31/3/2017 - Real parking needs revealed

31/3/2017 - Sustainable governance through collaborative planning

31/3/2017 - Mapping of automated vehicle activities involving cities

30/3/2017 - Berlin Plans a New Network of Bike Superhighways

30/3/2017 - Green cities are not just for the elite

30/3/2017 - Raising awareness one inch at a time

29/3/2017 - How to effectively manage metropolitan areas?

29/3/2017 - Would Jesus be a gentrifier? How Christianity is embracing urban renewal

29/3/2017 - Humanizing Smart Cities

28/3/2017 - Cities Discover the Power of Collective Intelligence

28/3/2017 - Why cities sink

28/3/2017 - No, the solution to Britain’s cycling problems isn’t glowing tubes in the sky

27/3/2017 - Prospects for C-ITS deployment in cities

27/3/2017 - How the food sector can help reduce youth unemployment in cities

27/3/2017 - EcoMobility in the context of rural – urban connectivity

26/3/2017 - Why Nairobi is a global city in the making

26/3/2017 - What Plugged-In Cities Mean for Personal Privacy

26/3/2017 - How Smaller Communities Can Survive in an Age of Disruption

25/3/2017 - Call for urban mobility change-maker cities

25/3/2017 - What's Behind Declining Transit Ridership Nationwide?

25/3/2017 - How Connected Cities Are A Platform For Innovation

24/3/2017 - Freight in the City Spring Summit attracts strong interest in sustainable urban deliveries

24/3/2017 - How can cities and regions turn barriers in long-term investments into future opportunities?

24/3/2017 - Google Street View can facilitate urban sustainability

23/3/2017 - Singapore May Have Designed the World's Best Bus Stop

23/3/2017 - How Urbanization Is Creating New Digital Opportunities for Tech Providers

23/3/2017 - Cities learning flood management measures

22/3/2017 - Smarter Cities Built On Connected Citizens

22/3/2017 - Solidarity Cities

22/3/2017 - High-Speed Rail and urbanisation challenges

21/3/2017 - European mayors say ‘no’ to rising populism & Euroscepticism

21/3/2017 - Why did a Canadian town’s water supply turn pink?

21/3/2017 - Putting urban mobility at the core of the new urban agenda

20/3/2017 - Is urbanization good for reducing carbon footprint?

20/3/2017 - The truth about property developers: how they are exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities

20/3/2017 - London mayor launches first low emission bus zone

19/3/2017 - Smart buildings: energy efficiency at what price?

19/3/2017 - Here’s what smart cities do to stay ahead

19/3/2017 - How does the city take back control of its energy services?

18/3/2017 - How investable is your city? This index promises an answer

18/3/2017 - The Neighborhood That Went to War Against Gentrifiers

18/3/2017 - Play and learn with UCLG Memory card game on the SDGs and local action

17/3/2017 - An Intelligent Streetlight for the City of the Future

17/3/2017 - Six s’s for smart city success

17/3/2017 - How can we build healthier cities?

16/3/2017 - The State of American Bike-Share

16/3/2017 - Densification beyond the city centre

16/3/2017 - New UN Environment report on the global outlook on walking and cycling

15/3/2017 - Report: Towards Water Smart Cities

15/3/2017 - Why Are European Cities So Dense?

15/3/2017 - Smart grid rises to meet the needs of growing industrialization and urbanization

14/3/2017 - How Women and Men Experience the City. Gender in an Informal Urban Context

14/3/2017 - A whiff of pure air: what measures can reduce traffic in cities

14/3/2017 - Europe’s cities going green despite tight budgets

13/3/2017 - Brussels launches ‘Good Move’, a public consultation plan

13/3/2017 - The world’s smartest cities include Singapore, New York, Barcelona

13/3/2017 - What diplomats can learn from urbanists — and vice versa

11/3/2017 - Culture in sustainable cities. Learning with Culture 21: Actions

11/3/2017 - 5 Simple Urban Fixes for Unpredictable Times

11/3/2017 - New urban governance models to tackle traffic congestion

10/3/2017 - Three misconceptions in the way of better housing policies

10/3/2017 - Six winning projects in "Youth, Sports and Social Cohesion" contest

10/3/2017 - Best Government Emerging Technologies

9/3/2017 - Brussels: terror attacks make people to cycle more

9/3/2017 - In the City of London, Russia Row leads directly to Trump Street

9/3/2017 - Two New Tools for Planning a Healthy Urban Canopy

8/3/2017 - ‘Smart’ city report advises local leaders to plan ahead

8/3/2017 - Curitiba, Brazil: the world’s first sustainable city

8/3/2017 - Urban Sanity. Understanding Urban Mental Health Impacts and How to Create Saner, Happier Cities

7/3/2017 - Sprawling cities are becoming more urban

7/3/2017 - UN-Habitat hosts exhibition on consequences of rising sea levels

7/3/2017 - 'Forest cities': the radical plan to save China from air pollution

6/3/2017 - These Places Lost the Smart Cities Challenge. But They Say They Ended Up Ahead.

6/3/2017 - Cities announce the “Network of Cities

6/3/2017 - Join the Intercultural Cities 2017 Milestone Event

5/3/2017 - Productive, Livable Cities Will Open Africa's Doors to the World

5/3/2017 - New ICT empowering the Smart City Ecosystems

5/3/2017 - What American Cities Can Learn From Their Small-Town Neighbors

4/3/2017 - How 5G Can Help Municipalities Become Vibrant Smart Cities

4/3/2017 - New EUKN publication: partnership urban mobility, setting priorities

4/3/2017 - The Urban Disadvantage: Rethinking Maternal and Newborn Health Priorities

3/3/2017 - What happens to my waste?

3/3/2017 - Can Other U.S. Cities Follow in NYC’s Footsteps to Help Renters?

