Barcelona: “Superblocks” to the rescue! Returning city streets to the people.

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.

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

Re-using resources in cities: a Dutch case-study in Rotterdam

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

NYC’s Metamorphosis: reducing cars, increasing livability

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

Amsterdam: historic images depicting a transition from cars to bikes in the city centre

Last week, I posted an image depicting city streets as deep chasms leading into abyss. An image by Karl Jilg for the Swedish Road Association to rethink urban road design. One city close to my heart, Amsterdam, has worked to reduce these abysses over the years – turning parking lots and arterials into spaces for cafés, bicycles, people…… Read More Amsterdam: historic images depicting a transition from cars to bikes in the city centre