Urban Life
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Urban Life
what to do to improve our lives in the city where we live
Curated by Jandira Feijó
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Rede social brasileira leva prêmio de melhor aplicativo urbano do mundo - Adnews - Movido pela Notícia

Rede social brasileira leva prêmio de melhor aplicativo urbano do mundo - Adnews - Movido pela Notícia | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Colab foi a grande vencedora do AppMyCity, realizado no evento New Cities Summit, promovido pela New Cities foundation
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Superkilen: A Neighborhood Park in Copenhagen Reflects the Community's Urban Diversity

Superkilen: A Neighborhood Park in Copenhagen Reflects the Community's Urban Diversity | Urban Life | Scoop.it

The nearly mile-long Superkilen park in Denmark is a bold attempt to create a new identity for an “ethnically diverse and socially challenged” neighborhood in Copenhagen, Denmark.


An in-depth community outreach process organized by the city has led to a place like no other, with a sequence of plazas that honor different ethnics groups living in the area. Designed by Bjarke Ingels’ firm, BIG, landscape architecture firm, Topotek 1, and artists’ group, Superflex, the massive project also accomplished a lot with a little budget: at just $34 per square foot, the landscape “packs a lot of bang for the buck.”


The project, which has recently been all over the design press, also just took home the AIA Institute Honor Award for urban and regional design and an annual design award from Architect Magazine in the “play” category. 

The AIA jury wrote: “This is not only original, but stunning to behold. It is noteworthy for its aesthetic approach, which is straightforwardly artificial rather than pretending to be natural. One of the project’s most exciting dimensions is its inclusion of the diverse community of users. Its bold use of color and public art in spaces that promote social interaction and engagement all exude a high level of excitement and energy through what once looked like residual space. Superkilen shows what can be done with an open, inventive approach within severe cost limitations. It demonstrates the value of powerful visual and spatial moves while keeping connected to the realities of a contemporary multicultural context: the condition of many European cities.”


Via Lauren Moss
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New Urban Ideas: 22 Cities Prepare to Pilot the Future

New Urban Ideas:  22 Cities Prepare to Pilot the Future | Urban Life | Scoop.it

22 cities have called for innovative solutions to solve urban challenges as part of the Citymart urban ideas competition. The aim is to identify & share solutions to challenges that cities face.


The 2012 competition attracted 1,519 entries from 70 countries. Now Aalborg, Barcelona, Boston, Christchurch, Eindhoven, Fukuoka DC, L’Hospitalet, Lagos, Lavasa, London, Maringa, Mexico City, Oulu, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rosario, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Sheffield, Tacoma, Terrassa and York all hope to evoke a similar response.


The cities have presented challenges across a vast array of areas including mobility, economic development, social inclusion, health and well-being, urban management, lighting, energy, culture, future government and sustainable lifestyles...


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Change Your City: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects

Change Your City: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Given the environmental straits we find ourselves in at present, architects and policy makers have to rethink our strategy of how to shape the city, buildings and urban space alike. This entails that we refrain from the strategies of the past and make do with the standing infrastructure that we already have.


Preserving and rehabilitating the aging steel relics of our global cities has proven an ingenious way of saving energy, while enabling newer methods of architectural planning. Projects such as the High Line have kickstarted a new age of urban regeneration–for good or bad–with initiatives from Tel Aviv to Philadelphia attempting to replicate it success on their own turf.

When it comes to urban transformation, size does not matter, per se. The subtleties of thoughtful urban projects shine through at every level, and sometime outperform their more ostentatious contemporaries.


Visit the link for photos and descriptions of 10 projects from across the globe, including public parks, infrastructure projects, cultural buildings and more...


Via Lauren Moss
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San Francisco To Help Citizens Create “Better Streets”

San Francisco To Help Citizens Create “Better Streets” | Urban Life | Scoop.it
One of Jane Jacobs’ most valuable contributions to the understanding of cities was her faith in the wisdom of the urban dweller. She argued that the physical city—and any approach to city planning—could not be separated from the wisdom of each individual inhabitant, “People who know well such animated city streets will know how it is. I am afraid people who do not will always have it a little wrong in their heads, like the old prints of rhinoceroses made from travelers’ descriptions of rhinoceroses.” The complication arising from Jacobs’ argument is simple though difficult to solve; how can we plan a city when planning is one part abstraction and abstraction removes us from Jacobs’ precious “real life” mentality?

