31/1/2017 - Smart Cities: Why They are an Imperative For Rapid Urbanisation
31/1/2017 - Save the date: CIVITAS FORUM Conference 2017
31/1/2017 - America’s One and Only City Council Run by Libertarians
30/1/2017 - A Billboard That Hacks and Coughs at Smokers
30/1/2017 - There’s more to Digital Democracy than just a tweet
30/1/2017 - 10 million more passengers on Irish public transport
29/1/2017 - Uber shares mobility data with urban planners
29/1/2017 - Cities increasingly turning to electric buses
29/1/2017 - Launch of the “Smart Cities Study 2017”
28/1/2017 - Autonomous vehicles risk increasing congestion in cities
28/1/2017 - How to Talk to Civic Hackers
28/1/2017 - Can City CTOs Save the World?
27/1/2017 - MOOC on the management of Smart Cities
27/1/2017 - What does it take to make a safe city?
27/1/2017 - City Voices: Ludwigshafen
27/1/2017 - URBACT launches new call: URBACT Good Practice City
26/1/2017 - Traditional cities are having a big decade
26/1/2017 - How Cities Are Tackling Aging Water Systems
26/1/2017 - Rotterdam’s new Parkstad development puts urban parks on every block
25/1/2017 - The Future of Autonomous Vehicles Is Shared
25/1/2017 - The Year Philadelphia Hired Diversity Consultants
25/1/2017 - Cities and challenge of good governance
25/1/2017 - Youth message for cities: we can spark change for the better
24/1/2017 - Canadian mayors plead for greater fiscal autonomy
24/1/2017 - Smart city projects shine at Expo World Congress
24/1/2017 - New Adaptation Services Offerings for Cities
23/1/2017 - Istanbul plans intercontinental underwater walkway
23/1/2017 - Mapping the Urban Tree Canopy in Major Cities
23/1/2017 - The “human scale” in public urban areas
22/1/2017 - Disaster Risk Reduction: Call for city-to-city exchange opportunities
22/1/2017 - CIVITAS’ 2MOVE2 project brings numerous transport benefits to four cities
22/1/2017 - With a climate change denier in the Whitehouse, how can our cities maintain momentum towards a low carbon future?
21/1/2017 - America’s Forgotten ‘Middle Neighborhoods’
21/1/2017 - Agueda: a Portuguese city innovating for energy efficiency
21/1/2017 - The political impact of murals
20/1/2017 - Green City: Madrid plots to put gardens on buses
20/1/2017 - Worldwide Urban Expansion to Claim Some 186,000 Square Miles of Fertile Cropland
20/1/2017 - Milan 'most eco-mobile’ city in Italy
20/1/2017 - Cleveland's Surprising Climate Buffers
19/1/2017 - Las Vegas Installs Traffic Sensors That Communicate with Self-Driving Vehicles
19/1/2017 - Crowdsourcing of public space tools
19/1/2017 - Making the world a safer place
19/1/2017 - Cities are the new laboratories of evolution
18/1/2017 - Al Gore to be principal speaker at Ecocity World Summit 2017
18/1/2017 - Dublin chosen as Velo-city 2019 host
18/1/2017 - Le Monde - Smart Cities Innovation Awards 2017
18/1/2017 - Transition tales #13: Back to the Future
17/1/2017 - Urban mobility in an urban mosaic: setting priorities
17/1/2017 - Webinar: Congestion and your City: the FLOW Approach
17/1/2017 - Park in Zurich Is Changing the Paradigm of Public Greenspace
17/1/2017 - Making Citizen-Generated Data Work
16/1/2017 - Can mayors actually rule the world?
16/1/2017 - How Can Cities Get Denser and Sprawl at the Same Time?
16/1/2017 - Flanders lowers speed limits to 70km/h
15/1/2017 - Cycling adds €500 bn to EU economy – report
15/1/2017 - A Florida Mayor Fights the Gun Lobby
15/1/2017 - How can city car parks help solve the housing crisis?
14/1/2017 - To improve the city experience for persons living with disabilities
14/1/2017 - Cornwall Council’s green ambitions set to grow
14/1/2017 - How sustainable transport fosters sustainable development
13/1/2017 - Elderly Safety and Comfort Prioritized with IOT in Västerås
13/1/2017 - From architecture to cultural life: how would you design a city from scratch?
13/1/2017 - Eilat – Israel’s First Smart City to be Totally Energy-Free by 2020
13/1/2017 - Planning tool for Stockholm's wireless-charging buses could help other cities
12/1/2017 - European seminar: Preventing and Countering Discriminatory Violence at the Local Level
12/1/2017 - London streetlights go green
12/1/2017 - Networking the Smart City
12/1/2017 - Paris has a watery dream of swimming in the Seine
11/1/2017 - Cities and subnational governments call for greater mobilization on biodiversity
11/1/2017 - Improving the resilience of cities using open data
11/1/2017 - Launch of the platform on localizing the SDGs
11/1/2017 - “Diplomacity”- Learning networks of cities for a sustainable future
10/1/2017 - Transport for London wins International Road Safety Award
10/1/2017 - We can cut emissions in half by 2040 – but only if we build smarter cities
10/1/2017 - Postcards from Quito on the New Urban Agenda
10/1/2017 - Combatting Traffic Congestion with Transport Demand Management in China
9/1/2017 - What makes a city ‘fragile’?
9/1/2017 - How Badly Could Trump Hurt Sanctuary Cities?
9/1/2017 - 'Walking buses' and council housing: a wishlist for world cities in 2017
8/1/2017 - Are Car-Free Bridges the Future?
8/1/2017 - Barcelona master plan for gender justice
8/1/2017 - The Very Latest Smart City Trends
6/1/2017 - How Technology Can Empower Local Refugee Communities
6/1/2017 - India can't afford to get urbanization wrong
6/1/2017 - Rooting sustainability starts on school benches
5/1/2017 - Top 5 Cities That Got Climate Change Right
5/1/2017 - Post-conflict Colombia looks to its cities
5/1/2017 - Forward-thinking cities and regions receive the Guangzhou Award
4/1/2017 - Reducing urban violence and improving youth outcomes
4/1/2017 - The power of cities
4/1/2017 - Banks are in a unique position to aid smart cities
3/1/2017 - Which European cities are the most inventive?
