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
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
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
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
No one likes to sit in traffic, and city traffic is the worst. But equally, when we step out of the car (or hopefully off the bus or metro) in a city, our pedestrian activities remain dictated by cars. We can only cross at designated points; we wait for traffic lights to cross the street – hopefully still… Read More Cars versus people: depicting battles over urban public space