 

A step towards solving this contradiction is sfbetterstreets.org, a website launched last week by the City of San Francisco. Developed by the San Francisco Planning Department in conjunction with other city agencies, the website is part of the city’s larger, “Better Streets” initiative. The legislative concept, described in San Francisco’s Better Streets Plan, is to create streets “designed and built to strike a balance between all users regardless of physical abilities or mode of travel… maximizing features for the comfort, usability, and aesthetics of people walking.”


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Pedestrians x Urban Development

Pedestrians x Urban Development | Urban Life | Scoop.it
This is my debut on Urban Times and after thinking much about what kind of issues I would like to propose in this very first publication, I realized that nothing could express my future contribution here better than a 'urbanist' discussion...
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Les Ateliers de création urbaine, un laboratoire d’idées pour l’Île-de-France.

Tous les ans depuis 2007, la Région Île-de-France organise les Ateliers de création urbaine. Des étudiants de différentes formations - urbanisme, architecture, paysage, sciences politiques, économie - travaillent sur l’Île de France de 2030.

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Living in the New Metropolis

Living in the New Metropolis | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Documenting the megacities of our time....

 

Over half of humanity is living in cities and that statistic is likely to reach 70% by 2050.  Studying the urban environment, especially the 'megacities' (cities with populations over 10 million people) which are growing especially fast, becomes increasingly important.  This photo gallery of the worlds 23 megacites employs long exposure images, with highlights the movements and dynamism of the urban networks.  To see the gallery and this stunning image of Jakarta's rush hour traffic, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/05/06/sunday-review/06METROPOLIS.html?ref=sunday#4   


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Eduardo Paes: The 4 commandments of cities

TED Talks Eduardo Paes is the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, a sprawling, complicated, beautiful city of 6.5 million.

 

What should city planners be doing to maintain a vibrant city?  The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro explains his vision for cities and city management for the future. 


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Welcome to Ikea-land: Furniture giant begins urban planning project

Welcome to Ikea-land: Furniture giant begins urban planning project | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Where the Swedish home-furnishings behemoth once placed a couch in a living room, they now want to place you and 6,000 neighbours into a neglected corner of your city, design an entire urban world around you, and Ikea-ize your lives.
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Copenhagen X movie — new architecture and urban development

Copenhagen X movie — new architecture and urban development | Urban Life | Scoop.it
New ways to view and disseminate the city first seen on Scoop.it - Urban Life

Copenhagen X facilitates and disseminates information on architecture, urban development, building projects, archite...
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Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons

Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons by Melissa Sterry, Design Scientist at the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research (AVATAR) group at University of Greenwich and Futurist and Curator at Earth 2.0 – a movement re-establishing a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature using science, art and digital creativity.


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Earth 2.0: Initialization

EARTH 2.0™ is an exciting and ambitious collaboration of innovative and far sighted developments in science and technology combined with the visualisation, imagery and stimulus achieved through the medium of film and interactive technologies to alter thinking and create a movement for change to deliver the sustainable world of the future. Earth 2.0: Initialization features Dr. Rachel Armstrong, Melissa Sterry, Niall Dunne and Tia Kansara, with a special appearance by international best-selling author Graham Hancock.

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Urban Design for New American Cities

Urban Design for New American Cities | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Around many of our Gateway Cities like New York, Washington DC and San Francisco, are sprouting "New Cities", complete with their own infrastructure, neighborhoods, employment centers and cultural identity.


With exploding global populations, much of the talk around urbanization revolves around cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America. But here at home in the United States, a new type of city form is taking shape. Around many of our Gateway Cities like New York, Washington DC and San Francisco, are sprouting "New Cities", complete with their own infrastructure, neighborhoods, employment centers and cultural identity.