3/3/2017 - When Street Parking Becomes a Pop-Up Bus Lane

2/3/2017 - Canberra, Australia Upgrades Parking Machines

2/3/2017 - History of the Present: Mexico City

2/3/2017 - Bike2Work project got half a million people out of their cars

1/3/2017 - Brazilian Cities Prioritize Urban Restoration

1/3/2017 - The challenge of inactive citizens for cities

1/3/2017 - New rooftop experiment for urban farming and water storage systems


Real parking needs revealed

Urban areas that are close to transit stations are more valuable because the offer accessible mobility which is considered a commodity. Transit stations or mobility hubs are places where a large amount of commuters travel to and through to reach their final destination. These places have therefore large interests for economies, residencies and public spaces.
It is common that spaces close to these transit stations end up being partly used for parking. The question is, how much? Standard engineering guidelines are designed for mostly isolated suburban land uses—not walkable, urban places served by transit. There is a need for alternative guidelines for livable, ecomobile neighborhoods.

Sustainable governance through collaborative planning

Governments are not set up for rapid change. By implementing collaborative planning strategies or collaborative rationality, there is an opportunity for sustainable governance. Utilizing collaborative planning strategies, decisions are made through the interaction of various stakeholders to reach a decision regarding the problems that exist within a system. In order to reach a consensus, cohesive insight, knowledge and understanding is required. This is an alternative to the traditional linear model of planning which has a hierarchical nature. Collaborative rationality relies on expert knowledge and reasoning, while taking into consideration stakeholder needs.

Mapping of automated vehicle activities involving cities

Polis is supporting a US initiative to build up a map of urban automated vehicles pilots, policies and plans from cities across the globe.  The purpose of this initiative, led by The Bloomberg/Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles, is to create a centralised resource for local leaders who want to learn how other cities are preparing for or experiencing automated vehicles.

Berlin Plans a New Network of Bike Superhighways

Can Germany’s capital become the next great bike-friendly city?
Twenty years ago, Berlin’s network of sidewalk paths marked it out as one of Europe’s best places to ride a bike. But as the German capital knows well, it’s not easy to keep a reputation as a bike-friendly city. Nowadays, Berlin looks decidedly behind the times compared to Amsterdam and Copenhagen, with its bike-lane network characterized by limited space and poor separation from cars and pedestrians. Thanks to plans being hammered out by Berlin’s lawmakers right now, that could all be about to change.

Green cities are not just for the elite

Green cities have become a key goal of urban development. They are environmentally friendly, provide clean water, protect green space, and offer an enhanced public experience.
However, they’re not perfect. In fact, some of the different needs of citizens may have been neglected amid all the attention lavished on green cities. A green city in many real-life cases is neither green everywhere, nor green for everyone. Also, a green city does not guarantee an economically strong city, nor a livable place for people of all income classes.

Raising awareness one inch at a time

Within Europe, Amsterdam has established itself as a leader and pioneer in terms of citizen rights, community inclusion initiatives and social innovations. Recently, with the launch of ‘Women friendly city’ project that follows an Italian initiative, Amsterdam aims at holding another title, that of ‘most female-friendly society’. The goals of the project are high, yet the means are simple. The key is in the details, more specifically 1 inch mosaic tiles.

How to effectively manage metropolitan areas?

Today, a quarter of the world’s population lives in urban “agglomerations”—supersized metropolitan areas that cut across jurisdictional boundaries and bring together one or more cities along with their surrounding areas.
These metropolitan areas face a common challenge: effectively coordinating planning, infrastructure development, and service delivery across multiple jurisdictions. This is particularly difficult in developing countries, which often lack the necessary legal, institutional, and governance apparatus to undertake such coordination. The New Urban Agenda issued by the Habitat III conference in 2016 identified metropolitan planning and management as one of the most critical needs to ensure sustainable urbanization.

Would Jesus be a gentrifier? How Christianity is embracing urban renewal

To a new breed of churches, dilapidated neighbourhoods are the fallen world – and salvation lies not just in prayer but in pop-ups, vintage shops and bakeries
In the 1990s, the Bristol neighbourhood of Stokes Croft was a hub of unchecked creativity. The vast Victorian façades, many of which had been abandoned to the elements, were a ready-made canvas for street artists such as Banksy and Robert Del Naja (also known as 3D), who became household names. Sound systems piled into squats while the police turned a blind eye, fostering global stars such as Tricky and Massive Attack.

Humanizing Smart Cities

The citizens are the city, so for smart cities to be realized, the citizens should be placed at the center and become the focus of the outcome that the city is trying to achieve. Smart cities must be human-centered and humanized in order to win over the hearts and wallets of their citizens, and succeed in becoming truly smart.

Cities Discover the Power of Collective Intelligence

A new study by William Eggers finds cities that tap the wisdom of the masses can maximize the impact of smart technology investments.
When it comes to reimagining urban planning, William Eggers talks about the paths children make in the snow. You can hire an urban planner to lay out the walkways in a playground based on the way people ought to go, said the executive director of Deloitte Center for Government Insights. Or you can watch kids walk through the snow, observe the trails they follow, then use those as the guide for laying out the pathways.
“There is a collective intelligence in cities,” Eggers said. “City officials can tap into that to make better decisions, but it starts with understanding that bottom-up intelligence. That’s your starting point.”

Why cities sink

The good news is some causes of land subsidence can be stopped
If a city sinks into the ground but nobody notices, is it really sinking? After many years of tempting fate Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, found its answer in 2007 when a regular (if especially high) tide triggered a massive flood: 76 people were killed and nearly 590,000 made homeless. The process of land subsidence is slow, often invisible and affects most citizens only rarely. But a World Bank report from 2013 reckoned that by 2050 “risks from sea-level rise and sinking land” will cost the world’s large coastal cities up to $1trn a year. According to data released by NASA and the European Space Agency earlier this month, parts of a 715km aqueduct in California sank more than 60cm between 2013 and 2016. The Oroville dam, at the head of the aqueduct, has spent most of February threatening to flood communities below. Why do cities sink?

No, the solution to Britain’s cycling problems isn’t glowing tubes in the sky

Of all the things that annoy me about the modern media industry – and goodness me there’s a lot to choose from – the one I find most profoundly irritating is the increasingly entrenched belief that advertising should be free; that time-pressed content monkeys like yours truly can be tricked into offering publicity for any old nonsense, providing that the pictures are pretty enough.

