Copenhagenize – an index of bike-friendly cities

  What are the best cities for urban cycling? Copenhagenize Design Co., specializing in urban design consultancy and advocates of prioritizing biking solutions in cities, started this discussion in 2011 and managed to give cities around the world a score in order to determine the best methods to re-establish the bicycle on the urban landscape. …

Amsterdam’s new urban quarter

The municipality of Amsterdam planned to built a new urban quarter just west of Amsterdam’s city center. The chosen place was a barren land of a former railway station marshaling yard. Dutch residential neighborhoods have a traditional layout of streets, pavements, parking spaces, front-and back gardens. But the municipality wanted this quarter to be landscaped differently. The design …

New York’s High Line Park

The High Line Park was designed by architects from James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, together with garden designer Piet Oudolf. The park runs through New York’s Chelsea neighborhood in the lower west side of Manhattan. It is situated along 1.5 miles of repurposed elevated railway. The park was completed in 2009 and it …

Nature takes back the city in Bucharest

Văcărești Park is one of the many projects started by Ceaușescu in Romania and abandoned after the fall of communism, and it’s becoming a prime example of nature taking back the city. Văcărești was originally meant to be a grand project for a new neighborhood in Bucharest. Built on land reclaimed from swamps, it would …

3 ways to think about greener, healthier cities

Kaid Benfield, American urbanist and consultant, author of People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities, talks about how to promote sustainability in urban areas. Here are the main ideas from 3 of the 25 essays published in his book. The first city experience For Benfield, this book is a result of his …

The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city: a child with an ideal

Eco-city: “This place is like a child – it’s in a development phase, but it’s chasing an ideal. It’s the kind of place where people can come to pursue their dreams.” says Wang Lin, one of the city’s residents.                                                                                                                          This 24 billion pound project which began in 2009 is part of the ambitious plan …

Why buses represent democracy in action

In this inspiring TED Talk, Enrique Peñalosa, mayor of Bogotá from 1998 until 2001 and re-elected for a new term in 2015, argues that “an advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport.” He is talking about equality for the quality of life, especially for …

Biophilic cities lead the way to urban sustainability

The biophilic cities network is part of the global movement towards green cities. By innovative, multi-sensory driven design and green architecture, these cities are forging a symbiotic relationship with nature. “We need density but we also need connections to nature,” said University of Virginia professor Timothy Beatley during an event at the University of the …

Can Chinese megacities lead in urban conservation?

China’s unparalleled speed of urbanization comes at a steep environmental cost. Efforts to mitigate the fallout are resulting in leaps for the urban conservation movement. The scale and speed at which China is urbanizing is impressive. Over the past three decades, China has experienced unprecedented economic and social transformation. Millions have been lifted out of …

Whole Foods to install 200 rooftop solar systems

Whole Foods rounds its green image by committing to solar system energy. The grocery chain Whole Foods plans to install as many as 100 rooftop solar systems, mainly through the power provider NRG Energy, on nearly a quarter of its stores and distribution centers, the companies announced on March 8th. SolarCity will also provide systems …