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How Driverless Cars 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]

How to Make an Attractive City [VIDEO]

May 22, 2015 by Future Cape Town

Creating Urban Appeal

This 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 6 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]

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]

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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]

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]

The Future of Public Markets and the Amazing Value of One in Baltimore

May 20, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

Lexington Market, Baltimore, MD.

Today urban designers and "place makers" are waxing poetic about the urbanity, the social capital and the cohesion that comes from public markets. Just like at the beginning of cities, public markets are seen again as a vital element of what it means to be a city. Maybe also a place where to reconnect with food.[read more]

Does the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code Go Far Enough?

May 20, 2015 by Chris Cheatham

Is there a point to IECC 2015?

The 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is being implemented but critics say that the time, inconvenience and expense of implementing a new code with only a slightly more than 1% better energy impact is unwise, and 3 changes arguably have a detrimental effect on energy savings.[read more]

Baltimore's Low Income Levels Are A Function of Social Mobility

May 20, 2015 by Christopher Sellers

Baltimore from the air

Baltimore, besides being in the news recently for unfortunate events, is also a city which has the worst wage levels compared to the US average. Is this related to social mobility? Aaron M. Renn investigates.[read more]