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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Tackling climate change: Copenhagen's sustainable city design

Tackling climate change: Copenhagen's sustainable city design | green streets | Scoop.it

Global warming poses a real threat to cities, but planners in the Danish capital are taking visionary steps to ensure its resilience – and success – as far ahead as 2100.


Visualise the world in 2050: convex streets that collect water from superstorms and pocket parks that absorb heat and can be turned into reservoirs. Welcome to Copenhagen, where planners are preparing the city for the effects of climate change several generations from now...

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Streetmix: A new app lets you reimagine and redesign your city's streets

Streetmix: A new app lets you reimagine and redesign your city's streets | green streets | Scoop.it

It's easy to point out that there's something wrong with a system, such as the design of an urban street or neighborhood, but it's another thing entirely to come up with a design that would be better.

But when it comes to re-imagining the streets in your neighborhood, that process just got quite a bit easier, thanks to a new web app. With Streetmix, users design their perfect street, with the right balance of bike lanes, sidewalks, public transport and vehicle traffic lanes, just by dragging and dropping design segments and adjusting their parameters.

Some users are designing alternatives to real streets in their cities; the app uses real-world design constraints, which can help the layperson understand some of what urban planners need to incorporate in their designs and enable better communication between the planners and the population in design and use issues.


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miguel sa's curator insight, September 4, 2013 1:15 PM

Now this sounds like fun! 

EsdeGroot's curator insight, September 10, 2013 2:31 AM

To help understand what urban planners need to do.

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Town Square Initiative: New York - Urban Planning and Design Concepts

Town Square Initiative: New York - Urban Planning and Design Concepts | green streets | Scoop.it

The Town Square Initiative is a yearlong volunteer effort in which Gensler designers set out to unearth and re-imagine unexpected open space in cities around the globe. All 43 Gensler offices were invited to participate in the conceptual project, in which we challenged our designers to identify open space in the city and reimagine it as a town square.


Visit the link for more images, diagrams and information on Gensler New York’s design of their future city.

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“Great City” Plan Puts Pedestrians First

“Great City” Plan Puts Pedestrians First | green streets | Scoop.it

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, dedicated to sustainable architecture, has imagined and designed city so compact that nothing is more than a 15-minute walk away.


Dubbed “Great City,” the prototype suggests a Chinese city that might be built in 2021 on the outskirts of Chengdu, a city in the southwest of Asia.

Taking up just 1.3 square miles and 320 acres, Great City could be home to 80,000 people. The project proposes that 15 per cent of the total acreage would be devoted to urban parks and green areas, 60 per cent to buildings and 25 per cent to roads and walkways.

To design the world’s first pedestrian-only city, the architects considered a massive transit centre where public transport would be concentrated...

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Water sensitive design: integrating water with urban planning

Water sensitive design: integrating water with urban planning | green streets | Scoop.it

Water has become a risk rather than an opportunity in our cities and that must change.


At Ecobuild, Professor Tony Wong, chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, spoke about the steady progression up the agenda of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) in Australia. Successive years of flooding and some of the worst droughts in history have threatened the health and wellbeing of the population and nearly brought industry grinding to a halt, prompting the government to think differently about water.

A new report published in March reinterprets the WSUD concept and its concludes: for too long, we have been designing water out of our cities when we should have been designing it in.


For example, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) – the creation of ponds, wetlands, swales and basins that mimic natural drainage – can be a cost-effective way to prevent surface flooding while creating valuable public amenities. But we need to go further and join the dots between flood risk management and water resource management, and put water at the heart of discussions about what makes places great to live...

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Noor Fatima's curator insight, April 20, 2013 7:10 AM

impotant 

Keith Thorogood's curator insight, June 18, 2013 12:31 PM

Water resource management.

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10 Ways to Improve High-Density Cities

10 Ways to Improve High-Density Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Getting the right city density – generally expressed in the US as people per square mile or homes per acre – to support sustainable and pleasant living is one of the trickiest problems we face as we address the future of our communities. 

