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Politics & Legislation

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Battle of the Mayors May Decide Devolution of Power to UK Cities

May 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes – against elected mayors

Legislation to allow the devolution of power to cities is strongly expected in the first Queen’s speech of the new UK parliament, but the plans may be derailed by cities' opposition to the idea of elected mayors.[read more]

Compare Your Country on the Environmental Democracy Index

How does your country fare?

The Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) marks a major milestone for urban governance worldwide. EDI looks at environmental decision making at the national level and evaluates countries based on three factors: transparency, access to justice, and citizen engagement.[read more]

The City With an App That Encourages Citizens to Suggest Bills to Government

Sao Paolo's app

Legislando (“Legislating”) is an application that lets citizens make suggestions for bills, as well as support and follow other collaborative proposals, and see them through approval by the Municipal House and Legislative Assemblies. The tool, which intends to be a kind of “political social network,” was introduced in São Paulo, Brazil on April 27.[read more]

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Central Governments Accused of Hypocrisy Over Their Buildings Energy Efficiency

May 21, 2015 by David Thorpe

EU states not practicing what they preach

Central governments are not leading by example in reducing energy use in their buildings, to save public money even in the age of austerity, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. At the same time they are exhorting the public and businesses to do the same, according to analysis by the Coalition for Energy Savings.[read more]

Does the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code Go Far Enough?

May 20, 2015 by Chris Cheatham

Is there a point to IECC 2015?

The 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is being implemented but critics say that the time, inconvenience and expense of implementing a new code with only a slightly more than 1% better energy impact is unwise, and 3 changes arguably have a detrimental effect on energy savings.[read more]

Can Big Data Deliver Evidence Based Urban Design?

May 19, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

A vision for digital cities

Can big data, open data, and real-time measurements of everything get us to such a thing as "evidence based urban design", fact-based city planning, and an approach that thinks long-term instead of in election cycles? Can Smart Cities technology, i.e. the transition from analog to digital, bring about a more holistic, system-based and scientific approach to city planning?[read more]

Overall GHG Emissions Are Not Decreasing Due To Californian Climate Change Regulations

May 19, 2015 by Christopher Sellers

Net GHG emissions from California

Californian state policies designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions, seen as pioneering in the rest of the world, are not actually having a measurable effect because they have resulted in a massive displacement of former state businesses and residents to other locations with higher per-capita CO2e emission levels.[read more]

Where is Walking in the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

May 18, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

The SDGs need to promote walking and currently don't

This September the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will set the new strategic framework for all UN member states to inform their political agendas and policy initiatives over the next 15 years. While walking will underpin attempts to achieve many of the targets outlined in the Goals, walking is actually absent from them. Why?[read more]

Why I Hate UBER and How Governments and the Taxi Industry Should Tackle It

May 13, 2015 by Vitor Pereira
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UBER and Moving in Cities

A new app called "MyTaxi" is competing with UBER. The cars are real taxis and the drivers are real taxi drivers. I hate UBER and love this app. Conclusion: an intelligent, so-called smart, government would not ban UBER but implement legislation to modernize the sector to make it much more appealing and interesting to the user.[read more]

Eco-Innovation: Barcelona Calling

May 11, 2015 by Clare Taylor

Barcelona, Spain is hosting a major forum on eco-innovation coming this month. And with five Spanish nominees for prestigious environmental management awards to be held during the forum, local eco-entrepreneurs are set to shine at the event.[read more]

Top 4 Portuguese Smart Cities: Bragança, Lisbon, Oporto, and Oeiras

May 11, 2015 by Vitor Pereira

Smart Cities in Portugal

A recent study, presented in Lisbon at the Analytical Cities event, presents an independent evaluation tool for good practices in energy, environment, government, mobility, buildings, services and communication. It places Bragança, Lisbon, Oporto and Oeiras at the top 4 intelligent cities in Portugal.[read more]

Café Smart, and the Current State of Smart Cities

May 6, 2015 by Vitor Pereira

Smart Cities and Citizens in Spain

This is the current state of smart cities, found in Valladolid, NW Spain's Citizen Engagement initiative: Café Smart. It's totally mainstream, open and crosses all economic and social classes. It's a colourful palette. Replete with patterns and each with its function, and expectations that are sometimes quite different from each other.[read more]