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[ News ] Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 09:30
For most of human history, we’ve been wasting energy we didn’t even know we could harness: the sun’s rays, wind, geothermal heat. But now, new technology is proving that we were wasting another resource, too – our own footsteps. “Kinetic energy” can, it turns out, be collected by installing pressure pads under pavements. When pedestrians step on them, the force pushes fluid through mini-turbines... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 09:49
The concept of smart, connected transport is a hot topic among city leaders looking to ride the wave of innovation to more sustainable, prosperous cities. Despite this, building a truly smart and interconnected urban transport system is more than most cities can hope to do all at once. Three key elements of smart urban transport – communications, efficient operations, and integration – serve as... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 09:26
Brazilian officials would rather you not know about favelas, the city’s historically impoverished shantytowns, which often appear as mysterious andunmarked splotches on tourist maps. But the prospects of the Brazilian slums seem to be rising. Residents say drug and gang-related violence is down and government raids are less frequent. There are even reports that some favelas have become popular... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 08:56
The pressure’s on for placemakers. Just as housing and transportation advocates have been mobilizing in the run up to Habitat III (the “Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development”), urbanists who believe place is the space in which to build equitable, thriving cities hope to have a strong voice in establishing the new urban agenda at the 2016 UN-wide conference. However, as planners... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 08:19
An extraordinary heart-shaped solar farm is set to be built on the Pacific island of New Caledonia. The 2MW "Heart of New Caledonia" is being built by solar company Conergy and should start producing power for 750 homes from early next year. The plant, comissioned by local beverage company Froico SA, is expected to save around two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over its projected 25-... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 07:58
In 2008, a resident of Llangynog, a village in South Wales, paid his cash-strapped council £295 to turn on 16 streetlights in his village for an extra six months of the year. This story makes two points. Firstly, streetlights can be costly to run, and can seem like a luxury on council budget sheets. And second, to residents, they are more like a necessity. It’s unlikely that any city will start... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Friday, September 26, 2014 - 10:28
Tuesday’s U.N. Climate Summit included unprecedented focus on cities and the transport sector at climate change conferences. City leaders committed to new actions to promote sustainable urban development and low carbon transport systems. Notable leaders at the Summit included Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, Rio de Janeiro Mayor and Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Eduardo Paes, United... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Friday, September 26, 2014 - 10:13
These past few days have seen a flurry of rallies, meetings, confabs and big-ticket speeches to coincide with the United Nations’ climate summit. In New York, 300,000 marched for action. Political leaders from around the world have called for action. And cities are taking action: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that his city would decrease its greenhouse gas emissions to 80... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Friday, September 26, 2014 - 08:46
Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past five years, you’ll probably know that the world’s cities are getting bigger. Half the world’s population currently lives in them; by 2050, demographers predict it’ll be 70 per cent. Some of those additional 20 per cent will live in new cities, created to meet the insatiable demand for an urban lifestyle. Sometimes, that’ll mean cities expanding;... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 10:10
Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University and an untiring defender of the suburbs, begins a recent column in the Washington Post with a valid question: “What is a city for?” He then proceeds to get that question completely wrong. But really, we should be thanking him. In his article, he neatly sums up many of the key myths emerging from the anti-urbanism set, making my job of debunking these... Read more