 

The timing of these "New Cities" is good, since in recent years there has been a resurgence of ideas of urban planning that promote mix of uses, walkability and transit oriented development. However, New Cities confront us with many unprecedented realities that we must consider and analyze in depth before we rubber-stamp our current formulas for creating vibrant urban communities. These places are inherently different from Gateway Cities, Suburban Settlements or Rural Areas. They have a DNA of their own, which requires a more tailored response...


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Ricardo Cabeza de Vaca's curator insight, May 26, 2015 9:00 PM

I believe this article is very interesting. It reminds us that because of changing times we also need to change the demographics of our cities. With exploding populations it is time to come up with a "New City' a different type of city with a new type of infrastructure. Around huge population centers these new cities are popping up and are creating a very different environment. These cities are creating permanent, affordable and very diverse places to live. They are creating a positive place for the people that move to these cities. A city of the future and for the future.

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Ten Points for Liveable Cities: Lessons from Singapore

Ten Points for Liveable Cities: Lessons from Singapore | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Urban populations are expanding at an exponential rate as people are migrating to city centers where economic opportunities promise social mobility and access to education, health resources, and where employment is more abundant than in rural areas. 


Nations once considered in the “third world” are making leaps to accommodate growing populations with thoughtful considerations in designing these new urban capitals.  Population trends have shifted considerably and have contributed to some of the densest urban cities never before seen in history.  The rise in the classification of cities as “mega-cities” and the problems that such high population densities face speak to the fact that our cities have reached a saturation point that needs to addressing.

Singapore, an island nation in the Asian Pacific, is the third densest country in the world. Last year the Center for Liveable Cities and the Urban Land Institute participated in a summit of leading planners and policy makers to discuss the steps that Singapore was taking in its development in response to its growing urban populations.  The result of the conference was a list of ten points that contribute to making Singapore a liveable high dense city...


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Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group

Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group | Urban Life | Scoop.it
SWA Group has been selected to redesign Futian District in Shenzhen, China.

The landscape architecture and urban planning firm hopes to transform the congested and car-dominated district of central Shenzhen into a calmer, greener space where pedestrians are welcome.

As part of SWA’s masterplan, titled Garden City of Tomorrow, residential streets will be made over with exercise areas for all age groups as well as quieter green spaces. Office streets will incorporate gardens with seating areas, while retail streets will encourage pedestrian traffic with public art and better lighting. A botanical garden in the shape of a circuit board, representing the Chinese city’s electronics industry, has been proposed for a space alongside the Civic Center.

“Our landscape and urban design strategies will rebalance Futian from a car-dominated city with a challenging street system to offer a more beautiful, more functional environment, from landscaped boulevards and greenspaces to plazas and large gathering spaces,” said Sean O’Malley, the principal leading the masterplan from SWA Group...


See more renderings and learn more about the Garden City of Tomorrow at the complete article.


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Setting the Table, Making a Place: How Food Can Help Create a Multi-Use Destination

Setting the Table, Making a Place: How Food Can Help Create a Multi-Use Destination | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Food – we need it, we love it, and we structure our lives and cultures around it. San Antonio, Texas, is a city that is starting to structure its neighborhoods around it, starting with an ambitious redevelopment project called the Pearl Brewery. Located on 22 acres along the banks of the San Antonio River north of downtown, today’s Pearl is a multi-use campus of buildings originally founded as the J. B. Behloradsky Brewery and City Brewery over 120 years ago. The current vision for the site is for a vibrant urban district to grow out from a culinary destination that brings people together around the celebration of local food and culture...


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A. S. CohenMiller's comment, September 5, 2012 4:14 PM
We love what Pearl has been doing. Definitely worth visiting (regularly)!
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The Connected City

The Connected City | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Cities and their influence on citizens’ behavior, community, and culture is top of mind for more than the usual suspects: urban planners and city hall officials.

Right now designers, technologists, hacktivists, and journalists are all exploring how the urban environment is going to change in coming years, as the megapolis becomes more of a reality. As Design Mind's Creative Director Scott Nazarian, states in his article in the upcoming print issue, “Cities challenge us to manage their many networks, all of which must be managed or facilitated by both people and automated systems.”

