It probably no surprise that I’m a huge proponent of city living. I love being able to hop on my bike, the bus, or walk down the street to one of my favorite neighborhood pubs or cafés. There’s a real sense of freedom that comes when not having a car-centric lifestyle. Each and every time… Read More Want to see more efficient spending of public money? Move to the city.
Dense urban environments have significant resource-saving potential and serve as good platforms for climate change mitigation. This study reviewed an initiative to improve use of energy and water in Rotterdam, highlighting factors important for success including exchanges in close geographic proximity and private-sector participation. Over half of the global population now live in cities. In… Read More Re-using resources in cities: a Dutch case-study in Rotterdam
When conjuring up images of New York City’s transportation, the first picture that come to mind is the iconic yellow taxi cab or the screeching silver subway… Lately though, these images compete with NYC’s newest (albeit slower) transport trends: a hipster weaving through the city on a fixie or streets crowded with pedestrians. Locals pacing quickly between errands; tourists slowly sauntering… Read More NYC’s Metamorphosis: reducing cars, increasing livability
In Amsterdam, I’m completely satisfied with my collection of “grandma bicycles” – or better omafiets. They get me around the city at a decent speed and there are usually spaces to safely lock my bike(s) when I proceed by foot. But Amsterdam is a cycle city, with plenty of bike parking (and/or canal bridges) to choose from. It’s… Read More Futuristic Peddle Power: Urban Cycle Innovations
Homelessness is on the rise in many U.S. cities, in part due to a lack of affordable housing. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, some 600,000 people are homeless. Many cities lack the capacity to provide adequate shelter, and in some instances, local laws criminalize sleeping in public spaces. Homeless populations are… Read More Nashville: ‘Tiny Homes’ for the Homeless
It’s cold this time of year in much of the Northern hemisphere. As temperatures plummet, many of us turn up the heat, or reach for an extra layer – that is if we are lucky. For many of the world’s homeless, colder temperatures are not just inconvenient, they threaten survival. To respond to this, an anonymous… Read More Combating cold in Iranian cities: one ‘kindness wall’ at a time
No one likes to sit in traffic, and city traffic is the worst. But equally, when we step out of the car (or hopefully off the bus or metro) in a city, our pedestrian activities remain dictated by cars. We can only cross at designated points; we wait for traffic lights to cross the street – hopefully still… Read More Cars versus people: depicting battles over urban public space
I’m happy to see more and more emphasis on cities and urban actors, for their efforts to shape sustainable and prosperous futures, and address environmental challenges, such as climate change. After all, this was the topic of my recent PhD dissertation. Of course, I am far from the only one jumping on the cities as a problem… Read More Lessons from cities to green the economy – free online course
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
Copenhagen is one of the world’s most sustainable cities. It’s famous for its organic and local food procurement, its cycling culture, its public planning, and its climate change adaptation efforts (see Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan). This city is too inspiring for a single blog post, and indeed I’ve written about it several times before. Still,… Read More Copenhagen Urban Innovations: Smart. Sustainable. Spatially-saavy.