29/12/2016 - Giant City Cycling Pop-Up
29/12/2016 - New Designs Look to Make Edmonton Winters Less Severe
29/12/2016 - Charging for Parking to Finance Public Services
28/12/2016 - Vertical gardens cleanse Mexico City’s polluted air
28/12/2016 - The Surprisingly Unequal Benefits of Electric Vehicles, Mapped
27/12/2016 - Netherlands to install €90m smart mobility system
27/12/2016 - Madrid wins 'Thinking Cities' Award
23/12/2016 - 'This city is designed for cars, not people’: residents' voices on Jakarta
23/12/2016 - Africa's future is urban
23/12/2016 - Wondering What ‘Sustainability’ Is? Just Ask Austin.
22/12/2016 - Urban mobility: what is the way forward?
22/12/2016 - How countries and communities are taking on gender-based violence
22/12/2016 - Urban play as a means for activating intercultural cities
21/12/2016 - Cities in the age of Trump and Brexit
21/12/2016 - Where is the world's most 'godless' city?
21/12/2016 - United against corruption at Mayors Roundtable
20/12/2016 - Portland City Council Passes “CEO Tax”
20/12/2016 - World cities seek $375 bn to fight climate change
19/12/2016 - Carmakers plan European fast-charging EV network
19/12/2016 - EC strategy on C-ITS deployment is published
19/12/2016 - Programmable City workshop: “Creating Smart Cities”
18/12/2016 - How can our cities go on the resource diet needed?
18/12/2016 - How to Make Senior Friendly Public Spaces
18/12/2016 - Making cities. Visions for an urban future
17/12/2016 - Digital Uber Alles
17/12/2016 - Placemaking: What If We Built Our Cities Around Places?
17/12/2016 - The “human scale” in public urban areas
16/12/2016 - The Great Migration: How Cities Can Manage the Urbanization Trend
16/12/2016 - Cities for Life
16/12/2016 - Cities Closely Watching Chicago’s Version of a Fitbit
15/12/2016 - Four of world's biggest cities to ban diesel cars from their centres
15/12/2016 - Tower of Biodiversity spreads seeds throughout Paris
15/12/2016 - Worldwide Smart Cities 2017 Predictions
14/12/2016 - Traffic-Free Future By Sending Driverless Cars Underground
14/12/2016 - China Plans New Mega-City Twice The Size Of South Korea
14/12/2016 - Sadiq Khan asks Volkswagen to pay £2.5m in lost congestion charge
13/12/2016 - How Fire Departments Could Look Like the Communities They Serve
13/12/2016 - New issue of 'Thinking Cities' magazine released
13/12/2016 - Managing the Attack Surface of a Smart City
12/12/2016 - "2050 starts today" Energy Cities Conference 2017
12/12/2016 - Nashville: MyCity Academy
12/12/2016 - Five Approaches to Reviving Aging Mall Sites
11/12/2016 - Towns and regions call for better access to targeted funding
11/12/2016 - 4th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans
11/12/2016 - A data-driven way to build resilience in cities
10/12/2016 - Leveraging Data in Moving Towards the Smart City
10/12/2016 - High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport
9/12/2016 - Helsinki takes another pioneering step in mobility services
9/12/2016 - The EU Smart Cities Information System
8/12/2016 - Sustainable transport critical to achieve SDGs - new report
8/12/2016 - Americans favour transit oriented development
8/12/2016 - India and Russia sign MoU for cooperation in smart cities scheme
8/12/2016 - Why data is key to the success of city devolution
7/12/2016 - Why Cities Must Lead in Trump’s America
7/12/2016 - Stop Hating on Suburban Town Centers.
7/12/2016 - Urban Crisis as Opportunity
7/12/2016 - Sustainable urban development for safer cities
6/12/2016 - The fall-less city and other innovations for a healthier old age
6/12/2016 - 10 streets that define America
6/12/2016 - California Cities Cutting Carbon Pollution
6/12/2016 - Looking Back From the Future
5/12/2016 - Call for Contributions: International Cycling Conference 2017 & PASTA final conference
5/12/2016 - How Cities Are Making Their Residents More Active
5/12/2016 - Smart choices for cities. Cycling in the City
4/12/2016 - Covenant cities already achieved a 23% CO2-reduction by 2014, on track to meet their 2020 targets!