Prospects for C-ITS deployment in cities

A number of reports and other materials about cooperative ITS/C-ITS and cities produced within the European projects CIMEC and CODECS are now available for downloading, providing insight to the views and requirements of cities as well as the view of the supplier market.

How the food sector can help reduce youth unemployment in cities

The world needs to wake up to “the ticking time bomb” of youth unemployment in European medium-sized cities and treat the issue as seriously as humanitarian disasters and global efforts to eradicate disease. the Agri-Urban URBACT project works on rethinking agri-food production in small and medium-sized cities, the main goal being to find solutions that can stimulate job creation in the agri-food value chain. It recently reviewed in particular small initiatives that can boost employment such as for instance cooperation between farmers, alliances between food and farm businesses. 

EcoMobility in the context of rural – urban connectivity

Although more than half of the population worldwide now lives in cities, there is still the remaining half living in rural areas. In addition, some developing regions today still have the majority of their population living in rural areas. In this sense, both rural and urban areas deserve clean, affordable, accessible and safe mobility. Sustainable transport is vital to maintaining the environmental and economic well-being of both rural and urban areas and to ensure access to services for both inhabitants and visitors. Despite this, policies and efforts for sustainable mobility have focused on the urban areas, overlooking mobility between urban and rural areas and also mobility within rural areas. EcoMobility can support connectivity between rural areas and cities.

Why Nairobi is a global city in the making

Nairobi has long been known as one of Africa’s most dynamic cities. Now, as its growing economy and rising prosperity levels fuel a development boom, it’s fast building a reputation as one of the world’s most dynamic cities.
Kenya’s capital has soared to tenth in JLL’s latest City Momentum Index, despite only entering the top 30 last year. Its meteoric rise reflects its position as an emerging powerhouse with a huge role to play in helping Kenya realise its potential as one of Africa’s great success stories. Figures are charting upwards for key boom-time indicators such as GDP, population, enrolment in education and life expectancy, although with a poverty headcount ratio of 45 percent as recently as 2005, there remains a long way to go.

What Plugged-In Cities Mean for Personal Privacy

As more cities track phones to improve subway service or use cameras to enforce speeding, questions of privacy — of what, exactly, that data will be used for and how long its shelf life will be — become increasingly important. Unfortunately, researchers from Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society say many of the international frameworks that exist to protect individual privacy don’t go far enough.
In a new report, “Open Data Privacy Playbook,” the researchers look at the inherent conflict of open data: “granular” data — raw and record-level information — is the most useful for business, policy and research purposes, but it also contains the most detailed personal information, which carries the most risk.

How Smaller Communities Can Survive in an Age of Disruption

As one Georgia city has shown, it's about getting the right people to address the right issues.
The dual and related disruptions of technology and globalization have for the most part been good news for business productivity and for the large cities and metro areas that are well positioned to take advantage of them. Cities like Houston, Los Angeles and New York can readily offer a diverse and skilled workforce along with communications and transportation for global connections.

Call for urban mobility change-maker cities

The Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) and the urban mobility SOLUTIONS Network are calling for cities from Europe to become involved as leading city, take-up city or training participants.
The SOLUTIONS Network (link is external) and UEMI (link is external)are looking for take-up cities to work together on the implementation of sustainable urban mobility measures. As part of urban implementation actions the team now works with cities to assess the opportunities for e-mobility concepts in their wider sustainable transport strategy. 

What's Behind Declining Transit Ridership Nationwide?

New York City’s subway system has posted its first dip in ridership since 2009, according to data from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The news follows a news week full of reported transit passenger declines in Los Angeles and San Francisco. And, for years, nearly every city in the U.S. (with a few notable exceptions) has posted negative percent changes, too.
Which raises two questions as old as public transit itself: Where do the riders go, when they go? And how can cities bring them back?

How Connected Cities Are A Platform For Innovation

In this article, Peter Madden, Chief Executive of Future Cities Catapult, explains UK’s vision, challenges and opportunities in the smart city sector.
According to the author, urban innovators are increasingly thinking of the city not just in terms of place, but as a platform. Throughout history, cities have been crucibles of innovation because of physical concentration of people, the independence of spirit, and the creative collision of different backgrounds. Today, the connectivity revolution through which we are living offers new possibilities. Digital platforms are already changing the way we use our urban spaces: AirBnB for staying; Tinder for dating; Uber for moving. The next wave of transformative change may come from seeing the whole city as an innovation platform.

Freight in the City Spring Summit attracts strong interest in sustainable urban deliveries

More than 350 visitors attended the Freight in the City Spring Summit this week to explore innovative ways of handling urban freight movements.
Starting the event with a powerful keynote speech was Labour MP Rob Flello, a keen supporter of the freight industry, who urged operators to approach government swiftly and collectively to address freight policy ahead of full Brexit negotiations.

How can cities and regions turn barriers in long-term investments into future opportunities?

Cities and regions call the EU  institutions for flexibility when making long-term public investments in strategic public sectors. On 8 march 2017 the Urban Intergroup and the Long-term Investment and Reindustrialisation Intergroup hosted a joint workshop led by Polis and co-organised by CEMR and EUROCITIES at the European Parliament in Brussels entitled "Long-term investments: barriers and opportunities for regional and local authorities".

Google Street View can facilitate urban sustainability

Researchers at Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore – ETH centre, have used Google Street View to understand and map out the shade provided by trees in city areas thereby paving way for further studies using the huge Street View data set for the enhancement of green spaces for urban sustainability.
The importance of green spaces is known to all particularly in the urban areas and yet there has never been any such development for quantification of the shade provided to the surface by trees which eventually help mitigate flood risk, cool the urban micro-climate and provide suchlike eco-system services.

Singapore May Have Designed the World's Best Bus Stop

An architecture firm and the government collaborated on a bus stop with books, a rooftop garden, and a swing.
While the U.S. is known for its sorry bus stops—despite creative grassroots efforts to improve them—Singapore’s bus stops are already pretty decent. In the year and a half I lived there, I never came across one without seating and a roof—vital in a tropical climate prone to downpours. Still, they’re pretty humdrum affairs, and not places you’d want to spend much time in.

