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 …

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 …

A simple idea to help the homeless, in Albuquerque

Albuquerque is celebrating the one year anniversary of the city’s successful “There’s a Better Way” program, which hires panhandlers to work in maintenance jobs and also aims to connect them with services. Mayor Richard Berry was driving around Albuquerque last year when he saw a man on a street corner holding a sign that read: …

Bringing the city back to life

Talented street artist Patrick Commecy, together with his team, creates huge murals of hyper-realistic facades that bring blank and boring city walls to life.   What’s interesting here is that while these realistic yet fake facades trick you at first glance, some of the people painted there were once real. His hyperrealistic painted-on windows, balconies …

The Urban Farm project

In 2007, Abattoir S.A. carried out a study on the feasibility of a new food hall. In 2013, the construction started and the new hall was named FOODMET, a Food Hall full of taste, which opened its doors for the public on 29 May 2015. The site offers space for 45 shops, amongst which 17 …

The RegioStars Awards – an inspiration for European regions

The objective of the RegioStars Awards is to identify good practices in regional development and to highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions. It includes the following five categories: Smart Growth, Sustainable Growth, Inclusive Growth, CityStar, and Effective Management.   The EU Cohesion Policy Funds support this yearly …

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7 cities compete to design the city of the future

Seven American cities spent 6 months competing for a $40 million prize from the US Department of Transportation. The challenge was designing the city of the future by juggling three big ideas: automation, climate change and urban inequality.  Here are the cities and their proposals: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA Problem: High density of vehicles which leads …

Nature takes back the city in Bucharest

Văcărești Park is one of the many projects started by Ceaușescu in Romania and abandoned after the fall of communism, and it’s becoming a prime example of nature taking back the city. Văcărești was originally meant to be a grand project for a new neighborhood in Bucharest. Built on land reclaimed from swamps, it would …