June 10 2014

Parintins, A City in the Amazonas State of Brazil, Struggles with Waste Disposal

June 10th, 2014Posted by 

During a visit to Parintins (a city in the far eastern region of the state of Amazonas), on May 31st to June 1st, Representative Luiz Castro (of the Popular Socialist Party or PPS), found the Municipality to have been negligent with regard to the critical situation of the city dump. The landfill, where all kinds […]

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June 06 2014

Imagining New Possibilities for Ottawa’s Greenbelt

June 6th, 2014Posted by 

Residents of Ottawa, Ontario are proud of their city’s vast green space, and this is no coincidence. Green space was written into Ottawa’s city plan in a big way in the 1950s, when the National Capital Greenbelt was established to protect the growth boundaries of the sprawling metropolis. But the plan to curb sprawl was thwarted […]

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June 05 2014

Adopt a Park Program Finds Success and Challenges in Fortaleza, Brazil

June 5th, 2014Posted by 

The adoption of plazas and parks in Fortaleza, Brazil provides hope for creating new uses of public space, but the program still faces challenges. The program renews more than just the urban scenery – it gives Fortaleza a breath of fresh air. Nevertheless, the program still faces difficulty attracting participants in the peripheral areas of the […]

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June 05 2014

How Modernist French Apartment Complexes Could Attain Legitimacy As Heritage

June 5th, 2014Posted by 

Today, it is confirmed that the great French apartment complexes, made up in large part of social housing, have seen more than 30 years, as well as the first riots, which were central to neighborhoods in the suburbs of Lyon. These were what the media then called “the hot summer of Minguettes” – a socially […]

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June 05 2014

Eco-Districts: How San Francisco Does The Sustainable City

June 5th, 2014Posted by 

Sustainability can be a difficult thing to measure and even more difficult to implement, especially at a city wide scale. Many cities are bringing it down a notch and addressing sustainability at a local scale. San Francisco is one of a few cities that is adopting the eco-districts approach to individually addressing a cities various sustainability […]

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June 03 2014

Billboards that Literally Breath & Create Potable Water in Lima, Peru

June 3rd, 2014Posted by 

I have to confess that I am impressed by the social engagement of the future engineers from UTEC (University of Engineering and Technology), who have continuously been innovating to improve the quality of life (which is often mediocre) of the residents of their home country of Peru. Last year, the group drew the attention of […]

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June 03 2014

The Vision of Jaime Lerner for Curitiba, Brazil

June 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Jaime Lerner of Curitiba has placed the city on the map as a leading global example in urban sustainability. During his three terms as mayor of Curitiba and governor of Paraná, he and his team made great strides both in protecting the environment and in elevating the spirit of the city. Under the leadership of […]

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May 29 2014

Rising Property Taxes in São Paulo, Amongst Poor Municipal Planning

May 29th, 2014Posted by 

After a court barred a proposal to increase property taxes in Rio de Janeiro, the administration of Mayor Fernando Haddad (PT) chose another way to raise taxes. The administration proposed an increase in the calculation basis of the ITBI tax, to be levied in cases of a real estate transfer. According to a report published […]

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May 29 2014

Must we Build More? The Town of Wengen, Switzerland says No

May 29th, 2014Posted by 

Is there a limit to the size of a city? In Wengen there is, and it has been reached. Due to the ban on secondary residences in Switzerland, construction has come to a halt in many tourist towns where second homes already occupy more than 20% of the housing stock. Is this an appropriate way […]

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May 29 2014

Lights 2.0 on Stratumseind, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

May 29th, 2014Posted by 

In the “smart cities” of the future, lighting will play an important role. In December 2013, the city of Eindhoven kickstarted a very interesting future project for a “smart city” for the long term. The project aims to model the ambiance of one of the hotspots of popular entertainment in Europe, Stratumseind. It combines a […]

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May 28 2014

A Neighborhood at a Crossroads in Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France

