How Cities Can Benefit from International Knowledge Exchange

The use platform provides information on how to develop and implement approaches in response to complex urban issues in a local context. Each of the case studies offers a summary of a project, program or policy, including challenges, lessons learned, impacts and an assessment of the transferability potential to another location. The use platform is free and accessible to everyone who shares an interest in urban sustainability.  Search our database, join the community, and upload your project.

The 5 Transformative Urban Impacts of Cycling for Transportation

BYCS is an Amsterdam-based social enterprise driven by the belief that bicycles transform cities and cities transform the world. We work internationally with governments, businesses, and nonprofits to initiate and scale breakthrough ideas that accelerate cycling in cities. We then invest our profits into game-changing programs that can be adopted around the world.

A New Era for Microgrids

Even as private developers become familiar with the technical challenges and opportunities of microgrids, they face difficulty in determining how to procure them. Plant ownership is a major consideration to developers as they study microgrid feasibility on large projects. Multi-year project phasing and uncertainty about long-term ownership of their assets makes it difficult for developers to justify the cost of a microgrid, especially in the concept stage when the Smart Utilities microgrid assessment takes place.

A Book Review of A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative and Distributed Governance

The book highlights examples of how local governments are already applying principles of user-centered design and government that acts in time. Before launching their “Customer Choices” program, visiting the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles was an inconvenient experience for residents to say the least. The new program dramatically improved customer satisfaction rates by allowing residents to access their services through partner dealerships or online, schedule appointments for in person visits, and monitor wait times.

Why the Airport is the Future Hub of Robot Cars

Why the Airport is the Future Hub of Robot Cars

For the city itself, there’s an enormous benefit in integrating intermodally with the airport. In the potential futures presented by autonomous vehicles, there’s the capacity for the airport to become essentially estranged from the city, a faraway piece of infrastructure relegated to long-haul travel, which wouldn’t be a future at all for many regional, non-coastal airports. Having the airport serve as one of the city’s core intermodal hubs draws the airport and city closer together functionally and emotionally.

The Humanability of Smart Cities

The Humanability of Smart Cities

Lighting infrastructure is a perfect example of futureproofing. As cities are swapping out traditional high-pressure sodium street lights with energy-efficient LEDs and smart nodes that can remotely monitor and control the lights, don’t just be thinking about a smart lighting solution. Think about the position those streetlights are in to support so much more, like intersection safety analytics, parking optimization, and gunshot detection.

3 Key Strategies for Successful Civic Engagement Using Technology

3 Key Strategies for Successful Civic Engagement Using Technology

The idea of multi-channel civic engagement and the role of the grassroots community marketer is being implemented by forward-thinking smart city leaders who understand the  importance—and economic benefits—of giving their constituents a voice. More investments are being made into digital systems that reach and engage the public.

Cities Need Forecasted Data to Make Impactful Emissions Reductions

Cities Need Forecasted Data to Make Impactful Emissions Reductions

From an energy type standpoint, a city’s electric utility can make a big difference regarding which actions cities should undertake. For instance, a city in the service territory of an electric utility with ambitious plans to decarbonize its generation mix may want to focus greater attention on future emissions scenarios versus current emissions when making decisions on priorities. This would mean focusing actions on transportation, space heating, and industrial processes, since those would likely be greater contributors to emissions (vs. electricity) in such a future scenario.

The Value of Analytics in Smart Parking

The Value of Analytics in Smart Parking

While it may sound like a simple process, there are challenges to consider when it comes to the effectiveness of parking sensors, such as their location. For example, in-ground sensors, a technology used by some cities in the past, presented a myriad of problems, including ineffective readings that can result in unreliable data and lost revenue.

How the Next Generation of Mobility will Affect Cities

Mobility is not about a car or a bus, it’s about accessing the resources we need in a timely manner or being in contact with people we want to interact with, for any number of reasons. We have already seen how technology can enable remote access to information and some basic medical care, how people can work remotely from an office base or enable a web of delivery services to avoid the need for individual transport to and from a location. New technologies, both those we label as mobility and those we call Internet based, will continue to evolve and further alter what we think of as mobility.

TNCs Existential Threat to Public Transportation

It is more than ironic that well into the 21st Century, the one great disruptive change in personal mobility is built upon the increased use of the internal combustion engine. Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft have become major players in the provision of personal mobility, primarily in urban areas. The problem with TNCs – and I say “problem” because it relates to what I perceive as their most negative impacts – is the essential auto-centric nature of the industry.

How to Create Age Friendly Cities

Age-friendly cities–also called livable, or lifelong communities – have much to offer. As defined by the World Health Organization’s Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities, age-friendly features include good walkability, transit, and mobility; affordable, accessible housing; employment and volunteer opportunities at every age; well-coordinated health and social services; and more inclusion and intergenerational connection.

You’ve probably noticed that this could just as easily define a Millennial’s wish list for the perfect place to live.

Will Future Streets See More Cars on the Road?

“Transformative change ultimately came when the implementation of a particular policy also enhanced governmental capacity to plan and make transport policy change by involving many stakeholders over a variety of territorial scales,” Davis says. The interactive dynamics of the process of stakeholder involvement and the relationship between governing authorities and transportation policy advocates are key to making transformational change beyond just the paper success of policy change.

Operational Intelligence and Digital Twins for Smart City Planning

The expansion of Barcelona in recent years led the Council to make the decision to abolish the highway around Glories and rebuild the area in order to make space for more housing and services. The project has been delayed by 19 months, meaning extra time and money (millions of euros) going into construction time and widespread citizen dissatisfaction with the ongoing roadworks and construction eyesore. With a technology like OI, this project may have stood a better chance at being finished on time and under-budget.

Water Reuse as a Design Opportunity

Water is a precious resource. Let’s face it, flushing toilets and urinals with potable water IS waste and we have an opportunity to shift the conversation towards one of water stewardship. As the “yuck factor” begins to subside, we are seeing a growing interest in water reuse strategies. However, the long slog isn’t over. Educating the design community, communicating the benefits of water conservation to clients, and working with regulatory and health officials to develop effective policy is core to the mission of Urban Fabrick Inc. and The William J. Worthen Foundation.

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