3/1/2017 - Disaster Risk Reduction: Call for city-to-city exchange opportunities
3/1/2017 - Rotterdam the world capital of sustainable urban design
2/1/2017 - Building greener cities: nine benefits of urban trees
2/1/2017 - How Buffalo Got Its Waterfront Back
2/1/2017 - 4 ways the Maastricht treaty affected Europe’s towns and regions
Smart Cities: Why They are an Imperative For Rapid Urbanisation
C Chamber of Commerce & Industry today convened its first International conference on “Smart Cities – Reimagining Urban Spaces and Financing in Delhi. The conference was inaugurated by Mr. Jayant Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of State for Civil Aviation. The international speakers like Mr. Stephen Yarwood, Ex-Mayor, City of Adelaide, Mr. Antony Vives, Ex vice Mayor, City of Barcelona, Mr. Tim Jones, Mr. Lluis Gomez, International Director also spoke and gave examples of development in global cities.
Save the date: CIVITAS FORUM Conference 2017
15th CIVITAS FORUM Conference to be held in Torres Vedras, Portugal on 27-29 September 2017
The CIVITAS Secretariat is glad to announce that this year’s CIVITAS FORUM Conference will take place on 27-29 September 2017 in Torres Vedras, Portugal. The annual event brings together the CIVITAS community from across Europe: hundreds of mobility experts, actors and stakeholders, all of whom are devoted to the development of sustainable urban mobility in their cities. The 15th edition of the CIVITAS Forum Conference will continue the tradition of offering state-of-the-art presentations, interactive workshops and sessions, interesting site visits, not to mention new innovative elements in the programme.
America’s One and Only City Council Run by Libertarians
In a Minnesota suburb, libertarians are making a lot of changes people might expect. But not everyone is happy.
If you had to guess which jurisdiction in America has the greatest Libertarian influence, a Minneapolis suburb probably wouldn’t leap to mind. But Libertarians claim their only majority in the country on the city council of Crystal, Minn., population 22,000.
A Billboard That Hacks and Coughs at Smokers
Billboards are some of the more unlikely enhancers of the urban sensory experience: wafting out the buttery smell of baked potatoes, creating bubbles of fresh, pollution-free air, pointing out the identities of commercial airliners soaring overhead.
Now Stockholm has a billboard that takes aim at a habit that arguably degrades the public experience, with an interactive model who reacts with visible disgust to smoking. The advertisement, located on the city’s busy Odengatan plaza, uses smoke detectors to suss out the presence of lit cigarettes. A man on its computer screen then starts wincing and coughing, before the ad segues into a selection of smoking-cessation products.
There’s more to Digital Democracy than just a tweet
The US presidential election results came as a surprise to many of us especially because we hadn’t encountered any testament of sweeping support towards the current president in any of our communication channels. Recent public discussions have highlighted the polarising effect of social media use, apparently so free and open but only towards those that think the same way as we do. This is at least what the running algorithms are working for. To the point that a harsh critique was expressed against Facebook and other social media platforms because of it not taking a clear stance on its role in the political campaigns and spreading fake news.
10 million more passengers on Irish public transport
Full-year figures published by Ireland’s National Transport Authority show an overall increase in passenger numbers across all state-supported public transport operators.
Some 234 million passengers used services provided by Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and Luas in 2016 – an increase of almost 10 million (4.4 per cent) compared to 2015.
Uber shares mobility data with urban planners
Uber, the app-based ride-hailing service, gathers reams of data about the state of mobility in the more than 450 cities it serves.
On January 8, the San Francisco-based company announced the launch of Uber Movement, a new website that shares that information with city leaders and urban planners.
The goal is to help municipalities make better, more informed decisions about everything from infrastructure to commute times to public transit needs, the announcement says.
Cities increasingly turning to electric buses
More and more cities in Europe and around the world are turning to electric buses in an effort to go green and reduce pollution.
The ZeEUS eBus Report, published as part of the EU-funded Zero Emission Urban Bus System project (link is external), reveals that 19 public transport operators and authorities, covering around 25 European cities, have published an e-bus strategy for 2020.
Launch of the “Smart Cities Study 2017”
The Committee on Digital and Knowledge-based Cities carried out an international study about the situation of ICT, innovation and knowledge in cities. Following this work, the Committee would like to perform a new study on the current situation and the opportunities provided by ITC, support for innovation, and progress in knowledge for the development of cities and their transformation into “smart cities”: the Smart Cities Study 2017.
Autonomous vehicles risk increasing congestion in cities
The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has warned that the roll-out of autonomous vehicles (AVs) could lead to a dystopian future of even more private car traffic on the road unless they are put to use in shared fleets and integrated with traditional public transport services.
The paper, ‘Autonomous vehicles: a potential game changer for urban mobility,’ argues that despite the risk of increased congestion due to car travel becoming even more comfortable and attractive, an alternative exists.
How to Talk to Civic Hackers
The book, written by Mark Headd, one of the first municipal Chief Data Officers in the United States, is meant for public servants and people working inside government who want to connect with innovators and technologists outside of the bureaucracy. It highlights strategies they can use to collaborate with people doing interesting and valuable work that can benefit or support the mission of government.
Can City CTOs Save the World?
We used to live in silos where the role of certain sectors was clear. Companies provided products and services to generate a profit. Nonprofits and NGOs performed selfless act to save the world. Cities silently made the world run in ways that most of us never even noticed. With the advent of smart cities, things look quite different. Cities are now at the epicenter of the technology evolution with the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and connected technology.
As IDC analyst Ruthbea Clarke outlined in a recent Computer World article, “The uptick in city interest and funding started in late 2016, which means there will be big announcements of pilot projects and even deployments in 2017.” Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officers and Chief Innovation Officers are now at the heart of this transformation.
MOOC on the management of Smart Cities
The chair management of Network Industries, directed by Prof Finger, at the college of Management of Technology at EPFL is very happy to announce the release of our second free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the Management of Smart Cities.
The course is free and will be diffused through the Coursera platform from February 17th 2017. It is self-paced, meaning that participants can follow it at the pace they wish. The Smart Cities MOOC provides an introduction to the principles of management of smart urban infrastructures, and features a series of lectures from academics from EPFL and other universities as well as a series of interviews from expert practitioners.
Through this MOOC, participants will learn about the most important principles for the management of smart urban infrastructures as well as about the application of these principles to two specific sectors, namely urban transportation and urban energy systems.
Enrolment and more information is available here: http://iglus.org/smart-cities-mooc/
What does it take to make a safe city?
