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Future of Asian cities

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  • These rankings are based on liveability, quality of life, but they aren’t based on reputation... when you think of a city, what’s the first one to come to mind? do you think of Zurich (Monocle’s #1 city this year)? No, you think of London or New York or Tokyo. These are cities that stand for something, that have the highest recall, that are a brand.Key message: everyone has a different point of view about what makes a good city, which means that everyone has a different point of view about what the future of cities should look like. The aim of international city rankings is to provide objective, consistent and comprehensive data of comparison. 
Subjective expectations, of course, can vary but certain attributes are objectively relevant: political stability, personal safety and freedom, medical and health considerations, educational situation, public services and transports, recreational options, availability of consumer goods, housing and environmental situation.But each company that does them ends up with a slightly different result.these rankings aren’t about what city is biggest or what city is sustainable or most economically successful (actually, economics doesn’t seem to fit in at all), they are just about liveability. but that liveability is not necessarily going to be what defines cities in the future. and it’s not actually something that is helping cities face their biggest challenges todayTop 5 QOL – MercerGreenest cities (starting Portland) – Popular ScienceLiveability – EconomistBest Cities (America) – KiplingerBest places to live (America) – CNN/MoneyOrange one is the GaWC ranking (a study group at Loughborough University) based upon their level of advanced producer services. Global service centres are identified and graded for accountancy, advertising, banking/finance and law.
  • Are the livability indices really about trying to recreate Utopia? Can any city really live up to that?It seems that only the small cities are able to get to the top of the rankings – where are NY, London and Tokyo? And if they don’t figure at the top of the list, why are 35 million people living in Tokyo? These indices are not a realistic picture of what cities are actually going through now.---------------------------------St Thomas More, 1516 UtopiaUtopia: A good place or no place – ideal and imaginaryThe book, written in Latin, is a frame narrative primarily depicting a fictional island society and its religious, social and political customs.Despite modern connotations of the word "utopia," it is widely accepted that the society More describes in this work was not actually his own "perfect society." Rather he wished to use the contrast between the imaginary land's unusual political ideas and the chaotic politics of his own day as a platform from which to discuss social issues in Europe.There is no private ownership on Utopia, with goods being stored in warehouses and people requesting what they need. There are also no locks on the doors of the houses, which are rotated between the citizens every ten years. Agriculture is the most important job on the island. Every person is taught it and must live in the countryside, farming, for two years at a time, with women doing the same work as men. Parallel to this, every citizen must learn at least one of the other essential trades: weaving (mainly done by the women), carpentry, metalsmithing and masonry. There is deliberate simplicity about these trades; for instance, all people wear the same types of simple clothes and there are no dressmakers making fine apparel. All able-bodied citizens must work; thus unemployment is eradicated, and the length of the working day can be minimised: the people only have to work six hours a day (although many willingly work for longer). More does allow scholars in his society to become the ruling officials or priests, people picked during their primary education for their ability to learn. All other citizens are however encouraged to apply themselves to learning in their leisure time.Slavery is a feature of Utopian life and it is reported that every household has two slaves. The slaves are either from other countries or are the Utopian criminals. These criminals are weighed down with chains made out of gold. The gold is part of the community wealth of the country, and fettering criminals with it or using it for shameful things like chamber pots gives the citizens a healthy dislike of it. It also makes it difficult to steal as it is in plain view. The wealth, though, is of little importance and is only good for buying commodities from foreign nations or bribing these nations to fight each other. Slaves are periodically released for good behaviour.Other significant innovations of Utopia include: a welfare state with free hospitals, euthanasia permissible by the state, priests being allowed to marry, divorce permitted, premarital sex punished by a lifetime of enforced celibacy and adultery being punished by enslavement. Meals are taken in community dining halls and the job of feeding the population is given to a different household in turn. Although all are fed the same, Raphael explains that the old and the administrators are given the best of the food. Travel on the island is only permitted with an internal passport and anyone found without a passport they are, on a first occasion, returned in disgrace, but after a second offence they are placed into slavery. In addition, there are no lawyers and the law is made deliberately simple, as all should understand it and not leave people in any doubt of what is right and wrong.
  • The story of Asian cities in three examples.This is to illustrate the diversity of brand challenges in Asia
  • Singapore- bottom half, the ‘needs’/ hardware of the city is very strong, but has reputation for being cold and efficient and no fun, so the brand challenge is about showing the warmth and interesting bits – so yoursingapore.com...
  • Tokyothey have all the pieces that would make a strong brand, but they really not communicating it in a compelling way. They could make it a lot easier for people, but sometimes you get the impression that they really don’t want other people there
  • MelbourneAs the second city, there are different challenges to building a brand – it’s not the obvious place for business to go, so how to they build investment in the city? Residents seem happy, but some call it a bit sleepy, more family-oriented. Needs to dial its communications up a notch. Does being the second city make it more liveable? This is the highest city in Asia on the EIU liveability ranking.
  • It’s about reputation, that is what helps cities to thrive.Our three cities are all competing in some way to become a place for wealth creation – they all want to develop in a way that ensures the happiness of their residents, industry, grassroots organisations, etcThe way they are bringing new people in, as well as ensuring that the current residents stay happy, is through reputation building, something that we link to brand.-------Our panel of experts live and travel around Asia and range from academics to city planners to urban strategists to architects.(6 experts interviewed – still hoping for 2 more)
  • As experts in the field of destination branding with our CBI, we have developed a framework for destination brandskey audiences for country brands – tourists, investors, residentsthis framework works for any destination brand, as it brings together all the soft factors and the hard factors that ensure that our homes are liveable. Some cities focus a lot more on the software – the wants – as they are perhaps the more emotional and interesting of the city’s landscape. But the hardware – infrastructure, governance, economy – these are the things that need to run well in order to be able to focus on the wants. If we don’t have a strong governance, we’ll never be able to make changes. If the economy isn’t strong, how will we have the money to build attractions or take care of our authentic architecture?
