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notablecities

#1 Rotterdam Rooftops

Facing their fair share of challenges on the ground (from housing shortages to climate change) cities like Rotterdam are looking skywards for solutions – to the rooftops. There’s plenty of opportunity but also headwinds...

Addis Ababa: Lessons in Multi-modal Transport from an African Capital

America and Europe are awash with cities putting multi-modal transport at the forefront of cities’ policy and design. The voice of Africa doesn’t feel so prominent, but that’s misleading: Addis Ababa’s progressive transport plans...

A Just Transition: Raising Workers’ Rights in the Built Environment’s Transformation

As the construction and manufacturing industries undergo a transformation to new and better ways of delivering the built spaces we need, a hidden majority is often overlooked: the sector’s workers. It’s right that we...

Superblocks – the Spanish Idea That Is Conquering European Cities

Giving the streets back to the people: The Spanish idea of creating city blocks where cars are only allowed as guests is spreading across Europe. But what’s the story behind the superblocks, and how...

Notable City: São Paulo – Water Challenges Along the Class Divide

São Paulo is a tale of two cities. A broken relationship with water has created a litany of challenges, which hit the sprawling favelas harder than the wealthy centre. The Secretary of Urbanism is...

Spotlight on Trondheim: Shortcuts to a Walkable City

It’s simple, it doesn’t cost much, it saves time – why aren’t shortcuts more prevalent in cities that want to encourage people to walk more? Look to Trondheim: a mid-sized Norwegian city that has...

Preventing Day Zero: Lessons from Cape Town

Day Zero: the moment a city’s water dries up completely. For Cape Town, this deadly scenario came too close, but it was averted thanks to collective action and decisive leadership. This story serves as...

How to Excite People About Retrofitting

Energy Team and community leaders hosting a gamified training session in Dromiskin. Image Credit: Energy Team Big cities can learn a lot from smaller communities. Dunleer, a town in the northeast of the Republic of...

Young Leader Eva de Bruijn: How Eindhoven’s ‘Idealists’ Are Saving City Politics

Politics is one realm that can open a lot of doors to sustainability in our cities. But whether it’s because they are disillusioned, disinterested, or feel excluded, many people do not use their voices...

Young Leader Omar Zahran: Architecture as a Tool for People-Centred Cities

How does so much historic architecture endure the ravages of time? It’s because the architects of yore knew how to build cities to suit their environment, and they did so to meet the needs...

Barcelona’s Superblocks: Putting People at the Centre – Literally

A few weeks back, during an ECIU Challenge in Barcelona, I talked with the Office for Urban Ecology of Barcelona's municipality. They showed me the city's plan to win its war on cars. The plan is...

CityChanger Melina Scholefield: The Secrets of Vancouver’s Rain City Strategy

Vancouver has undergone a blue-green infrastructure revolution. Its Rain City Strategy integrated nature making the city more resilient to fluctuations in rainfall. Behind it all is Melina Scholefield, a CityChanger with an impressive portfolio...

Fail Better! Lessons from Effective Climate Action

Cities have been identified as key actors for reaching adequate emissions reductions, but still fall short on the effectiveness of their actions. The City of Helsinki is no exception. But we have recently begun...

The Bigger Picture: How to Lead City-Wide Change

Adapting our buildings to be future-proof, incorporating greenery, using more sustainable materials: these are all great steps and ones to be encouraged. But, what about the bigger picture? If overall city development, urban planning,...

Notable City Indianapolis: Incorporating Stormwater Management into City Culture

Indianapolis saw an opportunity. They had plans for a cultural trail, bringing arts, pride, and improved mobility options to the downtown area. This also handed the city a chance to deal with the amount...

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay: Sustainable Building Meets Greenery

Gardens by the Bay: an award-winning green haven in the middle of Singapore. With its iconic architecture, innovative use of technologies, environmental sustainability, and horticultural displays, Singapore has established itself as one of our...

Lyon Confluence: How a District is Retrofitting Heritage Buildings

SPL Lyon Confluence is carrying out a stand-out urban renewal project in a once-deprived district of central Lyon. Project Manager Etienne Vignali describes how this offers a significantly chance to undertake a large-scale decarbonisation...

From Creating Momentum for Pedestrians to Turning It Into Policy – How Rotterdam Made It Happen

It’s a long way from one person having an idea to a city fully implementing it on policy-level – Rotterdam’s story shows that it can be done, and how. We sat down with José...