18 European cities get UIA funding for urban innovation projects

Urban Innovative Action (UIA) is an Initiative of the European Commission that aims to provide resources for European urban areas in order to allow them to test creative, innovative solutions to the principal urban challenges of our time. They highlight the fact that 72% of the EU population lives in urban environments, and that authorities …

UrbanizeHub at the European Week of Regions and Cities

Between the 10th and the 13th of October 2016, UrbanizeHub was present at the European Week of Regions and Cities (EUWRC) in Brussels, where we heard proposals and discussions about the challenges and opportunities for growth in regions and cities throughout the Union. The aim of the event was ‘to give cities and regions a …

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The White House is taking on Climate Change

“Understanding the threats posed by climate change and extreme weather are critical to protecting people, homes, businesses and livelihoods. Data must be part of the solution”. This powerful statements belongs to Janet Ranganathan, vice president for science and research at the World Resources Institute. The institute, along with several other companies, investors, international and governmental entities …

“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 …

Barcelona Art Factories: platforms for creativity and innovation

Barcelona’s artists and local collectives have long demanded spaces for cultural creativity and innovation. As a result, Barcelona’s city council has transformed disused factories and public spaces into artistic powerhouses. The Barcelona art factories foster innovation and creativity as well as promote cultural activities within the community. The Catalan capital has been at the core …

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 …

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. …