  • Healthy society is the objective, economy is the way to get there – so you have to ensure that industry is happy and productive, but that it doesn’t alienate residents and that it doesn’t damage the environment any more
  • with the focus on business and globalisation and economics, we are losing sight of culture – and culture is what brings meaning to our living spacesSo not too much of a focus on business, again, think about the end user, the residentIs this quote describing Singapore’s challenge?
  • but what is that reputation built on? different stakeholders want different thingsthis is according to our experts. What’s interesting is when you look at what they thought would be important to the general population, and what the general population said is important about where they live – there’s very little mention of the economy or infrastructure. Is that just assumed?
  • so who should we be talking to?regardless of who the direct audience is (residents, tourists, business, real estate developers, etc), it seems that the ultimate goal is always to have more residents in the city – do we think it’s true that if people want to move there, economic development will follow?
  • so it’s about creating a healthy and happy societybut how are Asian residents describing their own cities? are they healthy and happy in their cities?552 respondents in 14+ cities in Asia (India to the west, Australia to south, Japan to north)One thing you can see we all have in common is food. This is consistently in the top 5 for the major cities, #1 for Melbourne and #2 for TokyoMost people seem to be happy with where they live now in Asia. They talk about the city’s strengths and culture in positive ways.But we forced them to think about why they’d leave, and where they would go.
  • what would make people leave their own cities?The grass is always greener.although, as we’ll see later in the survey, most residents of Asian cities believe that they have a high standard of living and high safety.art & culture – interesting, and art & culture aren’t a focus in many Asian cities, in favour of business. Residents are seeing a lack of balance.
  • So where do we want to live?(cities in 500 respondent’s top three choices)Sydney – 201 put in top 3Tokyo – 194HK – 166Singapore – 161Melbourne - 155#1 choices were1 sydney2 tokyo3 melbourne4 hongkong5 singapore
  • Let’s talk first about Sydney, the top city that 500 respondents would like to move to.(Note that we’re going to talk about the top three cities, but HK/Singapore tied for 3, so doing 4)Sydney’s strengths, as determined by its residents in our survey are:it’s very much about the natural resources that sydney has been blessed with. It’s strengths don’t seem to be anything to do with work.#1 thing Sydneysiders would change? Affordability. (#2 is ease of travel)The people who wanted to move to Sydney said they wanted to move because:Standard of livingWeather/climatesafetyrest/relaxationnatural beauty
  • and its culture is determined by its attitude – the way that its residents go about thingsthe natural resources have had an impact on people’s attitude – of all the cities in our survey, Sydney was most strongly associated with outside work activities
  • Is this why the strengths came out as outside of work? That in Sydney, work is a given, and it’s the outside work bit that is the differentiator?Note on the quotes from residents – native means they have always lived there, resident means they’ve been there more than 5 years, and if possible, have given their nationality
  • So we can see that when communicating to the outside world, it leverages its strengths – it’s geography has created a culture and ethos that is outdoorsy and sporting, and by leveraging geography in its communications, it can truly claim ‘there’s no place in the world like Sydney’
  • While Tokyo residents love their high standard of living, accommodation and homes and affordability were the number 1 and 2 things that they would change about their city.the people who said they’d want to move to Tokyo said they’d want to move because of:art & culturestandard of livingadvanced technologyenvironmentalismshopping
  • the Tokyo city messages – both the municipal website and the tourist one – are very functional, no key message at all
  • Interestingly, with HK, very few responses on what they’d change. Accommodation/Homes came as #1, but with a really low score. HK residents just didn’t answer the question about what they would change – so do they think HK is the ideal place to live?Quite diverse strengths (vs Sydney, which is all about geography), seems to be a very commercial city, focused on businessthe people who said they’d want to move to HK said they’d move there because:standard of livingart & cultureease of travelshoppingsafety
  • The culture is definitely about fast paced business & play – this is clearly the place for ambitious international people.
  • HK – Asia’s world city. A few people actually quoted this in the questions “how is your city different?” People genuinely believe that HK is the hub between Asia and the rest of the worldThey leverage this in communications – it’s a fast-paced business-savvy culture that is in a great location for connecting with the rest of AsiaThey are the only city in our top 5 to have a dedicated brand website – brandhk.com
  • Singapore’s strengths are very functional.What would Singapore residents change? Affordability, Accommodation/Homes and of course, weather/climate. Interesting that Accommodation is both a strength and something to change.the people who said they’d want to move to Singapore said they’d move there because:standard of livingsafetyenvironmentalismease of travel, ideal for business, new business opportunities, weather (all tied)
  • and it has an interesting mix of ‘culture points’ – of course, as soon as you give law-abiding as an option, Singapore residents will pick it (interesting that both Singapore and Tokyo have Safety at the top, but only Singapore got law abiding.The next three points are all about the type of people who live hereInteresting that Foodie only came up as 5 (same as Sydney) when for Tokyo, Foodie was the #2 culture pointMainstream – not challenging convention, despite the government’s efforts
  • Singapore doesn’t have one place that it communicates to its audience – tourists by STB, businesses by EDB, residents by specific government websites.The fact that it focuses yoursingapore.com on attractions and culture probably has a lot to do with the fact that it’s trying to change its reputation from a boring stopover place. These things don’t link at all to what residents say about the country – is this just trying to put a fancy icing on a cake that’s bland? Will it work? Or do residents have it wrong and they’ve just been missing all the exciting things about Singapore because they’ve been sticking their heads in the sand?
  • residents of melbourne say the strengths of the city are:the people who said they’d want to move to melbourne said they’d move because:standard of livingart & culturenew business opportunities, rest & relaxation, safety (all tied)weather/climate
  • Interesting that foodie comes up first!! Not a business city – all the others have business dominating their top 5. But do progressive and innovative refer to business? Progressive might be on social issues.
