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.
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…
Amsterdam is running short on bike parking, despite efforts to continuously expand it, creating a ‘problem’ that few city planners could dream of. This cycling mecca has too many rush hour commuters clogging up its bike lanes, and not enough bike parking once they hop off. To tackle Amsterdam’s bike parking challenge, the city uses old shipping barges turned floating cycle-parking garages, builds underground two-tiered parking at… Read More Amsterdam & Utrecht: beautiful bicycle parking
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
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.
I was recently in Bangkok for a meeting of the Montreal Protocol (governing substances that deplete the ozone layer) held at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific campus. The weeklong event meant my exposure to this city of 7 million was limited to the areas between the UN campus… Read More Bangkok: hustle, bustle and unexpected secrets
Bicycle transport is touted for its many benefits for cities: improving air quality, providing exercise, saving money or reducing traffic. Equally, cycling can help save something that all cities desperately require more of: space. To visibly display how much space vehicles require for driving – in particular during the morning commute – cyclists in the Latvian… Read More Riga: visualizing wasted space of the car versus the bicycle
I love my bicycle: the freedom, the chance to combine fresh air, exercise and transport, the interaction with fellow cyclists and the affordability. Cycling makes me happy… and I’m not the only one. Daily cycling (i.e. consistent exercise) is good for mental health and the bicycle’s consistent and perpetual motion can improve memory, reasoning and planning, while… Read More Happiness is… a bicycle lane, a bus stop or light rail line close to home.