The typically low densities of suburban sprawl built in the last half of the 20th century, despite their popularity at the time with a considerable share of the market, have been shown by a voluminous body of research to produce unsustainable rates of driving, carbon emissions, pollution. stormwater runoff, and adverse health impacts. ..

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How to 'Rightsize' a Street

How to 'Rightsize' a Street | green streets | Scoop.it

The concept of a "road diet” has become increasingly popular, though the phrase fails to capture the wide variety of ways in which streets planned and paved decades ago often awkwardly fit the needs of changing communities today.


In many cases, redesigning city streetscapes is not just (or not at all) about eliminating roadway. It may be about adding parking (to benefit new businesses), or building a new median (for pedestrians who were never present before), or simply painting new markings on the pavement (SCHOOL X-ING).


According to the Project for Public Spaces, we might do better to think of the task as “rightsizing” streets instead of starving them. This week, the nonprofit planning and design organization published a series of case studies from across the country illustrating exactly what this could look like in a variety of settings. The above image pair, from the collection, shows before-and-after scenes of Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. Starting in the summer of 2010, the New York City Department of Transportation began retrofitting the street to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians crossing into Prospect Park. The whole project wasn’t simply a matter of pruning traffic lanes, but of adding yield signs, new traffic signal timing, bike lanes and pedestrian islands.

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American Grove's comment, January 28, 2013 5:56 AM
Too often space for trees (6 feet minimum) are left off the plan in a road diet.
American Grove's curator insight, January 28, 2013 5:59 AM

Munciple Arborist Beware!  Too often sufficient space for trees are being left out of the plans in road diets.  The problem is competing space for paths, bikeways, parking squeeze out an 8ft planting strip to a 4 ft planting strip or less.  4 Strip planting strips is not enough soil for shade trees. Bulb outs into parking and root bridging are innovative ways to work with the lack of space but requires an arborist to help plan. 

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Innovation & Public Space: Melkwegbridge by NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape

Innovation & Public Space: Melkwegbridge by NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape | green streets | Scoop.it

The new Melkweg Bridge in Purmerend (NL) connects the old and new parts of the city with a unique design that accomodates both pedestrians and cyclists.


Developed by Dutch studios NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape, the bridge crosses the Noordhollandsch Kanaal to connect the historic city centre with the growing Weidevenne district in the south-west and is the first stage in a masterplan for the canal and its periphery. It does so with a steeply arching upper level for pedestrians and a zig-zagging lower level for cyclists and wheelchairs. The massive arch reaches the height of 12m above water level and offers incredible views over the city, with a high lookout that is an attraction in itself, letting users fully experience the relationship between the new and historic center of Purmerend.


"The aim of the design team was to create a new area with a specific identity, which could work as a connector between the old and the new centre," said NEXT Architects' Marijn Schenk...

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A Mass-Transit Proposal To Connect A City Using Aerial Gondolas

A Mass-Transit Proposal To Connect A City Using Aerial Gondolas | green streets | Scoop.it
For many, aerial mass transit--either by way of tram or gondola--is an idea best left to ski resorts and World’s Fairs.

 But for a growing number of urban planners and designers, aerial transit represents an alternative for cities where traditional transit options are limited. At PSFK’s recent conference in San Francisco, Frog Principal Designer Michael McDaniel unveiled an ambitious plan called the Wire, which proposes a network of gondolas over Austin, Texas.

McDaniel and his team imagine a system of detachable gondolas connecting neighborhoods throughout the city, making it possible for cyclists and pedestrians to “hop” over particularly congested areas. “The big advantage here is the detachable part which means more gondolas can be added during rush hour and removed in non-peaks times,” he tells Co.Design.

After looking at precedents--like dedicated bus lanes and Portland, another city whose aerial tram has been a huge success--the design team took to Austin’s streets, interviewing locals about their transit experiences...

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Economic & Environmental Benefits of Integrating Ecosystems into Urban Planning

Economic & Environmental Benefits of Integrating Ecosystems into Urban Planning | green streets | Scoop.it

Biodiversity Conservation can Improve Human Health in Worlds Growing Cities, according to a new UN assessment...