  • Asian cities have a lot of strengths that should be shared with the worldOur experts were thinking about the big pictureliving with higher population density and lower carbon footprint (although this is mainly due to poverty)to value smallness (as in Tokyo living spaces)living in harmony in close proximitycommunity cultureentrepreneurialism to drive local economymaking planning processes simple and quick
  • we shouldn’t lose sight of our own strengthsYou wouldn’t see these top 5 in London, New York or Paris... Asian cities have a lot going for them
  • despite our strengths, as as noted in the culture of the top 4 cities, Asian cities are fast-paced, always looking forward. Change is a constant when you live in an Asian city.So can a city change more than just its hardware? Can a city change its reputation?Singapore is always the obvious one, but there are others:Beirut – by focusing on old city and urban renewalDubai – risking collapse now from superficial changeBeijing has changed its reputation. The Governments deliberate role in ‘opening’ this City to the rest of the world has ensured that it went from a place where doing business was perceived as difficult and constrained to one in which doing business has seemingly been liberated.Question is whether reality and perception are the same.
  • And what would residents of the top 5 cities change about their own cities?(the reason that Sydney has only 4 is that there was a big tie for the next attribute - 5 tied for 5th attribute that they’d change: shopping, history, friendly locals, advanced technology, accommodation/homes)HK residents didn’t have many responses to what they’d change – very low numbers for all of these.
  • key message: the world is changing, and cities in asia are facing major challenges that will redefine how we live So it’s not just that residents want change in their own cities because they travel so much, there are things happening in the world that mean that this is a time of change and it’s going to be forced on us.These are the big issues – they are mainly going to force changes in infrastructure, which is one of the key supporting pillars to a successfully functioning city. Is infrastructure the hardware of a city and the touchy feely, artsy fartsy stuff the software? Do cities need to have both to be successful, and to be in our top 5?Energy - The day will come when solar power isn’t just for tree-hugging eccentrics and the trendy rich—when it becomes as cheap as or cheaper than the electricity that is currently available. This turning point is known in the energy business as “grid parity.” As parts of the United States start to hit grid parity, the people in those areas will actually save money by switching to solar, and the market for the technology will skyrocket. That, in turn, will spur more investment and technological advances. Recent projections from The U.S. Department of Energy and the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development have us hitting grid parity around 2015. That’s just a few short years away, and it’ll transform the debate surrounding energy and climate change: the “alternative” will become the mainstream.TRANSPORTATION – how we get around our cities, especially as they grow, is getting to be a very challenging topic, and cities are addressing them in different ways. Singapore is using technology to ensure traffic speeds are the fastest of all the big cities. SUBURBANISATION Close to 200,000 people a day migrate from rural to urban areas a day. Today, there are a billion squatters (1 in 6 people on the planet), in 2030, there will be 2 billion squatters (1 in 4 people) and the estimate is in 2050, 3 billion people (better than 1 in 3 people on the planet). These are the cities of the future and we have to engage them.www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/robert_neuwirth_on_our_shadow_cities.htmlWASTE:One of the biggest issues facing cities now is how to get rid of all the stuff that is consumed and discarded. In places like Bangalore and Delhi, there are massive piles of garbage stinking up the city and making the squatter cities unsanitary. In North America, garbage is shipped off shore to places like China because they don’t want to deal with it. Sustainability is a key issue here. How are cities dealing with this problem, that will only get bigger in the future?WATER.Right now, 1.1 billion people on the planet don't have access to safe, clean drinking water. and with climate change, that number is going up. Farmers are going to have issues as weather gets more extreme, and in cities such as Bombay and Dhaka and HCMC, flooding is going to get worse, and even be permanent (HCMC and Dhaka will be underwater)(the slides that explain these challenges are in appendix a at the end)
  • Key message – you need both, you need a balance. So many cities are growing at an unfathomable pace, and they are losing control of the needs – roads and public transport not keeping up, inability to govern over much of the population (especially in cities like Mumbai and Jakarta with huge squatter cities with illegal citiizens), underground economies.So they focus on the soft stuff – ‘feel good’but successful cities have both.