My exposure to the unsafe city began once I got out of my school bus regime and joined college. The worst incident took place after I started my first job, while walking towards the bus-stop through a deserted area, the only ‘planned’ commercial centre along the route. Following the incident, I started carrying a box cutter in a way that was visible from a distance to all—sticking slightly out of my denim pocket. That way, potential attackers would at least think twice, or so I thought.
City Voices: Ludwigshafen
Interview with Klaus Dillinger, deputy mayor for Building, Environment and Transport in the city of Ludwigshafen, Germany
What are the latest energy efficient initiatives and smart city highlights Ludwigshafen would like to share with the CITyFiED community?
At the moment Ludwigshafen is applying for funds from the state-owned KfW banking group promotional programme "Energy Redevelopment – Energy-efficient Urban Refurbishment“. With this programme "Energy Redevelopment" we are expanding the planning basis of the urban redevelopment process from individual buildings to whole quarters.
URBACT launches new call: URBACT Good Practice City
The URBACT programme has launched 5 December 2016 a Good Practice call for the ‘URBACT Good Practice City’ label which will be open until 31 March 2017. Eligible beneficiaries for the call are all “cities” and “eligible beneficiaries” from EU 28 Member States, Norway and Switzerland. The call is open to all themes.
On 30 January 2017 from 3.00 PM to 6.30 PM, the presentation event of the call will take place in Brussels at the Conference Centre Albert Borschette (you can register HERE). The URBACT Secretariat will explain why this call is interesting for cities and how they can benefit from it. The URBACT Secretariat will also provide you with all the necessary information about the selection criteria and how to get involved in the call. The meeting will profit from the presence of representatives from the European Commission.
Traditional cities are having a big decade
Strong demand for historic downtowns and neighborhoods brings a surge of population at a level not seen in 70 years.
Traditional American cities like Seattle, New Orleans, New York City, and Philadelphia are growing this decade at a rate that they haven’t seen since the 1940s, according to a Public Square analysis. The 25 largest traditional cities gained 3.8 percent in population in the first half of this decade, from 2010 to 2015, according to US Census Bureau estimates.
How Cities Are Tackling Aging Water Systems
Flint, Michigan, has shone a spotlight on the decrepit state and lack of investment in the U.S.’s water infrastructure, but the city isn’t alone in facing these challenges. A new policy brief from the Brookings Institute breaks down how cities with large drinking water utilities are financing their water systems, and what challenges they’re facing.
Rotterdam’s new Parkstad development puts urban parks on every block
Rotterdam just unveiled plans for its new Parkstad residential development, which will consolidate three large city blocks and form parks in the heart of each one. Undulating landscapes, vegetables gardens and play areas for kids will dominate the three parks, while warm-toned wood and brick facades will ensure harmony between the built and natural environment.
The Future of Autonomous Vehicles Is Shared
A dispatch from the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, where robo-cars were on full display—and predictions about how we’ll use them were flying.
At the 1939 New York World’s Fair, General Motors dazzled tens of millions of attendees with a 36,000-square-foot scale model of the future, in which a vast network of superhighways stitched together downtowns and suburbs. I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE, declared the souvenir buttons visitors wore home.
Thirty-six hours chasing self-driving cars through the sprawling exhibition halls and demo lots of the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show made me feel the same way.
The Year Philadelphia Hired Diversity Consultants
Inclusivity is in. Casual racism is out. Have the Mummers gotten the memo?
I’m wearing an octopus-shaped hat and clutching a beer when I hear a drumbeat strike up alongside a wailing sax. Ahead of me, a troupe of musicians in bright, feathered costumes with plumage nearly as wide as the narrow street attempts to clear a space and perform a quick number. The crowd surges all around, freely drinking in the open and casually walking up and down to watch the different ensembles in this informal parade. Every house along the way has a front row seat and partiers lean out of windows or cluster on balconies to take in the scene below.
Cities and challenge of good governance
Different cities have faced challenges of governance in metropolises by diverse approaches fitting their cultural and social as well as financial structures.
Tokyo in Japan is an interesting example of good urban governance. Regarding economic activities, urban area of Tokyo is the world largest metropolitan areas with $ 2 trillion economic output. Tokyo is managed by metropolitan government upon which local government of Tokyo has locally independent authority. It is responsible for providing social welfare, presenting public education and health, and urban planning. Tokyo Metropolitan Government has two main bodies. Legislative body of Tokyo metropolitan government is called city council.
Youth message for cities: we can spark change for the better
As cities search for new and creative solutions to the challenges they face, they may discover they have been overlooking a resource that was there in growing numbers all along: their youth.
When young people are engaged in their communities, they make important contributions through the programmes they run, the jobs they create, as well as the skills and knowledge they enhance in others. Through their work, youths learn important insights about the policy-related and institutional changes that need to be made to further enhance the lives of their communities.
Canadian mayors plead for greater fiscal autonomy
As Canada’s federal government kicks a USD 61 billion infrastructure stimulus package into high gear, five big-city mayors are warning that they need increased revenue powers to make full use of the new program.
The country’s liberal prime minister, Justin Trudeau, campaigned on a promise of economic stimulus to boost Canada’s ailing economy, hit in part by declining oil prices. With strong public pledges on the importance of Canadian cities, infrastructure investments in metropolitan areas are at the heart of Trudeau’s plan, which was unveiled early this year.
Smart city projects shine at Expo World Congress
Smart city projects from all around Europe showcased their achievements at a joint stand during the Smart City Expo World Congress.
The Smart City Expo World Congress was held in Barcelona on 15-17 November.
Eight smart city projects teamed up with the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) and the Green Digital Charter (GDC) initiative to present their work aimed at building a strong community of smart cities in Europe.
New Adaptation Services Offerings for Cities
Communities across the U.S. are facing climate change impacts in the here and now that threaten critical infrastructure, livelihoods, and economic development. As more and more local governments are seeking resources and guidance to adapt to climate impacts already affecting their communities, we see that human-centered design processes lead to better outcomes.
In response to this growing necessity and interest from our members, ICLEI USA now offers a host of climate adaptation and resiliency services, including sector-specific training for local government capacity building, adaptation planning, inclusionary stakeholder engagement and activities that connect communities to climate science. Whether your local government plans to hire a consulting firm to prepare your climate adaptation plan or relies on internal resources, ICLEI’s assistance will yield a better result.
Istanbul plans intercontinental underwater walkway
The city of Istanbul has commenced studies to examine the feasibility of an underwater tunnel for cyclists and pedestrians that links Asian Turkey to European Turkey.
