background preloader

Cities as labs for sustainability transitions: Harnessing social innovation and developing partnerships between urban and rural communities

Facebook Twitter

Regeneration may cause isolation for older people, study finds. A study by an academic from The University of Manchester has found that urban regeneration in poor neighbourhoods can actually backfire, and lead to older people feeling isolated. As cities regenerate, new homes, residents and facilities are built which can change an area dramatically. A new movement to create 'age friendly cities' is aiming to ensure that regeneration happens in a way which allows older people to actively participate in their communities, stay connected to the people that matter most to them, and remain living in their homes for as long as possible—known as ageing in place. Social anthropologist Dr. Camilla Lewis spent a year living in East Manchester, one of the most deprived areas in the UK, in order to understand how local regeneration is affecting the day-to-day lives of older residents. The study focused on women aged over 50 who had lived in the area for their entire lives.

Explore further: Affecting the well-being of elderly urban residents. Potential contamination copper oxide nanoparticles possible consequences urban agriculture 505na3 en. Urban vegetation react car emissions decrease air quality summer Berlin 499na1 en. Ceramic honeycomb air filters could cut city pollution. A new type of outdoor filter that could cut city air pollution and is scheduled to be debuted at the 2024 Paris Olympics has been awarded the €3 million Horizon Prize on materials for clean air. The prize, which was announced on 30 October at the Innovative Industries for Smart Growth Conference in Vienna, Austria, was launched by the European Union in 2015 to find the most affordable, sustainable and innovative solution to reduce the concentration of particulate matter in urban areas. Jean-Jacques Theron, materials director at the Corning European Technology Center, France, which won the prize for adapting the company's existing technology for use in open air, said that he was inspired by colleagues working in the company's Chinese lab.

"It is very well known that particulate pollution levels in Chinese urban areas can sometimes be pretty high," he said. "There are some places where you cannot even see 10 metres ahead of you. Honeycomb. Smart cities have the ability -- and responsibility -- to tackle social issues  With the amount of data available today, cities are constantly innovating, finding new ways to apply insights in ways that benefit citizens. This is no small task, as new technologies are constantly reshaping what’s possible when it comes to using and making sense of data. Data creates opportunities. Cities are rife with challenges that not only impact their own residents but society at large. IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are now poised to address some of the most pressing social challenges, like homelessness, transportation and public safety.

See also: Is location intelligence the key to citizen-centric smart cities? As cities find new ways to analyze data and extract insights that help solve some of their most immediate challenges, they’re also creating promising assets for tackling issues beyond their borders. Locally accountable and locally empowered City officials have connections to their constituents, local businesses, and organizations. What would the ultimate child-friendly city look like? | Cities. Imagine you are 10 years old. You live in a medium-sized city and want to visit your best friend, a five-minute walk away, so you can go to the park, another 10 minutes’ walk.

The problem is, there’s a big, dangerous road between you and your friend, and another between them and the park. You ask your parents if you can walk, they say no, and they are too busy to take you there themselves. Perhaps you SnapChat your friend instead, perhaps you play a video game on the sofa. This is the reality for many kids today – but it doesn’t have to be this way.

Dangerous roads, dilapidated facilities and poor use of green space all help deter kids from playing outside, pushing them towards solitary, indoors activities Tim Gill, the author of No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society, says a child-friendly city is one that allows “everyday freedoms”, so a child can spread their wings as they grow. “It’s not enough to just talk about playgrounds and nice, pretty public spaces,” says Gill. What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like? | Cities. To David Meere, a visually impaired man from Melbourne, among the various obstacles to life in cities is another that is less frequently discussed: fear. “The fear of not being able to navigate busy, cluttered and visually oriented environments is a major barrier to participation in normal life,” says Meere, 52, “be that going to the shops, going for a walk in the park, going to work, looking for work, or simply socialising.” That’s what makes an innovative project at the city’s Southern Cross train station so important to him.

A new “beacon navigation system” sends audio cues to users via their smartphones, providing directions, flagging escalator outages and otherwise transforming what previously a “no-go” area for Meere. “I no longer have to hope there’s a willing bystander or a capable staff member to provide direct assistance,” he says. Meere is just one of the hundreds of millions of people with disabilities who live in cities around the world. Seattle: a sidewalk mapping app. Sharing is caring. So why are European cities falling behind? New mobility services like Uber and Lyft offer the potential to get cities moving, improve quality of life and reduce emissions.

