Budapest cool: history and hipsters join forces, resulting in one fantastic, evolving city

In 2005 I moved to Budapest, to study in the Masters of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (MESPOM) programme at Central European University (CEU). More than 10 years on, MESPOM was one of the best decisions of my life. Studying with 50 students from 35+ countries meant that every lecture followed in international reflection. I… Read More Budapest cool: history and hipsters join forces, resulting in one fantastic, evolving city

Ørje & Ottawa: pedestrians get silly when crossing the street

Inspired by a 1970s Monty Python sketch featuring the Ministry of Silly Walks, the village of Ørje (Norway) has come upon a rather unique method to encourage drivers to slow down: by suggesting pedestrians “walk silly” when crossing the street. The Swedish art collective Kreativiteket designed the sign, taking inspiration from none other than the fabricated ministry. While technically illegal according to the Norwegian news report, residents,… Read More Ørje & Ottawa: pedestrians get silly when crossing the street

How many objects, people, pets… can one Dutch cyclist carry on 2 wheels?

The Dutch are fantastic at making fun of their quirky cycle culture, while simultaneously marketing this cycle-centric city planning model as the preferred option for countless (non-Dutch) cities to follow. I have to agree: with a central focus on city cycling for transportation, together with the consequent bicycle lifestyle that emerges with it, it is  the envy of many cities… I love this 2-part… Read More How many objects, people, pets… can one Dutch cyclist carry on 2 wheels?

Forging the path: cyclists light up their own lanes

I’ve been a bit spoiled over the last years, calling European cities like Budapest, Lund, Malmö and Amsterdam as home. All of these cities have amazing bike lanes, segregated from oncoming vehicular traffic, making cycling the preferred option. While I’m happy that my home city of Seattle is following suit in some parts of the city,… Read More Forging the path: cyclists light up their own lanes

Berlin’s East Side Gallery: Urban Art & Old Memories

In December 2015, I spent several days in Berlin, Germany. It’s a beautiful city; but December is not its finest month. It was dark and dreary. Still, in a particularly Berlin way, it was also cozy, creative and colorful: bicycles strewn about, Christmas markets in full swing, and plenty of hot wine and cold beer to warm… Read More Berlin’s East Side Gallery: Urban Art & Old Memories

Pachuca, Mexico: Street Art City Champion

As a follow up on my blog post, Colorful cities: a little paint, a lot of pride, I wanted to share the transformation of Las Palmitas, a low-income neighborhood in Pachuca, in central Mexico. Through a project called Pachuca Paints Itself, 209 homes (20,000 m2) were transformed into a colorful masterpiece. Homes were individually painted, but together they… Read More Pachuca, Mexico: Street Art City Champion

Colorful cities: a little paint, a lot of pride

It’s amazing what a little color can do to warm up a  neighborhood, such as Buenos Aires’s La Boca neighborhood in Argentina, the multicultural Bo-Kaap neighborhood in Cape Town, South Africa, or San Francisco’s Haight Street in the US. Or painting a city’s centre as a canvas, such as in Valparaiso, Chile, Venice, Italy, or Guatapé, Colombia (image, left). Urban colors can… Read More Colorful cities: a little paint, a lot of pride

Not your average city bench: street furniture goes funky

Cities are places for not just for work, but also leisure. And designers understand this, offering creative alternatives to the classic city bench in public spaces. For example, how about waterfront hammocks, or swings while you wait for the bus? Or for lazy Parisian summer days, resting on a floating barge floating on The Seine? Or in… Read More Not your average city bench: street furniture goes funky