The Via Verde debate in Mexico

“Via Verde” (Green Way) tries to reduce high pollution levels and make Mexico City less grim. It plans to give clean oxygen to 2500 people and filter all type of contaminants. However, despite the motivations, the Via Verde has received criticism of all types.  The project first came to light when Change.org published the initiative and collected …

8 Urban design projects that have renewed cities

Great landscape architecture has the potential to modernize and revitalize urban environments, getting people to reconsider their relationship with long-forgotten areas in their cities. The best examples are the ones that take nature as the main character of the story, emphasizing the fact that it is an essential part of life, even in urban surroundings.  Here …

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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 …

Low-cost urban interventions in Lima

“Ocupa tu Calle” is a Lima-based NGO that seeks to create new public spaces in poorly planned urban areas in Lima. Through micro-interventions, Ocupa tu Calle has been able to plan and create urban projects effectively and rapidly. This initiative tackles one of Lima’s biggest problems: bad urban planning.  Throughout the last decades, Lima has become the victim …

10 impressive landscape architecture projects from China

China has made remarkable advancements in many aspects of development (civil engineering, industry, urbanization, etc.), but landscape architecture can certainly be seen as the most outstanding of all. Here are ten examples of projects where sustainability, functionality, creativity and concern for the environment all come together. 1. Zhengzhou Vanke Central Plaza, by Locus Associates, Zhengzhou …

These 10 cities are rediscovering the value of their rivers

As technology and infrastructure improved, people forgot about the rivers flowing in their cities. Lately, 10 cities have been reconnecting with their rivers.  Since the industrial revolution cities have been designed to take over nature, but now planners are pushing to reintegrate nature into the urban landscape. Rivers are one part of this movement, with some …

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 …

Does gentrification inevitably cause displacement?

Gentrification has been widely debated in the United States lately, as long-time residents of neighborhoods are being priced out by wealthier residents who flow back into these areas, and minority groups are said to be affected the most. A review done by researchers at the University of California Berkeley and UCLA, published by the Federal …

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 …