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6 questions for public art in cities: A #CityTalk review

Public Art in our cities has the ability to improve what’s left between buildings. Transitional, derelict or unplanned spaces are given a new life through graffiti or street art, and the expression of citizens is given a breath of life.

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Don’t Believe The Hype? #CityTalk

What is a resilient city? A sustainable city? A smart city? Cities are in the spotlight with much discussion and debate around cities and their longevity but is all this hype just a passing trend? In a world that is changing rapidly, we have these complex city networks that are being dissected by urban planners,architects and academics.

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Urban Nature: Our next #CityTalk

Cities need to learn to operate alongside natural environments and cherish its natural heritage. Join us for our monthly #citytalk event to discuss how cities and nature have been relating in the past decades and what solutions are being offered in cities around the globe.

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Cycling Osaka: Exploring Japan’s Second City by Bike

Osaka in Japan is in many ways the perfect cycle destination: it’s flat, well-signposted and chock full of interesting destinations to whizz around at high-speed. It’s also relatively cycle-friendly, something that will doubtless come as a bit of a culture shock to British and American tourists used to navigating roads stuffed with particularly homicidal drivers. Here are a few cycle-tour suggestions for those of you who, like me, prefer two wheels to four.

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INFOGRAPHIC: How 10 Historical Planners Have Shaped Today’s Cities

Urban design isn’t easy, so when we find a way to make cities work, we often stick with it for a decent chunk of time. Throughout history, urban planners have presented different ideas on how to design successful cities, and their impact is still being felt today. This infographic looks at how ten urban planners have shaped cities, including London, Paris and Washington D.C.

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Who are we designing better cities for?

Every third Wednesday of the month This Big City and Future Cape Town host our #citytalk tweetchat. These discussions are always based around a theme related to sustainable cities, with last week’s chat asking how can we design better cities?

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Designing Better Cities: Our next #CityTalk

[ August 21, 2013; 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm. ] Our cities are in a constant process of being designed. Whether directly, by professionals or government or indirectly by communities, the decisions citizens make and even cultural events. With cities facing rapid urbanisation, design and design thinking has a leading role to play if we are to understand how we can design our cities to not only accommodate more people, but to do so in a sustainable way. A way which supports the economy, and leverages this opportunity, rather than collapsing under its burden and challenges.

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Eight Imaginative Projects Reusing Infrastructure in Cities

What if your local telephone booth was also an electric vehicle charging station? Or construction scaffolding became a fun place to sit down and eat lunch? Or a roadside billboard became a lush, air-cleaning bamboo garden?

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Transforming Cities with Transit: Our next #citytalk

[ June 19, 2013; 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm. ] Transform Kansas City is an initiative which aims to encourage discussion about the opportunities of rail transit and facilitate input in the development of a more sustainable built environment. One way they are achieving this is through a call for ideas, asking people to submit their ideas for how rail transit can be used to change the city for the better. Inspired by this project, we’ve decided to host our next #citytalk tweetchat on the topic of ‘transforming cities with transit’.

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Cities for Everybody: Walking the Jane Jacobs Effect in Buenos Aires

In the urban planning circles of the United States, no historical figure embodies both the historical mythos and current trends that have become so important to the new urbanist movement more than Jane Jacobs. Today her thinking is credited with eventually pulling New York City out of its Taxi Driver slump in the 60s and 70s and making it the dream city of all 20 somethings fresh out of college nationwide, and her book The Death and Life of American Cities is considered a classic. But how does her ideology apply to other regions with their radically different cultures, federal policies, and urban fabric?