General News

31 Best Apps for City Planners on the Go!

Urban planning is a dynamic field that can often take you out of the office, but you still need access to the tools of the trade. Luckily with everyone equipped with smartphones, this is not only possible but incredibly easy. Today we will take a look at some of our

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How Will Autonomous Vehicles Impact Cities?

Illustrations by: Mengxin Li, https://mengxinli.com/ One of the biggest autonomous cars manufacturer Tesla is creating all their newest cars with all the needed hardware for fully autonomous driving. However, Tesla is not the only one trying to bring car operation to computers. Big brands like Audi, GM, Google, Uber, are

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Estimate a city’s carbon footprint with Google maps

On September 10th, Google launched an online tool that can estimate the carbon footprint of a city. The tool estimates carbon emissions from all the buildings and transportation in the city. In addition, the tool evaluates the rooftop solar potential of the city buildings. The tool is called the Environmental Insights Explorer and was created in partnership

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Data Sharing: What’s the Worst that Could Happen?

Private transportation companies gather a lot of data about transit patterns of citizens. This data could help local authorities shape good transportation policies. But once the data is in possession of the local government authorities, the data becomes public property. Anyone can request access to this data and that could create some security

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Using Behavioral Sciences to Create Playable Cities

The term ‘playable cities‘ describes an urban design approach that seeks to put playfulness and entertainment in outdoor daily life activities. Playing is especially important for children. Physical activity and brain stimulation help children to stay healthy and develop skills like creativity and critical thinking. Nowadays, parents work long hours, children have school, homework and other activities. All this

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Chart Your City’s Street Network to Understand its Logic

Geoff Boeing, Urban planning professor at Northeastern University, has developed a tool to visualize the consistency of a city’s street network. Boeing’s tool calculates what percentage of a city’s roads run along each section of a compass, and plots it on a circular bar chart. A similar concept was created recently by data scientist Seth

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Complete Streets Design Policy in Vancouver

Over the last two decades, Vancouver has put a complete streets design principles into action and the city is already seeing the benefits. Complete streets design policy Complete streets is a transportation policy and design approach. It requires streets to be planned and operated in a way that enables safe and comfortable travel and access for

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Design Garages so They Can Easily Become Housing!

Increased use of autonomous ride-sharing cars is expected to reduce the need for parking spaces in the future. Therefore, it is wise to design today’s parking garages in a way that they can be easily transformed into offices, shops or even housing. “Future-proof” parking garages “Within a decade, certainly within two decades, the demand of parking

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5 of the world’s most sustainable building materials

New eco-friendly, sustainable building materials have emerged to reduce the environmental impact of building construction and operations. To determine how eco-friendly a certain building material is, we must consider several factors. For example, materials that are locally sourced don’t use a lot of energy for transportation. The durability of material

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How can GIS enhance urban planning?

Today’s cities require complex urban plans that can be adapted quickly. Good software can ease the making and adapting of comprehensive plans. One such type of software is Geographic Information System (GIS). Let’s have a look at what GIS is and how it can be used in urban planning. System that

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A 3D Model of Boston for Better Urban Planning

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) wants to analyse the impact of proposed building projects on the surrounding area in the early stages of urban planning process. To achieve that, they will use a Smart 3D City Model. A Web-Based Smart 3D City Model The 3D Smart Model was developed in collaboration with the

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Living in a Well Designed Neighborhood Protects Health of Kids From Poor Families

Statistic shows that poor people generally have more health issues than wealthy people. However, a recent study by UC San Francisco has uncovered that the quality of a neighborhood where people live has an impact on people’s health, too. Poor children living in a good neighborhood have better health than poor children living in a run-down neighborhood. Researchers from UCSF Department of Psychiatry compared

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Green Building is Not Enough: We Need Green Zoning

Cities are looking for ways to save energy and resources and to reduce pollution. Toronto, Seattle and San Francisco for example have developed a set of green building standards to lower their carbon footprint. But building low energy houses from ecological materials is not enough. Why optimizing urban form isn’t the only factor to consider? The biggest

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How Can Adaptive Traffic Controls Ease Daily Commute

Adaptive traffic control system (ATCS) is a traffic management strategy where the timing of traffic lights changes according to actual traffic demand. And the city of Aberdeen is among the first that plans to implement the system in order to optimize the daily commute in the urban environment. Currently there are 15 traffic signals along Sixth

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Citizens are partners, not test subjects

Cities should make the lives of their residents easier and better. Implementing changes that do not serve the citizens would be a mistake. That is why city leaders should encourage citizens to participate in making decision about the city’s future. A good example of this is how city of Minneapolis updated its

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3D printing is revolutionizing the future of cities

Construction companies have taken 3D printing technology to the next level. They have started using it to construct houses, offices, bridges and more. How will this new construction method help cities and their residents? 3D printing of a building looks similar to 3D printing of smaller objects: a robots applies layer after layer of material until the

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Minneapolis’ daring comprehensive plan

Minneapolis is updating it’s comprehensive plan. The update emphasizes energy efficient construction, housing density and reduction of car usage to help lower the city’s carbon footprint. One of the proposed solutions of how to achieve this goals started a huge debate. The controversial issue is whether to allow building of fourplexes in practically all city areas.  A fourplex is

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Lessons Learned from 2018 Smart Cities Connect Conference

The 3 day 2018 Smart Cities Connect conference hosted nearly 2,000 attendees from government, businesses and academia from all over the world. What are the most important lessons from this meeting in Kansas City? 1) Don’t be afraid of failure, learn from it When we try new things and approaches, e.g. using technology to improve

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Using technology to improve Toronto

The March/April 2018 issue of MIT Technology Review magazine published a list of 10 technological breakthroughs it believes will make the most impact over the next years. One of the breakthroughs listed is a Sidewalk Toronto project – a plan to successfully integrate cutting-edge urban design with state-of-the-art digital technology.

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