The Cities and Biodiversity Outlook, a new study from the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), is the world's first global analysis of how projected patterns of land expansion will impact biodiversity and crucial ecosystems.

The world's total urban area is expected to triple between 2000 and 2030, with urban populations set to double to around 4.9 billion in the same period. This expansion will draw heavily on water and other natural resources and will consume prime agricultural land.
Global urbanization will have significant implications for biodiversity and ecosystems if current trends continue, with effects for human health and development, based on the new research.
The assessment, which draws on contributions from more than 123 scientists worldwide, states that over 60 percent of the land projected to become urban by 2030 has yet to be built.
This presents a major opportunity to greatly improve global sustainability by promoting low-carbon, resource-efficient urban development that can reduce adverse effects on biodiversity and improve quality of life..

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Read the complete article for more on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as an overview of successful initiatives taken on by cities, local authorities and governments in their efforts to develop a green economy...


Via pdjmoo, Digital Sustainability
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Multi Use Infrastructure at Its Most Innovative

Multi Use Infrastructure at Its Most Innovative | green streets | Scoop.it

New York City is certainly willing to pay top dollar for excellent design with a new $3 billion water treatment plant taking shape in Van Cortlandt park in the Bronx. The Croton water treatment by Grimshaw Architects and Ken Smith Landscape Architects includes some $250 million in new buildings, plazas, wetlands and meadows, and a public golf driving range, which, amazingly, sits right on top of the plant.

In a session at the 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ken Smith, ASLA, Ken Smith Landscape Architects; David Burke, Grimshaw Architects; and Charles McKinney, Affiliate ASLA, City of New York, Department of Parks and Recreation, explained how the project is the result of NYC’s design, stormwater management, and parks policies. And while these numerous policies and design requirements were sometimes in conflict, said Smith, the design eventually succeeded because it cleverly integrated security and stormwater management features with public amenities...

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A Master Plan for Cultural and Ecological Urbanism...

A Master Plan for Cultural and Ecological Urbanism... | green streets | Scoop.it

“This planning proposal seeks to determine community and bio-diversity from its historical pattern. The concept finds fundamental inspiration in the strong historical identity of the local railway line, and the historic identity of industrialization of Kaohsiung city.

Inspired by the culturally and biologically responsive between the new city urban fabric and existing old town Yen Chan district, the guiding principle of the master plan is to inspire a meaningful sense of community and a shared commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

The proposal also introduces a series of urban agriculture farming and integrated parks. The strategy is to infiltrate and to conceal the community and biological diversity from the nearby Wan Shu Mountain. It also reflects the historical transformation of Kaohsiung city from industrial city to a contemporary cityscape.”

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Can city life be exported to the suburbs?

Can city life be exported to the suburbs? | green streets | Scoop.it
Instead of building more typical suburban developments, in the past two decades builders increasingly have been bringing city life to the suburbs and exurbs. Street grids are plotted around central plazas surrounded by condos, apartments and shopping. Public transportation is arranged, parking garages are hidden from view, and all the things that people love about D.C. and cities like it are layered on: public art, sidewalk performers, outdoor movies, street festivals, block parties and food carts.

The spread of “town center” projects, particularly in the Washington suburbs, is making it harder to distinguish what makes a city a city. The urban neighborhood has become an exportable commodity.

By the end of 2011, there were 398 such city replicas — town center or “lifestyle center” projects — in the United States, most of them built in suburbs, in exurbs or on farmland alongside a highway. Since the 1960s, developers had promoted suburban shopping centers as safe, clean escapes from crowded cities. But with urban living back in vogue since the late 1990s, developers are trying to create it outside city limits...

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Expansive Eco-Architecture Complex Planned for New Orleans

Expansive Eco-Architecture Complex Planned for New Orleans | green streets | Scoop.it

Three ambitious architectural firms have set out on a task to re-develop New Orleans with a 30-million-square-foot triangular architectural complex on the Mississippi riverfront. Dubbed NOAH, or New Orleans Archology Habitat, the hurricane-proof complex will carry 20,000 residential units, three hotels, 1 million square feet of commercial space and enough space for cultural facilities and offices.

