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.
Budapest has long held a special place in my heart, more than just the home to my alma mater, Central European University. The city is incredibly beautiful and deeply creative when it comes to public space planning. It has an amazing bar scene that makes use of dilapidated buildings or unused lots, turning them into so-called ruin… Read More Budapest: Liberty Bridge becomes spontaneous public space due to construction
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
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
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
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
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