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
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
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.
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.
Sitting in the middle, somewhere in between: Between a history of empires and a present booming growth, Between traditional cultures and modern trends, Between continents, Between religions, Between adherence to regimes and civil society movements, Between the transitions of civilization. Perhaps this is the appeal of this magic city: the intrigue, the mystery, the perplexity it reflects,… Read More Istanbul: Past, present, future
As much as I love Amsterdam city life, one of the things I value most is how easy it is to escape – and to escape by bike. I’m on a constant quest to find the perfect mix of city and nature, preferably in close proximity. After all, I’m a Seattle girl, and value easy… Read More Amsterdam: Good City, Good Nature
I’m a child of late summer evenings, but equally a fan of the coming autumn chill. The air is crisper, justifying the second (or third) cup of lazy morning coffee waiting for the sun to show itself and warm the day. I love wool and eagerly await the chance to pull my favourite sweaters out… Read More Utrecht in high heels: kayaking through history and seasons
The Swedish capital is a vast and varied city – in addition to being exceptionally beautiful. Palaces, stately buildings and impressive museums, allude to Stockholm’s role in history and current affairs. Narrow cobbled streets, flanked by ancient brick buildings painted in warm pastels, wind through Gamlastan (Old Town) inviting locals or visitors for a quick… Read More Stockholm Urban Nature: city of water, city of parks, city of seasons
Last summer I visited Paris’s latest and greatest public space project, Les Berges, located on the banks of the River Seine. I recently returned to Paris and was curious to see how it looks, one year later. Les Berges continues to amaze me: 2.3 kilometers of former roadway are now dedicated as public space, featuring bars… Read More Paris: The Les Berges public space project, equally impressive a year later
In April 2014, urban experts and enthusiasts from around the world travelled to Medellín, Colombia for UN-Habitat’s Seventh World Urban Forum (or WUF7). With nearly 25,000 participants (including mayors, civil servants, academics, students, NGOs and interested urban citizens) registered, it was the largest ‘WUF’ to date. And according to many veteran attendees, it was also the most enthusiastic… Read More Medellín: city of transition, city of hope