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
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 love this video produced by Project for Public Spaces, which asks: What are our streets for? It then responds: Streets are for… … walking to school … playing stickball (and other sports) … chilling out … starting a business … learning to tango (and for dancing dance) … expressing yourself … taking gold (in a competition) … a night out … growing… Read More Streets as places…
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
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
I’ve spent some time in the Emirati cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in conjunction to work (re: international negotiations on renewable energy and combatting ozone depletion). They are quirky places: desert cities full of massive skyscrapers, fancy cars and more restaurant chains that I knew existed. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are some of the wealthiest cities… Read More Abu Dhabi & Dubai: far from people-centred planning