  • amidst all this change, what lessons should we take from the west, whose cities have developed on a different path from ours?these are recommendations from our experts, who all live and work in Asia
  • A balance is important, and the soft factors include authenticity and culture.Quote from Rob Adams, Director Design & Urban Environment City of Melbournehopefully Tokyo will and not just give over to developers Beijing has a buy up, knock down and build tower mentality which is incredibly sad to see in such a once beautiful city  Singapore did the same thing ... knocked half of the city down before they thought they’d better stop … but they’d essentially lost the character
  • Learn from the west-Build parks in community areas, repurpose old buildings instead of knocking them down. Turn negatives (an unused railway line) into positives (a park for the community)http://www.thehighline.org/Get High DowntownYou’ve probably heard of it. New York City’s newest park received enormous attention for years before it even opened. Boasting a coterie of celebrity backers, the converted elevated rail line became one of the most celebrated and anticipated public projects in recent memory. Now the park, brilliantly designed by James Corner Field Operations, with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is open, and it is everything that was promised and more. The interaction with the city and the transformation of blighted infrastructure into beautiful park is an impressive accomplishment. So now the gauntlet has been thrown down: What city is going to one-up New York?http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/06/09/new-yorks-high-line-park-in-the-sky-opens-today/An elevated park in the sky built on top of the skeleton of an old rail system? It may have sounded impossible only five years ago, but today, the eagerly awaited High Line elevated urban park officially opens for thousands of New Yorkers looking to escape the hubbub of the city below!Here at Inhabitat, we have been following the journey of the High Line for the past several years and were super excited to get a sneak peek yesterday of the new park, which was renovated / designed by James Corner Field Operations, Lead Designer, with starchitects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. We were thrilled to get a chance to scope out the High Line yesterday as we’ve been waiting for this for ages!),The High Line was originally constructed in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District in the 1930s to lift dangerous freight trains off of city streets. Abandoned in the 1980’s the High Line went into decay and disrepair and was rediscovered in popular consciousness in 2000, after acclaimed photographer Joel Sternfeld captured the beauty of the industrial relic in photos: overgrown with wildflowers — an abandoned human structure essentially reclaimed by nature in a matter of 20 years.The City of New York was originally planning to tear down the High Line, but a group formed, called ‘Friends of the High Line’, to protect, preserve, and renovate the High Line. This eventually lead to a design competition, and the commissioning of landscape architects James Corner Field Operations and architects Diller Scodifio + Renfro to rehabilitate this abandoned space into a lush, green, elevated paradise for Manhattanites.Renovations spanned a time frame of several years (with another section yet to be complete until 2010), but visitors to the park yesterday all seemed to agree that it was well worth the wait.So what was our verdict? Well, while we view slick renderings of concepts for urban green spaces almost everyday, it is an entirely different thing to actually step into a completed project and see it with our own eyes. We weren’t sure if it was going to be possible for a starchitect-designed renovation to maintain the simple, stark beauty of the original, overgrown High Line – the one that had captured the imagination of so many Manhattanites in 2000. But we were impressed and pleasantly surprised!The feeling at the High Line today was one of excitement, optimism and pride that our city was able to take something that was just a gleam in our eyes a few years ago and turn it into something that we, and hopefully generations to come, can enjoy. For New Yorkers like myself, who are just witnessing the beginnings of an urban space revolution, the High Line is a tangible manifestation of what the future could look like.That being said, you’re probably wondering what it looked like. The most prominent features of the long and winding park are the preserved rail tracks that poke out through the porous layer of concrete that has been cut away in strips here and there emphasizing a linear aesthetic. Lush shrubbery, reedy grasses and watercolor-hued flowers surround the rust-red tracks in a way that seems deliberate yet natural. Farther down along the meandering pathway, sunbathers relaxed on blocky wooden chaise lounges, some of which have casters that look like they can roll right along the tracks (although they can’t, we tried). Vistas that were unseen to most New Yorkers, like a view of the clubs in the Meatpacking district from above and peeks into the posh lofts that are at the same level as the High Line were visible, for the very first time, from here.Inhabitat editors Jill Fehrenbacher and Olivia Chen were able to speak with several of the key players in the project, including James Corner (Design Lead, the landscape architect) and Ricardo Scofidio (the architect) and we will be bringing you these interviews shortly. Stay tuned for our upcoming video and interviews!Finally, congratulations to this lovely couple who celebrated their wedding day at the opening day of the High Line. What a beautiful and symbolic way to commemorate their special day!
  • http://www.discoverygreen.com/When the property in downtown Houston came up for sale, city leaders wanted more than another condo or parking garage. They proposed Discovery Green, a 12-acre, $122 million park in the heart of downtown. Year-round programming--exercise classes, concerts, films, festivals, a farmers' market--have helped Discovery Green beat attendance forecasts. "Downtown hasn't been known as a place to come on the weekends, but now you see thousands of people, families, and kids from all parts of the city," says park director Guy Hagstette. Despite a weakening real-estate market, development around Discovery Green is still strong. And, of course, the park is appropriately earth-loving, recycling its water and waste and drawing 100% of its power from renewable sources   
  • http://restoration.on.coocan.jp/pukiwiki/?Cheonggye%20RiverCheonggye River sounds Cheonggyecheon in Hangul, also known as Cheong Gye Cheon is a 5.8km river flowing through downtown Seoul, Korea and then meeting the Han River. Its total length is actually 11 km ling and the basin dimension is 50 km2. It flows along the capital city of Seoul for six hundred years from the time when it was established as the capital of Korea Dynasty in 1394. It has been a symbolic boundary defining Seoul geologically, politically, culturally, and socially. The elevated road connecting the city center and the suburbs was completed in 1971, but it was damaged due to aging. The restoration project includes cultural heritages such as stone bridge as well as traditional events reproduction. Seoul City estimates the construction cost as 360 billion won.Seoul's River Restoration Becomes A Model For Many CitiesAsia-Pacific Environment Landscape Architecture Mail & Guardian OnlinePosted by: Christian Peralta Madera10 January 2007 - 7:00amThe restored Cheonggyecheon river, which once was reduced to a sewer capped by a six-lane highway, now serves as a focal point for urban recreation in the South Korean capital."...More than 50 years ago, the Cheonggyecheon was a wide but shallow seasonal stream that traditionally divided the city between the rich in the north and the poor in the south. It was where people went to wash clothes and kids to play, but as Seoul grew from being semi-rural to a vast, smog-bound East Asian metropolis, the Cheonggyecheon became little more than a sewer.As cars took over the city the river bed was turned into a road, and then an elevated six-lane motorway was built above. It was one of the most comprehensive obliterations of the natural environment perpetrated.But in a revolutionary act of ecological restoration that is now being examined around the world, the city of Seoul, under the leadership of the then mayor, Lee Myung Bak, pledged in 2002 to restore the river, tear down the motorway and create a 8km-long, 800m-wide, 400ha lateral park snaking through the city where the river once ran."Full Story: How a river helped Seoul reclaim its heart and soulSource: Mail & Guardian Online, January 8, 2007http://www.planetizen.com/node/22474
