News

Bloomberg on the importance of cities as labs

The best urban laboratories are cities themselves, says former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In a wide-ranging interview, Bloomberg emphasizes the importance of knowledge sharing among cities about crime, pollution control and energy efficiency and other issues. “Finding solutions to these problems in one city will enable us to test them in other cities that…

Oz Goes Green with 202020 Vision

Don’t overlook Australia when it comes to green initiatives. Under its 202020 Vision, Oz plans to expand its green urban space 20 percent by 2020. Parks, orchards and bike paths are among the new amenities. The project is spearheaded by the Australian government, academia and private sector, according to Australia’s Architecture & Design. As part of the…

Car-Free Cities a Pipe Dream? They’re Already Here . . .

Banning automobiles from cities may sound like one of those utopian ideas that never actually gets implemented, but it turns out that in Germany there is such a place. Vauban, a former military area in southern Freiburg, was transformed in the early 1990s into an environmental district that bans cars from the city center.

Vietnam’s Sea of Motorbikes to Face Stricter Emissions Standards

Saigon

To a first-time visitor to Vietnam, the flood of motorbikes on the roads is overwhelming. In most countries, the majority of vehicles have four wheels, and there’s a smattering of motorcycles. In Vietnam, it’s flipped around — the roads are jammed mostly with motorcycles and scooters, and the Vietnamese are very inventive about carrying huge objects on motorbikes that wouldn’t…

Hop Aboard the eBus: Hong Kong Debuts ‘Electronic Bus’ as Diesel Alternative

HK bus_opt

Hong Kong is pursuing a clean alternative to the iconic diesel-powered double-decker buses responsible for much of the city’s pollution and persistent smog: battery power. On Sept. 9, the city debuted its first battery-power electronic bus, or eBus, under a comprehensive “Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong” strategy unveiled in March that culminates with region-wide emissions…

Skyscrapers Adorned with Trees: Folly or the Future?

Sky Garden

On Earth, published by the Natural Resources Defense Council, tackles the controversy surrounding Bosco Verticale, two high-rise condo towers rising over Milan that will feature lush greenery on the balconies. Skycrapers adorned with vegetation — or sky gardens — have taken root from Singapore to New York. Italian architect Stefano Boeri’s goal is to create a vertical forest — but…

The Economist on London’s ‘Walking Boom’

London has long been a pedestrian-friendly city, with lots of public spaces like Trafalgar Square to linger awhile, but these days, it’s experiencing a walking boom, the Economist reports. Travel by foot is up 12 percent over the past decade as more maps, street signs and walkways as added to the cityscape. The article suggests that some pedestrians are…