China’s clean air challenge: Public unrest forges the path ahead
Transitioning from emissions-intensive vehicles to bicycling and other forms of sustainable transport is a priority of China’s new Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Air Pollution. Photo by Maciej Hrynczyszyn/Flickr.
This is the second installment of the China’s Clean Air Challenge series, exclusive to TheCityFix. This series examines the increasing social, environmental, and economic impacts of serious air quality issues in Chinese cities, and investigates the source of emissions and ...
Why planning for expansion helps build sustainable, equitable cities
São Paulo has historically struggled to expand fast enough to match rapid population growth, resulting in many informal favelas housing residents in the city's periphery. Photo by Gabriel Cabral/Flickr.
Consensus is building around the many benefits of compact cities. Overall, compact cities use fewer resources, produce fewer carbon emissions, and provide better quality of life for their inhabitants than their sprawled counterparts. In rapidly urbanizing countries in the global ...
The eight principles of the sidewalk: building more active cities
Sidewalks are an integral part of cities and should be prioritized as a central component of people-oriented urban design. Photo by ___/Flickr.
Nossa Cidade (“Our City”), from TheCityFix Brasil, explores critical questions for building more sustainable cities. Every month features a new theme. Leaning on the expertise of researchers and specialists at EMBARQ Brasil, the series will feature in depth articles on ...
Building a more competitive Mexico City through energy efficiency
Buildings are Mexico City's number one source of greenhouse gas emissions and the focus of a new partnership to improve energy efficiency and create a more sustainable, competitive city. Photo by Alejandro Mejia Greene/Flickr.
Buildings are an important part of the sustainability picture for Mexico City. At least 20 percent of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, with growth in coming decades expected to increase energy demand. This means that improving ...
Friday Fun: Three cities’ pedestrian-friendly skyways, in photos
Skyways, like the one pictured here in Hong Kong, can be an integrated, accessible, and safe option for cities in need of more pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. Photo by See-ming Lee/Flickr.
The rapid increase in car ownership in cities worldwide has brought conflicts between pedestrians and cars to center stage. Complete streets that accommodate all users not just are ideal in design, but have actually been successfully implemented in cities like ...
Fortaleza, Brazil shows why waste matters for sustainable urban development
Catadores—Fortaleza, Brazil's waste pickers—are helping the city reuse its waste and avoid landfill expansion, a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Photo by Louis Vasconcelos/Flickr.
In 2002, Brazil produced 60,000 metric tons of waste per day, 76 percent of which was disposed of in landfills with no long-term management or water treatment. In response to growing challenges with waste production and trash dumping, the country ...
Friday Fun: China’s ‘dancing grannies’ vow to dance on
A group of elderly men and women dance to traditional songs in Lijiang, China, demonstrating how public spaces can be an important facilitator of both physical activity and community building in Chinese cities. Photo by Buster&Bubby/Flickr.
Walk through any public square or park in most Chinese cities and you’re likely to see—and probably hear—a colorful group of elderly residents dancing and singing to their favorite classical Chinese songs. The dancing grannies, as they are known, have ...
People-centric smart cities: five ways technology can support better urban living
Cities worldwide can become smarter by using technology to make public transport more efficient, sustainable, and effective at meeting the mobility needs of their residents. Photo by Cristina Valencia/Flickr.
What are smart cities? While there isn’t a standard definition, consensus is growing around the idea that smart cities utilize technology to foster green development, innovation, and new forms of citizen participation. Smart cities currently enjoy a strong positive image, ...
Should we inch or stride towards urban resilience?
Strengthening resilience in cities like Dhaka, Bangladesh is vital to protecting vulnerable populations from flooding exacerbated by climate change. Photo by Shawn/Flickr.
Cities in the 21st century face two monumental shifts: growing urban populations and a rapidly changing climate. As the world’s urban population nears five billion, cities will need to build more infrastructure in the first 30 years of this millennium ...
Pricing congestion to invest in sustainable transport: lessons from London
London’s successes with congestion pricing demonstrates how such policies can be a powerful tool for curbing traffic, encouraging walking and cycling, and raising revenue to support public transit. Photo by mariordo59/Flickr.
In 2003, London adopted a program of congestion pricing that now places a roughly $17 (£11.50) daily fee on motor vehicles entering central London. The effort was expected to reduce car traffic, air pollution, and emissions in the area, and ...