Eight steps to a brilliant city

Cities have never been more important, nor the competition between them more intense. Those positioned to excel through this time of global change are pursuing broad, integrated strategies to tap hidden value, celebrate ecology and culture, attract people and investment and overcome financial and operational inefficiencies to define success. Brilliant exudes character and confidence. Brilliant […]

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A greener city is a healthier city

The reports are in: Urban greenery has a measurably positive effect on physical and mental wellbeing. Greenery from tree-lined streets to trails and verdant parks and plazas abet physical exercise, a key factor in the fight against obesity and heart disease. Greenery also helps prevent heat strokes by affording cooling shade and improved ventilation, and […]

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Could a global capital become a national park?

I returned to the UK in October last year having spent a few years working for AECOM in Australia. I had lost the ‘discussion’ with my wife on city versus country living. We returned to our house in South West London. It was cold, wet, dark and the commuting seemed a lot worse than I […]

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LA 2106: realizing the ecological metropolis

Today we revisit a concept we submitted to the History Channel’s City of the Future competition in 2006. Looking back, the thinking we did on this has deeply influenced how we approached projects and developed our practice over the following decade. With a hundred-year timescale, this remains just as potent a suggestion for the future of Los Angeles as it was […]

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Singapore’s centrepiece for urban transformation

In land-scarce Singapore, making full use of every inch of ground to spur continuous while sustainable growth ranks high on the nation’s agenda. As an extension of the country’s central business district, the new Marina Bay/Greater Southern Waterfront area has been earmarked as a vibrant live-work-play district that will spur development and raise the international […]

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Once and future creeks

Westerly Creek was restored from a runway in the Stapleton Airport redevelopment, Denver. Copyright AECOM photo by David Lloyd. No matter what city you live in, there is a good chance that there is a buried creek right below your feet. Many people do not know that there was once a creek flowing near their […]

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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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Cleaning up a toxic legacy

The Sydney Tar Ponds on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, is formerly one of the country’s most contaminated industrial sites. Bruce Noble, Cape Breton resident and AECOM environmental engineer, looks ahead to what its recently completed clean-up means to Sydney’s continuing urban development. I first walked out onto the Tar Ponds in 2005. Outfitted […]

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Water sensitive cities

Water sensitive urban design at the Southport Broadwater Parklands, Australia. ©AECOM photo by David Lloyd. Professor Tony Wong’s TED X presentation at Canberra, Australia in April, “Envisioning a Water Sensitive Future for our Cities and Towns,” describes approaches for integrating  the built and natural environment by focusing on water.  By incorporating natural hydrologic processes as […]

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Ecological opportunities

National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC. ©AECOM Photo By David Lloyd. Whether urban infill, civil infrastructure, or suburban growth, all projects are superimposed onto an ecosystem and can benefit from a cooperative relationship with natural systems from the site scale to the city scale. While this idea may sound familiar — a la […]

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