A work in progress…
Databases and websites concerning sustainable cities
- The Atlantic’s CityLab: Covering urban design, transit, planning, jobs, housing, and lifestyles all over the globe.
- Biophilic Cities: What are they? Biophilia is a term popularized by Harvard University myrmecologist and conservationist E.O. Wilson to describe the extent to which humans are hard-wired to need connection with nature and other forms of life. Biophilic cities are cities of abundant nature in close proximity to large numbers of urbanites; biophilic cities are biodiverse cities, that value, protect and actively restore this biodiversity; biophilic cities are green and growing cities, organic and natureful.
- The CityFix: TheCityFix is an online resource for learning about the latest in urban sustainability, connecting a global network of writers, urban planners, designers, engineers, and citizens who work to make cities better places to live.
- Guardian Cities: Latest news and comment on Guardian Cities from The Guardian.
- I-Sustain partners with public and private actors to accelerate sustainable urban development, via professional research missions and consulting. Based in Seattle, I-Sustain shares best practices examples with urban actors via study tours, and translates such inspiration from abroad into action at the local level.
- Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities.
- Siemens Green City Index: ranking cities along a variety of indicators, e.g. transportation, waste management, energy, urban planning…
- Sustainable Cities™ is a (Danish) database providing knowledge and inspiration regarding sustainable city planning and best practice cases from Danish and international cities.
- Sustainable Cities Collective: The world’s best thinkers on the urban future
- The Global Urbanist is an online magazine reviewing urban affairs and urban development issues in cities throughout the developed and developing world.
- World Changing: Architecture, environment & sharing ideas about cities and sustainability.
- WWF Urban Solutions: WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Cities play a crucial role, given their huge and rapidly growing share of global population and corresponding energy demands.
Urban transport strategies, cycling blogs & websites
- Amsterdamize: a consultancy, offering marketing & media production services, focused on urban mobility strategies, solutions and communication.
- Copenhagen Cycle Chic: sexy cyclists in Copenhagen & around the world…
- The International Institute of Sustainable Transportation – promoting real ‘think outside the box’ transport planning strategies.
- Grow with Public Transport: find out about public transport’s benefits for the economy, its positive impact on the environment & its contribution to society. This website showcases public transport projects around the world. Be inspired & see what you can do to support sustainable mobility where you are.
- Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport improves the knowledge on sustainable low-carbon transport, helps develop better policies and catalyze their implementation.
- Institute for Transport and Development Policy works with cities to bring about sustainable transport solutions that cut GHGs, reduce poverty, and improve quality of life.
- International Association of Public Transport is an international network for public transport authorities and operators, decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport industry.
- Carrot City examines green spaces and urban food programmes – living and growing in the city.
- City Farmer: One of the best resources out there for urban farming; it hosts stories about urban farmers from around the world, with a focus on Vancouver, Canada.
- Cityplot is based in Amsterdam & Berlin. It is a non-profit promoting the spread of organic food production in cities via workshops, trainings and companion seed packages. If you are in either of these cities, be sure to check them out!
- Farming the City aims to demonstrate we can make better use of existing city assets such as green spaces and neglected places, and investigate how new technologies, both high and low tech, can make the city more edible, healthier, wealthier and happier.
- Seattle will soon build an edible city park – a food forest for the picking.
- Seattle also offers tips on urban composting.
- Hong Kong’s motley crew of modern-day farmers – veteran old-timers and young, trendy types – committed to promoting the consumption of locally-farmed fruit & veggies in HK’s most urban areas
- Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security: RUAF is an international network providing training, technical support & policy advice to local and national governments, producer organizations, NGOs and local stakeholders.
- Sweet Domesticity: Practical & Creative Home Gardening
- Urban Food Forestry: a great blog (of a friend) with interesting case studies & literature and policy ideas to back up the growing interest in urban food.
- Urban gardening as an educational activity? Inter-city kids build an urban garden in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, together with their teacher.
- Urban Food Policy: a useful blog about policies, plans, and programs for sustainable urban food systems (focus on USA, but not only…)
- URBANIAHOEVE: Social design lab for urban agriculture
Reducing waste in urban environments
- Zero Waste Home: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot – in that order.
- Trash is for tossers: Living a zero waste lifestyle in NYC. See more on this story on Mind Body Green.
Examples of Sustainable Cities
- Copenhagen, Denmark: Copenhagen aims to be the first carbon neutral capital in the world, intending to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. Copenhagen has a Climate Plan, and will also focus on placing more windmills in and around the city, limiting car and bus emissions and encouraging more citizens to save energy.
- Freiburg, Germany: Internationally renown for its environmental approach and its extensive use of solar and other renewables, Freiburg Green City shares its experiences and showcase effective technical and organisational solutions related to sustainable energy management.
- Malmö, Sweden: addressing sustainable urban planning, transport policies, renewable energy, green space, as well as food and consumption issues via a holistic approach. Malmö aims to be Sweden’s most climate-friendly city. By 2020, the city’s own organization will be climate neutral and by 2030 the whole municipality will run on 100% renewable energy.
- Rotterdam, Netherlands: has a programme to address climate change – both mitigation and adaptation – the Rotterdam Climate Initiative. Rotterdam also has adopted the Rotterdam Energy Approach and Planning to explore carbon-neutral area developments in new and existing neighbourhoods.
- Toronto, Canada: just became the first North American city to mandate green roofs. The city has been active in various programmes to green the city – tree plantings, green roofs, addressing urban heat island, etc.
Reflecting the trends
- Trending City: ideas, inspirations and trends for urban living (blog).
- Byebye suburbia, Americans are moving back into the cities…
The proof is in the pudding – big retailers are following.
- The new urban choice of living for Americans: Cities Thrive, Suburbs Sputter
Urban planning, city design & research
- Gehl Architects: Gehl Architects is an urban research and design consultancy based in Copenhagen, offering public space and public life surveys, town planning, and guidelines for city development.
- Urban Planet is an initiative taken by The Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC). SRC focuses among other things on how innovation in governance and urban planning can contribute to strengthening ecosystem services in urban landscapes.
- Placemakers: an urban design firm, based in various US and Canadian cities
- Symbiocity: SymbioCity is a Swedish government initiative run by Business Sweden in partnership with Swedish enterprise promoting Swedish expertise in the field of sustainable cities.
- The Nature of Cities: promoting worldwide dialogue and action to create green cites that are sustainable, resilient and livable.