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What Gangnam Style Says About Wealthy Neighborhoods Worldwide

Gangnam style: on the surface its success seems to be a story of the raw power of the internet. A flamboyant South Korean rapper, though he sings in a language most of us don’t understand, produces a single with an addictive beat and visuals eye...

Posted December 27, 2012    

People and Sustainable Cities: 5 Best Blog Posts of 2012

Though the built environment can encourage certain behaviour choices, cities are ultimately shaped by the people within them. Here at This Big City our focus has predominantly been on the human aspect of sustainable cities since we started...

Posted December 23, 2012    

Common Spaces: Urbanism, Sustainability and the Art of Placemaking

The green movement teeters on the cusp of success. Whilst much more must be done to encourage cooperation and investment to deal with spiralling carbon emissions and the looming spectre of climate change, the proliferation of environmental concerns...

Posted December 17, 2012    

Building for a Changing Climate

How can our buildings sit lightly on the earth as well as withstand the vagaries of a changing climate?We know it won’t be the climate itself that causes the concerns.  After all, what’s a marginal increase in temperature? But changing...

Posted December 13, 2012    

Singapore Taxis Get Smart

The Singapore government collects a massive amount of data from stationary and mobile sensors throughout the city. Collaborating with the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), the city developed an open platform for third-...

Posted December 10, 2012    

Cities Without Borders

It is said that when Romulus and Remus began the process of founding the ancient city of Rome, they first delineated the pomerium, the sacred boundary of the city. Using a heavy plow, they would press down lines in the tall grass to designate this...

Posted December 5, 2012    

Bringing Cities to Life with Light

It’s strange to think how dependent we are on our little bit of Earth facing the sun. Every day, as the sun passes beyond the horizon, we flea for safety. A bustling street, full of people during the day, can become a completely different space at...

Posted November 24, 2012    

Cities WTF? Bike Lanes, Gay Marriage, and Saggy Pants

Or perhaps the title of this post should read ‘no bikes lanes, no gay marriage, no saggy pants’. That’s right, this first post in an occasional series will look at some of the stupidest ideas coming from cities across the globe in recent...

Posted November 18, 2012    

Starbucks Hong Kong Turns Food Waste into Bioplastic

New technology in Hong Kong could address the issue of food waste while providing a sustainable supply of bioplastics. Starbucks Hong Kong has invested in the development of new biorefinery technology that converts food waste into succinic...

Posted November 16, 2012    

Beyond Sandy: How Climate Change Has Affected Cities Worldwide

In the final days of October, the world gaped in horror at the images of the devastation left by hurricane Sandy. Perhaps the most attention-grabbing were the photos taken of New York: the Manhattan Skyline blacked out, the iconic subway system...

Posted November 14, 2012    

Keeping Singapore Green with Data and Design

What would happen if data, not politics or purely commercial development, drove the design of our cities and towns? Singapore is a marvel of efficiency, the result of a dedication to data-driven life design and urban planning. The (...

Posted November 9, 2012    

Urban Change in Iran: Two Millennia of Urban Planning

Iran is known as one of the oldest civilisations in the world, and many of the origins of urban planning and design can be traced back the country. The Persian built environment has been a major influence in shaping an urban tradition now...

Posted November 7, 2012