How Can Urban Planning Encourage Altruism And Community Interest?

How Can Urban Planning Encourage Altruism and Community Interest?

  • May 10, 2018

One of the motives to become an urban planning professional is to help create better living conditions for the people. An urban planner plans the land use in a way that will serve the community best. But what can we do when the well being of the community clashes with the well being of the individual? Urban planners must often promote decisions that are good for the community in long term, but require some sacrifices…

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Green Building Is Not Enough: We Need Green Zoning

Green Building is Not Enough: We Need Green Zoning

  • May 7, 2018

Cities are looking for ways to save energy and resources and to reduce pollution. Toronto, Seattle and San Francisco for example have developed a set of green building standards to lower their carbon footprint. But building low energy houses from ecological materials is not enough. Why optimizing urban form isn't the only factor to consider? The biggest source of pollution and energy consumption in many cities is driving with cars. People who live in a walking distance…

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This Urban Design Project Encourages Kids To Learn Through Play

This Urban Design Project Encourages Kids to Learn Through Play

  • May 3, 2018

Research shows that playing - especially at an early age - helps children to develop their capabilities better. But children have less and less time to play. The kindergartens often have structured programs that do not allow much time for play. Parents often don't have time to play with children because of all the errands that need to be done after a busy day at work. How urban design can help?…

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How Can Adaptive Traffic Controls Ease Daily Commute

How Can Adaptive Traffic Controls Ease Daily Commute

  • April 21, 2018

Adaptive traffic control system (ATCS) is a traffic management strategy where the timing of traffic lights changes according to actual traffic demand. And the city of Aberdeen is among the first that plans to implement the system in order to optimize the daily commute in the urban environment. Currently there are 15 traffic signals along Sixth Avenue governed with a master controller. "It's far better than when they were all independent," said Public Works Director Robin Bobzien. The…

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3 New Technologies That Will Improve Our Cities

3 new technologies that will improve our cities

  • April 17, 2018

In the last years many new technologies emerged that help us make our daily lives easier.  Could some of these technologies be used to help with governing and designing the cities as well? We think the answer is yes. Here are 3 of them and ways in which they can be used to improve our cities... Augmented and Virtual Reality Virtual reality is a computer generated scenario where all the environment and events are made by…

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Citizens Are Partners, Not Test Subjects

Citizens are partners, not test subjects

  • April 10, 2018

Cities should make the lives of their residents easier and better. Implementing changes that do not serve the citizens would be a mistake. That is why city leaders should encourage citizens to participate in making decision about the city's future. A good example of this is how city of Minneapolis updated its comprehensive plan. The city's new comprehensive plan is transparently displayed on a decicated website and residents are encouraged to submit their suggestions…

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3D Printing Is Revolutionizing The Future Of Cities

3D printing is revolutionizing the future of cities

  • April 10, 2018

Construction companies have taken 3D printing technology to the next level. They have started using it to construct houses, offices, bridges and more. How will this new construction method help cities and their residents? Image: 3D printed office building in Dubai (source). 3D printing of a building looks similar to 3D printing of smaller objects: a robots applies layer after layer of material until the whole structure is completed. For buildings, robots use special mixtures of concrete,…

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Minneapolis’ Daring Comprehensive Plan

Minneapolis’ daring comprehensive plan

  • April 7, 2018

Minneapolis is updating it's comprehensive plan. The update emphasizes energy efficient construction, housing density and reduction of car usage to help lower the city's carbon footprint. One of the proposed solutions of how to achieve this goals started a huge debate. The controversial issue is whether to allow building of fourplexes in practically all city areas.  A fourplex is a small apartment building with four units and current rules prohibit them in roughly two thirds of the areas. Image:…

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Lessons Learned From 2018 Smart Cities Connect Conference

Lessons Learned from 2018 Smart Cities Connect Conference

  • April 3, 2018

The 3 day 2018 Smart Cities Connect conference hosted nearly 2,000 attendees from government, businesses and academia from all over the world. What are the most important lessons from this meeting in Kansas City? 1) Don't be afraid of failure, learn from it When we try new things and approaches, e.g. using technology to improve resident's lives, we can not always predict the outcome. Sometimes the outcome is bad.  Nobody likes failure but at least we learned what…

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Using Technology To Improve Toronto

Using technology to improve Toronto

  • March 29, 2018

The March/April 2018 issue of MIT Technology Review magazine published a list of 10 technological breakthroughs it believes will make the most impact over the next years. One of the breakthroughs listed is a Sidewalk Toronto project - a plan to successfully integrate cutting-edge urban design with state-of-the-art digital technology. The Waterfront Toronto organization was looking for ways to revitalise an 800-acre (324-hectare) site east of the city's Downtown area,…

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