4/12/2016 - Cities Are On Three Paths To Electric, Autonomous Transportation Networks
4/12/2016 - Voters approve billions for local parks and natural areas
3/12/2016 - Innovating with the past: How to create resilience through heritage
3/12/2016 - A young mayor tackles one of Europe’s most polluted capitals
3/12/2016 - Opportunities and threats of social media in local security policies
2/12/2016 - New Urbanism’s Impact on Small-to-Midsize Cities
2/12/2016 - The new urban imperative for secondary cities
2/12/2016 - Government must update the way it uses data
2/12/2016 - 2018 Cities and Climate Change Science Conference
1/12/2016 - Parks: Not Just for Picnics
1/12/2016 - The Farmer’s Plight: Urbanization
1/12/2016 - The Reality of Mayors’ Economic Promises
1/12/2016 - How Mysuru Became India's 'Cleanest City'
Giant City Cycling Pop-Up
How do you get a city more accustomed to biking trails to pedal the streets? Paint a whole lot of lanes.
Macon, Georgia, population 150,000, was able to increase cyclist counts nearly tenfold during a one-week pop-up bike network, which at 8 miles, may have been the largest such temporary installation ever.
Macon has had an 11-mile riverfront trail, where cyclists can travel from historic monument to playground to park without ever touching a street. But that, says Josh Rogers, president and CEO of the nonprofit NewTown Macon, which works to revitalize the city’s downtown, was exactly the problem. “People drive to the trail and then unload their bike and ride.”
New Designs Look to Make Edmonton Winters Less Severe
Using colour and light is the basis of a proposed plan from Edmonton’s Winter City working group. The winter design guidelines were crafted by a local architects, builders, and planners to get the most out of Edmonton’s long dark six months of winter.
The co-chairs of the working group, Coun. Ben Henderson and Stantec’s Simon O’Byrne, have been leading the work for several years, and they’ve come up with five main principles.
Charging for Parking to Finance Public Services
Many low-income neighborhoods have two serious problems: overcrowded on-street parking and undersupplied public services. One policy can address both problems: charge for on-street parking to manage demand and use the resulting revenue to finance local public services.
Charging the right price for on-street parking is the best way to manage demand, and the right price is the lowest price that will produce one or two open parking spaces on every block. New technologies such as such as occupancy sensing and meters that can charge variable prices have solved the practical problems of charging the right price for curb parking, and all the remaining problems are political. To solve the political problems, some American cities have created Parking Benefit Districts where they dedicate the meter revenue to pay for neighborhood public services on the metered streets. The merchants buy into the parking meters because they have been bought off with the meter revenue.
Vertical gardens cleanse Mexico City’s polluted air
An innovative Mexico City company is leveraging the megacity’s built environment to cleanse its air, CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reports.
Verde Vertical, or Vertical Green, specializes in creating green space along walls to enhance aesthetics and combat smog, the article says.
The Surprisingly Unequal Benefits of Electric Vehicles, Mapped
There’s been a urban/rural divide on who gets cleaner air.
If you only listened to electric-vehicle evangelists like Elon Musk, Boris Johnson, or, heck, Justin Bieber, you might think EVs were the most eco-friendly machine since the waterwheel. The U.S., like China, Europe, and the U.K., has heavily incentivized EV purchases to speed electrification, fronting billions in subsidies to buyers and carmakers. In early November, the U.S. DOT dropped a few billion for a 25,000 mile-network of EV charging stations. All of these dangling carrots do seem to be working: EV purchases are currently on the rise.(Of course, there’s still only about 400,000 of them on U.S. roads, about 0.16 percent of all cars.)
Netherlands to install €90m smart mobility system
The Netherlands is embarking on an ambitious project to turn some 1 250 traffic light installations into a smart mobility system to provide seamless travel guidance for drivers.
The system is being created by a partnership that includes the Dutch ministry of infrastructure and the environment, provincial and local authorities, the mobility industry and various ICT companies.
Madrid wins 'Thinking Cities' Award
The 'Thinking Cities' Award was presented to the city of Madrid on 1 December at the 2016 Polis Conference in Rotterdam. Sergio Fernández Balaguer from EMT Madrid (Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid) received the prize for his inspiring and valuable presentation on smart mobility solutions implemented in Madrid by the MoveUs project.
'This city is designed for cars, not people’: residents' voices on Jakarta
Commutes that cause panic attacks – but the kindness of a village community. Jakarta’s residents tell us what life in the city is really like – and why they have such a love/hate relationship with the Indonesian capital
Africa's future is urban
Africa’s urban population is the fastest growing globally. Can this be translated into economic growth and development?
Africa’s future is urban. Quality of life for Africa’s city dwellers will, however, directly depend on the quality of urban governance. Urbanisation can spur development but under current conditions, it is more likely to compound Africa’s structural challenges. Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable as stipulated in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is no easy task.
Wondering What ‘Sustainability’ Is? Just Ask Austin.