But this will only happen if new and traditional mobility services can be integrated to make a more attractive offering that finally persuades drivers out of their cars, write Greg Archer and Yoann Le Petit. Greg Archer and Yoann Le Petit are campaigners at sustainability NGO Transport & Environment (T&E). It is increasingly accepted that vehicles in the next decade will be transformed both through electric powertrains and driverless technologies.

But whether sharing – the “third mobility revolution” – will take-off or remain niche in Europe remains in the balance. There is an appetite at EU level to embrace this revolution, as Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc emphasised in a recent interview when she said “shared, collaborative, and multimodal mobility solutions are the future”. Green gentrification can limit the favorable effects of green areas on health -- ScienceDaily. The creation of parks and green areas in urban centres have positive effects on the health of residents. However, a new article published by the research group at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) and the Municipal Institute for Medical Institute of the Hospital del Mar (IMIM) suggests that more socially disadvantaged neighbours could be pushed aside when it comes to the health effects of "ecologisation" and may not benefit equally from these positive effects on health.

The research is based on evidence that the "greenification" of cities, thanks to the creation of parks, green areas and ecological corridors, are beneficial to the physical and psychological health of people. Do green neighbourhoods promote urban health justice? - The Lancet Public Health. How Greening Strategies Are Displacing Minorities in Post-Harvey Houston – The Nature of Cities. On 14 June 2018, Isabelle Anguelovski participated in the panel Designing, Planning and Paying for Resilience at Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research, where she and other leading experts discussed flood mitigation strategies such as low impact design, green infrastructure and urban-scale greenspace preservation, and how they interact with a community’s broader planning efforts.

These are Isabelle’s insights from the panel. Many public officials seem to have their hands tied because of developers’ influence on decision-making. Real estate development is at the core of Houston’s economic development, together with the petrochemical industry, and perhaps explains why you have entire low-income minority communities sitting right next to a refinery. What kind of reconstruction and greening initiatives are we seeing post-Harvey in Houston that are raising social equity concerns?

How do these programs affect residents, more specifically? You often warn of green gentrification. Can we green cities without causing gentrification? Many indexes aim to rank how green cities are. But what does it actually mean for a city to be green or sustainable? We’ve written about what we call the "parks, cafes and a riverwalk" model of sustainability, which focuses on providing new green spaces, mainly for high-income people. This vision of shiny residential towers and waterfront parks has become a widely shared conception of what green cities should look like.

But it can drive up real estate prices and displace low- and middle-income residents. As scholars who study gentrification and social justice, we prefer a model that recognizes all three aspects of sustainability: environment; economy; and equity. The equity piece is often missing from development projects promoted as green or sustainable. Over a decade of research in an industrial section of New York City, we have seen an alternative vision take shape. 'Parks, cafes and a riverwalk' can lead to gentrification Tools for greening differently Just green enough.

Gentrification, Displacement, and the Role of Public Investment - Miriam Zuk, Ariel H. Bierbaum, Karen Chapple, Karolina Gorska, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, 2018. Author Biographies Miriam Zuk, PhD, is the director of the Center for Community Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on equitable urban development, affordable housing, and environmental justice.

She was previously the deputy director of Air Quality Research for the Mexican Ministry of Environment in Mexico City. Ariel H. Bierbaum, PhD, is an assistant professor of urban studies and planning in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland. Dr. Karen Chapple, PhD, is a professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. Karolina Gorska, PhD, is a planner in the Urban Design Studio at the Los Angeles Department of City Planning.

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, PhD, is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles Department of Urban Planning. Gutsy, organised Londoners have learned to stop gentrification in its tracks – here's how. Gentrification started as a concept in a small sub-section of urban studies in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, it’s a major issue touching the lives of people in cities around the world. It tends to be the residents of large, global hubs which suffer the worst effects of gentrification, including displacement. But locals are quickly learning how to resist proposals they don’t agree to – and reclaim the city they call home.

In London, the tide of gentrification is moving rapidly eastwards. Canary Wharf has become the city’s – and indeed, the nation’s – financial engine, making billions for the traders that operate there. Shoreditch has moved beyond “edgy” and become pretentious. This massive influx of wealth is radically changing the demographic of these areas – and campaigns such as Focus E15 and the Balfron Social Club have sprung up to defend the rights of East London natives. East End oasis Taking a stand Tales of development in London – and other major cities – can have a happier ending.