The seven American cities that made the shortlist in the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Smart City Challenge are now deciding their strategies for winning the $40m prize fund...Transportation is the focus, so judges will be interested in self-driving and 'connected' cars, as well as 'smart streets' fitted with sensors. The aim will be to cut accidents, reduce pollution and increase commuter convenience. — Global Construction Review
The DOT shortlisted seven finalists instead of the originally planned five. They are:Austin, TexasColumbus, OhioDenver, ColoradoKansas City, MissouriPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPortland, OregonSan Francisco, CaliforniaThe winning city is expected to be announced in June.More related to transportation...
Cities around the world have only one generation to meet the twin challenges of climate change and a rapidly growing urban population, the head of a global engineering firm has warned.
Gregory Hodkinson, chairman of the Arup group, said that with more than half the world’s population already living in cities, and the proportion set to rise to 70% by 2050, city leaders need to take urgent action. — The Guardian
China has detailed its urban planning vision, which has been designed to make its sprawling cities more inclusive, safer and better places to live.
[...] policymakers pledged to transform urban development patterns and improve city management.
The last time China held such a high-level meeting was in 1978, when only 18 percent of the population lived in cities. By the end of 2011, in excess of 50 percent of the population called the city their home. — chinadaily.com.cn
The question is especially important now, given the world’s rapidly increasing population and the accelerating drift of people from countryside to cities. Should we tinker or somehow revamp existing cities to cope, or should we build new places to dwell? — BBC News
When fully built, [the New Urbanist, corporate development] Lavasa intends to consume 100 sq km...and will cater to a total population of up to 300,000 in five 'towns' built on seven hills...[But] how does it turn itself from a quirky weekend getaway into a fully fledged 'smart city' where people live and work full time? — The Guardian
This is important for Africa, where despite high urbanisation rates the development focus has been primarily rural. Consider Ghana. The country’s urban population has grown from four million in 1984 to more than 14 million today. Fifty one percent of Ghanaians now live in cities. While urbanisation rates vary across Africa, Ghana reflects an overall global trend towards a predominantly urban future.
Ghana demonstrates how cities can be highly productive in Africa. — qz.com
Cities can’t win. When they do well, people resent them as citadels of inequality; when they do badly, they are cesspools of hopelessness. In the seventies and eighties, the seemingly permanent urban crisis became the verdict that American civilization had passed on itself. Forty years later, cities mostly thrive, crime has been in vertiginous decline, the young cluster together in old neighborhoods [...] —and so big cities turn into hateful centers of self-absorbed privilege. — newyorker.com
at least some part of architectural practice needs to move on from having buildings as the only output. The answer to every urban question cannot always be a building, clearly. Whilst buildings may be part of some solutions, there are broader, deeper questions in play—good architects see this, but the practice (from education up) is still not exploring this implied question broadly enough. — cityofsound
Created by graphic engineer Patricio Gonzalez Vivo, the animated map gives a sky-high view of the city's hustle and bustle, capturing cars cruising along streets and lights buzzing on and off in buildings. Vivo, who created the project for open source mapping lab Mapzen, applied mathematical functions to street data to create the animated scene. — The Real Deal
With real estate prices soaring so high and so quickly, a lot of us are questioning if we even want to live in New York anymore—not to mention if we can. According to NeighborhoodX‘s latest map the price paid for a Bed-Stuy or Harlem apartment could get you a pretty sweet pad in the South of France or even trendy Paris. — 6sqft.com
We suspect the city’s notoriously bad traffic and general “aloofness” of the people contributed to its low ranking, as well as its culinary scene, which was also ranked dead last in this year’s poll. — Travel + Leisure
When Travel + Leisure compiled a survey of the places its readers love to visit, it also collected data on the 30 locales they loathe. While Moscow, Russia tops the list of the world's unfriendliest cities, a significant number of the top 10 are located in the United States (including Los Angeles...
These projects could be life changing for the vulnerable people they support. Yet in celebrating pop-ups as the solution to urban problems, are we simply distracting from the lack of structural public provision in these areas – and worse still, normalising, even glorifying, its absence through passionate avowals of temporariness? — The Guardian
Vancouver has become the latest city to commit to running on 100% renewable energy...The city’s ambition is to be the world’s greenest city by 2020 despite the fact Canada has had one of 'the most environmentally irresponsible national governments' for the last 10 years, [said Vancouver deputy mayor Andrea Reimer.] — The Guardian
We went to Oamaru, New Zealand to see the blue penguins (and they were super cute), but it was the town's dedication to Steampunk that really got us fired up. — boingboing.net
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