Western Harbour Malmo

Reinventing the City

Michael O'Hare - August 28, 2010

There are 3 prerequisites for greeing urban infrastructures; according to WWF’s report Reinventing the City, which Ailsa Chambers from Warwick Business School kindly pointed me to.

What are the 3 prerequisites? They are:

  1. Cities must adopt aggressive energy reduction strategies
  2. Innovative financing strategies are needed
  3. The latest technological advances must be utilized

WWF’s 3 prerequisites are helpful, but I’m unconvinced they’re key. Why? I’ll come to that, but first here’s a little more detail on the report. (more…)


Jaime Lerner – Time 2010 Top 100

Michael O'Hare - July 22, 2010

Time Magazine recently described their top 100 people in 2010. And who was in it? None other than Jaime Lerner, 3 time visionary mayor of Curitiba, Brazil. I’ve written previously about the transformation Jaime Lerner led in Curitiba; turning it from a city for cars to a city for people.

But why did Time Magazine nominate Jaime Lerner for one of their top 100 people of 2010? (more…)


London’s 4 Steps to the Sustainable City

Michael O'Hare - April 29, 2010

London is England’s capital city, one of the planet’s great cities and a city for people. But can a global city like London ever be sustainable?

Well, London’s history has shown it can sustain much – the coming and going of Romans. Marauding Vikings. Plague. Fire. The Blitz. Pea Soup Fogs.

And I think London has as good a chance as any city to be a sustainable city for the future.

Why? Because London is trying, and trying hard. Below are 4 steps London are taking towards the sustainable city, which I think any city could take. Would any of the steps succeed in your city? (more…)


The Way of the City

Michael O'Hare - April 11, 2010

Last week I wrote how the ancient cities of Iraq thrived and fell for not dissimilar reasons as cities today. But what of the ancient Chinese civilizations? What message do they have for us? (more…)


Cities of Iraq – Uruk, Ur and Eridu

Michael O'Hare - March 29, 2010

Creativity, Wealth Creation, Defence, Environmental Degradation – four key lessons that I take from the planet’s earliest cities, which were located in southern Mesopotamia. The place we today call Iraq.

Let me explain why I think Creativity, Wealth Creation, Defence and Environmental Degradation were important to southern Mesopotmia. (more…)


Ancient Cities – learning from history

Michael O'Hare - March 21, 2010

I’ve just read Michael Wood’s fascinating book, In Search of the First Civilizations, where he briefly outlines how civilization started in ancient Iraq, India, China, Egypt and Mexico.

Great cities rose, lasted for millennia, then declined. Cities like Babylon, Xian and Tikal.


And can you and I learn from this ancient history, helping our cities be great and be great for longer? (more…)


Vancouver Vancouver Vancouver…

Michael O'Hare - March 3, 2010

“To me, with two young boys, I feel like I am living in one of the most accessible places on earth”, writes Bree Galbraith about Vancouver. Bree lives in the beautiful False Creek area of the city and kindly contributed to the latest story on Cities for People.

Do you wonder why Vancouver is described as the most Liveable City in the World and the most Sustainable City in Canada? You can find some reasons from Bree on the new Vancouver page.

What do you think of Vancouver? Please let us know below.

And if you have a story about another city you want to see on Cities for People, please contact me.


City making – like jazz?

Michael O'Hare - February 22, 2010

“The spirit of city making…is more like jazz than chamber music”, writes city expert Charles Landry in his excellent book The Art of City Making.  I could not agree more.

“Why?”, you may ask.

Before we answer that, let’s look at the music. (more…)


London – a city for people?

Michael O'Hare - February 16, 2010

London, England. One of the great cities. But is it a city for people?

Like any big city, London has its good and bad side. A recent visit helped me discover 5 great things about London – Walking, Parks, Capitalism, Food and Culture. (more…)


SymbioCity Scenarios

Michael O'Hare - February 3, 2010

How hard is it to make a city more sustainable? Would you like to try?

Now you can. You can take total control of a city’s energy, transport and waste investments and see what the outcome is.

Sound too good to be true? Well ok, you can’t literally do it. But you can try the excellent SymbioCity Scenarios simulation. (more…)

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