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City Ecology: There Are Egrets Near the Empire State Building

February 27, 2015 by The Nature of Cities
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You wouldn't believe where nature can thrive.

New York Harbor is a thriving natural habitat. The mixing of fresh and salt waters, combined with a rich flow of nutrients from its watershed, makes visibility poor, and hides its vitality. It is easy to make cocktail conversation about eels, oysters, humpback whales (whales!) and the other remarkable creatures that share New York City with its people.[read more]

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Urban Demographics: Elderly Cities

February 26, 2015 by Vitor Pereira

Aging Urban Populations

Nanmoku is the city with the oldest population in Japan. It has 22,000 inhabitants, with 52.7% older than 65 years old. The leaders of this city in the Japanese province of Gunma are desperate. They urgently need young people to renew their population or else be prepared to “disappear from the map.”[read more]

Managing Tables and Chairs in the Public Realm

February 26, 2015 by Brian Phelps

Tables, Chairs, and Public Spaces

Local coffee shops vying to be the neighborhood’s “third place” understand the importance of providing tables and chairs for their customers. They understand while some people may want to lounge in sofas that, per square foot, tables and chairs are a far more useful and appealing option to a wider array of customers.[read more]

REVEALED: The Most Segregated Cities in North America

February 26, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

North America and Urban Segregation

The Martin Prosperity Institute in Toronto has just released a new study called Segregated City: The Geography of Economic Segregation in America’s Metros that reveals the physical sorting and separation of advantaged and disadvantaged groups within cities.[read more]

Neighborhood Alliance Plans to Convert Vacant Lot into Urban Farm, Housing Complex

February 26, 2015 by Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture

Urban Food and Housing Redevelopment

The Hilltop Alliance, a nonprofit, is working on a project that could drastically advance urban agriculture in the state. The organization wants to turn a vacant 107-acre lot into Hilltop Village Farm, a multi-use development that would include 120 townhomes, a 20-acre urban farm incubator, a youth farm and CSA.[read more]

Your Guide to Urban Cycling: A Q&A with Author Yvonne Bambrick

February 26, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Urban Cycling Interview

As cities worldwide grow and evolve, so too is the urban landscape changing for cyclists. While congested and chaotic streets still remain a persistent challenge for some cities, many others have recognized the need for robust cycling infrastructure and are actively supporting cycling culture.[read more]

An A to Z of City Regeneration

February 26, 2015 by This Big City

Communications and Cities

In Italy there is a saying that goes “change from A to Z”, which essentially means wholesale change. Using this as a departure point would it be possible to rethink a city through the alphabet? This is what the AZ Genova initiative attempted over two days in the Italian city of Genoa.[read more]

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The Smart Future of Urban Mobility

February 25, 2015 by Hussein Dia

Smart Mobility and the Future

The ability of governments to manage their infrastructure is increasingly being challenged by limited budgets and constrained resources. In an effort to manage cities more effectively and efficiently, decision makers are turning to “urban informatics” and smart infrastructure to better understand people’s mobility needs.[read more]

Architecture as if People and the Planet Mattered

February 25, 2015 by Taz Loomans

Architecture and Purpose

What if architects designed buildings as if people and the planet mattered? Maybe a developer would hire an architect to design a strip mall. And maybe that architect would insist on visiting the site and meeting with the people that would shop there and the community where the strip mall is located.[read more]

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Uber: A Sustainable Disruptor?

February 25, 2015 by John Tucker

A few years ago, “uber” meant nothing more to English speakers than a Web-savvy way to say “super” and sound cool. But now, with a capital U, it’s a part of the vernacular. Uber is the ride-sharing service that has become nearly as popular as New York’s ubiquitous yellow cab. It’s all the rage.[read more]

Density is Great, But Walkability Needs More

February 25, 2015 by Tyler Caine

Walkability isn't just about density

A relatively dense neighborhood still needs to facilitate its residents to walk to more than just their neighbors. A mixture of uses that comprise daily destinations need to be within a manageable radius in order to truly reduce net vehicle miles traveled and get people out on the street.[read more]

The Great Intensification Debate: What's Better for Cities?

February 25, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Cities and Intensification

Neighborhood investment needs to be a balance between preservation and progress. This doesn’t exclusively mean high-rise intensification. It could mean removing the barriers to laneway housing.[read more]

Public Health and the Road to Safety

February 25, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Urban Traffic Safety Planning

As Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, announces a package of assistance on road safety through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Safety Initiative, here is an ugly truth: India has one of the worst road safety records in the world, with around 10 percent of the world's road traffic fatalities in 2013.[read more]

Congregations Practice Faith through Environmental Leadership

February 24, 2015 by Kaid Benfield

Faith and Environmentalism

A growing, multi-denominational religious movement is placing environmental protection at the center of its teaching and practice. Expressed in part by the phrase "creation care," these leaders believe that protecting the earth is a religious value, and that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.[read more]

Food Ecosystem: Greening up our Plates

February 24, 2015 by Cape Town Partnership

Ecosystem, Food, and Diet

Every calorie of food we grow, harvest, ship, process, package, chill, cook, eat and throw away uses up resources from the environment: the soil and its nutrients, water, fertiliser, fuel, and so on. It also impacts on the environment by using its waste-absorbing systems.[read more]

