Making way for pedestrians – Paris and New York hold car-free days

Freeing busy city areas from cars for a few hours is a policy initiative that seeks to reduce high pollution levels as well as allow people to enjoy a few hours of cycling and walking through iconic streets. Civil society has played an important role bringing up this initiative to their local municipalities, to the …

And now what? Rio’s plan to repurpose its Olympic venues

Organising the Olympics can become complicated due to unexpected economic costs, urban planning and deadlines. But previous Olympic hosts have taught us that it is even more difficult to deal with the newly built infrastructure after the closing ceremony. What at first seems like an attractive investment, it later becomes a burden for the hosting city. …

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 …

The Macau Cube Mural

The city of Macau received the 2013 Guiness World Record award for the World’s Largest Cube Mosaic. Toronto-based artists from the Cube Works Studio incorporated a pixel-art style to create a mosaic inspired by childhood classics. The mural includes images of the Chinese city of Macau and the city’s skyline, measuring a phenomenal 13×200 feet. 85,794 pieces were arranged with each …

New York hotels commit to becoming greener

Famous properties such as the Waldorf Astoria, Grand Hyatt, Loews Regency and the Peninsula are among 17 hotels in New York that have joined the NYC Carbon Challenge through which they commit to becoming greener, together with other buildings like hospitals, universities and multifamily residences. The 17 hotels contain more than 11,000 guest rooms, and …

India’s Smart Cities Mission: looking at global peers

In one of the most ambitious urbanization initiatives ever, India has launched its Smart Cities Mission, looking to drive billions of dollars into infrastructure improvements in 100 different cities over the next five years. It aims to accelerate a variety of digital technology upgrades as well as leverage public dollars to attract private investment into …

Wroclaw’s Intelligent Transport System

The Wroclaw Intelligent Transport System consists of a wide range of innovative solutions to manage and improve the quality and efficiency of the transport system in Wroclaw. In order to reach its objective of more fluid transport and improved road safety, the system uses technology and telecommunications tools such as cameras, sensors at intersections, boards on …

Gdansk’s Lower Town district: culture-based growth

The revitalization of the Gdansk’s Lower Town district included investments in infrastructure and social fabric as well as social and cultural activities to tackle the specific problems in this area. All operations were aimed at fighting against social exclusion, with some activities focusing more particularly on children and young people from disadvantaged families, and others directly …

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 …