How Urbanization Is Creating New Digital Opportunities for Tech Providers

Since the dawn of mankind, tech has been the driving force behind the way we as human beings interact with and experience the world. From the first stone tools to the latest mobile apps, the discovery of new technology and innovation in the ways people think have gone hand in hand. This relationship has, perhaps, never been as evident as it is today, in the midst of the Digital Transformation (DX). Technology forms the lens through which we see ourselves, each other, and the societies in which we live. It makes it a very cool time to be a tech writer.

Cities learning flood management measures

Representatives from the towns of Andrano (Italy) and Agueda (Portugal) visited the Italian town of Isola Vicentina on 11-12 January. The three cities share a Mediterranean climate and are recently facing similar challenges caused by climate change. These include water and flood management and extreme weather conditions (storms but also elevated temperatures in summer).

Smarter Cities Built On Connected Citizens

How does a city get smart?
The road to becoming a smart city is a long one, but it begins by offering city residents greater connectivity and opening up smoother communication between residents and city officials.
A few urban areas around the world have taken the first steps needed to make these modern urban visions a reality. For example, in New York, mobile ticketing technology is making it easier for people to pay for rides on the MTA. In Dubai, the Smart Dubai program was launched in 2014 to transform Dubai into “the happiest city on Earth” and offers residents a “Happiness Meter” to track the initiative’s progress.

Solidarity Cities

Witness to the biggest global migration movement of our time, the new Solidarity Cities initiative welcomes all European cities to work together in a committed effort to support refugee reception and integration. Led by the Mayor of Athens, Georgios Kaminis, and based on the framework of the EUROCITIES network, Solidary Cities plan to stand as a united front in response to the multiple challenges posed by the migration and refugee crisis. Afterall, they’re saying, integration and social cohesion manifest at the local level and city leaders are prepared to strengthen their role to confront issues of migration through cooperative and collaborative measures, guidelines for social cohesion and a robust support system for developing and implementing good integration practices.

High-Speed Rail and urbanisation challenges

The construction of the new high-speed rail (My HSR) will most likely speed up Malaysia’s process of urbanization and modernization and reshape the regional economic geography.
However, the high-speed rail project will have to deal with unstable economic environments that are undergoing major changes due to the oversaturation of the global market and the plateauing of the Chinese economy.
The researches at Anbound have conducted many studies and analyses on the effects that the high-speed rail will have on rising new cities and they are suggesting that the local governments monitor the scale of development of these new cities and keep it under control while paying attention to the possible loss of resources which the high-speed rail might bring about.

European mayors say ‘no’ to rising populism & Euroscepticism

On Tuesday 7 March, EUROCITIES held a ‘Mayors summit on the future of Europe’ in the Committee of the Regions to debate the worrying trend of rising populism and Euroscepticism.
Gathering 17 mayors and 17 vice mayors from cities across Europe - and representatives from the European institutions including two Commission vice presidents, Frans Timmermans and Jyrki Katainen, Commissioner Corina Cretu, as well as the deputy prime minister of Malta, Louis Grech – EUROCITIES set up a very timely debate.

Why did a Canadian town’s water supply turn pink?

Most of us take it for granted that the taps in our homes will deliver safe and clean water for drinking, cooking, showering and cleaning. This means there is usually little interest from the public in how the water gets there. However, it took less than a day for a story from Onoway, a small town in Alberta, Canada, with just over 1,000 residents, to make it from social media to global newsfeeds. “Bright pink water comes out of taps in Canada!” – suddenly we are all interested in water treatment methods. The Conversation

Putting urban mobility at the core of the new urban agenda

From 16 to 20 October in Quito, Ecuador, the EcoMobility Days gathered local representatives, change-makers from the public and the private sectors, and urban mobility enthusiasts. In total, over 50 speakers from more than 25 countries exchanged practices, visions of the future of urban mobility and concrete tools and methodology during an intense 5-day program attended by over 200 participants.
The EcoMobility days were organized by the ICLEI EcoMobility Alliance, with support from partners such as FIA Foundation, EUROCLIMA and various other organizations working in the area of urban mobility. EcoMobility Days is a part of the technical workshop series of the EcoMobility Alliance and an effort to equip local governments to implement the New Urban Agenda, which was also being discussed at the UN’s Habitat III conference held during the same time in Quito, Ecuador.

Is urbanization good for reducing carbon footprint?

No doubt, the increased density of big cities leads to less energy use and fewer greenhouse gas emissions per capita. “The biggest factor is transportation, first, simply because trips get shorter, and second, because trips are more likely taken by transit, biking and walking, which are more energy efficient than cars,” says Dan Bertolet of Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based sustainability think-tank. “Density also leads to less energy use in buildings for two reasons: The housing tends to be smaller, and the shared walls/floors/ceilings in multifamily buildings help conserve heating and cooling.”

The truth about property developers: how they are exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities

Affordable housing quotas get waived and the interests of residents trampled as toothless authorities bow to the dazzling wealth of investors from Russia, China and the Middle East.

London mayor launches first low emission bus zone

The first ever low emission bus zone (LEBZ) has officially been launched in London.
It is part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s strategy to tackle air pollution and is the first of 12 LEBZs in the capital.
It has been launched in Putney – one of the most polluted areas in London – which runs a total of 145 buses on seven scheduled routes.
Putney High Street exceeded legal levels of Nitrogen Dioxide on 1,248 occasions last year but under EU rules, the limit can’t be exceeded more than 18 times a year.

Smart buildings: energy efficiency at what price?

Automating heating and other environmental controls can bring huge savings to commercial buildings. To what extent is it possible to achieve the same results in residential homes? What is the difference between so called domotics and inmotics?
Smart buildings appear to respond to a range of energy challenges found in Europe today. Improved efficiency would help consumers reduce income spent on energy consumption, reduce greenhouse emissions and also help EU countries meet the goals of the 2030 energy strategy. But how does home automation, also known as domotics, work? Can it really deliver on its promises of efficiency?

