Urban ReThink

Tracking the future of our cities

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

    By: Pierre Herman Some say the quest for happiness is the common denominator in all humans. Not wanting to be happy is irrational, and working against our own … Continue reading

Featured · 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 · Leave a comment

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. If there’s a term … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Barcelona: the ultimate eco-travel guide

By: Pierre A Herman / Cover photo by: S. Pitta With a new high-speed train connection from Paris and a growing number of environmentally friendly hotel and dining options, Barcelona … Continue reading

March 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Fresh local honey coming to Los Angeles (and other cities near you)

Beekeepers in LA can finally join their counterparts in London, Toronto and Paris and reap the sweet rewards of this booming practice.

February 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

A radical solution to make urban cycling safer: Skycycle

Could this be the future of transport in London? It will be if Lord Foster has something to say about it. The image above has generated excitement among cyclists and … Continue reading

January 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

Amazing eco-friendly hotels

In the last edition of my sustainable hotels series we crossed four continents in search of perfect city or rural escapes that combine the most up-to-date sustainability credentials with creature-comforts to satisfy … Continue reading

January 1, 2014 · 2 Comments

“Greed is good” says London’s mayor. But is it good for our cities?

Mayor declares that inequality was essential to foster “the spirit of envy” and hailed greed as a “valuable spur to economic activity” Mayor’s around the world are getting into all … Continue reading

December 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Urban abandon: In China, a growing number desert the megacities for provincial towns & villages

A New York Times article has reported on a fascinating new trend in China which, while not a threat to the frenzied urbanization plans of the Chinese government, attests to … Continue reading

November 25, 2013 · Leave a comment

The man who lived on his bike

 

November 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Polish cities choke on nation’s addiction to coal

Despite a city’s best intentions, national policies can often have the last word. Krakow’s medieval UNESCO World Heritage sites and its stunning architectural palette of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches … Continue reading

November 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

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