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

Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 15:18
GENEVA — The world’s real estate is worth an estimated USD 217 trillion. That staggering sum, almost three times the gross world product, accounts for nearly 60 percent of all global assets. Residential real estate, meanwhile, is responsible for three-quarters of this total. Given this vast value, homes are increasingly treated like commodities by wealthy investors and multinational corporations. This “financialization of housing” is the subject of a new report by Leilani Farha, the United Nations’ top expert on the right to adequate housing. The Ottawa-based lawyer, who has held the post... Read more
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2017 - 10:32
The archeologist and author Brenna Hassett explains how cities shaped our skeletons. By 2030, humans will be a predominantly urban species, with 60 percent living in cities, according to a prediction from the United Nations Human Settlement Programme. To get to this point, evolution of both human species and our lifestyles has changed rapidly over time. A shift in habitat, the birth of modern cities, and our continuous urban experiment has left, in archeological terms, piles and piles of bones that tell us a lot about our problems, both past and present. In her new book, Built on Bones: 15,... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 10:18
Few have been more at the centre of the rising global discussion around cities and data than Patricia McCarney, the president and chief executive of the World Council on City Data. McCarney created the council, housed at the University of Toronto, almost three years ago in order to shepherd an indisputably ambitious project: To create a definitive set of 100 data indicators that would allow for point-by-point comparisons of cities around the world. The result is a framework that allows Buenos Aires, for example, to see how it stacks up against Boston or Barcelona on measures of energy,... Read more
Posted on Friday, March 3, 2017 - 14:52
Cornell Brooks is three years into leading the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots-based civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). We spoke recently about the work the NAACP is doing in the wake of the presidential election, his thoughts on Trump’s Cabinet picks and the national racial climate. You’ve been putting yourself on the front lines of protest, most recently being arrested in the U.S. Senate Office of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, for objecting to his nomination to lead the Department of Justice. Why is this activism... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 11:46
The trend toward complete communities shapes the debate on sustainability and environmentalism, and vice-versa. In celebration of the upcoming CNU 25.Seattle, Public Square is running the series 25 Great Ideas of the New Urbanism. These ideas have been shaped by new urbanists and continue to influence cities, towns, and suburbs. The series is meant to inspire and challenge those working toward complete communities in the next quarter century. Sustainability has been woven into the fabric of New Urbanism since the beginning. The Charter of the New Urbanism's first paragraph connects "... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 10:51
The latest trend in urban design and planning gets them off of the paper and out of a big room, testing ideas in the real world. It is fun and hands-on, and making many converts. In celebration of the upcoming CNU 25.Seattle, Public Square is running the series 25 Great Ideas of the New Urbanism. These ideas have been shaped by new urbanists and continue to influence cities, towns, and suburbs. The series is meant to inspire and challenge those working toward complete communities in the next quarter century. In between the planning and the realization of a complete community vision is a stage... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 09:56
This German initiative is looking to cities. If you are interested in the Sustainable Development Goals and their implementation, you probably are overwhelmed by the number of events and publications stressing the importance of involving local governments and citizens to achieve this global agenda. “Localizing” the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the involvement of citizens is indeed a critical aspect of the agenda. Politicians at the national and local levels will need to make difficult policy choices to achieve these goals, which countries began to implement last year. But it will... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 10:46
Abhishek Lodha is managing director of the privately held Lodha Group, one of India’s largest real-estate developers. It is currently building Palava, a 4,500-acre greenfield city near Mumbai. Construction started in 2010, and the first residents arrived in 2014. In an interview with Subbu Narayanswamy, a Mumbai-based McKinsey senior partner who leads the firm’s work in real estate globally, Lodha spoke about India’s rapidly evolving real-estate sector and what it takes to build a city of the future. McKinsey: How do you see India’s real-estate market evolving? Where is the greatest potential... Read more
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2017 - 11:32
Shorter is better, analysts say, but if they’re too narrow, people spend too much time crossing streets Conventional wisdom says that smaller city blocks are better for pedestrians. Research on urban form has traditionally suggested that smaller city blocks are better for foot traffic, and prominent urbanists have advocated them as key promoters of pedestrian access.   Urban planner Leon Krier pointed to the enhanced diversity and complexity of activity generated by smaller city blocks, while the late activist Jane Jacobs noted increased interactions and encounters among pedestrians on... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 08:56
Nick Michell spoke with Burkhard Horn, Head of the Transport, Department for Urban Development and the Environment, Berlin, about the need for cities to collect fresh data on mobility How important is the collection and analysis of fresh data on urban mobility to measuring development and evaluating progress? Concerning the enormous challenges urban mobility and transport policies are facing, fresh and valid data of different kinds are extremely important for measuring the success of the policies and strategies and for eventually realigning these. In order to do so, cities need comprehensive... Read more

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