May 28th, 2014Posted by 

People may soon be yelling “Everyone to Saint-Charles!” in the Old Port of Marseille, which is the city’s main port and current cultural center. A utopian idea for some, and an unlikely fantasy or electoral promise for others, this call could one day become part of the city’s vocabulary. Indeed, under Frédéric Cuvillier, the Secretary […]

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May 27 2014

Welcome to The Other Side of Milan: The Shift from University Life to Via Padova

May 27th, 2014Posted by 

Milan is a city of cities. As a pedestrian you can always discover new areas with unique characteristics of architecture, urban, and social aspects. As you explore the city from one side to the other you get to experience all the physical impacts of its transformation. But shifting your life from one area to another […]

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May 27 2014

The Importance of Native Plants in Baltimore’s Streetscapes

May 27th, 2014Posted by 

Many cities are recognizing the need to return natural green spaces to their streetscapes, not only for visual appeal, but for environmental sustainability. Baltimore recognizes that native plants are needed to ensure biodiversity and balance within the local ecosystem with plans to establish “native plant communities.” This is especially important in Baltimore as it attempts […]

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May 26 2014

How Melbourne’s New Urban Growth Boundary will Shape the City

May 26th, 2014Posted by 

The Melbourne Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, recently approved five new towers to be situated in the Southbank area of Melbourne’s central business district (CBD). This comes with the recent release of Plan Melbourne, a document focusing on the future of Melbourne as it battles rising congestion and scarcity of affordable housing. The greatest dilemma brought into […]

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May 26 2014

Underground Public Parking Lots: An Idea That Should be Buried in Brussels, Belgium

May 26th, 2014Posted by 

At the end of January of this year, the City of Brussels announced its project for reorganizing the city center’s squares and boulevards, labelled “A New Heart for Brussels!” to great fanfare. The most striking proposition of this plan is the redevelopment of public spaces in the heart of the city’s historic center, consisting of […]

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May 23 2014

Three Challenges to Walkability in Ottawa’s Uptown Rideau Neighbourhood

May 23rd, 2014Posted by 

What goes into making a walkable neighbourhood? In my far-flung suburb of Stittsville, Ontario, even a fifteen minute walk won’t get you to the nearest cup of coffee. Here, in the automobile’s natural habitat, an obvious answer is scale. So I was surprised to learn of a local Jane’s Walk of downtown Ottawa, that even […]

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May 23 2014

Vision Zero Project: Rethinking “Safe” Pedestrian Infrastructure in San Francisco

May 23rd, 2014Posted by 

Walking through downtown San Francisco can have an appeal similar to a game of Russian roulette. But in this game of chance, the bullets are one to two ton cars. Within half an hour, I had the unfortunate privilege of witnessing a bicyclist get run off the road and a skateboarder slam face first into a […]

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May 23 2014

The Emerging Motorcycle Taxi Sector of Nairobi, Kenya

May 23rd, 2014Posted by 

When we think of mobility as a public good, we need to ensure that people can access different parts of the city in a flexible manner. There are several means that can be used for this from bicycles and cars to walking and public transportation. The phenomenon of motorcycle taxis has become popular around the world recently. However, many urban planners, authorities […]

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May 22 2014

Andre Blouin, The Modern Design of Montreal

May 22nd, 2014Posted by 

As Europe was in full swing of reconstruction after WWII, Andre Blouin was shaping his style working in the atelier of August Perret in Paris. Passionate disciple of modernist principles, in 1952, he established himself in Montreal, a city whose image he would create. Montreal architect of the French Pavilion (the current Casino of Montreal), […]

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May 22 2014

Urban Hiking Reveals the True Walkability of the City of Baltimore, Maryland

May 22nd, 2014Posted by 

Growing up in a house sandwiched between two corn fields, I had a narrow view of what it means to spend time outdoors. Living on a road without a sidewalk, I was discouraged from walking anywhere – not because of distance but from a lack of protection from drivers speeding around turns. Hiking meant following […]

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