Here’s what smart cities do to stay ahead

Smart cities create a symbiosis between information, the Internet of Things and technologies to make better decisions and provide desired services. These cities map community preferences to improve services and infrastructure including public transport, libraries and waste services. They use sensors, Bluetooth and iPhones to track conditions and activities and send awareness messages ahead of emerging problems and disasters.
Smart cities integrate businesses in an expanding global innovation network. They do much more than creating a single great product or industry to stay ahead of the innovation curve. They develop visioning initiatives to create their preferred futures.

How does the city take back control of its energy services?

It is not an easy task to make the transition from a private to a city-run system. The circumstances leading to this move can vary greatly, be it dissatisfaction with the private services, new political priorities of the city council or pressure from civil society.

How investable is your city? This index promises an answer

Mayors and other local leaders will soon have a new tool to analyze how attractive their cities are to investors. The “Investable Cities Index” is the latest addition to a growing number of standardized city metrics for urban performance.
The World Council on City Data (WCCD) announced the new initiative at the Global Cities Summit, a three-day meeting of officials from local and national government, the private sector and academia, taking place here this week. The three-year-old council is based at the University of Toronto and has been involved primarily in spearheading a series of global standards by which cities can compare themselves along hundreds of metrics.

The Neighborhood That Went to War Against Gentrifiers

In East L.A.’s Boyle Heights, an art gallery closes, and a group of activists and residents claim a victory in their battle against encroaching development.
In May of last year, a nonprofit art gallery called PSSST was preparing to open in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights, a working-class Latino community just across the river from downtown Los Angeles’s Arts District. Instead, on what should have been opening day, the gallery faced a crowd of protesters gathered in front of the space, banging drums, holding posters, and chanting slogans in English (“We don’t need galleries, we need higher salaries!”) and Spanish (“¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!”). At some point during the day’s protest, someone threw feces at the window, according to the owners; eventually, a neighbor called the police.

Play and learn with UCLG Memory card game on the SDGs and local action

The new UCLG memory card game was designed to inspire local action while familiarizing participants with the 17 goals. All images present local solutions to global challenges that guarantee the stimulation of knowledge sharing and learning. However, the practices showcased in the game are just examples of the many actions taking place at local level; local, regional and global knowledge can be enriched by the sharing of more practices that participants may think of. 

An Intelligent Streetlight for the City of the Future

The trend towards urbanization is continuing and it is projected that by 2050 nearly 70 percent of mankind will reside in urban areas. Such demographic changes will impact on a city’s infrastructure, driving requirements for smarter, more secure and energy-efficient solutions.
Infineon Technologies AG and eluminocity GmbH have jointly developed an intelligent streetlight to tackle these requirements. In promoting e-mobility, helping to save energy and enabling a connected infrastructure, the streetlight can serve as the backbone for the city of the future.

Six s’s for smart city success

Technology empowers cities to respond quickly to demographic and economic shifts, and smarter infrastructure and applications enriches people’s lives. At Nokia, we believe that only responsive, flexible ICT that works for humanity will make smart cities really ‘smart, safe and sustainable’.
Cities are deploying smart, safe, and sustainable applications
Already today, municipalities around the globe are deploying a broad variety of innovative services and applications to streamline their own operations and to change the urban experience for city dwellers and travellers. A Nokia-sponsored report, The Smart City Playbook by Machina Research, groups smart city applications and activities under the headings Smart, Safe, and Sustainable the first combination to ‘S’ucceed in the city transformation journey.

How can we build healthier cities?

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford,” said Samuel Johnson in the 18th century. For Johnson, the rich tapestry of London life and the myriad cultural assets clearly outweighed any downsides of city dwelling.
For others, though, city life is a grind. Public transport is overcrowded, house prices are soaring, traffic is at gridlock and diesel fumes hang almost perceptibly in the air. Little surprise, then, that people do become tired of London, even if not of life itself.
Even if issues such as air pollution are taken out of the equation, living in a city can be bad for your health – not good news considering that the World Health Organization estimates that, in 2017, the majority of people live in urban areas.

The State of American Bike-Share

It’s no secret that bike-share systems have exploded across the U.S. in the past decade. From already bike-friendly cities like New York and Portland to cities known for their sprawl, such as Las Vegas and Atlanta, more than 50 cities have gotten in on the bike-share action. A snapshot of bike-share systems nationwide released Thursday by the National Association of City Transportation Officials lays out how and where that explosive growth has taken place.

Densification beyond the city centre

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

New UN Environment report on the global outlook on walking and cycling

The Global Outlook on Walking and Cycling looks at ideas from around the world, including the policies for decision makers and the realities for citizens, to show what really works. 

Report: Towards Water Smart Cities

The Climate-KIC Pathfinder ‘Towards Water Smart Cities’ has resulted in a co-designed inspiring and viable business case to demonstrate and reproduce integrated Water Smart Cities innovations on district level in both The Netherlands and Denmark.
Water Smart City approach is a visionary approach to integrate sustainable urban planning and water management that aims to minimise the hydrological impacts of urban development on the surrounding environment.

Why Are European Cities So Dense?

Which city do you think is more dense: Paris or New York City?
That’s the question posed by the latest video from Wendover Productions, the folks who render addictively tidy explanations for complex transportation, geography, and legal matters. After their recent video on why American trains are such a pain, Wendover is channeling their inner urbanist once again to tackle density—specifically, why European cities pack so many more people into their urban cores.

Smart grid rises to meet the needs of growing industrialization and urbanization

Most nations worldwide are trying to raise their electricity production to complement increasing industrialization and urbanization. This factor has significantly contributed to the rise of substation installation in order to deliver electricity to various remote parts of a nation, according to a recent market report.

How Women and Men Experience the City. Gender in an Informal Urban Context

The term gender is used to understand the social differences between men and women and what it means to be male or female in society. Space and time affect gender relations. What might be acceptable in London, United Kingdom, may prove to be impossible in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Similarly, gender relations shift over time, and not always towards growing equality.
Informal settlements are dominant particularly across the global South, where they account for 78.2% of urban living (UN Habitat, 2003). Their qualities vary enormously. This brief overview is necessarily generalising, recognising that some informal environments may be well-located, house wealthier residents, be solidly built, serviced and relatively secure in terms of tenure.

