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Sunset over wind turbines

Project Drawdown and Passive Houses

Project Drawdown is the “most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming”. According to their website, this initiative “gathered a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change.…

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Progressing Towards Urban Resilience

Have you heard of the concept of urban resilience? Last week, 100 Resilient Cities hosted the 2017 “Urban Resilience Summit” for urban professionals around the globe to come together and share their work to advance resiliency. Urban resilience is defined by 100 Resilient Cities “as…

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Pre-Crime: Sci-fi or a Chilling Reality?

In 2002, the sci-fi movie Minority Report was released. Fast-forward 15 years and you’ll see eerie similarities when watching the newly released Pre-Crime. But while Minority Report was an action-thriller, Pre-Crime is a documentary. Minority Report envisions a world where we can predict crime and…

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green city

The Green City or the Grey City?

If you haven’t watched the BBC series Planet Earth II, I highly recommend it.  The cinematography, commentary, and production is truly mesmerizing. But before I get too excited, I should stop myself. The intent of this blog post is not a plug or review of…

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earth day

A Greener Earth Day (+ Everyday)

Building, maintaining and moving around our cities and their surroundings comes with a major environmental burden. Urban regions consume two-thirds of the world’s energy, but also produce more than 80% of the world’s GDP. Home to more than half the world’s population (and growing), they are also the…

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neighbourhood innovation

Neighbourhood Innovation

From villages to industrial towns, exurbs to eco-districts, the forms our neighbourhoods take are in a constant state of change. Influenced by the rise of new technology, shifting preferences, broader socioeconomic factors and more, our neighbourhoods provide a great deal of insight into a society’s preeminent…

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Landscape architecture agriculture

Improving Agriculture Through Landscape Architecture

Like urban planning and architecture, city settings have been the predominant focus of landscape architects. This focus has produced impressive results, but the need for landscape architecture extends beyond our cities. In a recent article, The Dirt outlined the positive impacts that landscape architecture could…

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A Second Chance for Masdar?

It’s been a decade since the ambitious plan for a zero-carbon city rising from the sands outside Abu Dhabi was announced. How times have changed. Masdar is far from completion, starchitects Foster + Partners are no longer leading the project, and there are worries that…

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Cities for People

Designing Great Cities with Jan Gehl

Turning 80 this month, Jan Gehl has seen his share of urban environments. Known around the world for his commitment to cities for people, the Danish architect, urbanist and professor has long been a proponent for observation- and evidence-based testing and design. Recognizing that, “We know more about…

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Restoring Density

Across Canada, a renewed interest in urbanity is leading to density increases unheard of in more than a generation. As Corporate Knights writes, not all density is equal however. Suburban towers without high quality public transit connections can create problems similar to those presented by…

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Vertical Farm

Will Vertical Farming Go Mainstream?

Since it’s inception in 1999, vertical farming has developed from an experimental concept to a serious business opportunity that could enhance urban sustainability and resilience. Based on a simple concept of growing food where most people live, scientists and entrepreneurs have worked to reduce costs and…

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Disruptive Tram

Sustainable Mobility: Time for Disruption

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…

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Hammarby Sjöstad by Night

Sustainable City Building that Grows the Economy

Eco-districts offer a template for sustainable city building that can be replicated and adapted in cities around the world. But while these areas they have been implicitly linked to broader economic growth, proof of that has been limited. Now, researchers in Stockholm have found a…

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Can We Afford the Exclusion of the Sanitized City?

A new golden age of cities has ushered in an era of intensification and redevelopment in urban centres. As a result, many cities are enjoying re-found affluence, but are also faced with growing affordability issues, something underlined in a recent Metropolis Magazine article. In many ways, the high…

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Social Equity & Successful Sustainability

If sustainability action plans and eco-districts were three legged stools, most would fall over. Environmental and economic sustainability are typically well-accounted for in these plans, but as San Diego UrbDeZine writes, social sustainability, is often an afterthought. However, marginalized communities face a high share of…

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The Urban Future is Green

Big news out of Oslo, Norway. The capital city of a nation that produces nearly two billion barrels of oil a day announced that not only would its city centre be car free by 2019, it would also divest from fossil fuels by 2020. They also plan…

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Google Embraces the Circular Economy

Joining a number of large corporations and furthering its own recent efforts, Google is making major preparations for the zero-waste, circular economy. Partnering with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the firm intends to embed principles of the circular economy into all aspects of its operations. Beyond being a…

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Stockholm density

Exponential Efficiency: From Green Buildings to Green Cities

Green building awareness, construction and data collection efforts have led to impressive data-driven opportunities to reduce resource consumption in buildings. However the voluntary approach, focusing on (mainly new and high end) buildings, have had only limited impacts on overall efficiency. Jeff Ranson, executive director of the Toronto 2030…

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Google Solar Panels

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…

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Rising Water: Benefit from Change or Suffer from Stagnation

Re-thinking human relationships with water are critical for climate change adaptation. Waterfront cities have undertaken a range of initiatives to address sea-level rise and future water deficiency. Shaped like an upside-down umbrella, Tåsinge Plads, a public space in Copenhagen, uses clever landscaping and materials to both manage flood control and…

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What is Collaborative Consumption?

Over the last decade, the sharing economy and collaborative consumption have entered the mainstream. But what do these terms really mean? Inspired by the groundbreaking book What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, Archininja looks at this important trend and its implications for sustainable…

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