The city’s new open data website breaks down how sustainability is defined -- and how it’s being achieved.
What, really, does “sustainability” mean? Considering that the word is present in the aspirations of countless governments and in the goals of innumerable public programs, it would seem there’d be a standard definition out there. But ask, say, any sustainability director, and most will give different definitions. “Yeah,” laughs Lewis Leff, senior business process consultant for Austin’s Office of Sustainability, “we’ve struggled sometimes to define exactly what ‘sustainability’ means.”
Urban mobility: what is the way forward?
The European Commission (DG REGIO and DG MOVE) have organised an Urban Development Network event bringing together cities to exchange knowledge and experiences in Smart, Innovative & Sustainable urban mobility on 23 November 2016 in Brussels.
How countries and communities are taking on gender-based violence
The stat is appalling: 1 in 3 women worldwide have or will experience intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Although it may take the form of domestic violence, gender-based violence is not merely a personal or family matter. Associated with certain societies' social norms and many other risk factors, such violence leads to severe social and economic consequences that can contribute to ongoing poverty in developing and developed countries alike.
Urban play as a means for activating intercultural cities
Urban play has the potential to overcome barriers among people and to entice interaction and engagement between citizens, leading to a social activation of the city.
The UN-Habitat opened its report State of the World’s Cities 2012/13 with the claim - “The City is the Home of Prosperity. It is the place where human beings find satisfaction of basic need and access to essential public goods. The city is also where ambitions, aspirations and other material and immaterial aspects of life are realized, providing contentment and happiness and increasing the prospects of individual and collective well-being”. The report presents a new measurement tool – The City Prosperity Index – defining a prosperous city as one that provides five conditions: Productivity (generating income and employment); Infrastructure development (amenities); Quality of life (public spaces and social services); Equity and social inclusion (ensures distribution of the prosperous city benefits); Environmental sustainability.
Cities in the age of Trump and Brexit
The results of this past month’s U.S. presidential election and June’s Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom mark a growing global trend of nationalism and populist fervor. Cities, despite being the potential victims of rollbacks of government investment and international engagement, have emerged as the continuing centers of ground-up economic, environmental, and social progress.
Where is the world's most 'godless' city?
Norwich has the highest proportion of residents describing themselves as having no religion, while Berlin has been called the ‘atheist capital of Europe’. But what about the rest of the world? And is such an assessment meaningful?
United against corruption at Mayors Roundtable
The meeting acknowledged the responsibility of local governments in ensuring open government and call local and territorial governments to be more effective, open and accountable to citizens.
For decades, local and regional governments have led efforts towards the adoption of new forms of inclusive decision-making, such as participatory budgets or participatory urban planning.
Portland City Council Passes “CEO Tax”
Portland’s city council Wednesday approved a first-of-its-kind tax aimed at lessening income inequality. Assessed on public companies whose chief executives are paid vastly more than their average worker, Oregon Live explains the “CEO tax” means “a company with a CEO-to-worker ratio of at least 100-to-1 will pay a surcharge equal to 10 percent of the amount it pays for Portland’s business tax. A company with a 250-to-1 ratio or greater would pay a 25 percent surcharge. If a company ordinarily owes $1 million in taxes to Portland, it would have to pay an additional $100,000 or $250,000.”
World cities seek $375 bn to fight climate change
The world’s big cities will need $375 billion of investment to curb climate change, a major gathering of mayors heard Thursday.
“It is a lot, but there is no other option. Together we will seek that money,” said the new president of the C40 network of big cities, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti told the gathering that 38 US cities had sent a letter to Trump to tell him they would push ahead with their efforts against climate change.
C40 executive director Mark Watts said in an analysis unveiled Thursday that the world's big cities must collectively cut their carbon footprint by nearly half within a decade if the 196-nation Paris Agreement is to be met.
If that amount is made available “humanity will have a chance of surviving,” she told a gathering of C40 mayors in Mexico.
The mayors were gathered to plot their strategy in the face of climate skepticism from US President-elect Donald Trump.
They said they planned to make commitments to reduce harmful emissions by promoting cycling in cities and renewable energy, among other measures.
Carmakers plan European fast-charging EV network
BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have signed a memorandum of understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe.
The goal is the quick buildup of a sizable number of stations to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers.
EC strategy on C-ITS deployment is published
The European Commission has published its long-awaited strategy on cooperative ITS. The strategy sets out a number of actions under a range of areas. The option of using the ITS Directive, whose 5-year extension is currently being adopted, to mandate (some of) these actions is not ruled out.