The complex will feature green systems, including solar panels, wind turbines, water turbines, fresh water recovery systems and a passive solar glazing system. While still in the planning phases, the project is an example of how architecture should be capable of generating enough power to fuel more than it consumes. 

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 10, 2013 1:55 PM

Eco developments making cities sustainable

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Complete Streets: Designing to Create Connectivity at our Public Spaces

Complete Streets: Designing to Create Connectivity at our Public Spaces | green streets | Scoop.it

A street shouldn't just be about transportation, but also about civic definition and social and commercial interaction.


There is no better place to start using land more efficiently than with our streets, our most plentiful and visible parts of the urban commons. The recent "complete streets" movement has made a terrific contribution to getting our streets right, by insisting that they be designed so as to accommodate all users.

Connectivity is hugely important to a sustainable street network to encourage walking and shorten driving trips by making destinations more convenient. The pedestrian experience should be safe and enjoyable, and should be so perceived.


Other design elements to help turn streets into worthy places are:

  • Sidewalks with real curbs;
  • On-street parking ;
  • Street trees;
  • Storefronts with elements that shelter pedestrians such as awnings, arcades, and colonnades;
  • Buildings with windows and "other signs of human occupancy such as porches and balconies" for "eyes on the street";
  • Design appropriate to safe motor vehicle speeds.
Lauren Moss's insight:

Visit the article link for more details and information on the process of creating better public spaces and the elements that make for healthy, safe and vibrant communities.

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Nienke Groen's curator insight, July 18, 2013 5:09 AM

Nice trend: refitting streets to create connectivity

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A Clearer Definition for Smarter Smart Growth

A Clearer Definition for Smarter Smart Growth | green streets | Scoop.it
As cities become more conscious of their environmental and social impact, smart growth has become a ubiquitous umbrella term for a slew of principles to which designers and planners are encouraged to adhere.


NewUrbanism.org has distributed 10 points that serve as guides to development that are similar to both AIA’s Local Leaders: Healthier Communities through Design and New York City’s Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design.  Planners all appear to be on the same page in regards to the nature of future development.  But as Brittany Leigh Foster of Renew Lehigh Valley points out, these points tend to be vague; they tell us “what” but they do not tell us “how”.

10 Rules for Smarter Smart Growth by Bill Adams of UrbDeZine San Diego enumerates how to achieve the various design goals and principles that these various guides encourage.

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Patch Dynamics: Urban Design and Ecology as MosaicCollective

Patch Dynamics: Urban Design and Ecology as MosaicCollective | green streets | Scoop.it

The urban ecology framework of Patch Dynamics has been key in watching how city models such as the megalopolis and the megacity interact and generate urban ecosystem change.


Urban Design practices have always been created in response to emerging and overlapping city models and the disciplinary contexts designers find themselves in. The urban ecology framework of Patch Dynamics has been key in allowing me to see how city models such as the megalopolis and the megacity interact and generate urban ecosystem change. One's first thought about a patch may be that of a shape that changes. However, the concept of a patch in this case describes a set of patches or a mosaic that changes over time. This search is not to find or create the best patch mosaics, or those that function in the most resilient ways.

Instead, it is a project of creating urban design practices and strategies for a diversity of urban actors to engage their patches and democratize the resilience cycle in their own ways.

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The Urban Environment: 8 Qualities of Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design

The Urban Environment: 8 Qualities of Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design | green streets | Scoop.it

Since 2000, a number of tools for measuring the quality of the walking environment have emerged. These tools are now used by researchers, local governments, and community groups to measure physical features related to walkability, such as building setback, block length, and street and sidewalk width.


Yet individual physical features may not tell us much about the experience of walking down a particular street. Specifically, they may not capture people’s overall perceptions of the street environment, perceptions that may have complex or subtle relationships to physical features. The urban design literature points to numerous perceptual qualities that may affect the walking experience. Other fields also contribute, including architecture, landscape architecture, park planning, environmental psychology, and the growing visual preference and visual assessment literature.