The two-kilometre-long tunnel is planned to be 20 metres below the sea and span the narrow Bosphorus strait which splits the Turkish capital.
The tunnel will have two levels. The upper level will be covered with plants and bushes and include infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
Mapping the Urban Tree Canopy in Major Cities
MIT’s Treepedia reveals where the streets are greenest, and which ones could use more work.
Which cities have the greenest streets? MIT’s Senseable City Lab is pushing toward an answer to this question with a new project called Treepedia. A map website that catalogues the density of the tree canopy in 10 global cities, Treepedia uses information from Google Street View to create what it calls the Green View Index—a rating that quantifies how green a street view looks according to the number of trees it contains.
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.
Disaster Risk Reduction: Call for city-to-city exchange opportunities
UNISDR, with the support of the European Commission’s DG-DEVCO, is calling for the submission of proposals for city learning exchanges on disaster risk reduction and resilience building among local governments.
Sharing lessons is a key part of UNISDR's Making Cities Resilient Campaign towards the implementation of the Sendai Framework at the local level. City-to-city learning is an advantageous opportunity for cities to connect and share experiences, obtain support and create an effective network to increase their urban resilience capacities.
CIVITAS’ 2MOVE2 project brings numerous transport benefits to four cities
Sustainable urban transport across Europe has come a very long way in recent years, thanks to the intense efforts of the CIVITAS initiative and its projects. One of these outstanding projects, which just reached its point of completion, was 2MOVE2, involving eight partners in four different cities: Brno, Malaga, Stuttgart and Tel Aviv-Yafo.
The project led to the implementation of 22 measures to promote sustainable urban transport, covering topics such as E-mobility, high-tech traffic management, freight traffic, cycling, corporate mobility management, and new or updated Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) for these cities. By supporting each other and exchanging a wealth of information and best practices under 2MOVE2, the cities reaped the rewards across three main themes.
With a climate change denier in the Whitehouse, how can our cities maintain momentum towards a low carbon future?
Where were you when you heard that Donald Trump had been elected President of the United States? In years to come, that may be the ‘Where were you when Kennedy was shot?’ question for our generation. As it happens, on 9th November 2016 I was in Rotterdam working with a group of European cities on the development of low carbon resource efficient districts. So, on the day that a climate change denier was sent to the Whitehouse, we were investigating ways to support Europe’s sustainable energy future.
America’s Forgotten ‘Middle Neighborhoods’
They're neither distressed nor booming, but they're essential. Cities need to pay more attention to them.
An estimated 46 percent of the nation's urban population lives in a category of neighborhoods that local governments pay little attention to: America's "middle neighborhoods." These neighborhoods are generally affordable and attractive, and they offer a reasonable quality of life, but many of them are in danger of decline.
Middle neighborhoods typically receive little or no attention from mayors, city managers and local housing officials, in part because they are not distressed enough to qualify for federal Community Development Block Grant funds and because financially stressed local governments seldom allocate local tax dollars to neighborhood-improvement strategies. Yet, these neighborhoods, which provide a substantial portion of local property-tax revenues, can easily tip into decline unless steps are taken to improve the investment psychology for them.
Agueda: a Portuguese city innovating for energy efficiency
Agueda is a city in north-western Portugal, which has around 50,000 inhabitants. It has recently found innovative ways to be energy-efficient. Experts from CITYnvest, a local energy efficiency project launched by CEMR and other partners, intervewed Agueda’s Head of Environment and Sustainable Development, Célia Morais Laranjeira, to find out more
The political impact of murals
Murals define our sense of place and neighborhood identity, their disappearance and destruction can therefore evoke a sense of loss. Two cases from Berlin and New York show that reasons for their disappearance are often politically charged and can be understood in the light of the process of gentrification.
Green City: Madrid plots to put gardens on buses
Mayor Manuela Carmen has backed an innovative new project set to grow mini-gardens on top of the city’s public buses.
It is one of six proposals made by a select team of council workers charged with transforming the Spanish capital into a green example to the rest of the world.
Gardens would also be placed in bus shelters, be self-sustainable, and cost around €2,500 each. The first wave will see 130 installed around the city, and on buses on two key routes that incorporate key tourist sites.
Worldwide Urban Expansion to Claim Some 186,000 Square Miles of Fertile Cropland
A team of researchers from institutions around the world, including the University of Maryland, reveal that by 2030 expanding urban areas world-wide will swallow up fertile cropland equal to nearly twice the size of Florida, adding pressure to an already strained global food system.
Researchers estimate the area of land that stands to be lost through urbanization— more than 186,000 square miles or nearly 300,000 square kilometers—could produce enough food to provide 300 million people with 2,500 calories a day for an entire year.
Milan 'most eco-mobile’ city in Italy
The city of Milan is the most sustainable in Italy in terms of its transport and urban mobility, according to a survey of 50 major Italian cities.
The results of the survey were released by Euromobility, an Italian non-profit organisation that promotes sustainable mobility in private companies in public administrations.
Cleveland's Surprising Climate Buffers
In the Rust Belt, vacant urban land could be reused to help shield residents from the effects of a warming world.
Think of places that will be affected by global warming, and coastal cities threatened by rising sea levels and powerful hurricanes (Miami, New Orleans) may first pop to mind. Great Lakes cities, on the other hand, are often projected to be climate change “winners.” Experts predict that within 50 years, people will move inland and north seeking less extreme weather.
Las Vegas Installs Traffic Sensors That Communicate with Self-Driving Vehicles
The city of Las Vegas is installing a traffic-monitoring system that uses technology to monitor traffic and traffic signals – all in real time. Working with Acyclica, sensors will be installed at each of the 2,300 intersections and across the region’s traffic corridors. The city’s traffic control center will be able to monitor and control traffic movement, change traffic-signal timing, check various streets and intersections, and analyze trends in real-time.
Crowdsourcing of public space tools
UN-Habitat’s Public Space team is producing a new book on public space tools and we need your help! We know that there are lots of useful methodologies and approaches to public space assessment, design, planning and management out there, but as the topic has grown importance in recent years we are not aware of all of them.
Making the world a safer place
The Siemens Building Technologies Division in Zug performs the highest level of research and development of passive and active technology solutions.
It has long been the prime objective of some corporations, companies and entrepreneurs to combine the resourcefulness, creativity and knowledge they have amassed over the years, to their desire and dream of guaranteeing a safe environment. An environment where risks are a continuously monitored factor, and where prevention is the most ostensible religion, as it is in the safety of buildings and infrastructures one will find the complex factor of comfort, allowing for life in the cities to flow naturally and almost normally.