So, who are the people and organizations rethinking our cities? Mathieu Lefevre is the Executive Director of the New Cities Foundation, a new global platform for innovation and exchange on the future of urbanization. I discussed the future of the connected city with him, the places that are getting urbanization right, and technology’s role in these transformations...


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Downtowns: How Did We Get Here?

Kennedy Smith is considered one of the nation's leading experts on downtowns, downtown economics, independent business development and the economic impact of urban sprawl, with a long career in downtown revitalization.

 

This video discusses the decline of the American Central Business District, the rise of shopping malls, the importance of the automobile and spatial organization of particular economic sectors.

 

Parts Two  http://vimeo.com/37041011 ; and Three  http://vimeo.com/37050944 ; continue the discussion with an emphasis on practical urban planning policies for small cities to revitalize the downtown region with some domestic and foreign examples. 


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:38 AM

I have wondered about that where these downtowns came from. I have thought of it because I am very curious to learn about downtown providence and how it became a downtown. Where did the word downtown come from? It is amazing how things are being called in this world.

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Are Urban Microcenters the Solution to Urban Sprawl?

Are Urban Microcenters the Solution to Urban Sprawl? | Urban Life | Scoop.it
During the last decades, the conurbation problem in large cities has increased, reaching alarming levels.

At present, the average time a person needs to travel from home to a workplace is around 4 hours, which represents a total loss of 20 hours every week, that is, 80 hours per month, 960 hours yearly, which translates into a total of 40 days in traffic a year.

This is reflected in time loss, otherwise destined for leisure, quality of life, time spent with family, in addition to the obvious heavy traffic, which results in enormous energy costs for moving this population, and this translates in huge CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, in other words, “pollution”.

Hence, the need to create urban microcenters, that are located in central areas in the city, where the necessary infrastructure for transportation, subway systems, metro buses, buses, etc., as well as water supply, sewage, energy power, is already present. Moreover, they integrate elements in the design of their façades and facilities that allow reductions of resources and generated waste; also, they are mostly vertical urban groups that merge different activities on one place, integrating housing, offices, commerce, hotels, fun, and mostly, public spaces in squares, gardens on the ground floor or even on higher levels. The objective is to reduce the need to travel around the city, which at the same time has a direct bearing on traffic density. This allows the quality of life of users, to improve, which makes the city more efficient...


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Max Minard's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:07 PM

This article plans out a possible solution to decrease the time it takes to travel around the city. In order to do so, it introduces the idea of urban micro centers located in the center of cities where all major aspects of the city are present. This solution also helps reduce the amount of pollution that is emitted in urban areas since it allows reasonable walking distances from people's homes to their jobs in the micro center. Altogether, I believe that this is a successful plan and I would suggest this design to any major city. It will overall increase environmental benefits, increase efficiency, and provide a key model to solve the issue of urban sprawl. 

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Scaling the Urban Future by Blending the Urban Past | Sustainable Cities Collective

Scaling the Urban Future by Blending the Urban Past | Sustainable Cities Collective | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Recently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Seattle-based Preservation Green Lab made urbanist media headlines (including Emily Badger’s January 25 Atlantic Cities story) with a report stating the environmental benefits of green retrofits of historic buildings, as compared to new, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction. In addition, a local church restored as townhouses joined the list of intriguing Seattle adaptive reuse projects typical of national trends.

 

As our surroundings evolve, can we create incentives and inspiration for transformational places that are sustainable in form, function and attention to the past? I have touched on these questions before, when highlighting hill towns as placemaking icons and profiling Italy’s re-emerging Matera, the UNESCO World Heritage site also termed “the sustainable city of stone” (in The Atlantic last year)...


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HowStuffWorks "Five Modern Abandoned Cities"

HowStuffWorks "Five Modern Abandoned Cities" | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Abandoned cities are haunting sights: Entire populations uproot, move on and leave behind ghost towns. Read about abandoned cities and their demises.

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