August 22 2014

We Have LRT, Now What? Ottawa’s Next Transit Challenge

In 2018, Ottawa’s new light rail transit (LRT), the thirteen station Confederation Line, will go into service. Arriving in Ottawa, I was impressed to see the Canadian city making progress on transit, instead of getting mired in debates about what kind to build and wavering between proposals, as has been the case in Toronto. Ottawa’s success comes in part from the decision to upgrade a system that already worked very well: The Transitway. The Transitway is a thirty-five km bus rapid transit (BRT) system that spans the entire city, connecting the farthest suburbs to the city’s core. Local buses feed into the Transitway which, running on separated and dedicated rights-of-way,[...]
August 21 2014

Solar Decathlon Europe 2014: Versailles, France Explores Dwellings of the Future

Following two years of work - from the conception to the construction of the 1-to-1 scale buildings - and 17 days of exhibition and competition in the gardens of Versailles Palace, on July 12, 2014, the 800 participants of the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 competition saw the prizes of the competition awarded. Press Release: Organized under the aegis of the Housing Ministry with support from those of Ecology, Culture, Higher Education and Research, implemented by CSTB, the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 allowed for discovering the talent, knowhow and technical competences of 800 students, from 16 countries and 3 continents, who innovate in order to create a more moderate habitat, more respectful of natur[...]
August 21 2014

8,000 Families in Minas Gerais, Brazil Face Mass Eviction & Displacement

More than 8,000 families will be evicted from their homes without alternative accommodation in the near future. The government of the state of Minas Gerais said that they are planning a "mega-operation" that will dislodge the families of three communities of the Isidoro region in the city of Belo Horizonte. Legal experts say the process has not yet ended and expulsion is considered irregular. The communities affected by the eviction will be Vitória, Rosa Leão and Esperança, which originally arose spontaneously, but are organized urban occupations today. Residents tried to strike an agreement with the Municipality of Belo Horizonte and the Minas Gerais governmen[...]
August 20 2014

Redevelopment & Community Garden Controversy in La Querelle, Brussels, Belgium

The neighborhood of la Querelle, located in the heart of Les Marolles, is due to benefit from a profound renewal. This construction, which will be launched soon, is bound to offer a better living environment for the tenants of various tower blocks, as well as to all residents of this historic neighborhood. Born from a partnership between the region of Brussels-Capital, the City of Brussels, and the Foyer Bruxellois real estate corporation, this large project is expected to include a thorough renovation of the Tanneurs-Lavoir building as well as the redevelopment of the la Querelle square, the complete renovation of various towers (façades, insulation, and frames), the refurbis[...]
August 19 2014

Self-Service Scooters are the Next Form of Communal Transportation in Paris?

The parisian family of environmentally-friendly vehicles could very well be enlarged! After the famous Vélib’, self-service bikes, and Autolib’, public electric car sharing service, Scootlib’is set to be the next to enlarge the ranks of alternatives for getting around the capital. Zoom with Scootlib’, Paris’ self-service scooters! Self-Service Scooters The City of Paris has expressed the desire to make it so that in several years, residents of the capital largely abandon their individual means of transport to circulate solely with those vehicles owned by the city. Following Velib’ and Autolib,’ enter Scootlib’. In order to meet their goal, what better than to pr[...]
August 19 2014

Thessaloniki, Greece’s Twelve Apostles’ Square is Changing

The project had an initial budget of 937,500 Euros and an actual of 478,787 Euros, and is expected to be completed within nine months. The contract, which was signed on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, included the rehabilitation of Paparrigopoulou, Saint Apostles and Olympou Streets; the small path that crosses between the Walls. It also included interventions to the road surface, the pedestrianization of the small street Amazonon, the construction of a staircase at the intersection of Saint Dimitriou and Amazonon Streets, the redesign of the square that is in front of the Twelve Apostles’ Church, one that is located on the pillar of the Byzantine Nunnery and, last but not least, the enrichment of the are[...]
August 19 2014

