To be stuck in (car) traffic is stressful and annoying: running late to a meeting, to family, a concert or a conference. Argh! Yes, one could leave earlier; but why plan your life around a traffic report?! Driving does not offer independence or the joys of the open road in such circumstances. On the contrary, it… Read More Stockholm’s Monday morning cycle commute: the joys of being car-free & carefree
I love Stockholm life on a bicycle: for the exercise; for interactions with my city and fellow citizens; for the opportunity to witness ongoing changes in transport infrastructure – and improvements to cycle lanes. Not least for the chance to reflect on the splendour of autumn evenings. Below are a few thoughts from a recent… Read More Stockholm: reflections & opportunities of living in an emerging cycle city
Budapest (population 1.7 million) is one of Europe’s most charming cities. It is divided by the Danube River, separating the city into the Buda hills and the Pest lowlands; eight bridges weave the two cities into one. It is home to lively city squares, walking streets, public markets, parks and gardens – becoming ever more common… Read More Budapest swinging city
The Danish capital Copenhagen (population 760,000) offers numerous inspiring examples of how to create a sustainable city. Currently it is developing a new waterfront city district, Nordhavn, transforming an industrial port into a modern residential and business district. While still under development, interesting parts of the district are nearing completion, for example the district parking garage, Lüders P-hus.… Read More Copenhagen: Rooftops as an extension of the public space
In October 2016, 40000 people gathered in Quito, Ecuador, for the United Nations Habitat III Conference. Unlike other UN processes that focus on national government engagement, “H3” also saw 5000 city leaders make their voices heard, meeting in Quito and Bogotá (Colombia) at related local government events. They did so to ensure the final document adopted, the… Read More Quito: mountains, history & a giant conference about cities
In November 2016, just after the results of the US presidential election, I was invited to speak at the Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA) General Assembly Forum of Inspiration. EMA is a global network of alumni who have participated in European (joint) Masters and PhD programmes, via Erasmus Mundus. (My masters, the Master of Environmental Science, Policy… Read More Challenges as Opportunities? How to be bold, build bridges and move forward in transitional times
Barcelona, Spain (population: 1.7 million) is a charming coastal city with a medieval town centre, fantastic and famous architecture, great beaches and cliff-side cafés… A friend of mine (from Barcelona) used to describe his city as “the GREATEST city in the world!” After several visits, I can attest: it is one of my favorites! Despite its… Read More Barcelona: “Superblocks” to the rescue! Returning city streets to the people.