Programmable City workshop: “Creating Smart Cities”
The Programmable City project is investigating the relationship between networked digital technologies and infrastructures and urban management and governance and city life.
In particular, it is concerned with how cities are increasingly being translated into code and data, and how these code and data are being used to transduce how we understand, manage, work, and live in the city and to produce ‘smart cities’.
How can our cities go on the resource diet needed?
New tools are helping local authorities adopt a ‘systems approach’ to understanding the full scope of their resource use — and to figure out efficiencies.
Cities are the epicentres of human activity. They cover less than 2 percent of the Earth’s land surface but generate about 70 percent of gross domestic product and house more than half the human population. The importance of cities is only going to increase in coming decades as another 2.5 billion people move to urban centres.
How to Make Senior Friendly Public Spaces
As the global population of seniors increases, so does the importance of designing public spaces that are senior friendly, preserving safety and dignity for all.
Making cities. Visions for an urban future
To mark the 30th anniversary of EUROCITIES in 2016, we wanted to collect thought-provoking contributions on the future of cities to generate a new debate on the role of cities in addressing future challenges. We launched an open call to collect views from young professionals, to gather new ideas, to propose new scenarios and identify problems and solutions at local level.
Contributors were to be aged between 25 and 35 years in 2016, and belong to one of the following professional categories: researchers, journalists, architects and urbanists, activists, opinion leaders, and novelists.
An international expert jury selected 30 of the best contributions received.
Digital Uber Alles
Hands up those of you who have used Uber. Or Airbnb? I thought so. Increasingly, if you ask that question to a group of people, a forest of hands shoots up. When I asked it at a German Marshall Fund event in Bilbao last month, people with their hands down were a small minority.
We were exploring the challenges that the 'Gig Economy' poses for equity and urban governance in the U.S. and Europe. As digital platforms become increasingly common, these new business models are generating new and complex questions for policy makers at all levels of government.
Placemaking: What If We Built Our Cities Around Places?
Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, Placemaking is a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm to maximize shared value. Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution. Learn more about Placemaking and how it can help transform public spaces in this booklet from the Project for Public Spaces.
The “human scale” in public urban areas
"If you lose the human scale, the city becomes an ugly place," said Joan Clos, Executive Director of the UN-HABITAT at the Habitat III Conference last month. But more than being "ugly," the lack of good public urban spaces, such as open spaces, parks, and public buildings, often contribute to low livability in many of the world's congested and polluted cities. In fact, the importance of the issue received recognition in SDG 11, Target 7, which calls for the provision of “universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green, and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons, and persons with disabilities,” by 2030.
The Great Migration: How Cities Can Manage the Urbanization Trend
Craig Catley, Director of StrategyBlocks, has a long history in helping organizations manage change. He unlocks what cities can practically do to build the right foundation for upgrading technology and handle the drain on resources recently experienced by the rise in urbanization.
Cities for Life
Climate change, globalisation or reducing inequalities: the main challenges facing the world today cannot be overcome without the determined commitment of towns and cities.
This leading role for towns and cities was clearly acknowledge by the UN in the scope of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), but also within the Paris agreement on climate and the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III).
Cities Closely Watching Chicago’s Version of a Fitbit
The city is installing sensors that could reveal a lot about the best way for governments to use smart technology.
At first glance, the smart city movement seems quite robust. The media is full of stories about cities with smart utilities, smart parking systems, smart streetlights and apps for all sorts of smart services, such as next bus arrival times or trash bins that “ask” to be emptied when sensors detect they’re full.
Four of world's biggest cities to ban diesel cars from their centres
Four of the world’s biggest cities are to ban diesel vehicles from their centres within the next decade, as a means of tackling air pollution, with campaigners urging other city leaders to follow suit.
The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City announced plans on Friday to take diesel cars and vans off their roads by 2025.
Tower of Biodiversity spreads seeds throughout Paris
Maison Edouard François designed an incredible sustainable tower for Paris. Clad in eye-catching green panels, the M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity also comprises netting entwined with living flora. The entire structure is designed to spread seeds throughout the city.
Worldwide Smart Cities 2017 Predictions
This IDC study provides IDC’s top 10 predictions for the 2016 Smart City agenda. It provides a springboard for thinking about the future within the context of a structured set of predictions tied to current and next budget cycles. The IDC Smart City team outlines key recommendations for government leaders who want to understand trends impacting IT investments and determine the best course for strategic planning.
Traffic-Free Future By Sending Driverless Cars Underground
In the same week that I’ve written about several promising ideas for the future of transportation and one that’s doomed, yet another proposal has been catching headlines for its audacity. This one, called CarTube, envisions a network of underground tubes that would shepherd driverless cars to their destinations, leaving surface streets free for pedestrians, bikers, and probably any of those ancient cars still driven by measly humans.