Rio de Janeiro Creates New Urban Policy Organization for Mayorial Cooperation

Over the course of the next decade, the number of industries and logistics companies (who look after the transport and storage of goods) is expected to double in the state of Rio Grande, Brazil. The question for planners is how to decide which areas are best suited to receive these new ventures in a densely urbanized region. The trajectory of this kind of urbanization will now be decided by the new Metropolitan Chamber of Government Integration (CIG), which was formally created on August 11th by a decree issued by the governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão. The governor and the mayors of the metropolitan area will form the IGC, which will have an Executive Technical Group formed by the Sta[...]
August 18 2014

Evaluating 10 Years of Redevelopment: Urban Renewal in Clichy-sous-Bois, France

Rows of low-rise buildings and litter have disappeared from the field of view of residents living in the neighborhoods of Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil. At the end of an ambitious urban renewal project begun ten years ago, this neighborhood located in the Seine-Saint-Denis department just outside of Paris is barely recognizable. “They had to change something, they could not abandon us,” says Sandrine Dejesus in her new 96m2 duplex home. In 2005, the most serious riots in the history of France’s suburbs erupted beneath her windows. Now, she can walk down the quiet streets with their new buildings, with her three year old boy in her arms. The End of the Ghetto [...]
August 15 2014

Contactless Services Make City Life Easier in Nice, France

Four years after first being set up in Nice, France, contactless payment establishes itself as a part of everyday French life. Transportation, tourism, commerce, parking...the number of ways this technology can be used to simplify people’s lives continue to multiply. When Nice transitioned over to contactless services in 2010, the city acted as a pioneer. Since, numerous cities like Caen and Strasbourg have followed. This Near Field Communication (NFC) technology allows one to pay simply by bringing your telephone or credit card, furnished with an NFC chip, close to a payment terminal. No code is necessary. According to the most[...]
August 14 2014

Montreal, Canada Presents Info-Neige Challenge for Smart Snow Removal

Today, on July 3, 2014, Vice President of the Executive Committee on Information Technologies, the Smart City, Administrative Reform and Youth Harout Chitilian, accompanied by Vice President of the Committee on Public Security and Citizen Services Anie Samson, announced the Info-Neige Challenge, in collaboration with the Notman House and the creativity and collaboration consulting firm f. & co for the organization of its Info-Neige Challenge. This challenge follows the collaborative creativity event held on May 31, 2014, when around one hundred citizens took part in order to define the foundations of the future smart snow-removal application. "After hearing the participant[...]
August 14 2014

How Will Google Design the New São Paulo, Brazil Campus for Entrepreneurs?

This week, Google announced that São Paulo, Brazil will host a Google Campus for Entrepreneurs in order to create a shared workplace oriented towards entrepreneurs in the technology sector who are starting their own business. Google provides training, guidance, and investor and developer contacts with the will to put the entrepreneurs’ ideas into practice. Similar spaces are also maintained by the Internet giant in London, England; Tel-Aviv, Israel; and Warsaw, Poland. The São Paulo office is due to open next year. Although the address is not set yet, the simple announcement from Google has already aroused the curiosity of how technologists will design the workspaces of[...]
August 13 2014

Smart Snow Removal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

In the future, snow removal in Montreal will be done more efficiently, and it will be accompanied by more information provided to citizens. This will be done with the launch of the Info-Snow Challenge, which is part of the Montreal, Smart and Digital City program. Following a co-creation event held in May dealing with the same topic, this contest is receiving propositions from creative individuals whose proposals stem from new technologies in order to facilitate snow removal operations. Grants of $1,000, $3,000, and $5,000 will be awarded. The Info-Snow Challenge is calling on participants to present a web solution as well as an application for smart devices that will allow Montreal’s [...]
August 13 2014

Farewell to The Grid from Marilena Mela in Florence, Italy

When I applied to be a blogger for The Grid six months ago, I was in a phase of my life when I knew I should try a new creative activity. I was towards the end of my studies in the Architecture school, and eager to share my newly formed thoughts about architecture and urbanism. Although I had never written professionally before, blogging seemed the next logical step. My desire to communicate my ideas had a significant relationship with the start of my Erasmus semester in the Architecture Faculty of Florence, Italy. I would visit cities and buildings, and then reflect and write about them. What better way could I imagine to get to deeply know a city?  This aim proved harder[...]
August 13 2014

Can The City Of Baltimore, Maryland Use Tech Hacks To Solve Community Issues?