Cities are the new laboratories of evolution
Cities are driving rapid evolutionary changes to plant and animal species, according to a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Usually, we think of evolution as happening in remote, isolated, or pristine places—the Galapagos Islands, for example. But the new findings suggest that scientists can’t understand evolution as it’s currently occurring without grappling with the complex and expanding urban landscape.
An international team of researchers searched the scientific literature for data on changes in the phenotype—meaning outward characteristics, like appearance and behavior—of species living in different environments.
Al Gore to be principal speaker at Ecocity World Summit 2017
We are delighted to announce that the Hon Al Gore (former US Vice President and current Chair of The Climate Reality Project) will be the Principal Speaker at the Ecocity World Summit 2017. Mr. Gore will deliver his famous slide presentation including his insights on the role of cities in meeting the global climate challenge.
Dublin chosen as Velo-city 2019 host
The city of Dublin has been chosen to host Velo-city 2019, the European Cyclists’ Federation’s annual global cycling summit.
The bid, led by Dublin City Council, made a strong proposal with an integrated and collaborative team, and displayed strong political commitment on all levels, from local to national.
In addition, the Irish capital showed a big push for implementation from a behavioural and infrastructure perspective. The site visit showed the ECF team a clear willingness for collaboration and community engagement.
Le Monde - Smart Cities Innovation Awards 2017
You can apply to the International Awards for Innovation Le Monde – Smart Cities. They are open to innovative projects at least partially implemented by public or private entities as well as associations or businesses.
INTA, partner of "Le Monde" Smart Cities Innovation Awards, was selected for the second year to be part of the international jury composed of qualified personalities who will examine the candidatures and choose the winners.
Transition tales #13: Back to the Future
London plans to reclaim the streets for its residents by moving the car traffic to an underground infrastructure system. Is this ‘smart mobility’ project shifting the utopian idea of a flying car system?
Urban mobility in an urban mosaic: setting priorities
On December 14, 2016, the EUKN together with the Czech Republic organised a Policy Lab on Urban Mobility. Urban Mobility is one of the 12 priority themes set by the Urban Agenda for the EU. This theme will be addressed by the partnership on Urban Mobility which will be coordinated by the Czech Republic and the city of Karlsruhe (DE). The EUKN Policy Lab, moderated by Mr. Mart Grisel, director of the EUKN, functioned as a catalyst to speed up the identification of priorities and obstacles. Participants of the Policy Lab provided input for the ideal outcome of the partnership and brainstormed about ways to achieve better funding, better regulation and better knowledge exchange.
Webinar: Congestion and your City: the FLOW Approach
Cycling and walking are good for our health and for the environment but what is the relationship between non-motorised transport and congestion? The FLOW project is looking at the role of walking and cycling in urban congestion and how they can serve as solutions to this widespread urban challenge.
The EU FLOW project is running a series of webinars and e-courses throughout 2017 looking at different aspects of congestion, cycling and walking and transport modelling. The first webinar, Congestion and Your City: the FLOW Approach, will introduce you to the FLOW project’s philosophy on congestion and congestion reduction through walking and cycling measures and will provide a concrete example of the application of FLOW tools in the context of College Green in Dublin. The webinar takes place on Monday, 30.01.2017 at 14:00-15:30 CET.
Park in Zurich Is Changing the Paradigm of Public Greenspace
No matter how high the buildings of a city rise, urban parks generally remain on the ground floor. What happens when we push that boundary and transform the concept of public parks as we know them?
MFO-Park, located in Zurich, Switzerland, provides a solution to the disparity between rising skylines and parks that remain on ground floor, introducing a new paradigm to the architecture of public parks. Instead of designated space between paved streets, MFO-Park uses the structure of an old factory building as its skeleton, taking the form of a multilevel building that seamlessly fits into the surrounding structures.
Making Citizen-Generated Data Work
A new report, published by the Open Knowledge International, asks what makes citizens and others want to produce and use citizen-generated data.
The report demonstrates that citizen-generated data projects are rarely the work of individual citizens. Instead, they often depend on partnerships to thrive and are supported by civil society organisations, community-based organisations, governments, or business. These partners play a necessary role to provide resources, support, and knowledge to citizens. In return, they can harness data created by citizens to support their own mission. Thus, citizens and their partners often gain mutual benefits from citizen-generated data.
Can mayors actually rule the world?
Local authorities are pushing to fundamentally move away from the longstanding dominance of the nation-state. How can we ensure that this is for the best?
Increasingly in recent years, we have seen growing calls by city governments for more autonomy and new international forms of collaboration. Make no mistake: In so doing, local authorities are seeking to restructure the areas in which they operate in ways that could fundamentally shift longstanding forms of global governance dominated by nation-states.
How Can Cities Get Denser and Sprawl at the Same Time?
There’s a dispute about whether the movement toward city living is real. But this either/or battle is a distraction.
California keeps getting more crowded -- and most of the arriving newcomers don’t live in single-family homes. Since 2010, builders in the state have constructed more apartments and condominiums than single-family dwellings -- about 25,000 more, to be precise. Just over 160,000 multifamily units have been built in California during that time, compared to only 135,000 single-family units.
But here’s something that may surprise you: More than half of the new multifamily apartment and condominium buildings are in just four cities -- Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco, the four largest in the state.
Flanders lowers speed limits to 70km/h
Since 1 January 2017, the default speed limit on regional roads in Flanders - outside of town centres - has been cut from 90 to 70km/h. The change should simplify driving and increase road safety.
As The Bulletin reports, about three quarters of Flanders' regional roads (6,000km) had already adopted a 70km/h speed limit before when 90km/h were the official norm. As a consequence, drivers experienced frequent change of speed limits along the same road.
Cycling adds €500 bn to EU economy – report
A new report by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) says that cycling creates economic benefits of €513 billion in EU member states – equivalent to over €1000 per person.
The report says that the benefits of cycling occur not only in specific, isolated fields like transport or environmental policy, but in many other areas such as like industrial policy, employment, health and social policy.
A Florida Mayor Fights the Gun Lobby
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is taking on the state government over a “super preemption law” he calls a threat to democracy.
In 2014, two gun-rights organizations, Florida Carry and the Second Amendment Foundation, sued the city of Tallahassee and various of its officials over a pair of laws, passed in 1957 and 1988, that prohibit residents from discharging firearms in public parks. Those local regulations retroactively violated a Florida state law, passed in 2011, preempting local governments from passing any ordinances that regulate guns.
