Collaborate Groups, projects & programmes, discussions, Q&A

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2017 - 12:12
The passing last month of visionary thinker Dr. Benjamin Barber occurred during a difficult stretch for democracy, the topic that animated Barber the most during his long career. A passionate advocate for democracy, Barber devoted his life to empowering citizens for democratic self-governance. He was convinced that it offered the best possible form of government for societies and the world. Globalization and Urbanization It was in this spirit that Barber wrestled with the democratic implications of two of the defining phenomena of our times: globalization and urbanization. Jihad vs. McWorld... Read more
Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 10:15
If the world’s cities are truly going to embark on a more sustainable path, they’re going to need a lot of advice. That’s where the Coalition for Urban Transitions comes in. A new think tank jointly managed by the World Resources Institute and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the coalition will draw on academic, NGO and private sector expertise to provide evidence-based guidance on how urban growth can benefit both people and the planet. The coalition is a subset of the New Climate Economy, a similar effort aimed at providing research for countries transitioning into more climate-... Read more
Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 14:55
The Center for Real Estate’s Albert Saiz talks about worldwide trends affecting housing, commercial real estate, and investment in the built environment. Around the world, more and more people are moving to cities. The increase in urbanization is paralleled by revolutionary advances in digital technology, innovation in the built environment, and new modes for how real estate is transacted and conducted. This combination has created significant opportunities — as well as challenges — for the global real estate industry. The MIT Center for Real Estate (CRE) will host its annual World Real... Read more
Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 12:13
From traffic flows to housing figures, researchers, advocacy groups and city leadership are collecting growing amounts of urban data to better understand the ways in which cities do and don’t work. Making hard data useful and communicating it in a way that makes sense to policymakers and their constituents, however, is a skill in itself. And that skill is a speciality of Jon Schwabish, a senior fellow at Washington-based Urban Institute. Through his work at the institute and his website PolicyViz, Schwabish trains city officials and others in how to better analyze, present and visualize... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 11:12
Six months have passed since 167 countries adopted the 20-year urbanization strategy known as the New Urban Agenda at last year’s United Nations Habitat III summit in Quito, Ecuador. That the world made it to that milestone is due in no small part to the efforts of Joan Clos, executive director of UN-Habitat, the U. N.’s lead agency on urban issues. The indefatigable former mayor of Barcelona traveled to over 40 countries on the road to Habitat III, drumming up interest and support from heads of state, housing ministers, big-city mayors and civil society activists. Since the summit, Clos has... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 16:27
In low-income neighborhoods, even the best-designed parks and community centers go to waste if no one uses them. The nonprofit Kounkuey Design Initiative is taking that challenge head-on. The late urbanist William H. Whyte famously observed the designs that ruin public spaces, from excluding places to sit and gather to creating dead zones. But even the best-designed public spaces can be a waste if no one uses them. This is especially true in low-income communities. “A pitfall is thinking that design can solve all the problems,” says Chelina Odbert, the cofounder of the nonprofit Kounkuey... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 10:42
DUBAI — Dubai is taking data seriously, having embraced the value of urban data in particular as a strategy to maintain a competitive edge in the global city arena. It’s investing in its “smart city” capacities, having launched 121 such services and more than 1,100 initiatives over the past three years. That has saved the government more than USD 1 billion dollars, according to government figures. Dubai was also among the first cities to adopt a global standard for measuring urban performance, and has since embedded that into its city reporting framework. It was one of the first to be... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 10:56
Miami—Live-work-play environments are becoming a necessity in urban areas to create the all-in-one experience for today’s residents. Gone are the days of living in isolation, as more renters are looking for that community feel to provide them with top amenities, easy access to office, entertainment, dining and green space both in and around their neighborhood. The trend of these “mini cities” is increasing in popularity and Multi-Housing News sat down with Ana-Marie Codina Barlick, CEO of Codina Partners, to discuss this growing trend of urbanization, the company’s newest project Downtown... Read more
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2017 - 13:11
In December, Mexico City became the first city in Latin America to issue a “green bond”. The USD 50 million issuance will pay for energy-efficient lighting, transit upgrades and water infrastructure. The bond was “oversubscribed” two-and-a-half times over, meaning that investors were willing to buy more of these bonds than Mexico City had to sell. Mexico City’s success is receiving attention in cities around the world. Last week, Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera flew to London to accept an award from the Climate Bonds Initiative, a research group that tracks the green-bond market. The achievement... Read more
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2017 - 11:32
Let’s face it, municipal finance is not very exciting. When it comes to urbanization and smart city planning, talk of government bonds and regulatory frameworks isn’t nearly as captivating as smartphone apps that ease urban transport headaches or drone technologies to deliver goods to your doorstep. But regardless of how mundane, public finance is a fundamental component of any city’s planning because it pays for the spaces and services that can allow private innovations to thrive. Municipal finance can itself be innovative. Perhaps the most creative component to it is the idea that cities... Read more

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