A whiff of pure air: what measures can reduce traffic in cities

The high pollution levels that hit Europe in January brought home the importance of promoting less polluting modes of transport and redesigning traffic flows to reduce congestion. Some cities have tackled the problem by implementing traffic-regulating schemes. Cities have a major part to play but asthe mayors of 20 European cities reminded the COP21 audience in Paris, measures also have to be taken at the European level, for example by tightening up the overly lax European standards on NOx emissions.

Europe’s cities going green despite tight budgets

European cities are successfully future-proofing against climate change despite budgetary constraints.
That’s according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report, which highlights a range of green successes and demonstrates how they could be implemented elsewhere.Popular and relatively cost effective measures include building more green spaces and installing green roofs, both of which enhance water retention, aid cooling and provide thermal insulation.

Brussels launches ‘Good Move’, a public consultation plan

Pascal Smet, minister of mobility of the Brussels capital region, announced 'Good Move', a consultation initiative feeding into Brussels’ regional mobility plan 2018-2028 . ‘Good move’ will offer a platform where not only mobility experts but also residents, municipalities, associations, companies, and administrations can express their opinion on Brussels' long-term mobility plans.

The world’s smartest cities include Singapore, New York, Barcelona

The world’s smartest cities in terms of technology-sensing infrastructure include Singapore, New York, Barcelona, Oslo, London, and San Francisco, according to Unacast’s latest Proximity.Directory Report (Formerly Proxbook).
The new Q4 2016 report chronicles the cities that have deployed Proximity Sensors, or sensors that detect things like whether a car is in a parking spot. The report has aggregated data from more than 370 Proximity Solution Providers in over 50 different countries.

What diplomats can learn from urbanists — and vice versa

No matter where you sat — in a negotiating chair, as a representative of civil society, as a member of the media — the process that led up to the recent Habitat III conference on sustainable cities presented a trilemma.
The summit took place in Quito, Ecuador, in October, preceded by four months of formal political negotiations at the United Nations. However, to understand fully those talks, their subject matter and the potential impact of their outcome document, the New Urban Agenda, diplomats and participants needed at least three forms of well-developed 

Culture in sustainable cities. Learning with Culture 21: Actions

Based on Culture 21 Actions, and building on the experiences of the Pilot City programme of 2014, 2015 and 2016, the Committee on culture of UCLG launched the programme called ‘Culture in Sustainable Cities. Learning with Culture 21 Actions’. This programme enables participating cities to become “Pilot Cities” of the Agenda 21 for culture, and permits them to participate in a learning, capacity-building and connectivity strenghtening process, on the basis of the principles and actions included in Culture 21 Actions.

5 Simple Urban Fixes for Unpredictable Times

My older brother John enjoys bicycling on back roads and through unheralded towns, and then writing about what he sees on his blog. Despite our typical sibling rivalry, I’ll admit that some of his observations have merit. When not admiring old modernist motels, John notes that much of the country looks like hell. He rolls on roads that are crumbling, over rusty bridges and past pretty much abandoned everything -- houses, strip malls, office parks, even entire shopping malls.
But there are some places he passes that he says look nice, even “over-funded.” Interestingly, most of these places have a connection to government. They include airports, universities, military bases, courthouses and medical facilities. Amidst the rundown places John bikes past, these stand out as islands of well-kept shrubbery and well-tended buildings.

New urban governance models to tackle traffic congestion 

On 25 January, the CREATE project organised a reception dedicated to the theme of ’Strong urban governance for liveable cities‘.

The event in Brussels was attended by 40 participants, including a representative of the European Commission‘s DG MOVE.
Peter Jones from University College London and Charlotte Halpern from the Centre d’Etudes Européennes de Sciences Po discussed the results of the CREATE project’s mid-term review. 

Three misconceptions in the way of better housing policies

While the need for housing is widespread, individually people have different needs—depending on whether they are single, married, senior citizens, families with children, or members with disabilities. Despite the best of intentions of policymakers, "a roof overhead" remains an elusive goal for a large majority of the world’s people. Most households cannot afford even the cheapest house that fits their needs and qualifies as “decent,” and no government alone can close this gap with subsidies. Nor are we on track to build the 300 million new houses needed to close the housing gap by 2030.

Six winning projects in "Youth, Sports and Social Cohesion" contest

Under the framework of the Metropolis initiatives, six multidisciplinary projects in Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Medellin were chosen on 16 December as examples of how to promote integrated sports to encourage inclusion of at-risk youth.
The projects were classified into two categories: "Project bank", for those that are already completed, and "Project lab", which are projects that have not yet been launched but centre around sport. 

Best Government Emerging Technologies

?he report recognises governments that are experimenting with emerging technologies to provide government services more efficiently, effectively and have proven results showing how they have created greater public value and transformed people’s lives. The report analysed and identified 29 Emerging Technologies, grouped in 9 categories that include technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Robotics & Space, Smart Platforms, amongst other.

Brussels: terror attacks make people to cycle more

The March 2016 terror attacks in Brussels caused a (temporary) modal shift towards cycling, reports Pro_Vélo, the Brussels cycling advocacy group. This is only a small aspect of a larger trend towards more cycling in the Brussels region.
The bicycle advocacy group Pro-Vélo does regular bicycle counts. In may 2016, morning peak bicycle traffic was 50% higher than one year before. The association concludes that people prefered to cycle in the weeks and months after the 22 March attacks, specifically on those routes close to the metroline on which the bomb attack occured.

In the City of London, Russia Row leads directly to Trump Street

I was walking across the City of London this morning, as I often do when I'm in one part of the City of London and want to get to another part of the City of London. And in an attempt to mix it up a bit, I decided to take the back streets.
I headed west down Throgmorton Street, continued as it turned into Lothbury and then Gresham Street, and turned left onto King Street. Before I got to Cheapside I decided to take a right down Trump Street, which I'd first noticed on 20 January – Inauguration Day – a day when, even by the horrific standards of 2017, Donald Trump was inescapable and I seemed to be seeing his name everywhere like the end of that episode of Doctor Who*.

