Taking back the streets: Barcelona’s new “Superblocks”

The Eixample district of Barcelona is the centre of a new initiative: Superblocks. This project plans to tackle air pollution and high noise levels by creating car-free spaces. Ildefons Cerda is considered one Barcelona’s architecture and urban planning pioneers of the 19th century. He is famous for having designed the Eixample district, an extension of …

Solar energy and the city

We are seeing the use of solar energy increasing every year, at the expense of coal which is slowly, but surely being replaced – according to Spencer Dale, BP chief economist, it doubles its capacity every 20 months. How can solar technologies be made more attractive to businesses, institutions and, most importantly, regular citizens? One …

Cities Alive – Rethinking green infrastructure

‘Cities Alive – Rethinking green infrastructure’ is a report focused on  the role of green infrastructure in addressing the challenges of the 21st century. The report was the product of a collaboration between the Landscape Architecture and Foresight & Research & Innovation teams at Arup and has involved a wide range of specialists. In the …

Vancouver: a renewable city

Vancouver’s goal for 2050 is to get 100% of its energy from renewable sources. They have a 35-year ambitious and achievable Renewable City Strategy. “We can accelerate change by being a leader in the use of renewable energy in our operations” say experts from the city of Vancouver.  Achieving the targets in the Greenest City Action Plan …

The urban distribution center – Charleroi, Belgium

Over the past few years, Charleroi has embarked resolutely on a policy of economic redeployment and urban restructuring. The city center is currently the site of an impressive phase of renovation and expansion. In this context, an Urban Distribution Centre (UDC) of 2000m² was created outside of the city. Heavy vehicles can drop the goods there, before being redistributed …

New York Lowline – a new vision for parks

The Lowline is a plan to use innovative solar technology to illuminate an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of New York City. The vision is a stunning underground park, providing a beautiful respite and a cultural attraction in one of the world’s most dense, exciting urban environments. New York’s City Hall has …

madrid green spaces

Madrid plans to cover all unused space with plants

Madrid has been enduring the effects of climate change in the past years and is determined to find solutions to adapt to the challenges of rising global temperatures. The city is seeing more blisteringly hot days with temperatures up to 40 degrees, more severe droughts and heavier floods. One of the measures Madrid is currently planning …

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 …