How can city car parks help solve the housing crisis?
There’s an SNL skit I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. It’s called Target Commercial, and part of it is about a woman who drives to a large supermarket car park to sit there in her car and just have a bit of a… moment.
It’s obviously part of SNL’s post-election content – the litany of oh-dear-he’s-actually-going-to-be-president-what-do-we-joke-about-now sketches – but it says something more profound about car parks as spaces. They’re wastelands – barren places functioning as empty hollows into which you can offload worries, emotions, tantrums, rages, or...Houses.
To improve the city experience for persons living with disabilities
Stairwells, street crossings, uneven sidewalks, narrow doorways, small bathrooms, signing a lease… For many of us, none of these are major challenges. But for those whose movements depend on a wheelchair and those who live with a visual impairment or a mental disability, these minor inconveniences can quickly become insurmountable barriers and impede their access to all kinds of basic services, jobs, education and culture. Effectively, for them, these our slight urban nuisances can all effectively become the vectors of their social exclusion.
Cornwall Council’s green ambitions set to grow
Cornwall Council’s ambitious green plans are continuing with a new series of projects.
Over the last four years the council has worked with various partners to make the most of the area’s natural resources – an abundance of wind and sun mean Cornwall is ideally suited to generating clean energy.
Nearly a third of the power used to light its homes and run its businesses already comes from green energy, with around a quarter of this being owned by individuals such as farmers, businesses and households.
How sustainable transport fosters sustainable development
On 28 October 2016, the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport issued a report entitled “Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development”. It urges decision-makers to rely on sustainable transport in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Its purpose is both to give full recognition to the crucial role sustainable transport plays in advancing sustainable development and to provide recommendations on the implementation of sustainable transport systems. It gives a comprehensive analysis of the topic as it addresses all means of transport, at all territorial levels, in developed and developing countries.
Elderly Safety and Comfort Prioritized with IOT in Västerås
The Internet of Things can contribute to the independence of the elderly by prioritizing safety and comfort within the home. In the smart home, data collected from IoT devices can track an individual’s daily routine, picking up inconsistencies and alerting emergency services if necessary. Routines such as water and electricity usage, movement around the home, and house temperature are all indicators of activity.
From architecture to cultural life: how would you design a city from scratch?
The government’s plan for 14 garden villages across the country offers a fantastic opportunity to create ideal living spaces. But where do you start? Here, five writers set out their architectural, cultural, transport and political visions
Eilat – Israel’s First Smart City to be Totally Energy-Free by 2020
The city of Eilat, located on the Red Sea shore, is Israel's leading tourism resort. Its special location and unique weather conditions contribute not only to tourism but to energy as well. Eilat has almost 365 sunny days a year, enabling it to become an energy-free zone.
Planning tool for Stockholm's wireless-charging buses could help other cities
Sweden rolled out its first wireless charging buses earlier this month and has developed a tool for other cities to determine the environmental and financial benefits of introducing their own electrified bus networks.
Using the model to propose the optimal locations for installing chargers on Stockholm’s bus network, energy technology researcher Maria Xylia at KTH Royal Institute of Technology reported that the fleet could halve CO2 emissions while lowering energy consumption by 34 per cent, if the city installed 150 chargers to electrify 94 bus routes.
European seminar: Preventing and Countering Discriminatory Violence at the Local Level
According to recent reports by European institutions and civil society organisations, incidents motivated by hate and intolerance are increasing in number and intensity in many EU member states. While this is a trans-national phenomenon, responses must be found at all levels of governance.
Local authorities can play a particularly important role in terms of prevention and awareness-raising and contribute to creating a climate where discrimination, hate speech and violence are not acceptable.
London streetlights go green
A London council is to start making its streetlights more sustainable.
Barking and Dagenham Borough Council is to receive a £6.8 million green loan from the Green Investment Bank (GIB).
It will finance the replacement of around 14,790 traditional streetlights with efficient LED models and could eventually save the council up to £21 million.
Networking the Smart City
In recent decades, the world has experienced unprecedented urban growth. In 2008, for the first time, the world's population was evenly split between urban and rural areas. By 2050, it is expected that 70 percent of the world population will be urban.
With this population insurgence into urban cores, it is critical that cities manage vital energy and water resources for future generations. As cities work to manage these resources and ensure the vitality and sustainability of their communities, city leaders are rethinking how they use technology to create greater opportunity for their citizens, as well as drive efficiencies to promote sustainability and provide economic development. They are also considering ways to leverage citywide technology to help bridge the gap between low-income and high-income households – but how is that accomplished?
Paris has a watery dream of swimming in the Seine
It all started on a hot summer’s day in August 2015, when hordes of people defied a 1923 law and plunged into a canal in the northeast of Paris. It was such a welcomed event that, in November, the City Hall officially proposed a plan for three swimming pools to be built along the south side of the Quai de la Loire canal basin, ready for this summer.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo celebrated the plan on Twitter, writing: “City swimming: promise kept! Three pools on the Bassin de la Villette starting next July 15.” It is a bold plan that, ahem, hopefully will swim and not sink.
Cities and subnational governments call for greater mobilization on biodiversity
From 9 to 11 December, 700 delegates from over 70 countries gathered in Cancun, Mexico for the 5th Global Biodiversity Summit of Cities and Subnational Governments, where they focused on ways to mainstream biodiversity as part of development planning.
Co-organized by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability in partnership with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, SEMARNAT, CONABIO and ANAAE, the summit marked a decade of cooperation between nations and local and subnational governments on biodiversity and nature-based solutions. It was also the largest such event held to date.
Improving the resilience of cities using open data
This report “How can we improve urban resilience with open data?”, product of the work from the Open Data Institute and Open North, investigates whether urban resilience can be improved with open data. Based on the assumption that all data can be considered critical national infrastructure, it examines cases of people around the world working in urban resilience and open data communities.
Launch of the platform on localizing the SDGs
On the occasion of the World Summit of Local and Regional Governments – 5th UCLG Congress and the Habitat III Conference, the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF), UNDP and UN-Habitat have announced the launch of the virtual platform: www.LocalizingTheSDGs.org
“Diplomacity”- Learning networks of cities for a sustainable future
“I’m out to prove the obvious,” says best-selling author Parag Khanna, “More connectivity is better.” “The transfer of technology and best practices” through learning networks of cities are “incredibly important, more important than every climate summit that’s ever been held in the world.”
