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How the 'Six Californias' Plan Threatens California's Transportation Future

July 26, 2014 by This Big City

Six Californias

Being the home state to Silicon Valley is a mixed blessing. No one can deny that there are advantages to concentrating the world’s best programmers and designers. But when the tech gurus think they can solve the problems of your state by treating it like a start-up, things start to get messy.[read more]

Montreal, Quebec Welcomes Its First Parklet

July 26, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Montreal and Parklets

The borough of Plateau-Mont-Royal in Montreal has launched an unusual public development project; a parklet that is being developed. A concept inspired by cities such as San Francisco and Vancouver, parklets, or 'placottoirs' in French, are sitting and rest areas resembling outdoor terraces.[read more]

Customers Protest New Women-Only Cars on São Paulo Metro System

Women-Only Metro Cars

Are you in favor of women-only metro cars in a metro system? Public opinion is divided on a law that passed the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo (Alesp) and requires the Paulista Metropolitan Trains Company (CPTM) to build cars exclusively for female passengers.[read more]

Cinema Shows the Power of Sustainable Transport

Film and Sustainable Transit

Movies have the power to shape our perceptions of love, of adventure, and of growing up. More subtly, movies also have the ability to shape our perceptions of small things, like how we interpret different cities, clothing brands, and even transport – who uses transport, how they use it, and why.[read more]

Battle of the Public Intellectuals: Edward Glaeser vs. Richard Florida

July 25, 2014 by Jim Russell

Intellectuals and Public Debate

Austin has a gentrification problem. Dallas has a gentrification problem. Houston has a gentrification problem. On the other hand, Brownsville looks dirt cheap. If cost of rent drives migration, then everyone in Austin should move to Pittsburgh, or Brownsville (which offers even cheaper rent than Pittsburgh).[read more]

The New Bierger-Center of Luxembourg City: Drawing From the Past

July 25, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Luxembourg City Development

Alternately a sanctuary for the Dominicans of Marienthal in the 17th century, the seat of the International Bank, then a residence hall for girls run by the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth, it was only in 2003 that the Luxembourg City acquired this group of buildings that neighbors the Hôtel de Ville.[read more]

A Water Wheel In Baltimore Keeps The Harbor Moving

July 25, 2014 by Mark LeChevallier

Do you remember the commercial of the crying Native American, paddling his canoe through a polluted river? It’s no secret that garbage in our waterways has been an issue in U.S. cities for decades. Trash has an impact on the visual landscape and creates an environmental hazard to our ecosystems.[read more]

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Belo Horizonte Helps Namibian Mayors Pledge to End Hunger and Malnutrition

July 25, 2014 by David Thorpe

Windhoek's Cllr Agnes Kafula and Cllr Uilika Nambahu presenting the Final Declaration.

A declaration to end hunger in Namibia was adopted yesterday by mayors, policymakers, technicians, experts, and representatives of civil society organizations in Windhoek yesterday. The measures agreed, derived from experience in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, will act as a beacon to other developing countries where informal settlements are growing fast, and there is an urgent need to find sustainable means to feed their inhabitants.[read more]

A Blast from the Past, from the Days when Pros Ate Ice Cream

July 25, 2014 by Mark K Ames

Biking for Ice Cream

As London swelters this week, perhaps you're thinking an ice cream might help cool you down, but you're worried about the calories? Fear not my over-heating friends, because who knew that ice cream is the "health food of the nation" according to Australian cycling champion Hubert 'Oppy' Opperman.[read more]

What Is the True Value of a Vacant or Abandoned Building?

July 24, 2014 by Audrey Henderson
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The Value of Vacant Spaces

Any real estate agent or Realtor can tell you that the three most important factors in determining the potential value of a particular parcel of real estate are, in order: location, location, location. Location can trump other aspects of a structure, including whether it is occupied and its state of (dis)repair.[read more]

People-Oriented Cities: Mixed-Use Development Creates Social and Economic Benefits

People Oriented City Value

Mumbai, India can be a commuter’s nightmare. Downtown sits a full ten miles from the residential core, and the two areas are poorly linked by public transport. Mumbaikars have the longest commute of any Indian city resident, averaging more than 47 minutes each way every day.[read more]

The AirBnB Phenomenon: What's the Impact on Cities?

July 24, 2014 by This Big City

AirBnB and Urban Change

While some say AirBnB is helping build a “sharing economy” where money is redistributed to low-income individuals and small businesses, others claim it’s fueling a lucrative underground economy, promoting the evasion of taxes and contributing to an acute shortage of affordable housing.[read more]

Serious Games for Urban Planning

July 24, 2014 by Future Cape Town

Urban Planning Gaming

Tygron, a company that creates serious games for urban development, hosted part of the Serious Gaming workshop. Tygron’s products were created out of a need for city planners to be able to conceptualize development initiatives before they are put into policy.[read more]

How Will Montreal, Quebec Repurpose its Aging Urban Hospitals?

July 24, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Aging Urban Resources

Two super-hospitals are currently under construction in Montreal, Quebec and they are considered to be two of the city’s largest building projects since the 1976 Olympics and will reinforce Montreal’s position as a leader in life sciences research.[read more]

New Survey: What Makes a City Great?

