World’s megacities pick up pace on climate action
Leaders in the world’s largest cities almost universally recognize that climate change poses a “significant risk.” And they’re stepping up efforts to prepare for and minimize those risks in a number of ways. Cities in the C40 Climate Leadership Group have doubled the number of climate-focused actions they’ve taken... Read more
To prepare for future, cities need goals and political will
How do you solve a pressing big-city problem? One way is to summon the political will to find and implement an actual solution. This is what Copenhagen is doing to reduce its carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. With a goal of becoming the “first carbon neutral capital”... Read more
Smart-city news in review: Oct. 18, 2013
As of Oct. 17, 2013, the European Union has achieved 100-percent basic broadband coverage across the continent. “Europe needs lightning-speed connectivity,” said Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission. “We cannot leave some companies and citizens behind. Now we have basic broadband achieved, we have to immediately focus... Read more
‘Smarter’ isn’t enough … cities also need ‘better’
Will the average resident of a city enjoy better opportunities for learning, entertainment and work with access to high-speed broadband? There’s no doubt that the answer is “Yes.” And will the typical person who commutes to a busy central business district every day benefit from a smart traffic system... Read more
Smart-city news in review: Oct. 11, 2013
The Guggenheim Museum has opened (Oct. 10, 2013) an exhibition called “Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab.” The exhibit features ideas drawn from a traveling lab that traveled to Berlin, Mumbai and New York and was designed to explore new ways of thinking about cities.... Read more
To future-proof cities, think beyond the borders
To their credit, lots of city leaders concerned about the future livability of their communities have been taking to heart the old wisdom about “thinking globally, acting locally.” In places like Europe, where the EU has established long-range sustainability goals, some cities have already gone well above and beyond... Read more
Today I went to a collaborative workshop held by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills on funding smart cities. The event was to capture the ideas of people who work in the smart cities industry to attempt to lay down some standards. The British Standards Institution was there... Read more
Three innovative flood defenses for cities
People and cities can’t survive without water. Too much water, though, can also be devastating, as communities from Atlantic City — slammed last fall by Hurricane Sandy — to China’s Kunming have been reminded recently. With sea levels already rising and at least another four feet of increase “locked... Read more
Resilience: It’s more than ‘green’ or ‘smart’
For some cities, the issue of going “green” is becoming less important than going “resilient.” Officials in New York City – a municipality already well known for many green initiatives – are putting a new emphasis on becoming more storm-resistant since Hurricane Sandy caused billions in damage this past... Read more
More people today live in cities than in rural areas … a first in human history. The question is: is this a good thing or a bad thing for sustainability? Past studies have suggested that compact urban living is more efficient, with a lower overall environmental footprint, than country... Read more