In the last two years, the City of Baltimore has made progress improving access to City services through the use of technology, specifically with web and mobile applications. At the epicenter of this progress has been the launch of Open Baltimore and the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance, two sources where data can be searched and mined for use in innovative projects. By 2012, Baltimore had become one of only a handful of U.S. cities to use the specifications set by Open311 to create a mobile app, Baltimore 311. The Baltimore 311 app allows users to report non-emergencies such as potholes and fallen trees, view problems re[...]
August 13 2014

Government Technology Facilitates a “New City” in Lincoln, Nebraska

With the rise of the technological era, city governments are rapidly realizing the importance of harnessing this scientific know-how in order to provide an optimal environment for their citizens. Through marketing and the creation of new and renovated built environments, members of society can get excited about having something fresh and new to look forward to. As young members of a society that is obsessed with technology, we are always looking for the next “new” attraction. Internet marketing has provided a slew of resources for residents and visitors to stay up to date on what is “next” in their neck of the woods. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and ot[...]
August 13 2014

The Grid’s Top 20 Websites for Engineers of 2014 – Highlighting the Top 10

Last year, for the first time, The Grid introduced the Top 20 Websites for Engineers of 2013. We’ve now returned with an updated list, including different rankings and two new names, The South African Institution of Civil Engineering and National Council of Structural Engineers Association. Thanks to Alexa Analytics, we were able to find out which sites receive the most web traffic. No matter which type of engineer you are or the level of experience, there is something for you here. Read through our latest list to find out where both structural and civil engineers are getting their information. 1. US Army Corps of Engineers / / @USACEHQ With over 37,[...]
August 12 2014

Madrid, Spain Launches IBM Smarter Cities Project

The City of Madrid, Spain has announced the signing of an agreement aimed at improving the lives of its 3 million citizens. This environmental services management project, signed with INSA around IBM's Smarter Cities technology, is supposed to improve the quality and efficiency of city services and provide citizens with new tools to interact and communicate with the municipal offices. The agreement, estimated at 14.7 million euros, takes advantage of Big Data and analytics in order to transform the management model currently in use by municipal service providers, who will be managed and compensated according to their level of service, with the goal of improving the management of [...]
August 12 2014

A “Better Market Street:” The Revitalization Plans for San Francisco’s City Center

Market Street serves as the primary artery of San Francisco serving to filter hoards of pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars through its corridor. Despite the daily quarter of a million people using transit, over 200,000 pedestrians walking its corridor, and thousands of cyclists on the street, Market continues to fall short as a destination point for public space. There is call for Market to possess more of a civic appeal rather than be branded as the city hallway in which flocks of people briskly walk to escape the unpleasant chaos of retail and urine saturated transit hubs. In response, the city is initiating a revitalization plan for Market Street in attempt to cultiva[...]
August 12 2014

Aude, France Creates App to Connect and Inform Youth about their City

“Our objective with the Acti City InfoJeunes Connect app consists of responding to their expectations in order to be identified as a source of serious, credible, and referenced information.” It is with these words that Claude Soula, Director of Acti City Youth Information presented this new tool in service of young people. In order to create a larger community and render information and services more accessible, this free application (an expansion of the organization’s existing website) will be available to the public at the beginning of the 2014 school year in Apple’s app store (for iPhones) as well as in the Google Play store (for Androids). Two enterprises in [...]
August 12 2014

São Paulo, Brazil Hosts the Google for Entrepreneurs Women’s Startup Weekend

With the goal in mind of turning ideas into new business models, the 2014 Women's Startup Weekend (SWW), a major event in the world of entrepreneurship, will take place August 15-17th at the FIAP in São Paulo, Brazil. It will be an opportunity for entrepreneurs, designers and developers to present their projects and have a chance to make them happen, through the sponsorship of one of the investors present on the judging panel.

Despite the name, the Startup Weekend is not exclusive to women. Including both female and male members, the event has been held in over 600 cities in 120 different countries. With an average of ten new businesses crea[...]

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