The United Smart Cities Project

The United Smart Cities Project is a global initiative started by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), in cooperation with several high level and expert project partners. The main objectives encompass promoting sustainable development in cities at a global level, supporting cities in transition and developing countries to create smarter and more sustainable urban solutions. In …

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 …

Sydney’s urban renewal project – Barangaroo

With a drop in average annual rainfall in recent years, the Australian government has released billions of dollars in funding to develop the water infrastructure needed to optimise and conserve water use and make cities more resilient. The commercial sector has also been addressing water efficiency with various approaches, one example being Barangaroo, one of Sydney’s suburban districts. …

Urban sprawl vs. compact cities: what’s the smart solution?

When discussing smart cities, a structural question has been creating intense debate among experts – should a smart city be compact or allow ‘urban sprawl’, outward expansion into surrounding rural areas? Many argue that urban sprawl is a dangerous process because it takes over valuable farmland, at a time when food production is already not …

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 …

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 …

How to keep cities moving

Heavy traffic, long commutes, and environmental concerns – especially air pollution – are giving US city dwellers good reasons to consider alternative modes of transportation. In this article, we look at the forces that are reshaping urban mobility, and we consider how these forces are playing out in different types of cities. We conclude with a …

The sustainable house shaped like the Eye of Horus

The Eye of Horus is a fully sustainable house designed by Spanish architect Luis de Garrido, built on the Playa de Cleopatra Island in Turkey. The island is known for the exceptional quality of its sand, said to be different from other nearby beaches. Local legends say that Roman emperor Marc Antony imported the sand especially for Cleopatra …

Connectivity is destiny

Connectivity is the key to the future. Geopolitical futurist Parag Khanna foresees a world in which megacities, supply chains and connective technologies redraw the map away from states and borders. In his new book, Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, he redraws the way humanity is organized according to lines of infrastructure and connectivity rather than …

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 …