Budapest (population 1.7 million) is one of Europe’s most charming cities. It is divided by the Danube River, separating the city into the Buda hills and the Pest lowlands; eight bridges weave the two cities into one. It is home to lively city squares, walking streets, public markets, parks and gardens – becoming ever more common… Read More Budapest swinging city
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
I’m often silent on #BlackLivesMatter. It’s not to say I don’t care; I care deeply. But what can I offer more than solidarity in sadness of lives unnecessarily lost? Then, on my bus ride home in Seattle last night, I stumbled upon a #BlackLivesMatter protest, in light of the recent tragic killings of Philando Castile, of Alton Sterling,… Read More Reflections on Seattle’s #BlackLivesMatter Protest: How can we come together?
Paris, city of arts, culture, history, surprise… And one of the largest underground metro systems in mainland Europe. The Paris Metro contain 16 metro lines, with 300 stations, which cover 10×10 kilometres of central Paris. It is not only a public transport system though; it also features fantastic music and entertainment. However, in Paris (and many cities) these beautiful musical… Read More Music, Dance, Theatre: just another day taking the Paris Metro
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
The Dutch are fantastic at making fun of their quirky cycle culture, while simultaneously marketing this cycle-centric city planning model as the preferred option for countless (non-Dutch) cities to follow. I have to agree: with a central focus on city cycling for transportation, together with the consequent bicycle lifestyle that emerges with it, it is the envy of many cities… I love this 2-part… Read More How many objects, people, pets… can one Dutch cyclist carry on 2 wheels?
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
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