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Design & Architecture

Reconnecting People with Nature through Architecture and Design

May 5, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Putting Nature in View

Poorly conceived design divides us in urban areas from our wilds and has contributed to seeing nature as something isolated from us; this actually diminishes us. This post details how architecture and urban design can bring us back to nature, in schools, cities, workplaces and hospitals, with numerous benefits.[read more]

How the Mega-Rich are Distorting the Markets for Apartments and Art

May 1, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Wealth and Urban Living

When people talk about a possible housing bubble in Canada they often cite house prices to median household income as a key ratio. The question then becomes: How can house prices be such a high multiple relative to local incomes? That’s relevant, but it’s not the entire story.[read more]

What Will Driverless Electric Cars Mean for Cities?

April 30, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Driverless Cars and the Future

Electric and driverless vehicles are a step in the right direction. At some point in the not too distant future we’re going to look back at that time when people used to drive their own cars and wonder how we ever allowed that to happen. But there still remains a question of how best to plan our cities.[read more]

Rio's Carnival: An Allegory of the City

April 28, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Festivals and Culture in Rio

Gia Wolff, the inaugural winner of a $100,000 traveling fellowship, has returned after two years of funded research to present her discoveries, a story of how Rio de Janeiro's carnival takes place each year and is much more than just a spectacle, but a cyclical engine that powers the city.[read more]

Six New Cities Awarded Heart of the Community Placemaking Grants

April 28, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Urban Placemaking Support

Recently, Southwest Airlines announced that non-profit organizations in six U.S. cities will receive Placemaking grants to help them reimagine and reactivate important but underutilized public spaces in their city through their groundbreaking Heart of the Community program.[read more]

Where are Millennials Going to Move When They Start Having Children?

April 27, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Millenials, Kids, and Housing

As a millennial myself, I know that I’ve always told myself that I want to stay urban for as long as I can, even when I have kids. But do most of them want to do this, or move to the suburbs or countryside? On the answer depends much in terms of ecological footprint, planning and community.[read more]

Artist, Vagabonds, and an Accidental Nature Reserve in San Francisco Bay

April 25, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Art and Nature in San Francisco

For such a far-reaching social and ecological exposition, 'Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art and Culture' centers on a surprisingly small piece of man-made land known as the Albany Bulb. A decommissioned construction landfill, the “Bulb," as it is known, pokes out into the San Francisco Bay.[read more]

What Makes a Great Street? Tell Us Here!

April 24, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

How to Design Great Streets

Streets are our most fundamental shared public spaces, but they are also one of the most contested and overlooked. When streets are great places, they encourage people to linger, to socialize, and to truly experience the unique culture and character of a particular street.[read more]

Helping Civic Leaders to Make Buildings More Efficient

How ICLEI stakeholders evaluate policy options

Participants in a workshop at the 2015 ICLEI World Congress in Seoul Korea learnt how the Building Efficiency Accelerator of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative uses a variety of methods—including interactive workshops—to help city leaders learn about potential policy options and think realistically about implementation.[read more]

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Why Embodied Energy Is the New Frontier for Developers, Surveyors and Planning Authorities

April 23, 2015 by David Thorpe

Embodied energy measures lifetime use. Source: Rapiere by Architype

No building or development project can be deemed to be environmentally sustainable without an assessment of its life cycle environmental performance. This so often fails to be done, or even thought about. But this is changing. A new report lists resources to help developers, quantity surveyors and planners take this forward.[read more]

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7 Opportunities for Green Buildings in China, According to Developers

April 23, 2015 by CC Huang

Green Building Potential in China

China’s low-carbon future may very well depend on green buildings. With nearly two billion square meters of new floor space added in the country each year, China’s building sector offers tremendous opportunities for the country to move toward a cleaner economy.[read more]

Cities and Technology: Imagining the Way Things Could Be

April 23, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Technology Creating the Future

The common thread for me between architecture, real estate development, and technology is that in all of these cases it is about imagining the way things could be in the future and then creating it. It’s about change. It’s about growth. It’s about creation. I consider myself a builder in practically every sense.[read more]