Technology can be a powerful ally in the creation of sustainable cities, be it social, economic, or environmental sustainability. In 2011 we’ve explored numerous technological innovations and their effect on cities, and here’s 5 of the best:

Why Farmers are Embracing Social Media

As the lives of urbanites become ever more interconnected with social media, how are those at the other end of the spectrum behaving? In this post, Madeleine Lewis looks at how farmers all over the world are turning to social media, reducing rural isolation in the process. Read the article here.

Congestion Pricing: Not Coming Soon to a US City Near You

Despite London seeing a  ’20% drop in car use, £120 million ($197 million) annual net-revenues, and the fastest growth rate for its bus system since the 1940s’ as a result of congestion pricing, American cities seem less willing to embrace an economically driven transportation management system. What gives? Read the article here.

Using Twitter to Encourage in Urban History

In response to proposed cuts to a local heritage organisation, one heritage lover organised a ‘plaque-a-thon’, aiming to get all 250 plaques located around Toronto tweeted about in a weekend. And it was a huge success. Read the article here.

The Future is Now – A Letter to Arup by Rachel Armstrong

Arguing that ‘the future is very poorly invested in’, Rachel Armstrong present her vision of the future, and emphasises the urgency of reimagining the ‘current economic & political system’ to create cities where innovation is truly allowed to thrive. Read the article here.

The New York City Building at the Centre of the Internet

How much does the internet weigh? An awful lot, according to filmmaker Ben Mendelsohn, who This Big City got the opportunity to interview earlier in the year. We spoke to him about how most of the world’s internet traffic passes through a single building in New York, and ‘urban life before the internet’. If you can comprehend such a thing, read the article here.