Collaborate Groups, projects & programmes, discussions, Q&A

Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 11:59
Jonathan Andrews spoke to Victor Splittgerber, CTO & Co-Founder, Green City Solutions, about a new form of urban street furniture that ‘eats’ pollution at the pedestrian level How does it work? Green City Solutions addresses the global problem of air pollution by combining a special, vertical installed moss culture with Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology. Called the CityTree, it combines specific plants that eat particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide and ozone–offsetting 240 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year in total. The plant filter has the same effect as up to 275 urban trees, but... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 12:23
In planning circles, “resilience” often refers to the ability of urban systems to bounce back from environmental shock. On that front, Tulsa, Oklahoma, has its work cut out, ensuring utilities and emergency services have the resources to withstand 130-mph tornadoes whipping through the city. But to DeVon Douglass, Tulsa’s Chief Resilience Officer, resilience is ultimately about the strength of citizens themselves—a tenacity, she says, that starts with individuals and spans out to society. Appointed by Mayor GT Bynum in December 2016, and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient... Read more
Posted on Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 11:44
As cities boom around the world, so will the number of people who study them. With the ranks of university urbanism, planning, architecture and design programmes swelling, especially with students from some of the rapidly urbanizing corners of the world, new teaching points might be in order. That was the conclusion of Roberto Rocco, assistant professor in the Department of Urbanism at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Recently at TU Delft, as it’s known, Rocco convened a conversation to ask whether last year’s voluntary global agreement on urbanization could offer... Read more
Posted on Friday, July 21, 2017 - 11:27
Tackling any one of the United Nations’ ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, much less all 17, is a gargantuan task. But ask planner Martin Dubbeling, and he thinks his profession has many of the answers. Vice-president of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), the Dutch planning consultant has been an on-the-ground adviser for UN-Habitat’s urban planning missions in challenging environments such as Gaza, Kabul, Nairobi and the West Bank. He also has worked extensively throughout China and his native Netherlands. His career experience has made him a forceful... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 10:49
How can cities ensure that new actions being taken to mitigate climate change don’t negatively affect broader issues of equity? Likewise, how does a multinational company prove that a sustainable urban development project it is investing in is having a significant local impact — and global ramifications? This week, a new option is available to try to answer some of these questions. The Gold Standard, a Switzerland-based group created in 2003, on Monday published the new Standard for Sustainable Urban Development. It’s a rigorous framework that offers not only detailed guidance on how to plan... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 12:41
Nick Michell spoke to Mercedes Vidal Lago, Councillor for Mobility in Barcelona, about the city’s plans to reduce car journeys and encourage increased walking and cycling How much of a problem is air pollution in Barcelona in relation to motorised-vehicles? Today Barcelona clearly exceeds the thresholds recommended by the World Health Organization both for nitrogen dioxide and particles, especially in terms of average levels of these pollutants in the atmosphere. Air pollution not only causes more than 650 premature deaths annually in Barcelona, but also represents the deterioration in the... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 12:16
WASHINGTON, D. C.— As President Donald Trump this spring moved toward a decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, the mayor of the U. S. capital city made her own announcement: She would seek to earmark millions of city dollars to lend to developers and others who want to bolster building efficiency, invest in renewable energy and undertake other ways to reduce carbon emissions. In so doing, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser was proposing to create the country’s first city-led “green bank” — a fast-growing strategy for using public money to reduce risk for private-... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 09:50
Jonathan Andrews spoke to Devin de Vries, Co Founder, WhereIsMyTransport, one of the Global Urban Innovators during the New Cities Summit What are the basic concepts and who is it aimed at? While open, real-time public transport data is the norm in many cities, this is not the case in emerging cities. Typically, a range of modes–from informally run minibus taxis to formally run rail networks–coexist, but without a shared place for network information. This makes things like journey planning, or system oversight, difficult. At WhereIsMyTransport we connect, digitalise, and map transport... Read more
Posted on Friday, June 16, 2017 - 11:12
Last week, the United Nations wrapped up its first-ever Ocean Conference with a global call to action. From plastics to overfishing, nations pledged to do their part to deliver a global goal to protect life under water — one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that went into effect last year. Cities were not mentioned in the ocean manifesto. That’s despite the fact that nearly 40 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 km of a coastline — and the majority of those people live in urban areas. For Asad Mohammed, an urban planner who directs the Caribbean Network for Urban and... Read more
Posted on Monday, June 12, 2017 - 09:39
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was once a labour inspector and upon taking office in 2014, insisted housing was her “absolute priority”. But it’s another issue — climate change — that has since become her signature. From instituting popular car-free days to hosting over a thousand local leaders during a major United Nations climate conference, the Spanish-born Hidalgo, who became a French citizen as a teenager, has become one of the world’s de facto leaders on climate issues. That’s thanks in no small part to the international accord that bears her city’s name, the Paris Agreement on climate change... Read more