Unsustainable growth – the case of Phoenix, Arizona

Political and business leaders know that their defects and blunders will be excused if they turn in a respectable growth performance: quarterly or annual gains in corporate revenue or GDP are really all that matters. But how did these raw metrics come to surpass all other indicators of well-being? To be able to answer that …

Paris Agreement: city reforms are crucial for achieving targets

The Paris agreement was signed in December 2015 and came into force on the 4th of November, 2016. Countries have agreed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and cap global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius above 1990 levels. Cities around the world account for 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which means that …

The New Urban Agenda: priorities for the next two decades

The New Urban Agenda is the defining document of the Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, where urbanists from around the world gathered to discuss solutions for future urban development. It has been intensely negotiated over the last months and has gone through many changes, but the final version, found here, was ratified at the …

Habitat III: the UN conference on the future of cities

Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, is an event that takes place once every 20 years, and 2016 is the year of its third edition. Around 50.000 people were present in Quito, Ecuador to attend various discussions within Habitat III, including world leaders, mayors, businesses, innovators, researchers and experts. During …

18 European cities get UIA funding for urban innovation projects

Urban Innovative Action (UIA) is an Initiative of the European Commission that aims to provide resources for European urban areas in order to allow them to test creative, innovative solutions to the principal urban challenges of our time. They highlight the fact that 72% of the EU population lives in urban environments, and that authorities …

UrbanizeHub at the European Week of Regions and Cities

Between the 10th and the 13th of October 2016, UrbanizeHub was present at the European Week of Regions and Cities (EUWRC) in Brussels, where we heard proposals and discussions about the challenges and opportunities for growth in regions and cities throughout the Union. The aim of the event was ‘to give cities and regions a …

obama renewable energy climate change

The White House is taking on Climate Change

“Understanding the threats posed by climate change and extreme weather are critical to protecting people, homes, businesses and livelihoods. Data must be part of the solution”. This powerful statements belongs to Janet Ranganathan, vice president for science and research at the World Resources Institute. The institute, along with several other companies, investors, international and governmental entities …

“Cities lead, nations follow” – How and why cities are defining this century

Following our article “Embracing the metropolitan revolution”, we now turn our focus to why cities should lead decision-making in the 21st century and how cities can take this lead.  It is time to rethink the power hierarchy and define which system can empower citizens the most in order to face current economic and social challenges.  Why …

Is hyperdensity the best solution for cities?

We’ve written about the debate around urban density and urban sprawl before, and found that there isn’t a definitive answer as to which is better for building sustainable, smart and friendly cities. However, Vishaan Chakrabarti from Columbia University offers a point of view strongly in favor of urban density, and even for a more advanced concept which …

sharing economy urbanizehub

How cities can adapt to the sharing economy

The sharing economy is a promising concept, but it’s still far from perfect. People use platforms such as Uber, Lyft or AirBnb to supplement their incomes, socialize and access various resources without having to spend large sums at a time to acquire them. But researchers Solomon Greene and John McGinty wrote a paper where they argue …