Oliver Hartleben

Oliver Hartleben is the Coordinator of TH!NK, IBI Group’s R&D unit. A perpetual lateral thinker, he has worked over 20 years in the planning, architecture and transportation sectors and is passionate about the pieces that make up a city and how connecting them can produce better outcomes for urban dwellers. Oliver grew up in Guatemala City and moved to Vancouver three years ago from Boston.


Driverless Cars: Beyond Tech & Consumer Behaviour

Posted by on March 6, 2017

This longer article from PBS’ Nova Next offers a very good summary of the current public conversation regarding the effect of driverless cars on cities. The main point of the article is that three vehicle technologies –autonomous, shared and electric – have the potential to…

autonomous vehicles

A Driverless Future is not just about the Cars

Posted by on January 25, 2017

Every day we are inundated with news articles about a driverless future. By now, we know autonomous vehicles are coming, the question is not if but when. Yet most articles only focus on two basic topics: the technology itself and the safety concerns. Only a…

Calgary - Dispersed TOD

The Case for ‘Dispersed’ TODs

Posted by on August 19, 2016

For the last three decades, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) has been the response of transit and urban planners for walkable, sustainable and equitable communities within walking distance of transit. This approach benefits the residents with a more livable environment and access to high-quality transit, transit operators…

Disruptive Tram

Sustainable Mobility: Time for Disruption

Posted by on May 20, 2016

Achieving a groundbreaking global agreement, COP21 was an important step towards limiting the impacts of climate change. However, as The Dirt writes, it was only a starting point. Now is the time for action. And cities have a major role to play in climate adaptation and mitigation success. Transportation…

Road to the Future

A Networked Future

Posted by on May 3, 2016

Digital technology is becoming ever-more pervasive and the world is increasingly urban. The simultaneous rise of these trends finds us at a unique intersection in space and time. In a reflective interview with Smart Circle that ranges from urban mobility and citizen participation to cyber terrorism and the…

What Would You Do with this Data?

Posted by on April 22, 2016

What started as a failed high school workshop has become a major opportunity for data collection in Chicago. The city is preparing for the launch of its transparent Array of Things initiative, where 200 nodes containing multiple sensors to monitor an array of factors – from…

Decluttering the Internet of Things

Posted by on April 21, 2016

Central to the internet of things, the rise of the smart city has been paralleled by the smart home‘s development. These developments present major opportunities to enhance numerous systems, but come with their share of criticism too. Is the smart city secure? Are we creating an Internet of Useless Things?…

City in a Circle - Pixabay

Where Cities are Going, Next

Posted by on April 16, 2016

In a recent post, I argued that the increasing complexity of developed cities necessitates coordination between different urban infrastructures to ensure operational efficiencies and produce social well-being. I also mentioned that new technologies – read: Big Data, Internet-of-Things, Smart City Systems – are not the…

Google Solar Panels

Posted by on April 16, 2016

Interest in renewable energy sources, including solar panels, has grown in recent years, but many people aren’t sure about what to do next. Recognizing how many people googled “solar panels” Google launched Project Sunroof to help home owners decide whether to install them. Currently established for Boston, San…

The City of Today: Circle Back to the Past?

Posted by on April 15, 2016

When I look at how cities have changed over the millennia, sometimes I get the impression that, in reality, they haven’t evolved much at all. For all of the physical differences between the insula and the detached home, the agora and shopping mall, the amphitheater…

Welcome to the Adaptive City

Posted by on April 12, 2016

The industrial age has given way to the digital era, but what does that mean for our cities? Michael Carl, Director of Analysis and Studies at 2b AHEAD, suggests that in an increasingly wired world that prizes individuality, services and products will become ever more…

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