  • A balance is important, and the soft factors include authenticity and culture.Quote from Rob Adams, Director Design & Urban Environment City of Melbournehopefully Tokyo will and not just give over to developers Beijing has a buy up, knock down and build tower mentality which is incredibly sad to see in such a once beautiful city  Singapore did the same thing ... knocked half of the city down before they thought they’d better stop … but they’d essentially lost the character
  • http://www.slideshare.net/ICLEIWorldCongress2009/designing-our-future-cities-now-peter-newman-iclei-world-congress-2009
  • http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/10/06/public-bike-sharing-progress-and-challenges-still-ahead/On the chic streets of Paris, a woman wearing a purple cardigan zooms by on a chunky, mocha-grey bicycle. The woman fades from mind, but the retro bike lingers on as a memory with its decidedly unique styling. Strangely, an older gentleman with a bouquet of flowers tucked into his bag now rides by on a bike that looks just like the last one. And now, yet another man is walking the exact same bike down the street too. Coincidence, or something more?It turns out that many a visitor to the City of Lights has experienced a similar scene unfolding in front of them with the final realization that these Parisians are not riding their own bikes, but ones that they share with the whole city via the largest system of its kind in the world. The Vélib’ system, as it is called, is so simple that even non-Parisians can try it out. Just walk up to a bike station, purchase a one day pass for about €1, and hop on your new set of wheels. Then, when you’re done exploring the city, return the bike to any open spot at any station in the city.Seems logical, doesn’t it? It’s rather common for first time encounters with setups like Vélib’ in Paris, SmartBike in Washington DC, or BIXI in Montreal to yield wide-eyed “Why doesn’t my city do this?” reactions. As busy people with places to go and things to do, we all need easy, affordable and accessible transportation. And living at a time when environmental awareness is more and more the norm rather than the exception, reduced emissions and earth-friendliness are becoming increasingly major factors in the way we select how we get around. In theory, bike sharing checks off all of the criteria on that list with a bold confidence. But does it measure up in real life?There are some issues. Numerous media outlets have reported about Vélib’’s theft and vandalism woes. Bikes have been mangled, hung from trees and even tossed into the Seine. There are complaints from motorists in the area that cyclists who use the bike-sharing program tend to be inexperienced riders and do not follow the traffic rules. Upkeep of the infrastructure (think 20,000 bicycles and 1,450 stations with roughly one station every 300 meters throughout the city center) is yet another headache to deal with. From the sharer’s point of view, the most common frustration is riding to a station hoping to park their bike there and finding no open spots – imagine you’re running late for an appointment?Luckily, the kinks in early operations like Vélib’ served as red-flag indicators for future iterations. Boston, which is currently planning its very own version with the help of the Public Bike System Company, which oversees Montreal’s BIXI system and was also chosen to work on London’s upcoming program, has studied up on the downfalls of earlier operations. Some of the solutions include a stolen-bike alert system using online social media networks and a web service that allows users to see how many bikes and parking spots are available at any given station ahead of time. The fact that PBSC’s bike stations are portable, modular and solar-powered also alleviates much of the heartache that comes with the maintenance issues.Overall, public bike sharing systems have come an extremely long way and the positives (easy, cheap, clean transportation) eclipse the negatives. From an environmental and economic standpoint, bike sharing rids people of an excuse to drive their gas-guzzling cars – why would you drive when you could save money on gas and not have to deal with the hassle of finding parking? From a societal perspective, our adoption of bike sharing systems says a lot about us as human beings. If we can share our bikes, maybe we can learn to share other things successfully as well.
  • http://www.rideforclimate.com/journals/?p=92   In the 1990s, in the face of horrible road congestion, Bogota did something amazing – it reduced space for cars. The city removed lanes from a number of major thruways to make way for new high-speed busses, and sidewalks that were used for parking cars were replaced by pedestrian walkways and bikeways. A large number of pedestrian bridges were built, allowing people to easily pass over the major roads of the city. In short, the city was redesigned around people instead of around the automobile.    I talked with a number of locals about how the city had changed. Some cited statistics – whereas traveling across the city used to take a few hours, the new bus system, named the ‘transmilenio’ will take perhaps 45 minutes. Safety has improved as well. Not only did traffic accidents reduce significantly, but violent crime also nearly halved (here is an article about this). Most people, though, remarked that Bogota is simply a nicer place to live and people respect the city more. ‘People throw less trash in the street’, I was told, and ‘now people are proud to be from Bogota.’http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTTRANSPORT/EXTURBANTRANSPORT/0,,contentMDK:20993601~pagePK:210058~piPK:210062~theSitePK:341449,00.htmlSummary: The city of Bogotá has implemented a bus rapid transit (BRT) network, Transmilenio, which spans 84 kilometers, carries 1.2 million passengers per day, serving approximately 20 percent of the city’s total transit demand. The remaining 80 percent is transported by the “conventional” local bus mode, which predates and coexists with Transmilenio. Consequently, Bogotá has a bimodal, bus-based public transit system. Each mode is organized differently.Transmilenio provides high-quality service, among others because it assigns concessions competitively. “Conventional” local bus services, on the contrary, compete "on the street" and provide low-quality service. Both modes compete against each other in the market place.Lacking barriers to entry, the arrangement for the “conventional” mode induces a larger-than-needed, under-utilized bus fleet  and paradoxically inflated fares, which fuels the oversupply. As Transmilenio expands its network, its operators have to purchase “conventional” buses to curb the oversupply and mitigate social impacts. Yet the negative incentives in the “conventional” mode continuously hamper Transmilenio’s efforts and the oversupply remains almost constant. This cycle leads to a waste of resources.  Worse, the implementation of future stages of Transmilenio is in peril due to increasing opposition from disgruntled “conventional” bus   Of relevance to cities in the developing world with political/economic situations similar to Bogotá’s that are implementing or planning BRT systems, the presentation synthesizes "lessons learned" from Bogota on how to successfully implement BRT and at the same time, optimize the over-all public transport system.
