Recently I attended the 25th anniversary Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California. What is Bioneers, you ask? Bioneers is a fertile hub of social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.
Many city dwellers feel enveloped by their urban environment and ache for open spaces. Bringing the landscape into the city is not an uncommon theme, with rooftop gardens, council verge regeneration, and green walls among many of the key ideas envisioned by landscape architects.
These transformations emerge in an effort to counter the routine indifference of many built forms, yet never on such a scale as the Breakfast on the Bridge event, which took place in Sydney in recent years.
It's a major challenge to transform anything - transforming a city is of course another level of task entirely. This look at how the urban environment designed for one task or purpose can be used for something utterly different shows how we can creatively respond to the transformation agenda, not just within cities but in other areas, without huge cost or stress.
New towns are better than old towns. New towns aren’t saddled with legacy costs yet. Cheaper land attracts people and businesses priced out of city centers. The established political order blocks innovation and economic development.
Policies that improve the energy efficiency of urban transport systems could help save as much as USD 70 trillion in spending on vehicles, fuel and transportation infrastructure between now and 2050, according to a new report from the International...
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based non-profit organization best known for its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Annual Meeting of New Champions in China (Summer Davos) and the Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai.
Nat Sones's insight:
Building the cities of tomorrow - and retrofitting the cities of today - demands faster, cheaper infrastructure that's fit for purpose, will scale and use resources wisely, and can be deployed easily. In short: everything.
How can games be used for engaging citizens in urban matters? How the addition of urban game-like programs, crowd sourced initiatives in real/digital spaces and temporary urbanism can improve the life in smart and connected cities?
Next Tuesday, the Boston Society of Architects will team with curator/designer Scott Burnham to launch “Reprogramming the City: Opportunities in Urban Infrastructure” an exhibition on creativity in urban design.
Nat Sones's insight:
Great way of putting it. Cities are systems that are failing to move with their diverse populace and cope with overstrained infrastructure. The way forward is to reprogram, redesign the urban landscape, reimagine the way services and networks connect people and organisations and essentials. In many cases this will be about inventive repurposing of systems. The example from Lima highlights how innovation and intent allied to a human-centered, design oriented view can find solutions where, perhaps, a top-down approach may not. Interesting reading.
In 2011, after nine years and a $2-billion investment, New York City’s revamped 911 system still had a major problem: trouble in tracking emergency responses, especially when multiple calls came in about the same incident, or one call involved multiple incidents. This made it nearly impossible for officials to tease out why some city residents waited longer for aid—a matter, potentially, of life and death.
The city had all the information it needed about the 30,000 calls it received daily, but lacked a system to unify that data and, more importantly, the political will to do so. ....
Extraordinary complexity of every kind awaits anyone wanting to bring Big Data functions and tools to any urban environment. But only the city wired to produce, understand and apply insight from Big Data will be future proof.
Shutdown is the ultimate failure of government. This seems not to have passed unnoticed exactly, but being missed as it gets covered in all sorts of other statements, facts, data and reactions. By shutting down, by neglecting their duty (not to mention wasting vast, unbelievable amounts of resource doing so), the US government has betrayed its people, and allowed political brinkmanship and the primitive desire to 'win the argument' to undermine the whole point of it.
If, that is, you believe that the point of government is to protect people, nurture civilisation and direct growth. If you believe that the point of government and the purpose behind politics is to further the careers and feed the egos of politicians, however, it's fine!
This material shows in crystal clarity how the shutdown is affecting US society and people. A good clear way of seeing the shocking neglect of duty that this represents - by all sides. Reaching consensus is the duty of politicians; not fighting to the death. Because the politicians never have to actually pay any price - others do that for them.
We are engineering a seastead – a floating city – for pioneers who wish to demonstrate new ways of living together (Help fund the World's First Floating City for pioneers who wish to demonstrate new ways of living together.
An upcoming exhibition in Los Angeles focuses on the projects that were designed and proposed but never actually came to pass -- including a robust public transit system, greenbelts, a Santa Monica Causeway...
Nat Sones's insight:
Very interesting look here at the 'what might have been' for LA. It's fascinating what the structure of the city's government - decentralised, without a core commitment to develop institutions - means in terms of services and facilities that would have added real meaning and value and above all utility and liveability to the city, and have all died a death.
Detroit bankruptcy upside: City services will improve Detroit Free Press In what emergency manager Kevyn Orr called just one significant example of improvements headed for the city's basic public services, the Detroit Police Department will soon...
What happens when we redesign the human habitat to take walking out of daily life? Over 35 percent of Americans are now clinically obese. That's partly because of diet, but also because we've designed our cities for cars.
The best insight comes from the edge. Here, thinking about a single simple issue: parking, parking space, and what might happen if you removed the need for it, through better connection and true M2M thinking. Liberate the car, liberate the city, liberate the space.
major universities across the world are opening centres of excellence on urban thinking, services, design and creation. this isnt bandwagoning; it may be the only way we will discover ways to make our world sustainable in a true sense. By 2050, up to 6bn people, or 70pc of the world’s population, will be living in cities, the UN has predicted. Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has just opened a new multi-disciplinary research centre called Future Cities.
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