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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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

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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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

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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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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

By: Pierre Herman 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 … 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? By Pierre Herman The number of … 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

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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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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, deserting the megacities

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 · 2 Comments

Bike-sharing boom invades Greek cities

With the blessings of mayors and the enthusiasm of cyclists, 2013 has seen urban bike-sharing flourish across Greece. “In most municipalities the acceptance was beyond our imagination.”

October 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

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