Milwaukee: Cycling Santas Welcome the Holiday Season

On Christmas Eve, Santa is a busy man – taking his (hopefully eco & star-powered) sleigh pole-to-pole and across oceans and continents. If you want to know his exact location,  Norad and Google offer ‘Santa tracker sites’ to follow The Claus. Yes, this is a busy man and many families eagerly anticipate his arrival. On his off-time though, Santa has been… Read More Milwaukee: Cycling Santas Welcome the Holiday Season

Istanbul: Past, present, future

Sitting in the middle, somewhere in between: Between a history of empires and a present booming growth, Between traditional cultures and modern trends, Between continents, Between religions, Between adherence to regimes and civil society movements, Between the transitions of civilization. Perhaps this is the appeal of this magic city: the intrigue, the mystery, the perplexity it reflects,… Read More Istanbul: Past, present, future

Amsterdam: Public Art Expos and Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Stepping off the train in Amsterdam and meandering into the city centre, it quickly becomes apparent what a blue city Amsterdam is – you can’t miss the canals, but you can get lost in them. Walk (or bike) a bit further though, and Amsterdam’s green side also shows. Ivy and various flowers climb old brick buildings,… Read More Amsterdam: Public Art Expos and Sesquicentennial Celebrations

Detroit: Abandoned Buildings Offer New Urban Skiing Challenge

Photo taken from Grist. Detroit has had a rough recent period of history. Since the 1950s, more than a million people have left, fleeing as Detroit’s industrial base dwindled. Despite bankruptcy, unemployment and crime, Detroit has also attracted artists and urbanists. It has become famous for creative uses of abandoned buildings and infrastructure.  Artists, such as the Heidelberg Project and the… Read More Detroit: Abandoned Buildings Offer New Urban Skiing Challenge

Paris: reclaiming the city for cyclists & pedestrians – an update on Les Berges

Paris has an amazing public space project underway along the River Seine that I’ve followed for the last several months. It intends to permanently deviate vehicular traffic along some of the city’s busiest roads, transforming a few kilometers of this arterial into a cycling and pedestrian zone: full of cafés, art and entertainment spaces, bike paths and floating… Read More Paris: reclaiming the city for cyclists & pedestrians – an update on Les Berges

Copenhagen & Malmö: Scandinavian sustainability superstars

I was recently in Copenhagen, Denmark for the Nordic Environmental Social Sciences Conference. Afterwards, I took a few days to return to one of my all-time favorite sustainability stars – Malmö, Sweden.  Having studied and worked in Southern Sweden, I always enjoy returning ‘home’ and remain fascinated by how these two cities continue to drive… Read More Copenhagen & Malmö: Scandinavian sustainability superstars

Salzburg: rich in history, culture – and bicycles

I spent Easter weekend in the lovely city of Salzburg, Austria – Mozart’s birthplace, the setting for the Sound of Music and famous for its ancient Hohensalzburg Castle dominating over the city. With a four-day holiday weekend for Easter, it seemed like the perfect getaway. Besides, we were trying to escape the unseasonably cold spring in the Netherlands; however,… Read More Salzburg: rich in history, culture – and bicycles

Talking cities: ICT tools for better urban environments

Broken glass in the bike lane, a flickering public light fixture or an overflowing waste bin? (Or here in Amsterdam… litter in the canals.) Dislike!  Such are the problems of urban living… sigh. But they don’t have to be. Thanks to a new ICT (information communication technology) innovation called PublicStuff, citizens can interact directly with local authorities… Read More Talking cities: ICT tools for better urban environments