cities – infrastructure – transport

US Mayors’ Shareable Cities Resolution

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges support for making cities more shareable by (1) encouraging a better understanding of the Sharing Economy and its benefits to both the public and private sectors by creating more robust and standardized methods for measuring its impacts in cities; (2) creating local [...]

EPA: Benefits of greater urban density

Conversations about smart growth and urban density remind me of Teddy Cruz’s comment that density could be re-imagined, from people/things per acre to social exchanges/transactions/relationships per acre. What if density were analyzed through social network analysis? How then would we understand and compare neighborhoods? Just a thought in preface to my scan through key findings [...]

A new model of urban economic development?

U.S. local-regional economic development strategies have evolved over the years. Wikipedia lists five waves: from 1930s depression-era competitive recruitment — often called “smokestack chasing” — to more recent theories and practices that emphasize industry clusters or sustainability or economic gardening. None of the existing practices adequately address current social and environmental challenges. A few years [...]

Electricity use in four Colorado schools

Which factors are most significant in reducing energy use: personal attitudes toward the environment, social norms around conservation, or availability of key infrastructures and technologies? One study into this question was a 2011 paper comparing electricity use at four Colorado high schools (“Reducing Energy Consumption and Creating a Conservation Culture in Organizations: A Case Study [...]

Sensors, netness, and the public good

Scenarios of a very near future: If Fido and Rover jump the backyard fence, their collars send off an SMS message. When motion is detected around the house, photos are snapped and saved to Dropbox. If the baby awakes, her cry triggers whatever kind of alert you choose. These promises of superconnectivity are the types [...]

Tony Hsieh: Reinvesting in cities

I wonder how many CEOs have considered the move that Link Exchange cofounder and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is making? Ditch the office park. Forget the corporate campus. Move all the staff downtown. Reinvest in cities, in walkable neighborhoods. Accelerate opportunities for collisions (of ideas), community formation, and co-learning. Hsieh’s campus vision, as described in [...]

Cities and biodiversity

The U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity has posted a second review draft of a forthcoming report on cities and biodiversity. Entitled “A Global Assessment of the Links between Urbanization, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services,” the report includes a strong list of “key messages,” each of which is elaborated in this draft: Urbanization is both a challenge [...]