  • and sometimes just bright green in theory...----------The concept of London Garden includes special bicycles that operate in three modes. The first mode is the cruising option with the possible addition of regenerative braking. The second mode is a rigorous bicycling, where additional resistance is supplied to generate and store electricity. The third mode cashes in on stored power and turns the bike into an electric scooter. These bicycles are foldable, and are stored for community use in tall, treelike structures that double as bus stops. The bike racks themselves are meant to generate power from rainwater, sun, and even kinetically from the wind as its swooping arms sway.http://martenwallgren.blogspot.com/2009/06/winner-seymourpowell-award-for.html
  • http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=burning-bunnies-for-biofuel-2009-10-14The Swedes, those latter-day descendants of bloodthirsty Vikings, have found a new use for rabbits: heating fuel. According to Der Spiegel, stray rabbits in Stockholm are being shot, frozen and then shipped to a heating plant to be incinerated. 

In the Swedes' defense, the bunnies are a menace; a plague of wild and stray pet rabbits is devouring the city's parks. Some 3,000 have been killed thus far this year, down from 6,000 last year, Tommy Tuvunger, a professional hunter who works for the city, told the German news magazine.

Converting the rabbits to fuel is the company Konvex, a subsidiary of the Danish company Daka Biodiesel, which makes automotive and heating fuels from vegetable and animal oils and fats. The Swedes have a variety of similar efforts, including turning slaughterhouse trimmings into biogas, a methane fuel that runs taxicabs in Linkoping in southern Sweden. And in the U.S., ConocoPhillips and Tyson have joined forces to make biofuel from pork and chicken fat, which is otherwise consumed as pet food or turned into cosmetics or soaps.

Such efforts have given rise to parody, including a prank in 2007 wherein members of the leftist activist group The Yes Men, masquerading as executives from Exxon Mobil, attempted to convince an audience of oil industry types that "Vivoleum"—a proposed fuel to be made from dead people—was the fuel of the future. "We need something like whales, but infinitely more abundant," said Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum masquerading as Shepard Wolff of Exxon. Of course, making biofuel from human fat is illegal in the U.S.

Bunnies, despite a felicity for breeding, are not quite abundant enough to be a reliable fuel so Stockholm also ships dead cats, cows, deer and horses to the plant for processing, Tuvunger told Der Spiegel. No word on whether the remains of man's best friend are also keeping Swedes warm this winter.Image: © iStockphoto.com / Mariya Bibikovahttp://www.inhabitat.com/2009/10/19/sweden-is-burning-biofuel-made-from-bunnies/Scientific American recently reported that Sweden uses a pretty strange source for some of its heating fuel: rabbits. Stockholm has an overabundance of the cotton-tailed critters, and the hungry bunnies are decimating city parks. To cut back on bunny populations and create a greener source of heating fuel for Swedes, city employees round up the rabbits, shoot them, freeze them and then ship them to a heating plant where they’re incinerated. And yes, the thought of it makes our soul hurt, too.While killing animals to use them for fuel is rather uncommon, using animal byproducts to make biofuels happens pretty regularly. Swedish company Konovex creates the bunny-based fuel, but that plant is a subsidiary of Danish company Daka Biodiesel, which makes automotive and heating fuels from vegetable and animal oils and fats. Sweden often uses slaughterhouse trimmings to create a methane-based biogas that powers taxicabs in the southern part of the country. And even the US is getting into the animal-based biofuel market: ConocoPhillips partnered with Tyson to make biofuel from chicken and pork fats that would otherwise be added into pet foods, cosmetics or soaps.Biofuels can be made from a variety of animal fats, including fat from humans (though of course, this is illegal. We can’t help but wonder whether green funerals will start incorporating this practice into its burial methods, though!). And while it’s stomach-turning to think of it, using animal byproducts or slaughterhouse waste to create eco-friendly biofuels actually seems pretty innovative. Killing Peter Rabbit to heat your home seems a little brutal to us, though. We may be in the midst of an energy crisis, but we’re also experiencing a global food crisis. Wouldn’t eating the rabbits be a little more savory than burning their frozen carcasses?
  • Cogeneration: ChicagoThe city of Chicago estimates that by 2020 it will need 27 billion kilowatt-hours more electricity to stay powered than it did in 2000. Rather than build new plants, the city is making its sys- tems more efficient. It plans to get a quarter of that power from cogeneration—combined heat and power. Standard natural gas burning creates a lot of wasted heat, but cogeneration reuses that extra heat to produce electricity by using it to boil water and push the steam through a turbine—more than doubling the efficiency of natural gas (from 30 percent to 80 percent). That means lower energy costs and lower energy usage, which means fewer emissions. By 2010, Chicago wants to be producing 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity through cogeneration. Buildings that can benefit from independent sources of power, like museums, hospitals, schools, and office buildings, are ideal sites for cogeneration facilities.http://www.good.is/post/rethinking-cities-public-safety-and-oil-and-gas/
  • Winner of the Policy and Lawmaking Category 2007 Information Nominee:LiZhaoqian, Mayor, RizhaoProjectTitle:Popularization of Clean Energy in RizhaoCountry:ChinaNominatingInstitution:WorldwatchCategory of Award:1. Construction (new, urban development, rehabilitation) 2. Policy and Lawmakinghttp://www.cleanenergyawards.comHere Comes the (Chinese) Sun: How Chinese innovation is going to revolutionize solar power for the rest of the worldResidents of the city of Rizhao claim to be the first Chinese to greet the sun each day as it rises from the Yellow Sea. In fact, the city’s name is a condensed form of the Chinese phrase riqushienzhao, which literally means “first to get sunshine.” They also make some of the best use of the more than 100 kilowatt-hours of power the sun pours down on each square meter of Earth over the course of a sunny day.ThoughRizhao’s 3 million residents are seemingly overshadowed by nearby Qingdao—a larger city famous worldwide for its eponymous beer (you might know it as Tsingtao)—Rizhao boasts perhaps a bigger distinction: It is the first city in all of China to pledge to become carbon-neutral.That China has surpassed the United States to become the leading emitter of greenhouse gases is no secret. The Chinese curse on the climate will have to be reckoned with, but the Chinese also have a gift to give the world: developing cheap renewable energy