Urban SOS finalist “The Living City” links refugees with abandoned buildings to address Athens’s “crisis within a crisis”

One of the four finalists in the Urban SOS: Fair Share student competition, “The Living City” tackles some of the most challenging issues of our time — migration and abandoned building stock post recession. The Living City proposes capitalizing on the more than 300,000 vacant units in Athens to allow refugees arriving in the city […]

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Urban SOS finalist “En Comúna” suggests app to map and connect Quito communes

A finalist in the Urban SOS: Fair Share student competition, “En Comúna” proposes developing an app that would allow residents of communes to share resources and improve the social and economic infrastructure of their communities. We talk to Mateo Fernández-Muro from Polytechnic University of Madrid and Francisco Miranda of Parsons The New School for Design […]

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Urban SOS finalist “WELP” proposes waste disposal that works for households and collectors

A finalist in the Urban SOS: Fair Share student competition, “The Waste-Help System” (WELP) proposes creating a municipal sharing platform for Durban, South Africa, that connects households with waste to collectors who earn income from disposing of it. The program would see the creation of five hubs citywide, where collectors can dispose of bulk waste […]

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Resilient Oakland: It Takes a Town to Thrive

This is the first in a series of posts on AECOM’s work with cities participating in the 100 Resilient Cities program, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The program supports 100 cities globally in tackling issues of globalization, urbanization and climate change by developing a resilience strategy under the leadership of a chief resilience officer. AECOM has assisted […]

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The role of cities in a changing world

I recently spoke at this year’s Change the World Conference in London. There were some extraordinary presentations, which galloped from neural implants, robotic brains, and epigenetics, to human-centred geolocation and emerging strategies for renewable energy storage. My presentation focused on the disruptive effects on the evolution of cities and tried to address three basic questions: […]

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Accelerating cities in Australia, New Zealand

I recently visited Auckland, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney recently, speaking in various venues about globalization, emerging technology, and their impacts on cities, including a presentation at the Adelaide ‘Open State’ festival. From traditional North American/European perspectives, both Australia and New Zealand are the ‘end of the line’. Auckland is 12 hours ahead of London – […]

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Mayors and innovation: there is much to do and they want help

Political conventions are often known for funny hats, rousing speeches, and lots of receptions and parties, but they are also an opportunity for civic leaders to come together, talk about the issues they are facing, and share ideas. The National Conference of Democratic Mayors held just such a session last week in Philadelphia called “City […]

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The new urban infrastructure equation

What makes a city? Places we live. Places we work. Places we shop and enjoy ourselves. Shared public spaces. The systems that move us from point to point. The systems that deliver water and energy to us. All of this is physical infrastructure of one kind or another. There are also the capital and funding […]

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Visualizing London’s infrastructure with GIS

Screen shot from the GLA’s Infrastructure Mapping Application for London  As chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Infrastructure Council, I recently hosted a presentation at London City Hall, in which Jeremy Skinner, Greater London Authority (GLA) head of economic growth & enterprise, Andrew McMunnigal, GLA senior policy and projects officer for infrastructure, and Paul Hodgson, […]

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Subterranean Sydney: what lies beneath

When you think about the underground, does your mind immediately conjure up somewhere dark, damp and claustrophobic, with a faintly unpleasant aroma? Do you think of neon-lit parking garages, musty wine cellars and disused bomb shelters? Or, being more technically minded, are you more focused on utilities, rail corridors, or the geotechnical composition of the […]

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