Visit the link for more information and the complete article explaining the 8 urban design qualities that enable more effective urban design planning solutions for creating quality pedestrian environments...

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Anji Connell's curator insight, April 10, 2013 7:40 PM

Fascinating........"Imageability is related to “sense of place.” Gorden Cullen (1961, p. 152) elaborates on the concept of sense of place, asserting that a characteristic visual theme will contribute to a cohesive sense of place and will inspire people to enter and rest in the space. Jan Gehl (1987, p. 183) explains this phenomenon using the example of famous Italian city squares, where “life in the space, the climate, and the architectural quality support and complement each other to create an unforgettable total impression.” When all factors manage to work together to such pleasing ends, a feeling of physical and psychological well-being results: the feeling that a space is a thoroughly pleasant place in which to be."

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Urban Design for Bicycles: a Plausible Sustainable Solution

Urban Design for Bicycles: a Plausible Sustainable Solution | green streets | Scoop.it

Using bicycle-friendly cities like Copenhagen as inspiration, a growing number of cities around the world are changing their urban design to become biking cities.


Each year, Copenhagen eliminates 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere from the sheer number of cyclists versus cars.

Designing cities with bicycles in mind reduces emissions, commute times, urban sprawl and illness. More cities are looking to bike-friendly sustainable development as they aspire to become green.

Urban planners and architects are increasingly faced with the challenge of compacting development and designing a sustainable transport pattern...

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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, February 15, 2013 8:46 AM

The photo is Amsterdam...the story is the same....

Etienne Randier's curator insight, November 26, 2013 1:21 AM

A la fin des années 60, Georges Pompidou déclarait que Paris devait s'adapter à l'automobile, revenus de cette hérésie, les urbanistes planchent désormais sur la création d'un cadre de vie conçu pour le bien-être des humains et non celui des machines.

 

guillaume riottot's curator insight, November 29, 2013 2:48 AM

what are we wainting for ...

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Smart Cities + Green Megaprojects of the Future

Smart Cities + Green Megaprojects of the Future | green streets | Scoop.it

For many years, architects and city planners from around the world have been trying to create the green ideal: an entire city built to strict environmental standards- highly functional while still retaining aesthetic value.


Here’s a look at some green building and community design that caught our attention in recent months and may (or may not) become reality in the next several years. Their physical footprints may be large, but by using features such as wind power, solar, rainwater recycling and advanced air quality controls, their carbon footprints don't have to be...

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Mercor's curator insight, January 2, 2013 3:33 AM

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Norm Miller's curator insight, January 2, 2013 1:32 PM

This is going beyond Mazdar in Dubai.  The reality is that we need to transform existing cities since starting from scratch is rare.  We need to retrofit cities more than build new ones, but still it is interesting.

Alexandre Pépin's curator insight, March 4, 2013 3:31 AM

 

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Is China's lakeside city the future of urban planning?

Is China's lakeside city the future of urban planning? | green streets | Scoop.it

China's next new city will be designed by US firm KPF, next to Hunan's regional capital, around a 40-hectare lake.


Adjacent to Changsha, the ancient capital city of Hunan, the design implements the sort of urban innovation that creates a sustainable and truly habitable environment.

"We can introduce integrated urban innovation," von Klemperer says, "we can combine water transport with localised energy production, cluster neighbourhood centres, advanced flood prevention and water management, and urban agriculture. Meixi is an experiment in future city planning and building. It will serve Changsha as a new CBD, but it will also serve as a paradigm for other Chinese city planners. It's a kind of live test case."


The firm seeks to achieve these goals through its dense, mixed-use urban, plan, with integration with surrounding mountains, lakes, parks and canals. Meixi Lake will eventually be home to 180,000 inhabitants, living in "villages" of 10,000 people, clustered around the canals...


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Planning for Climate Change: 5 Ideas to prevent flooding in New York

Planning for Climate Change: 5 Ideas to prevent flooding in New York | green streets | Scoop.it
It's time to start seriously planning for climate change in the city.