Fittingly, for an author who argues that connectivity is the key driver of growth in the modern age, Parag Khanna seems to have ties all over the world, and roots in many of the largest urban centres. Born in India, Khanna grew up in the United Arab Emirates, New York and Germany. Today he lives in Singapore, along the so-called “New Maritime Silk Road” that connects many of the world’s new power centres and will, according to one estimate, connect an area representing 63% of the world’s population.
Transport for London wins International Road Safety Award
In December, the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards were presented. ‘Safe Streets for London’ was awarded for making cycling, walking and motorcycling safer in London. A special award was presented to the International Transport Forum for its "Zero Road Deaths" Study.
The Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards recognize achievement and innovation in road safety worldwide. The Prince established his awards scheme in 1987 in the UK and now fully international. The awards were presented under five main categories, based on the five pillars of the UN's Global Plan for a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
We can cut emissions in half by 2040 – but only if we build smarter cities
As a planet, we have some serious climate targets to meet in the coming years. The Paris Agreement, signed by 192 countries, set an aspirational goal of limiting global warming to 1.5?C. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, set to be achieved by 2030, commit the world to “take urgent action” on climate change.
All this will require ridding our economies of carbon. If we’re to do so, we need to completely rethink our cities.
The UN’s peak climate body showed in its most recent report that cities are crucial to preventing drastic climate change. Already, cities contribute 71 per cent to 76 per cent to energy-related carbon emissions.
Postcards from Quito on the New Urban Agenda
More than two months have passed since the whirlwind that was Habitat III, the UN’s once-every-20-year summit on cities and urban development. From big data to climate change, public spaces to municipal finance, the conference truly seemed to have something for everyone. Long queues to enter the conference aside, what was striking was also the sheer number of young participants at the event, many of whom were students, planners and architects from Quito.
Combatting Traffic Congestion with Transport Demand Management in China
China has experienced unprecedented urbanization over the past 30 years, leading to rapid mobilization and a seven fold increase in the nation’s urban area. According to the Ministry of Housing’s China Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook, China’s built urban area grew from 7,438 square kilometers (2,872 square miles) in 1987 to 49,773 square kilometers (19,217 square miles) by 2014, a 570 percent increase. With the vast expansion of urban areas, the average travel distance for city residents rose significantly, triggering a higher demand for vehicle use. As a result, private car registration soared, reaching an annual growth rate over 20 percent, from 2004 to 2014 (see Figure 1). In 2015, private vehicle ownership reached an all-time high, with 124 million cars in China and 5.6 million in Beijing alone.
What makes a city ‘fragile’?
There’s a lot of talk in cities today about building “resilience” against disasters, social strife and economic shocks. But the flip side of that quest is to understand what makes cities fragile in the first place.
That’s the idea behind the Fragile Cities Data Visualization, a project launched recently by the Igarapé Institute, United Nations University, World Economic Forum and 100 Resilient Cities initiative. The tool generates a fragility “score” for 2,100 cities around the globe, based on data on population growth, air pollution, terrorist killings and other metrics. Those scores, along with the data underlying them, are available here in an interactive map.
How Badly Could Trump Hurt Sanctuary Cities?
The federal funds under threat could amount to more than 20 percent of a city budget, or less than 1 percent. Either way, cities could well end up hurting.
Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown of California captured the admiration of many a Trump adversary during a speech on climate change at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco. “If Trump turns off the satellites [collecting climate data], California will launch its own damn satellites!” he exclaimed to a cheering room.
Walking buses' and council housing: a wishlist for world cities in 2017
From post-Olympics Rio de Janeiro to unaffordable London, we hear from architects, activists and writers on how their cities should change in the next year
As we’re all too aware, 2016 has been a strange and news-packed year. For cities around the globe, it’s been a year of challenges: worsening air pollution, increasing social divisions, community displacement, housing crises, resource shortages, environmental disasters and street violence – and for some, war and terrorism.
But cities have also been the stage where desire for change has been articulated, from the Black Lives Matter protests across US cities to anti-government marches in Brazil and the Nuit Debout sit-ins across French cities. Meanwhile, some cities have taken the lead in battling climate change and promoting social integration.
Are Car-Free Bridges the Future?
On Portland’s newest bridge, there’s just one rule: no cars allowed. Other cities may follow the progressive city’s lead.
From a distance, it’s beautiful -- white spears with delicate white strands holding up an arched roadway across the Willamette River. It’s only when you get closer that it hits you: no cars. There are buses, trains, cyclists and walkers, but no cars and no trucks. This is a big new bridge across a major river in a major American city, and cars were left off the invitation list. It’s probably the first of its kind in a century.
Barcelona master plan for gender justice
Metropolis commitment to metropolitan governance, to a true democracy, focuses on a two-fold strategy: on the one hand, making the everyday life of residents the main focus of our metropolises, by incorporating the needs and experiences of women into the processes of redefining social uses of urban space; on the other hand, working with our members in the implementation of policies that address the needs and experiences of women. In this spirit, Ms Laura Pérez, President of Metropolis Women and Councillor for Feminisms and LGTBI of the Barcelona City Council, together with other international experts and institutions, participated as panelist at the First International Conference on Women and Urban Life that took place in Tehran on 11 and 12 December. Ms Perez gave a speech on “Empowerment and Social Justice” fostering on the design and development of urban policies, with liveable cities as the main axis, and focusing on the experience of Barcelona and its new Plan for Gender Justice.
The Very Latest Smart City Trends
What really is a Smart City and how can we get started?
Today 54% of the world population lives in cities. That will soon increase to 2/3 of the population.
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Each of the keynote speakers at the Smart Cities Summit in Boston quoted the UN statistics about urbanization and how critical it is to make our cities efficient, responsive, and enjoyable to live in. An important part of this is making them resilient; quick to recover from whatever gets thrown their way. What typically causes disruption and disaster? Severe weather accounts for about 90% of the disasters and 47% of those calamities involve flooding.
How Technology Can Empower Local Refugee Communities
A conversation with Alan Vernon, Project Lead, Connectivity for Refugees, UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency and Joséphine Goube, Chief Executive Officer of Techfugees, to unpack UNHCR’s latest report, Connecting Refugees: How Internet and Mobile Connectivity Can Improve Refugee Well-Being and Transform Humanitarian Action, on the critical role that information and communications technology plays in improving the lives of refugees from city to city. From the lifeline of mobile connectivity to internet basics for e-registering health and other services, ICT and online platforms are providing scalable tech solutions that facilitate refugee connection and inclusion and driving enduring social innovation offline.
