmental conservation, retail, 3-D surveying, search-and-rescue, and law enforcement. It’s clear drones will soon become ubiquitous. As critical as drones will become to contemporary life, there has been little discussion about their potential to impact on landscape architecture and urban planning.


Advanced streetlights provide cities with extra eyes

In the future, drivers caught in congestion or entangled in fender benders will look to a higher power for relief — the nearest streetlight. Adele Peters reports for Fast Company that GE plans to launch tests in large U.?S. cities of high-tech streetlights that communicate with cars and municipal agencies.
The lights use wireless sensors to gather and relay information to each passing vehicle’s navigation system. They would be capable of detecting accidents, helping lost drivers find destinations and signaling that more buses are needed at crowded stops. They could help guide self-driving cars and alert law enforcement that someone is parked in a fire lane.


Citizens’ lustful tendencies in society

“We’re just two people and a bunch of websites”
In Danish, the word Borgerlyst is a combination of Borger (citizen) and Lyst (desire, urge, delight, inclination) and comes out to “civic desire.” As a play on the term “civic duty” which deals with obligations and expectations, Borgerlyst is a positive indulgence that makes connections with the surrounding society. It’s the warm pleasure felt when something experienced across a group of people is improved (for everyone).
Without any legal structure, this initiative aims to build awareness of these civic urges by bringing people together to connect and realize that desire. Borgerlyst reframes participation as pleasure rather than a duty for a new positive outlook to push away cyclical blame games and complaining on societal issues.


Mission Control: A History of the Urban Dashboard

We know what rocket science looks like in the movies: a windowless bunker filled with blinking consoles, swivel chairs, and shirt-sleeved men in headsets nonchalantly relaying updates from “Houston” to outer space. Lately, that vision of Mission Control has taken over City Hall. NASA meets Copacabana, proclaimed the New York Times, hailing Rio de Janeiro’s Operations Center as a “potentially lucrative experiment that could shape the future of cities around the world.” The Times photographed an IBM executive in front of a seemingly endless wall of screens integrating data from 30 city agencies, including transit video, rainfall patterns, crime statistics, car accidents, power failures, and more.


Kick-off conference of the Global Parliament of Mayors

This initiative is the brainchild of the American academic and professor of Political Science Benjamin Barber, author of If Mayors Ruled the World, Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities. It is based on the fact that in most Western countries, citizens trust less and less the national and international institutions but show unflinching trust towards their local representatives and above all their mayors. In the United States for example, surveys show that only 12 % of citizens trust the Congress versus 60 % to 65 % who trust their Mayor. Why ? Because it is “in municipal governance that citizens and political decision-makers find practical and democratic solutions to the most pressing local and global issues,” says the website of the Global Parliament of Mayors project (see link below).


How are women changing our cities?

‘Urbanistas’ explores the work of women innovators in architecture and urban design. Curator Lucy Bullivant explains why the exhibition is so timely – and the five exhibitors share their thoughts on the role of women in shaping today’s cities
With fast-growing urbanisation inexorably transforming every facet of cities and the wider biosphere, many creative people want to change the status quo. We’re living not only with a lot of outdated legislation, but also a back-catalogue of failed urban models that do not serve contemporary cities as diverse communities well – in terms of cultures, ethnicities, ages and overall needs.