It’s a bold idea, more remarkable for how desperately it wants to solve traffic congestion than for its chances of actually happening. But such a monumental problem demands dreaming big, even if it’s too big.
China Plans New Mega-City Twice The Size Of South Korea
China is in the process of building a mega-city expected to have a population larger than most countries by the year 2030.
China has approved a $36 billion railway development plan to improve transportation between Beijing, Tianjin, and several cities in Hebei province, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) revealed Monday, according to Reuters.
Sadiq Khan asks Volkswagen to pay £2.5m in lost congestion charge
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says 80,000 VW owners have not paid congestion charges for years because their cars were marketed as cleaner. Now that the world knows otherwise, he thinks Volkswagen should pay up.
Khan recently wrote to Volkswagen asking it to compensate London and its residents for the damage caused by the higher emissions the cars produced than claimed by the manufacturer.
How Fire Departments Could Look Like the Communities They Serve
Cities have struggled with diversity in the fire service for decades. But there's a lot they could be doing to improve things.
In October, President Obama signed an executive order establishing an initiative to promote diversity in the federal workforce, focusing particularly on the national-security agencies that lag well behind other agencies in their employment of minorities. Obama said he hoped that the initiative would trickle down to state and local law-enforcement agencies, accelerating their efforts to become more inclusive of the communities they protect.
New issue of 'Thinking Cities' magazine released
The latest issue of our magazine 'Thinking Cities' was released on 1 December at the 2016 Polis Conference, titled: "Creating the autonomous city?". 'Thinking Cities' is a cooperation of Polis with publisher H3B media. It is available as pring magazine and online.
This 7th issue of Thinking Cities reflects on the role automated vehicles can play in cities, and how autonomous a city has to be, to meet the mobility needs of its citizens. The magazine therefore includes an interview with La Rochelle's Mayor Jean-Francois Fountaine on the lessons learnt from the inner-city deployment of automated evehicles, piloted within the CityMobil2 project.
Managing the Attack Surface of a Smart City
Smart cities are being planned the world over. Technology development always goes through two phases for any new discipline: First – tools are developed, and infrastructure is built and enabled. And second – the technology is scaled up. In the case of smart cities, we are in the first phase, where many of the kinks and challenges are still being ironed out.
"2050 starts today" Energy Cities Conference 2017
In 2017, Energy Cities’ Conference will be hosted by the German city of Stuttgart, well-known for its industrial activity as well as for its foresighted climate and energy policy. In a region which can be considered the birthplace of the German energy transition (Energiewende), Stuttgart will serve as a learning place on the societal, cultural, economic and technological shifts that come with the energy transition in Europe.
How fit are cities and their national governments for taking effective action towards a 2050 low-carbon roadmap? Are they making policy choices that favour stakeholder involvement for a stronger energy democracy, transfer of competences to the local level and monetary flows towards more local and low-carbon projects?
Nashville: MyCity Academy
MyCity Academy is a free leadership-training program that empowers New Americans to understand and participate in Nashville's government. The first of its kind in the nation, it's a signature initiative of the Mayor’s Office of New Americans.
Five Approaches to Reviving Aging Mall Sites
Aging shopping malls—many burdened with high vacancy rates or even abandoned—are being transformed into vibrant, mixed-use destinations that are connected to their surrounding communities. Once-popular regional shopping malls are being hit from all angles: by the explosion of online shopping, millennials’ preference for vibrant urban experiences, and ever-changing retail customers’ tastes. At the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting, “the mall of the future” was explored by a panel of design, development, and placemaking experts.
Towns and regions call for better access to targeted funding
“The rules and conditions to access the available funds to face climate change lack clarity. COP negotiators must facilitate towns and cities’ access to these funds, to translate the Paris Conference’s promises into actions.” These were the words used by CEMR and PLATFORMA spokesperson and Councillor of Runnymede Linda Gillham, in the context of COP22 taking place in Marrakesh.
“The commitment of local and regional elected representatives in climate and energy issues is a key to success”, stressed Linda Gillham. “But without easier access to the different available funds, such as the European Structural & Investment Funds, the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility, we will not be able to mitigate the catastrophic impact of climate change on the ground.”
4th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans
Four years after the publication of the European Commission’s Urban Mobility Package (2013) and related SUMP Guidelines (2014), there is now a large and expanding network of cities committed to preparing and implementing Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans.
This includes cities and institutions involved in various EU projects and initiatives, designed to drive forward mobility planning research, practice and innovation.
