Western Harbour Malmo

Newcastle, Britain’s Most Sustainable City?

Michael O'Hare - November 23, 2009

Newcastle has been ranked as Britain’s most Sustainable City 2009 by Forum for the Future, a UK based sustainable development organisation.

Newcastle?! In the heart of the industrial North East? Home to the expression Selling Coal to Newcastle? Can it be true?

I’m doubtful…let’s look at why Forum for the Future rank Newcastle first. (more…)

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Bogota – a good cycling city?

Michael O'Hare - September 13, 2009

Have you wondered why some cities have large numbers of people cycling and others don’t?

Is it the climate? Something in the local psyche?  Or simply chance?

I don’t think so. I think it is mostly about design. Bogota, the capital of Colombia,  gives a nice example of a city that tried to design for bicycles and bicyclists.

Can we learn from Bogota’s experience? (more…)

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World’s Happiest Cities

Michael O'Hare - September 4, 2009

I wrote earlier about the World’s Happiest Places, and how I think cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Malmo are key. Well Forbes have now released a new survey on the top 10 World’s Happiest Cities.  So what are they and why are they? (more…)

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Melbourne Principles for Sustainable Cities

Michael O'Hare - August 7, 2009

Have you read the Melbourne Principles for Sustainable Cities? They are a set of 10 principles that “Guide thinking and provide a strategic framework….allow cities to develop sustainable solutions…bring together citizens and decision-makers”.

I like them. For example, principle 7 is to “Empower people and foster participation” – a noble aspiration for any city.

But I do have one small criticism. (more…)

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Barack Obama and Sustainable Cities

Michael O'Hare - June 27, 2009

What does Barack Obama think of cities?  Does he wish to make our cities for people and less for cars? Does President Obama believe that sustainable city development is priority, given the magnitude of the other tasks that lie in wait for him?

Well, I think the initial signs are good. (more…)

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Freiburg Green City – Success factors

Michael O'Hare - June 14, 2009

What can we learn from Freiburg’s sustainable city development?

In my last post, I wrote about how I think trams, pedestrianised streets and solar energy all contribute towards making Freiburg an outstanding city for people.  Freiburg’s presentation to the EU Green Capital competition lists success factors Freiburg think helped make the city what it is.

Here is Freiburg’s list of sustainable city success factors: (more…)

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In Freiburg city, it’s clean and pretty

Michael O'Hare - May 30, 2009

Said the German poet Johann Peter Hebel many years ago. But why?

I don’t know, but I do know that Johann would probably say exactly the same thing today. Freiburg gets called Green City Freiburg, Solar City Freiburg and Sustainable City Freiburg by many commentators.

Freiburg – A City for People

What makes Freiburg a city for people? (more…)

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Sustainable Cities – Learning from Malmo

Michael O'Hare - May 17, 2009

Malmo in Sweden is, in my opinion, one of the best examples for the world to follow when it comes to sustainable city development (I wrote about the Western Harbour in Malmo earlier). In 2007, a conference was held in Malmo on Sustainable City development and Malmo invited experts from around the world to discuss issues such as sustainable architecture, renewable energy and sustainable education. The overall theme was “How do we make sustainability attractive”?

So what did they learn? (more…)

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World’s Happiest Places

Michael O'Hare - May 10, 2009

I’ve just read this article in Forbes magazine about a report of the World’s happiest places. It’s well worth a read and gives some insights into what makes people happy.

But before we talk about that, here’s a list of the top 10 countries. (more…)

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The World’s most Liveable City is…

Michael O'Hare - May 3, 2009

…Copenhagen!

So says Monocle Magazine. According to monocle:

“Copenhagen treats residents to a lifestyle that’s hard to match: manageable scale, a clean harbour for brisk dips and abundant green space. The development of the Metro system and a commitment to cycling makes urban navigation swift and seamless.

The Dane’s are hardier than me – personally I find the water around Malmo and Copenhagen freezing. But then, I’m from the south of England and not too tough.

But is Copenhagen as good as Monocle claim? (more…)

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