URBAN ReTHINK

TRACKING THE FUTURE OF CITIES

Different Visions for Floating Cities

Anthropgenic climate change and the severe risk of flooding of coastal cities now predicted as a result by scientists, including the recent warning that disasterous rises in sea levels could … Continue reading

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Divided cities: Equality is a question of moral leadership

“Talent, as opposed to what we are currently taught, is not a ticket to self-interested greed and wealth. It is a gift which entails responsibility towards the rest of society.” … Continue reading

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Vancouver: Success story or neoliberal failure?

Here’s an interesting article about a city whose allure is legendary – Vancouver. Those mild winters, the spectacular natural setting, the liberal, cosmpolitan leanings and health-conscious lifestyle mean that many … Continue reading

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Don’t sustain, regenerate.

  Has sustainability as a concept reached its limits? Author and academic Herbert Giradet, who was recently in London to promote his book Creating Regenerative Cities (Routledge, 2014), compares the … Continue reading

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Should we ditch the “sustainable” label (and replace it with something meaningful)?

By: Pierre Herman I finally came to this conclusion (the thought had already been percolating for a while) after perusing an article in the Guardian newspaper (Frankfurt beats London to … 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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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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Why Cities Make Us Happier

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 urban environment. Cities, … Continue reading

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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

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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

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

Paris’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 surprising … Continue reading

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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

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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

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More waste, better economy? The dilemmas facing market-based solutions

By: Pierre Herman Waste not, want not, so it goes.  That’s the theory anyway. We’ve had the “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto pounded into our brains quasi-religiously. We meticulously sort our … Continue reading

January 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Urban Innovation: Steel and Plastic “Trees” to Generate Energy

By: Pierre Herman Energy self-sufficiency is a long way off for most cities, but could this innovative idea born in a French start-up help prod cities towards liberation from traditional … Continue reading

January 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Unstoppable Growth: Istanbul’s Decent into “Chaos”

“The ecological limits have been surpassed. The population limits have been surpassed. The economic limits have been surpassed. If you ask me where this will lead….chaos.” (Mucella Yapici, Istanbul Chamber … Continue reading

December 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Grenoble bans street ads, to replace billboards with trees

Are billboard ads just a fact of life in big cities? Grenoble doesn’t think so. In this small but symbolic gesture, the city in the Alps is proving that the … Continue reading

November 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Cable cars reach new heights in Bolivia’s capital

 By: Giles Constantine for Eye on Latin America Bolivia is now home to the world’s largest urban cable car system, connecting two of the world’s highest major cities, and transforming … Continue reading

November 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Spain: Thousands of traditional businesses facing closure as rent law ends

Up to 250,000 stores and bars could shut once landlords are free to hike charges by 1,000% By: María Lillo Madrid (El Pais) The face of many Spanish cities could … Continue reading

November 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Mega public-transport projects: What’s the effect on 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

October 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

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

October 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

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

October 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

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

September 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

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

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

September 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

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