News round-up - February
Written by 27 February 2013on
World Cities Network rounds-up Februarys leading news and our favourite features from around the world. This month's summary includes the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty, the launch of Honest Buildings in the UK and Somerville, a city where policies are based on how happy they make people.
How cities can draw upon technology to become smarter and more sustainable
Last week in Dublin, 600 delegates from across the world gathered for the eighth forum of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP). The forum explores how cities can tackle poverty and to look at areas such as how cities can become smarter, safer and more sustainable by harnessing technology.
The two-day event launch on the 20th February at the RDS in Dublin. WACAP itself is a network of more than 900 cities working together to confront urban challenges, such as poverty. Delegates, ranging from city mayors, local governments and entrepreneurs from the private sector, have been ideas on how to make cities smarter and safer, as well as how to address urban poverty.
Somerville: the city where policies are based on how happy they make people
Joe Curtatone, the mayor of Somerville, a mid-sized city in Massachusetts, is collecting data on how happy residents are and using it to shape his policymaking. Last year with the local census, he sent out the first ever US citywide happiness survey. The results of Somerville's happiness survey have helped the city authorities identify whether policy measures are making city residents happier.
SimCity, for Real: Measuring an Untidy Metropolis
An initiative at New York University is joining a global drive to apply modern sensor, computing and data-sifting technologies to urban environments. The goals are to make cities more efficient and improve quality of life by using digital technology to better manage traffic and curb the consumption of water and electricity.
Honest Buildings Hops The Atlantic
The HB Network is launching in the UK today, along with a new partnership with BRE Global to display the environmental performance certifications of thousands of buildings certified under the BREEAM assessment method. In total, we've unlocked information for more than 9,500 commercial buildings (14.1 million square meters), with many well established real estate companies already using on the HB Network.
How will our future cities look?
Imagine a city of the future. Do you see clean streets, flying cars and robots doing all the work? Or perhaps your vision is more dystopian, with a Big Brother-style authoritarian regime, dark alleys full of crime, and people forced to live in hermetically sealed pods because war or some other disaster has rendered whole swathes of the city unliveable. No-one really knows what the future holds, but the reality now is that our urban spaces are overcrowded and polluted.
Urban responses to climate change: the transport battleground
While cities only take up 2% of the earth's surface, they account for 50% of the human population, 75% of its energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions. How cities respond to the challenges of energy production and emissions reduction is therefore fundamental to the fight against climate change.