URBAN ReTHINK

TRACKING THE FUTURE OF CITIES

Mega-public transport projects: Do they actually harm social sustainability and equality?

By: Pierre Herman While there’s no doubt we need more and better public transport, we must be aware of the way it impacts not only on the liveability of a … Continue reading

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Sau Paulo faces water shortages amid unprecedented drought

By: Brian Clark Howard October 24, 2014 (National Geographic) Thanks to the worst drought in eight decades in southeastern Brazil, water levels have dropped dramatically in the reservoirs that supply … Continue reading

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A billion dollars for a floating what?!

Half a billion pounds sterling (that’s almost $1 billion US) for a floating cycle path? It’s only on the drawing board, but that’s the projected cost of the eight-mile “Thames … Continue reading

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Why the Sharing Economy is a Big Opportunity for Cities

Is sharing the future? Some say it is. And in our quest to advance not only the environmental sustainability but also the social sustainability of cities, Joe Peach at This Big City … Continue reading

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San Francisco first city to financially incentivise urban farms

By: Pierre Herman In early September of this year, San Francisco became the first city in the US to offer financial incentives with the aim of promoting urban agriculture within the city. … Continue reading

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If New York fails, cities will have to take the lead once again.

Cities have been at the forefront in the fight to reduce carbon emissions. National governments however, with few exceptions, have been far slower off the mark. And they won’t pick up … Continue reading

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Commuting by public transport boosts happiness levels, reduces anxiety: The Times

By: Pierre Herman I’ve recently written about the connection between living in cities and our happiness. It’s an area I’m particularly interested in. If we take an earnest look at … Continue reading

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Should cities be built to make us happy? I think so.

    By: Pierre Herman Is paradise a large metropolis? As city dwellers, we’re prone to believing that the good life is found on a desolate beach far from the cacophony of any … Continue reading

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City Visions: London’s Barbican offers a cinematic exploration of cities

The Barbican cultural centre in London (UK) is hosting City Visions, a two-week long celebration of the past, present and future of the urban form and the people who are … Continue reading

September 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

20 Cities with Great Ideas (That Should be Copied Everywhere): Part 1

By: Pierre Herman 1. Muscat: Keeping it low rise Oman’s private-car dependent capital is no environmentalist’s dream, but what it does have that make it unique among oil-rich Gulf nations … Continue reading

July 30, 2014 · 1 Comment

First zero-waste restaurant to open in Brighton

By: Rachael Pells In less than two hours, the UK produces enough waste to fill the Royal Albert Hall. It is a statistic which so angers Douglas McMaster that he … Continue reading

July 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

The AirBnB phenomenon: What impact is it having on cities?

By: Pierre Herman Never has something as innocent as renting out a room in one’s home to tourists become so controversial. While some say it’s helping build a “sharing economy” … Continue reading

July 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

China’s incredible ghost cities: urban planning gone terribly wong?

In its bid to relocate an astounding 400 million people into cities, China has for the last several years embarked on a gargantuan-scale city-building effort. What has resulted in some regions is an … Continue reading

June 25, 2014 · Leave a comment

Successful cities need more small business, and less big capital.

By: Pierre Herman Cities need more socialism. That is, they need capital that is social, acting for the community, by the community. We tend to overlook the role of small … Continue reading

June 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Should urban bike-sharing systems be financially self-sustaining?

The city’s partnership with media company JCDecaux has turned Vélib into one of the most profitable bike-share systems. Some say it’s the model to follow. By: Pierre Herman It’s perhaps not … Continue reading

June 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Toronto vs. Barcelona: A tale of two very different cities

Toronto and Barcelona are both aiming for great-city status, but are going about it in a very different way. Yes we need private wealth and a dynamic economy, but shared … Continue reading

May 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

City spotlight: Medellin

Colombia has caught the eye once again of the world’s urban regenerationists, with Medellin beckoning as the newest piece de resistance. Once a serious contender for the title of world’s most dangerous city, … Continue reading

April 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Healthy cities: Is economic growth a partner or a problem?

A high level of life satisfaction in cities is achievable through policies that encourage interaction, equality, and human development, but not necessarily economic growth. While we lament that our country’s … Continue reading

April 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Psychology and the city: why the inner-workings of our minds is the greatest obstacle to a sustainable planet

Psychological barriers and prejudices within the human mind are destroying any chance for individual, and consumer-led action. Can cities be re-designed to overcome them? The number of times I’ve heard … Continue reading

March 14, 2014 · 2 Comments

Is energy-efficiency the key to a sustainable world? Not on your life.

The idea that energy efficiency is inherently a good thing for the environment is deeply embedded within the sustainability movement. But a new NASA-funded study has its doubts. By: Pierre Herman If … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

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