sources, particularly solar power. Low-cost manufacturing in China is transforming the entire array of clean energy sources, like previously expensive photovoltaic cells—and, in the process, helping to clean up the world’s energy supply.WitnessRizhao. Rooftops in newly constructed apartment blocks as well as on the houses in the surrounding countryside are often covered in angled panels of dark tubing. The tubes soak up sunlight, using its warmth to heat water within and eliminate the need to burn fossil fuel or suck up electricity for that purpose. Such solar hot-water heaters are mandatory, and are responsible (along with all the city’s other solar efforts) for cutting energy use compared to alternatives by 348 million kilowatt-hours per year—cutting greenhouse gases at the same time. That’s enough electricity to power more than 30,000 U.S. homes for a year.Indeed, China has become the world’s largest market for and producer of such solar hot-water devices, which have become cheaper than traditional electric or gas-fired varieties thanks to this growing demand. Companies like Himin Solar Energy Group churn out solar hot-water heaters from factories big enough to build jumbo jets; China as a whole installed 246 million square feet of solar hot-water-heater panels in 2007.And it’s not just hot water that Rizhao gets from the sun, as evidenced by the gleaming arrays of blue-black photovoltaic cells beneath the lampposts lining the seashore of this resort town.Rizhao has company in its use of  the sun. In Jiangsu Province outside Shanghai lies China’s “Solar Valley,” which took its name from our own Silicon Valley, and which focuses on the same element. After all, silicon, a semiconductor, is an important component of both computer chips and solar cells.Suntech, a photovoltaic company with the world’s largest production capacity and JA Solar both have facilities in Jiangsu; globally, Suntech can churn out enough panels in a year to produce—under ideal conditions—1 gigawatt of energy.Suntech alone has given China—and the world—its first solar billionaire: Shi Zhengrong, who has built the company into a solar powerhouse since its founding, in 2001. And  unlike competitors such as Q-Cells, from Germany; Sharp, from Japan; and the U.S.-based SunPower; among others, Suntech has opted not to automate its production processes.“We’ve chosen to rely on labor for the obvious reason of cost: Labor rates are so much lower [in China],” says Steve Chadima, the U.S. spokesman for Suntech. “We can more easily crank up or down our operations depending on market demand.”And it’s not just workers that come cheap in China: “Glass, aluminum—all those materials are less expensive in China than they are in the U.S. or Europe,” Chadima notes. “All the way around there’s low cost.”That has led many foreign manufacturers to open operations in China or elsewhere in Asia. Evergreen Solar, for example, a Massachusetts-based company, recently opened a Chinese factory, while panel producer First Solar has built several factories capable of cranking out more than 500 megawatts’ worth of solar cells in Malaysia.And that means, ultimately, cheap solar power. “It’s very possible to get down to something in the range of one dollar per watt to manufacture a silicon solar panel,” Chadima says, though U.S. panel prices in July were more than $4.50 per watt.But, as an example, Chadima points to the 30-megawatt system that the power company Austin Energy is building with Suntech PV modules in Texas. Austin Energy expects to charge just 17 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity. That’s not much more than the roughly 13 cents per kilowatt-hour residential customers paid on average for electricity this past May in that state.“In the case of solar, China has an advantage in its manufacturing capacity,” says Li Junfeng, the secretary general of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association. “It can produce large quantities of products at a relatively low cost.”Cheap, in this case, does not mean poor quality. Suntech, for example, is considered one of the top five solar-cell producers in the world in terms of quality and has been used in projects from Germany to the United States.“Within three to four years, we’ll be talking about the pure economic benefit of photovoltaics.”Like its international competitors, Suntech offers a range of products, including advanced solar cells; its highly efficient, more expensive Pluto module can turn as much as 19 percent of the sunlight that falls on it into electricity. “In this case, you’ve got essentially a company known as a low-cost leader but, at the same time, introducing some of the highest technology in the world,” notes Bates Marshall of Sixtron, a Canadian company that peddles solar-cell-manufacture technology.Across the market, however, quality can still be a concern. While some of the finest solar cells in the world come from China, there are a host of smaller companies producing even cheaper, lower-quality cells. “There are three to five name-brand module companies and maybe 160 total module manufacturers,” Marshall adds. There are “a lot of no-name panels coming out of China that have some dubious quality.”Regardless, as soon as 2011, Marshall predicts, modules could cost as little as $1.40 apiece, which will put them in the same price range as other energy sources. “Within three to four years, we’ll be talking about the pure economic benefit of photovoltaics,” Marshall says.And that’s just in the United States. “All the solar photovoltaics are for export with a very small share for domestic use,” CREIA’s Li notes of Chinese-made solar panels. But “Chinese companies are being optimistic about the future because the government has set all these targets for carbon-emission reduction.”Rizhao, for its part, has a host of clean competitors—and that’s a good thing. Dezhou City, also in Shandong Province, boasts Himin’s 200,000-square-foot factory for making solar hot-water heaters as well as other solar-power manufactures. Baoding, a city in Hebei Province, offers solar, wind, and other renewable energy manufacturing. And Wuxi, in Jiangsu, is home to Suntech, among others. The Chinese government, for its part, aims to install 1.8 gigawatts of solar power nationwide by 2020—but expects to more than quadruple that goal on current progress.Rizhao is one of just four cities worldwide to even attempt so-called carbon neutrality (the others being Arendal, Norway; Vancouver, Canada; and Växjö, Sweden), according to the United Nations Environment Programme.To reach its goal, Rizhao will have to employ an arsenal of environmental improvements, from a so-called circular economy, in which industrial waste gets cycled back as energy, to harvesting the power offered for free by the city’s 260 days of yearly sunshine.As a result of these efforts, Rizhao, unlike the rest of China, is using nearly a third less energy while cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent.Solar, it seems, is rising in the east.Top photo by Derek Brown, lower photo by Rhett A. ButlerMainstreaming Clean Energy in