URBAN ReTHINK

TRACKING THE FUTURE OF CITIES

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

March 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

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

February 14, 2016 · 1 Comment

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

March 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

February 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

September 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

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

September 24, 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

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

August 17, 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

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?

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

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

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? By Pierre Herman The number of … Continue reading

March 14, 2014 · 2 Comments

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