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How will our future cities look?

How will our future cities look? | Neo | Scoop.it

Almost half of the world's population currently lives in cities, and by 2050 that is projected to increase to 75%, but what kind of city will they be living in?


The time is ripe, say experts, to start designing smarter urban environments, both new cities needed to sustain an ever-growing population, and retro-fits on the ones that we have lived in for centuries.

 

So, how do we make our cities stronger?

Some of these revolve around the idea that smarter equals greener. Sustainability experts predict carbon-neutral cities full of electric vehicles and bike-sharing schemes, with air quality so much improved that office workers can actually open their windows for the first time.

 

Visions of a green city often include skyscrapers where living and office space vie with floating greenhouses or high-rise vegetable patches and green roofs, as we try to combine urbanisation with a return to our pastoral past...


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Urban Design for Bicycles: a Plausible Sustainable Solution

Urban Design for Bicycles: a Plausible Sustainable Solution | Neo | 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 11:46 AM

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

Etienne Randier's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:21 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.

 

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10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth

10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth | Neo | Scoop.it

It wasn’t too long ago that the term ‘Smart City’ was not on very many people’s radar screens, but recently, it has been more familiar, and people are understanding the concepts behind smart cities.


A smart city uses information combined with technology to improve quality of life, reduce environmental impact, and decrease energy demand. This list of the smartest cities on the planet takes those factors into consideration, as well as the ‘smart’ plans the city might have for the future...


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Phillip Trotter's curator insight, February 12, 2013 12:26 PM

Great find from Peter Jasperse's blog and an inspirational read for those interested in building a smarter cities and environments since these cities have already started along the journey.

Jed Fisher's comment, February 16, 2013 4:54 AM
fantastic!
Jed Fisher's comment, February 16, 2013 4:54 AM
fantastic!
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Urban Farming is Growing in Shanghai, China

Urban Farming is Growing in Shanghai, China | Neo | Scoop.it

After years of relentless growth, Shanghai, China is entering a new phase of environmentally sustainable development, where issues like urban farming are becoming more prominent. 

 

Increasing urban density, competition for land and a rising demand for food from the burgeoning middle class, Shanghai needs to ensure that the opportunity to produce food in the city is possible.

The main challenge facing urban farming in Shanghai remains to be a lack of awareness. Without the proper education and know-how, the urban farming movement is unlikely to take shape on a large scale, and with very little outdoor space available, few options are available to grow food. Many residents have turned to creative land-intensive solutions such as balcony or rooftop farming to produce fresh, organic, healthy and cheap foods...



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A Collective Approach to Local Entrepreneurship

A Collective Approach to Local Entrepreneurship | Neo | Scoop.it

Locally owned shops were once cornerstones for products, services, employment and social networks in urban neighborhoods. The rise of automobiles, franchises and Internet shopping has forced many out of business or into niches that don't correspond with the needs of their local communities. However, in some cities they're seeing a resurgence due to creative initiatives that link grassroots activism with public- and private-sector resources.


In February, a special kind of shop opened in Amsterdam's Van der Pek neighborhood. It is called the Wisselwinkel, meaning "shift shop," because it hosts a new local entrepreneur every six months. If this trial period goes well, the entrepreneur receives assistance in setting up a more permanent location in the neighborhood.

Designed and constructed by MOS Collectief, the Wisselwinkel interior is flexible so that different startups can use it according to their needs. Along with the storefront, entrepreneurs receive practical guidance in connecting with support organizations, fulfilling legal requirements and attracting customers...


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25,000 LEDs: the World's Largest Digital Light Sculpture

25,000 LEDs: the World's Largest Digital Light Sculpture | Neo | Scoop.it

This month marked the official opening of the world's largest digital light sculpture- the Bay Lights in Northern California...

 

The Bay Lights is the world’s largest LED light sculpture, 1.8 miles wide and 500 feet high. Inspired by the Bay Bridge’s 75th Anniversary, its 25,000 white LED lights are individually programmed to create a never-repeating, dazzling display across the Bay Bridge West Span through 2015.

Drawing inspiration from the surroundings and the dynamic nature of the water below, artist Leo Villareal leveraged digital technology and innovative software to develop and realize the design...


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The World's Biggest Solar Power Plant in Abu Dhabi

The World's Biggest Solar Power Plant in Abu Dhabi | Neo | Scoop.it

The Shams 1, a 100-megawatt concentrated solar power plant, has just started soaking up the Arabian sun outside of Abu Dhabi. That's the biggest of its kind on the planet.


A joint venture between the French energy giant Total, the Spanish renewable energy wizards Abnegoa, and Masdar, Abu Dhabi's clean energy company, it will provide energy to some twenty thousand houses, and cut out of the atmosphere 75,000 tons of CO2 per year...


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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 | Neo | 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 10:40 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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the 10 Best Cities for People without Cars

the 10 Best Cities for People without Cars | Neo | Scoop.it

Whether you’re a nervous driver or a staunch supporter of mass transit to reduce your carbon footprint, relying solely upon public transportation will require you to live in a city with a suitable public transportation system in place.

According to aupairjobs.com, the 10 U.S. cities at the article link have the best mass transit systems in place and are most well-suited to traveling sans car:

 

New York 

San Francisco

Boston

Washington, DC

 

Philadelphia

Chicago

Seattle 

Miami 

Baltimore

Portland


Find more details at the article link...


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bancoideas's curator insight, March 8, 2013 10:11 AM

las 10 mejores ciudades para la gente sin auto, podrían ser simplementa las 10 mejores ciudades para vivir

Samantha Melvin's curator insight, October 12, 2013 4:44 PM

How do people use systems in their every day lives?

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9 Steps Cities Must Take to Dramatically Cut Carbon Emissions

9 Steps Cities Must Take to Dramatically Cut Carbon Emissions | Neo | Scoop.it

A very long, very bold to-do list for the next 20 years.

