Inside India’s Smart Cities

Of all the bars in the world…. This story starts in a bar. But not just any old bar. It’s a rooftop open-air number, straddling an uber-modern glass and steel business conglomeration. It’s a bar with a boxing ring, where two teenage Thai boxers are knocking seven bells out of one another, cheered on by [...]

By Eddy Adams, on May 22nd, 2015

#URBACTFest : What We’re Taking Home from the City Festival

We were promised to get inspired – and certainly did not get disappointed! Three days filled with numerous ‘aha moments’, insightful on-site visits, good practices and experiences as well as plenty of face-to-face and group exchanges left us rather tired but with a lot of stimuli, food for thought and exciting ideas to take back [...]

By Tom Becker, on May 11th, 2015

#URBACTfest, Walking from Experience Towards Insight

After a very inspiring starting day and a merry cocktail party at the municipality in the evening (we had to sing in Latvian!), we met on thursday morning at the Conference Centre for the second day of the Festival. And it started well… After a networking coffee that provided a place to meet, to chat [...]

By Jorge Toledo, on May 7th, 2015

#SeenInRiga: The URBACT City Festival Has Started!

Today, the URBACT City Festival finally started in Riga, Latvia. This is a crucially important event, highlighting the experience from URBACT II and linking it to the new URBACT III programme. In the upcoming three days, over 450 participants will share, get inspired and discover innovative solutions to transform cities over a wide range of [...]

By Bertil Nilsson, on May 6th, 2015

Re-Block: Lessons on Improving Quality of Life in European Block Real Estates

By today it is more or less clear that constructing large-scale housing estates was one of the dead-end pathways of urbanism 30-60 years ago. The architects of such estates believed “… in the role of architecture as a weapon of social reform … when everyone would live in cheap prefabricated flat-roofed multiple dwellings – heaven [...]

By Ivan Tosics, on April 22nd, 2015

Block Renovation: a German-Lithuanian Exchange

The Lithuanian Government has made the energy-efficient refurbishment of existing real estate one of their top priorities. In the new financial period of 2014-2020, the plans include renovations on entire city blocks at once, moving towards a more holistic practice of the integrating renovation of the entire block, rather than simple one-off projects. It means [...]

By Gabriela Kuštan, on April 15th, 2015

Can Marshmallows Save Our Cities?

Spaghetti and Marshmallows…What could possibly go wrong? Ever tried balancing a marshmallow on the end of a stick of spaghetti? Neither had I until last week. Let me tell you that it’s harder than it looks – particularly when the spaghetti (spaghetto?) is balanced on top of a structure made up of other…spaghetti. By now [...]

By Eddy Adams, on April 9th, 2015

As Expo 2015 Nears, Milan Embraces the Sharing Economy

MILAN, Italy — Less than two months from now, a world’s fair will open here, temporarily but substantially boosting Milan’s population of 1.3 million. More than 20 million visitors are expected at Expo Milano 2015, which runs from May 1 through October 31. Since the dawn of the Uber era, there has never been a [...]

By Simone D'Antonio, on March 31st, 2015

Rightsizing, City Sustainability and The Growth Dilemma

You’ve got to hand it to the Americans; they have a way with words. I was reminded of this last Friday during a conversation with a politician from Cleveland Ohio. This was at the Focus 2015 event hosted by the French Embassy in Washington which brought U.S. and French city mayors together in advance of [...]

By Eddy Adams, on March 25th, 2015

Between Bottom-up Regeneration and Coworking

As described in a recent blog post, in Slovenia, collaborative spatial practices have been springing up like mushrooms after the rain. The publication Prostori sodelovanja (“Spaces of Collaboration”), published by IpoP, and a dedicated website deal with a wide variety of these practices within seven themes: co-mobility, housing communities, bottom-up regeneration, temporary use of space, [...]

By Petra Očkerl, on March 12th, 2015