A data-driven way to build resilience in cities
Building “resilience” in cities is a hot topic these days among city leaders. Yet even to many who agree with that goal, the concept of urban resilience remains vague and the act of creating more of it hard to measure.
That’s why Arup International Development, a nonprofit arm of the global engineering and consultancy firm, developed something called the City Resilience Index. It’s a tool that breaks “resilience” down into recognizable parts — and gives local leaders a way to assess where their city stands.
Leveraging Data in Moving Towards the Smart City
Cities, no matter what size, all want to use data to inform their day-to-day operations and strategic forecasting. Most megacities have already developed the organizational, technical, and analytical foundations to leverage their data while some of the small to medium cities are still working to develop that capability.
A special panel session at the Smart Cities International Symposium, January 24-25, 2017 in Chicago will conduct a candid conversation among key city leaders to dig into the the capabilities, capacity and resources to collect, manage, maintain, and leverage data for both strategic and tactical city operations.
The Symposium is organized by the Smart Grid Observer (www.smartgridobserver.com), an online publication that delivers the latest news and information on a daily basis concerning key developments, deployment updates, and market trends in the smart grid and energy storage industries.
For full information regarding the Symposium and to register, visit www.smartcities-symposium.com.High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the membership of a High-level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport to provide recommendations on sustainable transport actionable at global, national, local and sector levels.
The Advisory Group, established for a period of three years, will work with Governments, transport providers (aviation, marine, ferry, rail, road, and urban public transport), businesses, financial institutions, civil society and other stakeholders to promote sustainable transport systems and their integration into development strategies and policies, including in climate action.
Helsinki takes another pioneering step in mobility services
November 15th became a landmark in the history of urban mobility when Helsinki Regional Transport (HRT) board approved terms for offering public transport as part of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) services. The newly established contract terms make HRT the world’s first capital region transport provider to offer MaaS services to its customers. The Finnish growth company MaaS Global signed a collaboration contract with HRT last Friday.
The EU Smart Cities Information System
The EU Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) knowledgebase encompasses 64 demonstration and urban planning projects co-funded by the European Commission under the Smart Cities calls in Horizon 2020 and the CONCERTO initiative.
Sustainable transport critical to achieve SDGs - new report
Investing in more sustainable and greener transport systems is critical to drive forward social and economic developments that will help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, a new reports says.
The report, Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development, was produced by an expert panel appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2014.
Sustainable transport critical to achieve SDGs - new report
Investing in more sustainable and greener transport systems is critical to drive forward social and economic developments that will help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, a new reports says.
The report, Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development, was produced by an expert panel appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2014.
Americans favour transit oriented development
Nearly three in four Americans (73 percent) would support changes in land use or zoning regulations in their community that encourage transit oriented development, according to a new America THINKS national public opinion survey by HNTB Corporation.
India and Russia sign MoU for cooperation in smart cities scheme
India has signed a MoU with Russia for cooperation in the implementation of ‘smart cities’ programme and the use of IT solutions of the Russian companies.
According to an official statement, the agreement has been signed between JSC Rusinformexport and the Urban Development Ministry, Ministry of Home Affairs, National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd and the Haryana government,.
Why data is key to the success of city devolution
Imagine it’s the day after the mayoral election in a UK city region.
The victorious candidate gathers together the local authorities, the Local Enterprise Partnerships, the public sector bodies and citizen groups for the first time.
Why Cities Must Lead in Trump’s America
Over the course of the past decade, American cities and metropolitan areas have firmly established themselves as the engines of the nation’s economy and as the centers of technological innovation and global trade and investment. Donald Trump’s election and Republicans’ continued control of the House and Senate put cities in uncharted territory.
Our country is facing a convergence of massive economic, demographic and environmental challenges. They will not be overcome without massive new investments in innovation, infrastructure and inclusion. This multitrillion-dollar “investment gap” should be at the forefront of policymakers’ minds on both sides of the aisle.
Stop Hating on Suburban Town Centers.
Urban purists mock them as phony suburban insta-cities. Our architecture critic disagrees. Here are his favorites.
It’s not news anymore that DC is booming, buoyed by people who have rediscovered city living. But even as gentrification spreads, there’s only so much city to meet the demand for walkable shopping streets and handsome rowhouses. Meanwhile, suburban schools and tax rates remain a big draw for some. It’s just that nowadays a lot of them want a taste of urban life, too.
Urban Crisis as Opportunity
Detroit has become a source of inspiration and solutions for other challenged American cities and even other municipalities looking for innovative new models of urban governance.