The city of Toronto has already begun to sketch out policies that could reduce the area’s greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. Officials have proposed greening the electric grid, banning incandescent light bulbs, promoting green roofs on commercial buildings, retrofitting 1960s-era high-rises and implementing a stricter energy-efficient building code for new construction. With transportation, the city wants to expand bike lanes and transit infrastructure, all while it anticipates that electric vehicles will grow slowly more common.

This is a pretty standard menu of ideas, and according to scientists it will get the city part of the way toward the kind of changes broadly needed to really keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

But to really alter the future prospects for climate change, much more will have to happen in Toronto, and every other city. Researchers used the city as a case study to model what a truly aggressive framework might look like. If Toronto wants to cut emissions by 70 percent by 2031, all of these actions (or others with a similar impact) might be required in tandem...


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Pamela D Lloyd's curator insight, February 13, 2013 6:13 PM

While the steps being proposed in Toronto may not be as aggressive as those recommending by researchers concerned with reversing the climate changes caused by humanity's activity, they are at least a step in the right direction and far more than what seems likely in most U.S. cities.

 

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Ten Points for Liveable Cities: Lessons from Singapore

Ten Points for Liveable Cities: Lessons from Singapore | Neo | 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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Smart Grid and Energy Storage Installations Rising Worldwide

Smart Grid and Energy Storage Installations Rising Worldwide | Neo | Scoop.it

Global investment in smart grid technologies rose 7 percent in 2012 from the previous year. On top of direct investments, numerous countries around the world are making headway on smart grid regulatory policies, development plans, and frameworks to support future grid infrastructure upgrades.


Smart grids consist of many different technologies serving different functions. They are commonly defined as an electricity network that uses digital information and communications technology to improve the efficiency and reliability of electricity transport. Such modernized grids are becoming more important as current grid infrastructure ages and regions begin connecting more variable generation from renewable energy sources into the electricity network...


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Laurence Serfaty's comment, March 3, 2013 8:28 AM
;)
Norm Miller's comment, March 3, 2013 1:52 PM
For smart grids to really work we need ways to store energy more efficiently, i.e. better batteries. When will large scale better batteries become available? What's on the horizon for energy storage?
Joan Tarruell's comment, March 3, 2013 2:34 PM
Another possibility is to use the energy generated by instantaneous sources (wind, sun, waves) before origins occurring storable (gas, coal, water reservoirs, etc.)
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Sky-high horticulture: Shenzhen's 'farmscraper' plan

Sky-high horticulture:  Shenzhen's 'farmscraper' plan | Neo | Scoop.it

Conceived in response to a densely populated Chinese city's unchecked growth, Asian Cairns is an ambitious take on vertical farming.

 

A Belgian architect recently unveiled the 79-acre masterplan for Asian Cairns, a dizzying new vision of urban vertical farming in China. Consisting of a sextet of “sustainable monoliths for rural urbanity” — stacked, pebble-esque, steel-ringed transparent pods that are powered by both vertical wind turbines and photovoltaics — Vincent Callebaut Architects’ Asian Cairns is planned for the rapidly swelling, skyscraper-heavy port city of Shenzhen in the southern province of Guangdong north of Hong Kong.Beyond agricultural concerns, Asian Cairns is envisioned as a mixed-use development that also incorporates residential, retail, and recreational areas. Imagined as being completely emissions-free and producing more energy than they consume, the Cairns were conceived in direct response to Shenzhen’s unchecked urban development and the population growth and increased pollution levels that have accompanied it...
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Duane Craig's curator insight, March 15, 2013 12:00 PM

Really cool, but I bet it will be a real challenge and expense to build it. Look at all the curved glass.

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, March 19, 2013 1:08 PM

TY Lauren Moss...

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The Costs of Population Growth

The Costs of Population Growth | Neo | Scoop.it

The United States population is expected to pass 400 million by 2051.


That’s 85 million more people who will need good jobs, sufficient space, clean water and energy.


We will need to make adjustments in order to have a healthy economy in the coming years. So what would happen if the world population – including in the United States – just kept growing? It’s simply not sustainable. The costs to both people and our planet would far outweigh the benefits.

Read the complete article for the relevant facts on the potential impacts of population growth on environmental and social issues...


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MissPatel's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:07 AM

It is constantly a strain on the environment but what about economically? 

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Anatomy of a Smart City

Anatomy of a Smart City | Neo | Scoop.it

The 19th century was a century of empires, 20th century was a century of nation states and the 21st century will be a century of cities...

 

This outstanding infographic (courtesy of postscapes.com) begins with some information about our current state of urbanization.

 

Did you know that 1.3 million people are moving to cities each week?! It then explains the need for smart cities and delves into what is required to establish these intelligent connected environments, how the smart city may take various forms in the developing worlds and what specific technologies are necessary to achieve such grand goals in practice.


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Eli Levine's curator insight, December 18, 2014 10:45 AM

There is an evolution taking place where politics, policy, technology, the environment, and the economy all intersect. This movement towards technical, empirically driven local policy making could be our saving grace.This could be the future of government.

Paul Aneja - eTrends's curator insight, December 22, 2014 6:51 PM

What do you think makes a smarter city?

Serge G Laurens's curator insight, October 28, 2016 3:25 PM
Anatomy of a Smart City
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10 Ways to Improve High-Density Cities

10 Ways to Improve High-Density Cities | Neo | 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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Jacqueline Garcia pd1's curator insight, March 23, 2015 8:08 PM

This article shows the implications of high density areas. The solutions that the author discussed make a good point but sound kinda difficult. For example , its not that easy to bring nature into the cities because of the pollution which makes it hard to sustain the sort of growth we need.