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Olympic Cities: Ready or Not, Here Comes Rio 2016

The Olympic spotlight brings significant development to host cities, with expectations of economic benefits mainly based on investment theories related to city marketing. Such theories have helped governments justify massive amounts of public...

Posted August 10, 2012    

Olympic Cities: Rethinking Urban Stadium Designs

Greek and Roman historical stadia aside, the stadium is a uniquely modern phenomenon. The bulk of our built environment is made of places to live, places to work, and places to shop. Even when architecture starts to take on greater symbolic value,...

Posted July 30, 2012    

Creating Safer Streets for People, One Parking Space at a Time

Earlier in the month I spent a day with Innes and Ruben from Stiftung Freizeit transforming Berlin’s car parking spaces into spaces for people (and shared some photos from the process on This Big City). We believe that streets...

Posted July 20, 2012    

Redeveloping London into the Queen City of the 21st Century

London is a city of dreams, a place that people crave for its past and for its glory. It is a city where history and modernity share a common ground and work together to create one of the most dynamic places on Earth. It is the city that attracts...

Posted July 12, 2012    

Creative City: Four Projects Bringing Arts and Culture to Dubai

Creativity is the golden goose of urban renewal. Cities that find themselves in economic stagnation (or decline) are now enacting policies to encourage the creativity of their inhabitants (and to attract the ‘creative class’), all with the prospect...

Posted July 9, 2012    

Tactical Urbanism in Berlin sees Parking Spots Turned into Public Spaces

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is currently running in Berlin, and last week I hosted a workshop which saw participants spend a day transforming car parking spots into spaces for people. We called it ‘Labplatz’, and the event was co-hosted with local...

Posted July 3, 2012    

Four Changes that Made Tehran a More Liveable City

Tehran is a megacity and the capital of Iran, with a day population of 14 million and a permanent population of about 10 million people. The city’s size, its non-stop traffic, polluted air, and overpopulated streets are just some of Tehran’s well-...

Posted July 2, 2012    

The Creative Class: Neoliberal London’s Policy Juggernaut

There is a suggestion that the contemporary models conceived for ‘creative’ urban regeneration are ones that lend themselves to the UK’s neoliberal framework of urban policy, policies that favour free markets and free trade, and ultimately promote...

Posted June 22, 2012    

How San Francisco’s Food Trucks Bring More to the City than Just Food

San Francisco is a lot like Cape Town. The topography, the hippies, the weather, the prison on an island, the list goes on. I found myself inspired by a lot of what I saw in the city by the bay. With all the similarities between our cities, it’...

Posted June 18, 2012    

Energy, Jobs, and Sustainable Cities: Seven Ideas from #citytalk for Rio+20

With Rio+20 kicking off next week in Brazil, we decided to host our most recent #citytalk tweetchat on the topic of energy, jobs, and sustainable cities – three subjects noted as priority areas for the debate in Rio. Hundreds of people joined...

Posted June 15, 2012    

Hackathons: The Next Step in Building Better Cities?

Hackathons by definition are fast sprints in the world of marathon designing. The idea is to get something done quickly, then refine it as the idea receives more traction. But, more often than not the enthusiasm and verve disappears like flashes in...

Posted June 12, 2012    

Creative City: Chicago’s Plans for Encouraging Cultural Participation

Chicago, a diverse and vibrant city located in the mid-western region of the United States, has a rich history of culture and creativity. Though Chicago is home to many artists and it has many influential cultural icons such as the Art Institute of...

Posted June 7, 2012