Cities in crisis can be crucibles for innovation, and few illustrate this fact as vividly as Detroit. The city was already an archetype of urban decline when the nationwide economic downturn began in 2007, followed by bankruptcy in 2013 and its emergence in 2014. Along the way, local leaders from every sector have been stepping up with bold leadership and a range of inventive strategies that continue to fuel its recovery today. In the process, these leaders are overturning entrenched assumptions about how urban problems can be solved and pushing the envelope on conventional practices.
Sustainable urban development for safer cities
This new agenda seeks to respond to the multiple challenges cities throughout the world are confronted with, such as the growing rate of urbanisation; the transformation of cities into mega-regions; the rise of informal housing and the resulting increase in crime, as well as overcoming the dynamics of spontaneous urbanisation and reducing social segregation.
The fall-less city and other innovations for a healthier old age
Rapid urbanisation and ageing populations mean that cities must become better for older people to live in. We have the technology to make this happen
The city of Liverpool is aiming to become a “fall-less” city – so that all older adults with limited or reduced mobility can venture forth into the streets, parks and other public places knowing that their chances of falling have been significantly reduced. One-third of older people in the UK experience a fall each year, rising to half the over-80s. Working with the Universities of Liverpool and Cambridge, the city council is implementing falls prevention and mitigation as part of its Age-Friendly City (AFC) initiative.
10 streets that define America
What do America’s streets—and the people who inhabit them—say about the state of our country in 2016?
What can we learn about our ever-changing country from individual streets? To get to the heart of that question, Curbed took a deep dive into ten cities around the United States—selected for their diverse sizes, ages, populations, and locations—and talked to the people that call each place home.
California Cities Cutting Carbon Pollution
A new report out from ICLEI and partners presents a first-of-its-kind portrait of city climate leadership at the state level. The State of Local Climate Action: California 2016 provides a comprehensive analysis of measurable local emissions trends, targets, planning efforts, and energy and climate actions in the state, along with in-depth profiles of local and regional agencies pursuing goals like public health and economic development through climate action. The report was developed through the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC), a partnership among ICLEI, Institute for Local Government, Local Government Commission, and the four investor-owned utilities in California.
Looking Back From the Future
Understanding how some cities have transformed shows why focusing on the little things can help struggling places survive and thrive.
The unpleasant reality for many struggling postindustrial cities and regions is that there isn’t an obvious turnaround in sight. For some whose lives are tied up in these communities, that’s a truth they simply cannot confront, instead turning to politician after politician promising magic-bullet solutions. For others, that’s a reason to give up hope and just write these communities off.
Call for Contributions: International Cycling Conference 2017 & PASTA final conference
PASTA project - Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches, is organising its final conference in cooperation with the International Cycling Coference (ICC2017) in Mannheim on 19-21 September 2017. Save the date!
How Cities Are Making Their Residents More Active
Planners of cities both large and small are working overtime to build the parks, trails, and bike paths to help residents be more active than ever
If today’s Atlanta were a person, it would wear a whistle around its neck and sport a coach’s white sneakers. It would tell Atlantans to go take a lap.
Smart choices for cities. Cycling in the City
Over 70% of all Europeans live in cities and cities are becoming increasingly congested and this percentage is increasing. As a result, cities are becoming more congested, suffer from increasingly poor air quality, more noise and are generally less liveable. Increasing the number of people who cycle can be an important step towards more sustainable and liveable cities. Cycling also brings personal health benefits.
Covenant cities already achieved a 23% CO2-reduction by 2014, on track to meet their 2020 targets!
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre just released their 2016 report on Covenant cities’ achievements, which was presented on 14 November at COP22 in Marrakesh.
As of 4 September 2016, 6,201 local governments from 54 countries had joined the Covenant of Mayors, representing 213 million inhabitants.
The analysis of the Sustainable Energy Action Plans (5,403 action plans submitted to date) points out that signatories’ ambition is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by an average 27% by 2020, well above the minimum requirement of 20%.
Cities Are On Three Paths To Electric, Autonomous Transportation Networks
Richer, denser cities will lead the way to shared mobility. But how they get there—and what kind of vehicles they use—will vary widely.
Electric vehicles. Autonomous vehicles. New mobility businesses like Uber. Any one of these could be disruptive enough. Together, the impact could be seismic: potentially a fundamental shift in the way we get around and in how cities are organized.
Voters approve billions for local parks and natural areas
Voters across the nation approved local and state ballot measures providing more than $6 billion for land conservation, parks, and restoration, The Trust for Public Land announced Tuesday night. Many of the ballot measures called for tax increases or bonds.