Envisioning a New Academic Commons

February 24, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Academic Commons Design

Hundreds of students marked the kickoff of the fourth annual Vortex competition at the University of Virginia. Students from all disciplines at the School of Architecture gathered for a design workshop to envision a new academic commons along the Ivy Road corridor, an underused entry to the university.[read more]

Placemaking and Place-Led Development: A New Paradigm for Cities of the Future

February 24, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Placemaking Development

At the Urban Age Conference, head of UN-Habitat Joan Clos stressed the need for a new paradigm for shaping communities around the world. When asked if that meant that government(s) would need to change as well, Dr. Clos replied with a brief and direct “yes,”. Simply having a public space often isn’t enough.[read more]

Southern California Farmer Strives to Build Community and Food Sovereignty

February 24, 2015 by Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture

Community and Food Independence

Panther Ridge Farm is a four-year-old, first-generation family farm in the foothills of Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. Founded by farmer and community organizer Hop Hopkins and his wife, Adalila Zelada-Garcia, the farm is focused on sustainable organic (non-certified) agriculture.[read more]

Is America Changing Its Attitude Towards Adding Flats To Suburban Homes?

February 24, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

More suburban homes are being allowed to expand

"PADs," or private accessory dwellings, is another term for nanny flat or laneway house. Whatever you may want to call it, the concept is the same. It’s about taking a single family house and adding an additional dwelling onto that same lot. And whereas they used to be disallowed, more and more they're being approved.[read more]

The Future of Public Space Analytics

February 23, 2015 by Brian Phelps

Public Space Analysis Innovation

Public space is an essential component of any great city. It brings people together to socialize, recreate, and work. It attracts people to the city, builds relationships, and spurs innovation and new ideas that fuel a city’s economic growth. How do we optimize the investments made in these spaces?[read more]

The City as an Educational Medium for Children

February 23, 2015 by Bradley Calvert

Children can be taught either to respect or fear people.

Children can be taught either to respect or fear people. Despite only being in second grade one boy already has a plan to help the homeless with housing and jobs. Can others be taught the same degree of empathy?[read more]

JOIN OUR WEBINAR: Can Strong Communities Be Designed by Architects?

February 23, 2015 by David Thorpe

Must sustainability must include liveability?

Join us this Wednesday at 5pm-6pm GMT, 12pm-1pm EST, for a free webinar to explore whether and how successful communities can be designed.[read more]

The Waste Biz: Time To Shake Up The Recycling Business?

February 23, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Changing the Recycling Business

A few years ago here in St. Louis, you couldn’t turn on local news or open a newspaper without seeing a report on copper theft. Old abandoned buildings were getting their old copper pipes stripped, and newer air conditioners were getting taken just for the copper in them.[read more]

The Nature of Holy Cities

February 23, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Holy Cities and Green Spaces

While it is undoubtedly true that thousands of cities around the world share a wide spectrum of common denominators, from garbage to biodiversity, it is perhaps important to examine common urban denominators that are not universal, but are shared by a significant number of cities around the world.[read more]

Why India Needs Open Data for Better Urban Mobility

February 23, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

India Data Policy and Mobility Support

India’s new initiative to create smart cities across the country has brought to light the need for open and accessible data. Open data has the potential to spark innovation, encourage private and public collaboration, and make moving in cities more comfortable, cost effective, and convenient for all.[read more]

Will an Ideas Competition Improve Informal Trading Conditions in Cape Town?

February 23, 2015 by Future Cape Town

Street trading in Cape Town

Cape Town has issued an exciting global ideas competition to improve informal trading in the city, calling for innovative solutions to enhance and strengthen the sector and solve the many problems street trading faces in the city.Informal trade represents 12% of Cape Town’s economy and is important.[read more]

The Waste Biz: Using An Anaerobic Digester To Turn Brewery Waste Into Energy

February 22, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Breweries and Waste Recycling

Turning brewery waste into energy isn’t a new idea: all of that spent grain has captured the imagination of waste entrepreneurs before. A partnership between Utah-based Pure Energy Group and Devil’s Canyon Brewery in California, won an award from San Mateo County for diversion of waste from landfills.[read more]

Riverside City Councilmember MacArthur Channels Citrus Background into Enthusiasm for Local Food

February 22, 2015 by Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture

Local Issues and Local Food

Riverside City, California Councilmember Chris MacArthur not only has a background in citrus farming, but he has channeled his enthusiasm for local agriculture into being a founder of Grow Riverside and promoting the Grow Riverside conference.[read more]

5 Tips to Get Your Clubhouse Right

February 22, 2015 by Canin Associates

Neighborhoods, Centers, and Planning

A clubhouse can be a neighborhood focal point and help attract new residents to the area. However, not all amenity centers are actually created equal. From functionality to the need for aesthetic appeal, here are five tips to make your clubhouse shine.[read more]

Food Waste: From City to Fork

February 22, 2015 by Cape Town Partnership

Cities and Food Waste

The final leg of theWestern Cape Government’s 100% Green’s Food Forward Tour took participants around facilities in the Cape Town metropolitan. On this last tour, retail and hospitality came to the fore, with visits to Cape Town International Convention Centre, FNB Portside and Cape Town Market.[read more]