Two New Tools for Planning a Healthy Urban Canopy

Trees are a vital part of urban communities, providing social, environmental, and economic benefits. However, the urban environment is a difficult one for most trees due to the added stresses of soil compaction and lack of available soil, among many other challenges. Once established, their success is often further complicated by infrastructure conflicts and maintenance concerns on the part of planners, developers, and owners. Fortunately, the U.S. Forest Service has developed two new tools to help plan for and manage a healthy urban forest: one that guides designers and tree managers to select tree species likely to survive in the built environment, and another to monitor tree health to ensure trees become an asset instead of a liability.

‘Smart’ city report advises local leaders to plan ahead

Technologies such as wireless sensors, digital government portals, crowdsourcing and mobile phone apps can help cities boost revenue and efficiencies across all sectors of administration.  
To reap these benefits, however, cities must invest wisely, define clear goals and protect citizens through strong privacy protections, the Uraia Platform concludes in a recent report.

Curitiba, Brazil: the world’s first sustainable city

Although there’s a lot of talk about cities that are sustainable, green and built for people, you’ve probably never heard much about the city of Curitiba, the capital of the Parana province in Brazil and the eighth most populous city in the country.

Urban Sanity. Understanding Urban Mental Health Impacts and How to Create Saner, Happier Cities

Does urban living threaten our mental health and happiness? Popular culture is rife with stories suggesting that city living causes emotional stress and unhappiness. Some scientific studies also suggest that mental illness and depression rates increase with urban density. Are these claims credible? What are their implications? How can communities and individuals maximize urban mental health and happiness?
These are important and timely questions. The human experience is increasingly urban; we are in the middle of the transition from 80% of the world’s population living in rural to 80% in urban areas. Decision-makers and individuals need practical guidance on how to maximize sanity and happiness when planning cities and choosing where to live. This article summarizes recent research on these issues.

Sprawling cities are becoming more urban

America's most automobile-oriented cities are changing their growth patterns, making room for new urban planning and development.
The largest 25 US “sprawling cities” are still growing at a tremendous rate this decade—but their growth now includes complete neighborhoods in addition to fragmented sprawl.
Sprawling cities—such as Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, and Dallas, predominantly in the Sunbelt—grew mostly during the “age of sprawl,” from 1950 to 2010. Although these cities have traditional downtowns and neighborhoods, conventional suburban development with drive-only thoroughfares covers the vast majority of their land area.

UN-Habitat hosts exhibition on consequences of rising sea levels

UN Habitat’s is hosting the exhibition “Where will we go?” in the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, in Barcelona, Spain.
The audio-visual production held under the auspices of UN-Habitat’s City Resilience Profiling Programme is by renowned photo-journalist Kadir van Lohuizen and is running from February 17th through March 17th, 2017 exploring the plight of people permanently displaced as a result of the impact of a changing climate.
The official opening of the exhibition took place on Friday, February 17 presided over by Kadir van Lohuizen, with Dan Lewis, Head of the UN Habitat’s global Risk Reduction and Resilience programmes, and Arnau Queralt i Bassa, Director of the Advisory Council for Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS).

'Forest cities': the radical plan to save China from air pollution

Stefano Boeri, the architect famous for his plant-covered skyscrapers, has designs to create entire new green settlements in a nation plagued by dirty air
When Stefano Boeri imagines the future of urban China he sees green, and lots of it. Office blocks, homes and hotels decked from top to toe in a verdant blaze of shrubbery and plant life; a breath of fresh air for metropolises that are choking on a toxic diet of fumes and dust.

These Places Lost the Smart Cities Challenge. But They Say They Ended Up Ahead.

Even though Denver and Austin came up just short in the federal technology competition, both are moving forward with their ideas.
Neither Austin or Denver won last year’s federal Smart City Challenge. But top officials in both cities say they are already reaping the rewards for competing, anyway.
Columbus, Ohio, ultimately walked away with bragging rights and $50 million in federal and private money. But transportation officials in many of the cities that didn't win say they're still moving ahead with some of the ideas they proposed for the contest.

Cities announce the “Network of Cities

Scaling City Innovate Foundation’s Urban Transportation Initiative” at Superpublic
City Innovate Foundation, Superpublic and its cross-sector partners announce network of cities for scaling its inaugural Mobility Solutions.
During the 2017 U.S. Conference of Mayors, City Innovate Foundation (CIF) announced the collection of cities who will participate in the upcoming phase of their program to enhance public transit. The participating cities include San Francisco, Oakland, Chattanooga, Miami-Dade County and Los Angeles. The program starts in early March and will be hosted in Miami and San Francisco.

Join the Intercultural Cities 2017 Milestone Event

Engage in a debate with Mayors about the most innovative and successful approaches to managing urban cultural diversity and the intercultural approach to social integration across Europe and worldwide.
Help design solutions to urban challenges in dialogue with diverse residents of Lisbon – experience the power of the diversity advantage.

Productive, Livable Cities Will Open Africa's Doors to the World

Urbanization is a source of dynamism that can enhance productivity and increase economic integration, says a new World Bank report, Africa’s Cities: Opening Doors to the World, released today.
If well managed, cities can help countries accelerate growth and “open the doors” to global markets in two ways: (i) by creating productive environments that attract international investment and increase economic efficiency and (ii) by creating livable environments that prevent urban costs from rising excessively with increased densification. By generating agglomeration economies, cities can enhance productivity and spur innovation and national economic diversification.

New ICT empowering the Smart City Ecosystems

Governments in the Asia-Pacific Region are greatly concerned about the ways to build Smart Cities via new ICT. These ICT technologies –such as Cloud Computing, IoT, Big Data, and Mobility– are effectively resolving the contradictions between human beings and natural resources arising from accelerating urbanization. Huawei is incorporating excellent capabilities and practices of global industry partners into its holistic Smart City solutions. 

