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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Emeryville: “the little city that could”

Key Australian city-shaping organisations including BVN Architecture, UrbanGrowth NSW, and  Parramatta and Bankstown City Councils have embarked on the United States – Australia City Exchange on Innovation Ecosystems with the Future Cities Collaborative, an initiative of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, led by Professor Ed Blakely. Our mission is to […]

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Turning a city into a campus for innovation

What do Google, Apple and Facebook have in common, apart from being three of the world’s biggest and most valuable companies? They’ve all created campuses for their employees. The idea is quite simple: create an environment where employees are encouraged to flourish (and hang around beyond the typical ‘nine to five’), and keep them engaged, […]

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The water-energy nexus for sustainable cities

We live at an incredible juncture in the history of water management. We are facing new water supply challenges, a growing population that is more globally connected than ever, and dramatic variations in climate and precipitation patterns that have disrupted our definition of “predictable” rainfall. Because of this, our traditional thinking about water management is […]

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Imagining the vertical city at New York’s MetLife Building

Renderings by Volley Studio. Reflect The future of the city is dense and vertical. Imagine the Vertical City, where the park traverses the building towards the sky from the street, where the next generation of iconographic architecture is projected onto the visual cortex of the public realm. Dream. Densify Double the height and redefine the […]

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What can the ‘smart city’ gain, and what might it lose?

Image courtesy of ULI Europe. I recently moderated a session on Technology and Real-Estate at the Urban Land Institute conference in Paris. The overall context recognised the rise of the Sharing Economy and emerging innovations and disrupters that are influencing the development of urban land and real estate. The panelists: Alice Charles, Urban Development leader at […]

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How will driverless cars change the city?

Image courtesy of Google. As chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) UK Infrastructure Council, I organized a daylong conference at London City Hall in October on driverless cars and their implications for cities and real estate. Afterward, ULI Connect interviewed about some of the highlights. Following is an excerpt and a link to the full interview. The biggest […]

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Designing cities and buildings for drought resilience

An engineered wetland water treatment system at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission headquarters. Drought is challenging communities in California and much of the West to rethink how they use water. This time, communities are not looking to large, distant reservoirs but to micro-solutions distributed throughout urban landscapes. California has mandated a 25% reduction in water use […]

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