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Vienna: urban planning for women

Vienna’s foray into gender mainstreaming started in 2000. Today, the city’s overhaul of infrastructure and public spaces make it a model of inclusion and urban planning. It all started with a questionnaire from 1999 that highlighted a stark contrast in the way men and women made use of the infrastructure. While men usually only travelled …

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 …

How tech companies can integrate into a city

Until recently, tech firms were setting up headquarters outside major metropolitan areas, sprawling out of cities to create business ‘villages’ where everyone was working in the same industry. One of the best examples is Silicon Valley, a well-known center that brought together major tech players and start-ups. However, these businesses have started to move their offices …

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 …

The reinvention of Medellin

It has gained its fame from Netflix’s hit show “Narcos” and through tales about drug-lord Pablo Escobar, but truth is that Medellin is now being recognised for much more than that. The Colombian city has opted for urbanism and architecture in order to tackle unemployment and crime. This strategy is turning Medellin into a world-renowned hub for urban innovation …

“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 …

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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 …

Embracing the metropolitan revolution

Millenials are voting for urban communities where they can live, work and play. There is a shift in the way cities are being run and the way they are reinventing their identity. Through innovation and creativity and the impulse of new public-private partnerships, cities are becoming the center of a metropolitan revolution.  A new open innovation …

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 …