New York City didn’t have to flood quite this badly, or, at least, it doesn’t have to again. There's no shortage of ideas out there for how the city could adapt to rising sea levels (or, we’ll just say it: climate change). A lot of them haven’t been deployed or more seriously studied because they seem too expensive or daunting.


But an event like Sandy quickly changes that calculus. Suddenly, some of these solutions don’t look quite as expensive as cleaning up after a hurricane...

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A Unique Pedestrian Proposal for the future Grand Central Terminal

A Unique Pedestrian Proposal for the future Grand Central Terminal | green streets | Scoop.it
This past summer, New York’s Department of City Planning put forth a plan to rezone 78 blocks of East Midtown centered around Grand Central Terminal, making room for a bevy of new towers from the projected next great Manhattan build-out.


Pitched as a strategy to bolster New York amidst imminent international competition, the East Midtown Study inspired both the thrill and fear of large scale change: Could New York enhance its skyline and increase its density without losing its soul? Would Midtown become another run-of-the-mill central business district, a globalized landscape of glitzy, glass-skinned stalagmites crushing the layers of history below? Perhaps to palliate our worst Kafka-esque architectural nightmares, the city invited three renowned architecture firms, WXY Architecture + Urban Design, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), and Foster + Partners, to imagine “the next 100 years” of Grand Central Station (which is fast approaching its 100th birthday) and the surrounding Midtown cityscape.

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Achieving sustainable, inclusive cities requires better planning - UN News Centre

Achieving sustainable, inclusive cities requires better planning - UN News Centre | green streets | Scoop.it

Top United Nations officials have underscored the need to better plan the world’s urban areas, where half of the global population currently resides, to turn the ideal of sustainable and inclusive cities into reality.

“In little more than a generation, two thirds of the global population will be urban. As the proportion of humanity living in the urban environment grows, so too does the need to strengthen the urban focus of our efforts to reduce global poverty and promote sustainable development,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In his message for World Habitat Day, Mr. Ban noted that better planned and better functioning cities can help ensure that everyone who lives there has adequate shelter, water, sanitation, health and other basic services. He also noted they promote education and job prospects, energy-efficient buildings and public transport systems, and a feeling of inclusiveness for inhabitants.

According to the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the main challenges confronting cities and towns all over the world today include unemployment, especially among youth; social and economic inequalities; and unsustainable energy consumption patterns.

Urban areas are also responsible for most of the world’s waste and pollution.


“We should create a new type of city – the city of the 21st century – a smart, people-centred city, one that is capable of integrating the tangible and more intangible aspects of prosperity; a city able to rid itself of the inefficient, unsustainable urban habits of the previous century,” said Joan Clos, UN-Habitat’s Executive Director.

“It is time for changing our cities and for building new opportunities,” he stated...


Read further to learn more about the social, economic and cultural components of sustainable cities and urban growth, and the latest in the global dialogue on green development and conscientious planning and how they contribute to a healthier economy, engaged communities, and increased social equity.

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Urban Planning for Bicycles Hits Second Gear

Urban Planning for Bicycles Hits Second Gear | green streets | Scoop.it
Cities worldwide are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of and opportunities created by an investment in bicycle infrastructure.

This is particularly true in Australia, with the various states and cities updating their biking networks to cater to a growing need for automobile-alternative transport means.
After completing Stage One of the Melbourne Bicycle Plan, the Victorian capital is following in the footsteps of iconic European cycling cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam in moving towards developing a more bike-friendly metropolitan area.
The first stage of the plans ran from 2007 until 2011 and focused heavily on making initial networking upgrades and developing the foundations for new cycling infrastructure. The key focuses of that development stage were setting the groundwork for safe networks and developing greater communication with the cycling community.

Now, moving forward with the Draft Bicycle Plan for 2012 – 2016, the city’s commitment to providing ‘safe and connected bicycle routes’ has been further solidified.
According to The City of Melbourne, cyclists’ activities are expected to grow to make up six per cent of all trips to and within the city by 2016. This will account for 15 per cent of inner city peak traffic.
Now that the foundations have been set, city council hopes to build on them with the influence and inclusion of ‘cycling innovation’ standing as the next major goal...

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