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The 6 Rules of Making Attractive City [VIDEO]

May 22, 2015 by Future Cape Town

Creating Urban Appeal

This short, brilliant video is a manifesto featuring Alain de Botton, the founder of London’s The School of Life, who explains how to make attractive cities with six fundamental rules. Botton explains that city planners should identify more scientifically the principles that determine how a city gets to become ugly or pretty.[read more]

Should Local Business Owners Pay For Bike Lane Improvements in Quebec?

Who pays pedals?

Should local business owners pay for bike lane improvements? The Sherbrooke, Quebec Urban Bike Citizens Group (VUS) hopes the city will stick to its decision to build a bike path on Industrial Boulevard but local business owners are protesting a tab of $625,000 to pay for it.[read more]

Compare Your Country on the Environmental Democracy Index

How does your country fare?

The Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) marks a major milestone for urban governance worldwide. EDI looks at environmental decision making at the national level and evaluates countries based on three factors: transparency, access to justice, and citizen engagement.[read more]

Blue Urbanism: The Next Frontier For Linking People In Cities to Nature

May 22, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Blue Urbanism book review

Cities should be designed in a way to enable citizens to have daily contact with the natural world. Since we're 70% water this book suggests ways to bring the 'blue belt' closer to us through amazing examples and practical suggestions from all over the world.[read more]

6 River Cities Offering Lessons in Resilience and How to Adapt to Climate Change

May 22, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Los Angeles River Revitalization 

In the era of climate change, cities with rivers can find creative responses to a changing environment. Each river city has a dynamic relationship with its river, so communities that depend on them must always strive to improve their adaptability and resilience. Here are several examples.[read more]

The Uncelebrated Places Where America's Farm Economy Is Thriving

May 22, 2015 by Christopher Sellers

We consume their products every day but economists give them little attention, and perhaps not enough respect. Yet America’s agriculture sector is not only the country’s oldest economic pillar but still a vital one, accounting for some 3.75 million jobs — not only in the fields, but in factories, laboratories and distribution....[read more]

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UK Cities Should Generate Their Own Energy Says National Trust Energy Expert

May 22, 2015 by David Thorpe

Freiberg, Germany

British cities should generate their own energy instead of relying on rural areas to do so, said Patrick Begg, the National Trust’s energy expert yesterday. He was speaking on a panel discussion on the opening day of the Hay Festival of Green Ideas.[read more]

Three Ways Public Spaces Can Make Cities More Vibrant

Urban life is currently undergoing a transformation in cities worldwide. Through changing land use policies, high speed rail, and new technologies that foster online interaction, urban streets and public spaces are regaining their vitality. Here are three key reasons why we need to recognize the value of public spaces in creating cities for people.[read more]

In Uncertain Times, Urban Design Should Make Public Places More Flexible

May 22, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

The BIG U / Rebuild by Design

In uncertain times, urban design should make public places more flexible, more reassuring, more public. Cities are places where unlike-minded people share limited space. Their innovations—parks, skyscrapers, farmers’ markets–result from experiments to squeeze maximum benefit from a crowded place.[read more]

The City With an App That Encourages Citizens to Suggest Bills to Government

Sao Paolo's app

Legislando (“Legislating”) is an application that lets citizens make suggestions for bills, as well as support and follow other collaborative proposals, and see them through approval by the Municipal House and Legislative Assemblies. The tool, which intends to be a kind of “political social network,” was introduced in São Paulo, Brazil on April 27.[read more]

Where can you walk to work? Study ranks cities for accessibility to jobs by walking 

May 21, 2015 by David Levinson
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When we think of the cities that are “most walkable,” it’s often in terms of pedestrian networks such as sidewalks and trails. However, there’s another factor at play in determining which cities are truly most pedestrian-friendly: accessibility.In a new report in the Access Across America series from the U of M’s...[read more]

How China Can Leverage High-Speed Rail for Compact Urban Development

Wanted: transit-oriented development

China’s HSR system presents an opportunity for transit-oriented development (TOD) around new stations. However, this has often failed to occur in a controlled or compact manner. A more coordinated strategy for TOD around HSR stations could help Chinese cities develop in more compact and sustainable ways.[read more]

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Central Governments Accused of Hypocrisy Over Their Buildings Energy Efficiency

May 21, 2015 by David Thorpe

EU states not practicing what they preach

Central governments are not leading by example in reducing energy use in their buildings, to save public money even in the age of austerity, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. At the same time they are exhorting the public and businesses to do the same, according to analysis by the Coalition for Energy Savings.[read more]

How Economically Viable Small Farms Can Benefit Local Urban Communities

Rishi Kumar, ecological designer & urban farmer.

Across Southern California, a new breed of small farmer is emerging to not only take advantage of the growing demand for local food, but also to connect urban communities to their food. These farmers are often working on backyard plots within or on the outskirts of cities that are less than 1-acre in size.[read more]

What Equity and Real Estate Investors Need to Know About Sustainability

May 21, 2015 by GBIG Insight

Leading equity investors take heed

Over the past 10 years, leading equity investors have become increasingly interested in the sustainability features of their real estate investments – often described with respect to environmental, social, governance (ESG) attributes and performance.[read more]

Everything You Wanted to Know About Tactical Urbanism

May 21, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Tactical Urbanism book cover

Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change, a new book by urban planners Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia is the first book to really organize all the small fixes that seem to have spontaneously sprung up in so many communities in a way that everyone can understand: a lack of safe sidewalks or crosswalks; the absence of clear signage; the dearth of neighborhood parks and plazas, and the lack of community connection and solidarity.[read more]

How Would You Know If Your City or Community Was Resilient?

May 20, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Hurricane Sandy was a game changer.

How do you measure resilience in cities? How would you know if your city or your community was resilient? A selection of answers from ecologists and other specialists and experts from around the world.[read more]