Archives for November 2013

Citizens in city-making

Community participation is a constant and often criticized element of the city planning and policy-making process. Can the individual citizen’s voice really factor into the city’s future? Jennifer McAllister of AECOM’s Infrastructure Advisory in Sydney spoke with the Centre for Livable Cities in Singapore about the challenges and opportunities of the public engagement process. Listen […]

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Smart vs. fast

Portland, Oregon, where a downtown soccer stadium is linked into one of the “smartest” transit systems in the country. Photo by Steve Wanke. What makes a city “smart?” What makes it “fast” (in terms of economic growth)? What are the comparative benefits of each? How can a smart city get fast and a fast city […]

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LA: Denim City

Indigo Dye Lump. Photo by Evan Izer (Palladian). In the United States and beyond, denim is an international wardrobe staple. Nowadays it’s nearly impossible to identify an article of clothing embraced more fully than jeans.  In the 19th century, jeans began as work-wear for hard labor in mines, factories and fields. Since then, the denim […]

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Coastal resilience through biomimicry

Blackpool’s new seawall, mimicking the dunes that once protected this coast. Copyright AECOM photo by Dixi Carrillo. The concept behind biomimicry is really quite simple. Our planet’s biological and environmental systems are the result of an ongoing 3.8-billion-year ‘research and development’ process. This has resulted in some amazing solutions to problems that human society faces […]

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More than a bridge

Tongzhou Canal Bridges: the smaller of two bridges with integrated promenade pavilion and amphitheater. Bridges are of as much interest to the general public as they are to designers and engineers, particularly if they are iconic and notable. Their timeless appearance and monumental size unsurprisingly strike interest and fascination among us all. In the early […]

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What’s next for the living wall?

Five years old and in “rude health,” Westfield London’s living wall. © AECOM photo by David Lloyd. There has been a lot of hype surrounding green or living walls in recent years, using plants to create verdant building facades or interior atriums. Increasingly, blank walls and building are being transformed into vertical landscapes, turning dense urban […]

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Which city would you be?

If you could shape your city’s policies – if you had to juggle jobs, health, housing, transit, environment, education, recreation – what would you do? And which real-life city would you be most in alignment with? The BMW Guggenheim Lab has turned these questions into a fun game called Urbanology. Play it – a few […]

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Thinking locally about agriculture

There is a perception that agriculture is something that typically occurs a long way from our cities and towns. In many cases the concepts of urban and rural activities seem quite separate and usually incompatible. Here in Queensland, Australia, agriculture is one of the ‘Four Pillars’ of the state economy. Both industry and state government […]

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