Innovating with the past: How to create resilience through heritage
Bosai means disaster risk reduction or management, and it became our word of reference. As a group of professionals from disaster risk and cultural heritage management backgrounds visiting Japan, we used it in activities, as nicknames, and shouted in unison every time a group photo was taken. It represents a lesson that Japan has learned very well. Disasters have been part of the Japanese experience since the beginning of history. The Kobe Earthquake in 1995 and the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 are just two recent examples of disasters from which Japan recovered under the motto “build back better.”
A young mayor tackles one of Europe’s most polluted capitals
As mayor of Tirana, Albania, Erion Veliaj has introduced alternatives modes of transport to the city’s traffic-clogged streets and made the public a full partner in the process.
At a roundtable on walkable and cyclable cities at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona this week, Erion Veliaj, the mayor of Tirana, Albania, stole the show.
The Justin Trudeau-like mayor was quick witted and open about Tirana’s challenges. Twenty five years ago, he said, Albania was the North Korea of Europe. The capital Tirana had exactly 17 cars, all belonging to politburo members and the head of the army. Today it has 170,000 cars.
Opportunities and threats of social media in local security policies
How do local authorities use social media to strengthen their local security policy? What are the opportunities and dangers of social media? How to preserve fundamental freedoms and promote citizen participation? These are some of the questions addressed in a workshop on the role of social media in local security held by Efus on 4 October in Paris, as part of the European Medi@4Sec project in which it is a partner.
New Urbanism’s Impact on Small-to-Midsize Cities
New Urbanism in a big city may get lost in the scale of the metropolis, although new urban street design, infill development, and regulatory practices like form-based codes have an impact. The new urban approach tends to blend in to a New York City or Chicago rather than shout “look at me.”
In mid-sized or smaller cities, the effects of New Urbanism can be much more dramatic. In these places, a few good infill projects, livelier public spaces, and new streetscapes can feel like a whole new downtown. Birmingham, Michigan; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Providence, Rhode Island; and many others that adopted a new urban approach 15 or 20 years ago have transformed themselves to a significant degree.
The new urban imperative for secondary cities
Linking policy-making and the New Urban Agenda with recent agreements on climate change and disaster risk reduction offers a strategy for financing the critically needed investments in today’s fast-growing intermediate cities.
Government must update the way it uses data
Speaking at an event on big data for local government hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute this week, the institute’s director Helen Margetts said that there was much more that could be done with the data generated by government.
A long-running characteristic of government in the UK, she said, was that the data government generates is “completely un-extractable” in any form that can be used for service design.
“The inability to extract data for policymaking [causes government to] miss opportunities that are there,” she said.
2018 Cities and Climate Change Science Conference
An international conference on cities and climate change science will be held in 2018 to further develop the scientific understanding of climate change and cities, in support of the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Cities interested in hosting it are invited to apply by January 2017.
Parks: Not Just for Picnics
New recognition of the health and safety benefits of parks is changing how the public and leaders view green spaces.
For generations, parks were viewed simply as an amenity, a way to beautify a city. Whether they were planned for gardens, sports, or picnicking, parks were rarely seen as central to public safety and health. But that is beginning to change.
The Farmer’s Plight: Urbanization
Strathcona County, dubbed by council as the most livable county in Alberta, has seen rapid population growth over the years.
The area’s urban communities have experienced a population increase of just over 3,300 people in a three-year span — expanding from 65,465 people in 2012, to 68,782 in 2015.
Contrarily, the rural population has decreased by 123 people in those three years, changing from 26,938 residents to 26,815 residents. The rural population is not the only decrease experienced by country communities, as farmers are being forced to buy land outside of the county in lieu of urban development encroaching on agricultural lands.
The Reality of Mayors’ Economic Promises
They vow to rev up the local economy all the time, exposing their misunderstanding of cities and political office.
Nearly half of America’s 100 biggest cities are electing mayors this month, and most of the winners will come floating into office on a tide of promises, some of them achievable and some so ambitious that the candidates themselves don’t have a clue how to pull them off.
Many will have vowed to be “education mayors” -- school reformers who will generate test results so much improved as to make their communities magnets for the affluent residents they are competing to attract. Candidates make these vows despite decades’ worth of evidence that there is little a mayor can do to produce dramatic educational improvement over the course of a term in office.
How Mysuru Became India's 'Cleanest City'
Waste management became a point of pride for the municipality’s people.
Mysuru, famed for the magnificent mansions of its erstwhile kings, or maharajas, is also known as India’s “cleanest city.” For two consecutive years, Mysuru has topped the Ministry of Urban Development’s national ranking of city administrations on solid-waste management, toilet construction, sanitation strategy, public outreach and other measures.
Further archived news available on request from: Kate More