India can't afford to get urbanization wrong
Indian cities, like several others around the world, are growing in a concerning manner: They’re expanding outward at a rate that outpaces their population growth, and they’re doing so haphazardly—without heed to principles of urban planning, without adequate water, electrical, waste management, or transportation infrastructure and services, and without a regard for the environment.
Rooting sustainability starts on school benches
How can we prepare students for the environmental challenges ahead? One way is to show younger generations the path towards smart cities of the future
Do young people know what a smart city is? Do they care about saving energy and preserving the Earth’s resources? “Rooting sustainability starts on the benches of schools,” affirmed UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova at the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco.
Consuelo García, one of the teachers at CEIP Miguel Hernández, Valladolid, Spain, agrees with Bokova: education is an integral part of any strategy to combat climate change. For example, with 60 school children between 10 and 11 years old, she took part in a green tour of the Torrelago district in Laguna de Duero, near Valladolid. It is Europe’s largest retrofit site, designed to save a lot of energy and to substantially cut CO2. They learnt a lot on energy sustainability and climate impacts and “They were amazed with the different flame colours from biomass heating!”, tells García.
Top 5 Cities That Got Climate Change Right
Climate change is one of the problems the modern world has but cities all over the world are doing their best to address this problem. Here are seven cities that got climate change right according to the C40 Awards because they developed innovative solutions to address this problem in their cities.
Post-conflict Colombia looks to its cities
Urban policy key to turning the corner from 50 years of civil war, policymakers and advocates say.
As Colombian legislators last week approved a revised deal to formally end the longest-running civil conflict in the hemisphere, there is growing recognition that urban policy could be key to delivering a durable peace here.
Forward-thinking cities and regions receive the Guangzhou Award
Five cities and regions have received global recognition for public sector innovations that will transform environmental, social and economic development in their jurisdictions.
On 6 December, during the 2016 Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Conference, the third Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation was awarded to five cities and regions for their innovations in improving social, economic and environmental sustainability:
Reducing urban violence and improving youth outcomes
The world today has the largest population of young people in history, yet tragically, far too many of these youth are unlikely to live past the age of 30. Worldwide, youth aged 15 to 29 make up more than 40 percent of all homicides, while millions more fall victim to nonfatal violent crimes.
Three organizations—the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the University of Chicago Urban Labs, and the World Bank—convened approximately 30 leaders in Chicago from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, and other Latin American and Caribbean countries and the United States working on the front lines of urban youth violence prevention. They discussed promising ways to strengthen urban public safety and improve the lives of youth in cities throughout the Americas.
The power of cities
We live in an increasingly urban world which is shaping our environments and our future. Currently, over half of the global population live in cities and it is estimated that this percentage will rise to 70% by 2050. Cities are both the culprits and the source of innovative solutions to megatrends such as climate change. So, as existing cities grow bigger and new cities are formed, sustainable urbanization is key for a healthy planet. Displaced populations are also part of this trend of increasing urbanization, as 60% and 80% of all refugees and IDPs – respectively – live in urban areas. More refugees and IDPs are moving into urban areas to avoid camp settings that may lack opportunities, such as employment and access to services.
Banks are in a unique position to aid smart cities
Smart cities need the data power of private sectors as well as governments in order to evolve, according to an IoT expert.
Hossein Rahnama, CEO of context-aware computing startup Flybits, said that governments will need help to handle the large volumes of data that are produced in smart cities. They will also struggle to find ways to pay for the technology upgrades they will need to process this data.
Which European cities are the most inventive?
Europe is quite a nice place. Though Nigel Farage, the Conservative Party, and anyone who’s noticed that the second syllable of “Remain” sounds a bit like “moan” will tell you otherwise, there’s some pretty nice stuff there.
The continent is host to three of the world’s richest countries in absolute terms – France, Germany, and Italy. And if you look at the top twenty countries in terms of national wealth per person – aka GDP per capita – then Europe fills more than half the spots, with twelve entries from Luxembourg in pole position to Belgium in 20th place. Poland was one of the fastest-growing countries in the world last year. Good for you, Poland.
Disaster Risk Reduction: Call for city-to-city exchange opportunities
UCLG, with its partners, has carried out concrete actions related to disaster risk reduction, such as training sessions and raising awareness of elected officials and experts, as well as giving its support to the UNISDR "Resilient Cities" Campaign.
UNISDR, with the support of the European Commission’s DG-DEVCO, is calling for the submission of proposals for city learning exchanges on disaster risk reduction and resilience building among local governments.
Rotterdam the world capital of sustainable urban design
The second largest city in the Netherlands, the city of Rotterdam, has become a leader in sustainable urban design. For new buildings sustainable design is standard. The city is home to a number of experimental projects. Next year the world’s first floating dairy farm will open in a local harbor. The port will soon start filtering plastic waste from the harbour. Four things were critical to transform Rotterdam to become a resilient city. First it’s roots as a future-obsessed port, the threat of rising seas, an abundance of open space and a government willing to support new solutions.
Building greener cities: nine benefits of urban trees
For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities. By 2050, this number is expected to increase to 66 percent. The shift from rural to urban areas, mainly in Africa and Asia, is due to poverty and related socio-economic factors.
For the most part, the rapid expansion of cities takes place without any land use planning strategy and the resulting human pressure has highly damaging effects on forests, landscapes, as well as green areas in and around cities. The environmental impacts of urbanization are often intensified by climate change and include increased pollution, decreased availability of food and resources, as well as increased poverty and frequency of extreme climatic events.
How Buffalo Got Its Waterfront Back
River restoration is influencing the city’s economy, public space and environmental health.
On a warm evening late last spring, I took a kayak tour of the Buffalo River, because I wanted to see how Buffalo has transformed a derelict industrial waterway into a nautical playground. I rented my kayak at Canalside, a park built around the unearthed terminus of the Erie Canal, the waterway that 191 years ago made Buffalo a major Great Lakes port. Our tour flotilla passed powerboats, a jet ski, a rowing crew and a stand-up paddleboarder.
4 ways the Maastricht treaty affected Europe’s towns and regions
Precisely 25 years after the meeting that led to the signing of the Maastricht treaty, European mayors and local leaders meet in Maastricht at the occasion of CEMR’s Policy Committee. Here are 4 ways the treaty that created the European Union affected our towns and regions:
Further archived news available on request from: Kate More