Collaborate Groups, projects & programmes, discussions, Q&A

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 12:16
WASHINGTON, D. C.— As President Donald Trump this spring moved toward a decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, the mayor of the U. S. capital city made her own announcement: She would seek to earmark millions of city dollars to lend to developers and others who want to bolster building efficiency, invest in renewable energy and undertake other ways to reduce carbon emissions. In so doing, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser was proposing to create the country’s first city-led “green bank” — a fast-growing strategy for using public money to reduce risk for private-... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 09:50
Jonathan Andrews spoke to Devin de Vries, Co Founder, WhereIsMyTransport, one of the Global Urban Innovators during the New Cities Summit What are the basic concepts and who is it aimed at? While open, real-time public transport data is the norm in many cities, this is not the case in emerging cities. Typically, a range of modes–from informally run minibus taxis to formally run rail networks–coexist, but without a shared place for network information. This makes things like journey planning, or system oversight, difficult. At WhereIsMyTransport we connect, digitalise, and map transport... Read more
Posted on Friday, June 16, 2017 - 11:12
Last week, the United Nations wrapped up its first-ever Ocean Conference with a global call to action. From plastics to overfishing, nations pledged to do their part to deliver a global goal to protect life under water — one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that went into effect last year. Cities were not mentioned in the ocean manifesto. That’s despite the fact that nearly 40 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 km of a coastline — and the majority of those people live in urban areas. For Asad Mohammed, an urban planner who directs the Caribbean Network for Urban and... Read more
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 09:39
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was once a labour inspector and upon taking office in 2014, insisted housing was her “absolute priority”. But it’s another issue — climate change — that has since become her signature. From instituting popular car-free days to hosting over a thousand local leaders during a major United Nations climate conference, the Spanish-born Hidalgo, who became a French citizen as a teenager, has become one of the world’s de facto leaders on climate issues. That’s thanks in no small part to the international accord that bears her city’s name, the Paris Agreement on climate change... Read more
Posted on Monday, May 22, 2017 - 12:12
The passing last month of visionary thinker Dr. Benjamin Barber occurred during a difficult stretch for democracy, the topic that animated Barber the most during his long career. A passionate advocate for democracy, Barber devoted his life to empowering citizens for democratic self-governance. He was convinced that it offered the best possible form of government for societies and the world. Globalization and Urbanization It was in this spirit that Barber wrestled with the democratic implications of two of the defining phenomena of our times: globalization and urbanization. Jihad vs. McWorld,... Read more
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 10:15
If the world’s cities are truly going to embark on a more sustainable path, they’re going to need a lot of advice. That’s where the Coalition for Urban Transitions comes in. A new think tank jointly managed by the World Resources Institute and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the coalition will draw on academic, NGO and private sector expertise to provide evidence-based guidance on how urban growth can benefit both people and the planet. The coalition is a subset of the New Climate Economy, a similar effort aimed at providing research for countries transitioning into more climate-... Read more
Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 14:55
The Center for Real Estate’s Albert Saiz talks about worldwide trends affecting housing, commercial real estate, and investment in the built environment. Around the world, more and more people are moving to cities. The increase in urbanization is paralleled by revolutionary advances in digital technology, innovation in the built environment, and new modes for how real estate is transacted and conducted. This combination has created significant opportunities — as well as challenges — for the global real estate industry. The MIT Center for Real Estate (CRE) will host its annual World Real... Read more
Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 12:13
From traffic flows to housing figures, researchers, advocacy groups and city leadership are collecting growing amounts of urban data to better understand the ways in which cities do and don’t work. Making hard data useful and communicating it in a way that makes sense to policymakers and their constituents, however, is a skill in itself. And that skill is a speciality of Jon Schwabish, a senior fellow at Washington-based Urban Institute. Through his work at the institute and his website PolicyViz, Schwabish trains city officials and others in how to better analyze, present and visualize their... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 11:12
Six months have passed since 167 countries adopted the 20-year urbanization strategy known as the New Urban Agenda at last year’s United Nations Habitat III summit in Quito, Ecuador. That the world made it to that milestone is due in no small part to the efforts of Joan Clos, executive director of UN-Habitat, the U. N.’s lead agency on urban issues. The indefatigable former mayor of Barcelona traveled to over 40 countries on the road to Habitat III, drumming up interest and support from heads of state, housing ministers, big-city mayors and civil society activists. Since the summit, Clos has... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 16:27
In low-income neighborhoods, even the best-designed parks and community centers go to waste if no one uses them. The nonprofit Kounkuey Design Initiative is taking that challenge head-on. The late urbanist William H. Whyte famously observed the designs that ruin public spaces, from excluding places to sit and gather to creating dead zones. But even the best-designed public spaces can be a waste if no one uses them. This is especially true in low-income communities. “A pitfall is thinking that design can solve all the problems,” says Chelina Odbert, the cofounder of the nonprofit Kounkuey... Read more

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