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Policy

How Public Spaces Make Cities Work [VIDEO]

April 19, 2014 by Future Cape Town

Cities and Public Spaces

More than eight million people are crowded together to live in New York City. What makes this at all possible? In part, it is the city’s many great public spaces — from tiny pocket parks to long waterfront promenades — where people can stroll and play.[read more]

Urban Density and Sustainability

April 17, 2014 by Christopher Berggren

Density and Sustainability

Urban density is the number of people living in a particular urban area and is an important aspect of how cities function. Many modern urban planners advocate higher densities because of the widely held theory that cities operate more efficiently when residents live in denser urban surroundings.[read more]

The Business of Cities

April 17, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Over the past few months on this blog, I’ve started to introduce business terms into the way I describe and talk about cities. I’ve referred to residents and visitors as customers of a city, experiences within a city as products and services, and cities themselves as businesses.[read more]

Every Street Can't Be Everything to Everyone

April 16, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Toronto is a city of neighborhoods and small main streets—at least in the areas where our streetcars live. Streets such as King and Queen are only 4 lanes. And the problem we’re facing is that we’re trying to accommodate every single use case on them: cars, on-street parking, cyclists and streetcars.[read more]

Cutting the Super Block Down to Size

April 16, 2014 by The Dirt ASLA

Super Blocks

To accommodate the millions coming in from the countryside each year, China’s cities are tearing down their old human-scale, socially-rich neighborhoods, with their meandering, bicycle-friendly streets, and putting in highways and incredibly isolating towers set amid vacant-feeling “super blocks.”[read more]

The Coolest Urban Trail You are Likely to See

April 16, 2014 by Kaid Benfield

Urban Trails

Something special is happening in Indianapolis, and it's transforming neighborhoods. Revitalization when done well is almost unparalleled in its ability to boost the “triple bottom line” of sustainability: a healthy environment, a healthy economy, and a healthy and equitable social fabric.[read more]

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ICLEI Says Smart Cities Need Citizen Buy-In

April 16, 2014 by David Thorpe

Do people want their cities wired?

“A smart city is a city which can provide - with fewer resources - more efficiency, more services for its citizens and a higher quality of life in a rapidly urbanizing world.” A fine ideal, but is this just for big business, or can citizens have a say? This was a hot topic at ICLEI's Global Town Hall 2014 last week.[read more]

Painting the Town Yellow, Green, and Blue: Street Art in Rio de Janeiro

April 15, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Rio Street Art

Brazilian graffiti captures a city’s culture and history, its feelings on political or social conditions, as well as a little frivolity and playfulness. A distinction needs to be made therefore between grafite, a street art style focused on aesthetics, and pichação, or tagging.[read more]

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UK Announces £1bn for Three New Garden Cities

April 15, 2014 by David Thorpe
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The first ever garden city at Letchworth.

The UK government has announced that it wishes to see three new garden cities built in the south of England. It has pledged £1 billion of funding and created a new body, the Urban Development Corporation to drive forward their development, along with another garden city announced last month at Ebbsfleet, east of London.[read more]

Marin is Growing, and Not Slowly

April 14, 2014 by David Edmondson

Marin County’s population grew by 1 percent from 2012 to 2013, slightly faster than the state and much faster than the country at large. The new numbers challenge the concept of Marin as a naturally slow-growth county. In total, Marin added about 2,500 people in 2013.[read more]

A Safe City is a Just City

A Safe City

As cities in the developing world continue to grow, so do their traffic safety concerns. Latin America now sees three times as many deaths from traffic crashes as Europe, the vast majority of which occur in cities. Vulnerable road users like the elderly and cyclists are particularly at risk.[read more]

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"There is no Plan B": Business Leaders Label New IPCC Report "A Wake-Up Call"

April 14, 2014 by David Thorpe

Greenpeace's response to IPCC report

Urgent action by governments around the world is required to prevent the average global temperature from reaching a disastrous 4.8°C (8.6°F) by the end of the century, according to a new report endorsed by governments, from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after a one week meeting in Berlin.[read more]