What American Cities Can Learn From Their Small-Town Neighbors

When the Department of Transportation decided to decommission a bridge spanning a creek in rural farming country, they told a local farmer whose properties spanned both sides of the creek that he needed to find a new route to access his property. The farmer, who had been transporting agricultural equipment across the bridge for years, asked if instead he could pay for and perform bridge maintenance himself, or have ownership of the bridge transferred over to him and remove the state’s liability — any solution that would keep him from having to drive four miles out of his way, wasting time and fuel, to use the next nearest bridge. The state’s response was blunt: The farmer was not allowed to repair the bridge, changing ownership of the bridge was not possible and any further use of the bridge would be subject to fines.

How 5G Can Help Municipalities Become Vibrant Smart Cities

The next generation of wireless network infrastructure will be built using small-cell networks employing 5G wireless technology. This report presents how the connectivity and computing capacity unleashed by these high-speed wireless networks can have significant economic and community benefits, through reductions in energy usage, traffic congestion and fuel costs, or by creating jobs as well as entire new industries across the United States.

New EUKN publication: partnership urban mobility, setting priorities

On 14 December 2016, the EUKN and the Ministry of Regional Development from the Czech Republic organised a policy lab on Urban Mobility, one of the 12 priority themes set by the Urban Agenda for the EU. The Urban Mobility Partnership will be coordinated jointly by the Czech Republic and the city of Karlsruhe (DE). The partnership will eventually bring together five EU Member States (Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, Slovenia, Romania), eight cities (Bari, Bielefeld, Burgas, Gdynia, Karlsruhe, Malmö, Nijmegen, Torres Vedras), two regions (Skåne, Walloon region), three DGs within the European Commission (DG REGIO, DG Move and DG Environment), the European Investment Bank, CEMR, EUROCITIES, as well as several stakeholders (POLIS, UITP, European Cyclists' Federation.
This report includes a brief overview of the different presentations of the policy lab. Also, the results of the workshops are included, with several action points for the partnership to engage with.

The Urban Disadvantage: Rethinking Maternal and Newborn Health Priorities

Urbanization is changing the face of poverty and marginalization, and the maternal and newborn health field needs to change too, said a panel of experts at the Wilson Center on January 24.
For decades, the maternal and newborn health community has focused primarily on the rural poor. Now, more than half the world lives in urban settings with the ratio going up every year. In Latin America, an estimated 55 percent of under-five deaths occur in urban areas, said Robert Clay, vice president of global health at the non-profit Save the Children. In Africa and Asia, cities account for approximately 30 percent of under-five deaths and the expectation is that the number will increase.

What happens to my waste?

The disposal of recyclable resources and waste in our city
Over the last two years, I have been separating my waste: one box for plastics, one for glass, one for paper and cardboards, and one for everything else. After sorting it at home, I bring it to the underground waste containers at Javaplein in Amsterdam-Oost, where there is a separate container for each material. Quite honestly, I do this without any questioning because as a conscious and sustainable citizen I separate my waste, right?

Can Other U.S. Cities Follow in NYC’s Footsteps to Help Renters?

After the announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito that New York City would be extending a universal right to legal services for low-income tenants facing eviction, many of the city’s housing advocates rejoiced. “It feels good to me because I know that if any of my sons or grandkids are below the poverty line and have a problem with a landlord, they are going to be represented by an attorney,” says Randy Dillard, council leader for Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) and former client of one of the city’s public interest lawyers.

When Street Parking Becomes a Pop-Up Bus Lane

An experiment in Everett, Massachusetts, has meant shorter rides for both transit users and drivers.
One morning last December, cones and small signs popped up along Broadway, the main drag in working-class Everett, Massachusetts. The modest change, replacing a mile of curbside parking with a temporary bus lane, had big implications. After a week, city officials said riders were saving so much time on their morning commutes that the bus lane would become permanent. Now other cities, including neighboring Boston, are paying attention to Everett’s bold experiment.

Canberra, Australia Upgrades Parking Machines

The city of Canberra, Australia has recently replaced 868 parking meters with 145 solar powered pay and display parking machines. Single-space meters served the city for more than 40 years, but these older parking meters will no longer function when the 2G network is switched off.

History of the Present: Mexico City

An unpopular president, a myth-making architect, and a multibillionaire tycoon are building an oversize airport in a nature preserve. Can they make Mexico great again?
At the dawn of the Jet Age, in 1962, President John F. Kennedy strode across the red-carpeted tarmac of the Mexico City Central Airport into the arms of President Adolfo López Mateos for a traditional abrazo. It was JFK’s third state visit to Latin America, as he built support for his pan-hemispheric social and economic cooperation plan, the Alliance for Progress. Between all the standard stops — an honorary luncheon at the National Palace, a bilateral meeting at the Mexican presidential residence — his hosts squeezed in a tour of a massive new housing complex, Unidad Independencia, on the southern outskirts of the capital.

Bike2Work project got half a million people out of their cars

Approximately 300 companies in 12 European countries became cycle-friendly in 2015–2016, bringing over half a million commuters on their bicycles.

Brazilian Cities Prioritize Urban Restoration

In addition to counting people, cars and kilometers of infrastructure, cities today are counting trees. Urban forests are another tool to combat climate change and increase quality of life in cities. Furthermore, concrete urban jungles lack a connection to nature, which directly correlates with various health problems for residents.
Urban trees have always been loved for beautifying public spaces. However, they contribute much more, with an impact on the economic, social and environmental sustainability of cities. Through real estate research, one can see that people prefer to live and work on greener streets. In addition to the visual attributes, a wooded space can reduce stress by creating calmer environments conducive to physical exercise and active transportation.

The challenge of inactive citizens for cities

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

New rooftop experiment for urban farming and water storage systems

Trends – guidelines that set transformations not just in fashion, but also in urban developments. One of the major, global urban trends that emerged in cities for the past years is urban farming. It seems that more and more people feel the need to produce their own food again, yet that proves difficulties in highly urbanised areas. Although abandoned plots offer the possibility for urban farming, their availability differs from one city to another. As such, the question arises, what do all cities have in common when we look at the urban space? The DakAkker, in Rotterdam, is one of the examples of the answer: rooftop farms.



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Further archived news available on request from: Kate More