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Policy

Biodiversity Loss Continues in the European Union. What Can Be Done?

May 29, 2015 by Ceri Margerison

EU27 biogeographic and marine regions are losing species

The results of the latest round of reporting under the European Birds and Habitats Directives, published last week as State of Nature in the EU, say that if current trends continue, we will fail to meet the target of “halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020”.[read more]

Why Covered and Street Markets are Crucial to City Center Vitality

May 27, 2015 by Julian Dobson

Bury's Street Market

What is at stake is not just markets but the character and vitality of our town and city centres. Planners have swallowed the myth of ‘retail-led regeneration’, imagining that shiny new shopping centres will revive their towns. In the process the traditional markets are often left behind, physically distanced from new developments and reduced to a curiosity.[read more]

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Battle of the Mayors May Decide Devolution of Power to UK Cities

May 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes – against elected mayors

Legislation to allow the devolution of power to cities is strongly expected in the first Queen’s speech of the new UK parliament, but the plans may be derailed by cities' opposition to the idea of elected mayors.[read more]

What are Urban Design and Master Planning?

May 27, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

15 principles of wholeness in urban design

Urban Design and Master-planning defined in under 250 words each. The definitions will be used in an online application developed for the American Institute of Architects. Finding young, gifted and creative people who are willing to choose urban design as their profession is vitally important to the future well-being of the planet.[read more]

Why Architects Must Do More to Improve Housing for the Future City

May 26, 2015 by Future Cape Town

Young Urbanists of Cape Town

Architecture must move away from the glossy architecture we are fed daily, and grapple with the complex conditions that urban peripheries tend to present because everyone deserves good design. Report of a presentation by Luyanda Mpahlwa, of Design Space Africa and Alfredo Brillembourg of Urban Think Tank to a group of Young Urbanists,[read more]

3 Ways the “Internet of Moving Things” is Transforming Bus Travel

Cell Phones are Revolutionizing Bus Use

Mobile-based technology is transforming bus travel in cities everywhere to make ticket purchasing more convenient and efficient, provide users with information about bus locations, and make city services more responsive to local needs. Welcome to the so-called “Internet of Moving Things”.[read more]

How Driverless Vehicles Are Set to Transform Our Lives

May 22, 2015 by Hussein Dia

Automation and Cars

Vehicles which drive themselves might sound like science fiction but they may be on our roads sooner than you think. So what do we know about the likely impacts of these auto robots, and how can we shape the future directions and policies to enable their adoption for a safer and more sustainable mobility future?[read more]

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]

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]

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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]

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]

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]