July 24, 2014 by The Dirt ASLA

Urban Resident Survey

A new survey commissioned by planning and design firm Sasaki Associates asked 1,000 urbanites what they love most about their city. The findings, which cover diverse aspects of city life, offer truly fascinating insights for urban planners, landscape architects, and architects.[read more]

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How Should Cities Measure Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

July 24, 2014 by David Thorpe

Ensuring consistency, accuracy and transparency

The World Resources Institute, C40 Cities and the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, have published their second version of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC) and are seeking feedback from city officials and climate experts in all related fields.[read more]

Can a Global City be Good to Locals?

July 23, 2014 by Future Cape Town

Global Cities, Local Problems

“Making progress possible, together” stands boldly at the top of Cape Town’s website. The ‘together’ part of the slogan is the catch. As we celebrate our progress of becoming a globally competitive city, I believe we need to take stock of whether the benefits of our progress are experienced together.[read more]

Congestion Pricing can make Beijing a more Equitable City

Beijing and Congestion Pricing

China’s capital city of Beijing is already home to 5.4 million cars, the most of any Chinese city. The country’s rising wealth means that this is a trend unlikely to stop. This rapid motorization has led to many city government “quick fixes” aimed at easing congestion problems in the short-term.[read more]

Drink Your Water, And Eat The Bottle?

July 23, 2014 by Mark LeChevallier
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Drink, Eat Water Bottle

The need for drinks on-the-go that won’t pollute our environment with bottles is far from news, as the movement to increase the use of reusable/refillable water bottles has been gaining momentum. But as the movement grows, so does the American appetite for drinks sold in plastic bottles.[read more]

Detroit Aquaponics Business Combines High-Tech Ag, Social Justice Mission

Green Business and Social Justice

Many of Detroit’s urban agriculture ventures have a down-on-the-farm feel, but not the CDC Farm & Fishery. With its tubes and tanks, the business seems futuristic. You see, they are among the first aquaponic operations to set up in Detroit following the passage of an urban agriculture ordinance.[read more]

The Unbearable Lightness of Argentine Architecture: The Venice Biennale

July 23, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Argentine Architecture

In line with the proposal by Rem Koolhaas, chief curator of this year’s Venice Biennale of Architecture, the Argentine exhibition aims to reflect on how society incorporated modern ideas from the 20th century, to present, into its built environment.[read more]

The Impression You are Leaving

July 23, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Urban Impressions

Toronto has gone through a dramatic transformation over the last decade or so. In fact, I recently had a friend say to me: “Brandon, 10 years ago you told me that Toronto was going to be a super cool global city. I didn’t believe you then. But you were right."[read more]

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Is Glasgow being Regenerated or Gentrified?

July 23, 2014 by David Thorpe

Central Glasgow

Glasgow is a city that is partying this week to celebrate the start of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It's a city that has struggled to reinvent itself after post-industrial collapse. But has it succeeded?[read more]

Retreating from the Public Good?

July 22, 2014 by Julian Dobson

Public Good and Choice

Near Glasgow there’s a former mining village called Twechar. Inspired by the Incredible Edible movement, they decided they wanted to ‘do a Todmorden’ and turn unpromising public areas into colourful growing spaces. The local authority thought Edible Twechar was a wonderful idea.[read more]

America Can Learn from this French City's Complete Streets

July 22, 2014 by Jeff La Noue

French Complete Streets

Strasbourg, France is a beautiful city that takes its complete streets to heart. The roads through the old (and new) city gracefully mix street trams/lightrail with bicycle paths and friendly traffic calmed streets, and pedestrians can move about with relative ease.[read more]

What Tech Talent Shortage? Microsoft Trims 18,000 Employees From Payroll

July 22, 2014 by Jim Russell
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Microsoft Cuts and Talent Migration

The Tech Economy is dying. And by that, I mean the Innovation Economy (to stick with Enrico Moretti’s terminology in his book The New Geography of Jobs) is dying. The “Innovation Economy” is an epoch, following on the heels of agriculture and manufacturing.[read more]

Technology Brings People Together in Public Spaces After All

July 22, 2014 by Project for Public Spaces

Tech and Public Space

As he sat in a PPS training watching time-lapse films of Bryant Park in the early 1980s, Keith Hampton realized he may have just found precisely the baseline he needed to examine how behavior in public space has changed in our contemporary digital world.[read more]

Voices of the City: Fred Hayman

July 22, 2014 by Future Cape Town

Cape Town Voices

It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of a Cape Town's inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city. This week, we heard from Fred Hayman, film enthusiast and teacher of Karate, Jujutsu & Bujinkan.[read more]

Obstacles Ahead for São Paulo's Master Plan

July 22, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Sao Paulo's Plan

The Master Plan of the city of São Paulo is a set of guidelines, backed by the power of local law, whose purpose is to guide urban growth through the next sixteen years. The new plan was approved this week after nine months of discussions among councilors to arrive at the final version.[read more]

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Ten Ways to Manage Flood Risk by Designing for Exceedance

July 22, 2014 by David Thorpe

Making space for lots of water

Climate change is bringing extremes of weather, amongst the most damaging of which are extreme downpours of precipitation which overwhelm the ability of urban drainage systems to take the water away, and cause flooding. CIRIA has published a set of design guidelines and best practice recommendations for managing the risks.[read more]