Rizhao, ChinaWORLDCHANGING TEAM, 31 JUL 07On June 15, the city of Rizhao, China, received a 2007 World Clean Energy Award (WCEA) in the category of “Policy and Lawmaking” for its popularization of clean energy. The award’s presenters noted that in a nation known for its heavy dependence on coal, Rizhao represents an inspiring example of the mainstreaming of renewable energy sources. Large-scale solar power and marsh gas applications in the city directly benefit more than 1.5 million residents, dramatically reducing their yearly energy costs while providing other environmental and health benefits.Policy and lawmaking by Rizhao’s local administration have been instrumental in bringing about the city’s energy revolution. Since his appointment in 2001, Mayor Lizhaoqian and the Rizhao Municipal Government have adopted several measures and policies aimed at popularizing clean energy technology, including the Regulations on Implementing Solar Energy and Construction Integration that standardize the use of solar energy—particularly solar water heaters—in new buildings. Building examiners must approve all construction procedures before the buildings are sanctioned, and any blueprints that lack built-in solar water heaters will fail to pass final approval.Solar water heaters are currently installed in 99 percent of all buildings in Rizhao’s urban area, and in more than 30 percent of residences in rural areas. Additionally, more than 6,000 families in Rizhao use solar cookers in their kitchens. During the fallow months, a transparent, biodegradable film is used to cover approximately 470 million square meters of the city’s farmland to allow for an increase in the land temperature and faster maturation of crops in the spring. The city is also home to more than 560,000 square meters of solar photovoltaic panels, which have effectively reduced conventional electricity usage by 348 million kilowatthours per year.More than 15,000 residential units in Rizhao use technologies that allow them to generate marsh gas from agricultural waste water, with the units capable of generating up to 230,000 cubic meters daily. Currently, the city’s annual marsh gas production is 4.5 million cubic meters, which replaces the use of some 3,100 tons of coal annually. Installed marsh gas power generators have a total production capacity of 13,500 kilowatthours, which would reduce the use of coal this year by 36,000 tons.Mayor Lizhaoqian and his team note that one of the key challenges for China is finding solutions to develop and rapidly scale up the use of sustainable, clean energy. Speaking of China’s economic advancement, he articulated that, “to maintain a high growth rate of the economy, restriction by energy and environment is nowadays an inevitable problem in China. Therefore, it has been an important task during the economic and social development in China to search for new energies, develop energy efficiency technologies, reduce environmental pollution, and build a resource-saving society.”According to the WCEA presenters, Rizhao’s many achievements highlight the great potential for government policy and legislation to achieve major changes in the energy sector in a relatively short period of time. Upon receiving the award, Mayor Lizhaoqian said it was “a great honor and encouragement for our work.... Winning the award enhances our confidence and determination to make more efforts on clean energy, and it will have significant and long-term influence on the popularization and utilization of clean energy in our city.” He noted that his administration will continue to explore new approaches to popularize and utilize clean energy, in an effort to build Rizhao into “an eco-city featuring energy efficiency, sound ecology, and a beautiful environment.”Ishani Mukherjee writes for Eye on Earth (e²), a service of World Watch Magazine in partnership with the blue moon fund. e² provides a unique perspective on current events, newly released studies, and important global trends.www.worldchanging.com
  • http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/09/17/steven-holls-linked-hybrid-complete/Sitting on the outskirts of Beijing, Steven Holl’s eco city-within-a-city is now accepting more than 2,500 new residents. Featured previously on Inhabitat, Holl’s Linked Hybrid Development is a completely self-contained housing complex that features of one of the largest geothermal heating and cooling systems in the world, serving the development’s entire 6.18 hectares (15.27 acres). Five semi-public recreational areas wind their way through the compound, offering residents green space in the midst of high density living. The awards are already coming in and the Linked Hybrid complex has been dubbed the ‘best tall building’ by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).Located near the former city wall of Beijing, Steven Holl’s “Linked Hybrid” complex elegantly connects a variety of buildings with eight sky bridges. The complex is spread over 220,000 square meters and includes commercial, residential, public and recreational facilities that support the activities of 2500+ inhabitants.It’s a completely self-contained complex, and features one of the largest geothermal heating and cooling systems in the world. The high-density layout is complemented by semi-public areas interspersed throughout the complex to provide open green space. The complex has recently opened for residents and businesses to move in.Linked Hybrid also won the 2009 “Best Tall Building” in Asia & Australia award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
  • in theory...Sustainability – the broader sustainability challenge goes beyond just green and looks at how all our resources can be self sustained – food in Chicago, Detroit, smart grids in San Francisco, how cities can be self sufficient in waterhttp://www.worldchanging.com/archives/007838.htmlhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/isar/2232526548/in/set-72157603824013896/ Grand Prize winner in the History Channel's 'City of the Future: A Design and Engineering Challenge, San Francisco 2108' - vote for San Francisco to win the National Prize: www.history.com/minisites/cityofthefuture/Competitors were asked to rethink the city 100 years in the future; they had one week to design, and 3 hours to install their project on Jan. 20th at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.Project Credits:lead designers: Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott
  • key message: right now, when we look at the western cities, there are some key themes for how they are developing - important themes in civic brandingGovernments are being open with everyone about their vision and what they want to achieve, and it’s very compelling for residents, investors and businesses, as they can align themselves with a location that has similar values.Note that it does also open them up to criticism, which Asians would be very against.( Note the backlash in Singapore.) Although with such a top-down civic culture, people may just allow any change to happen. Hard to predict how Asian city residents would react to openness!the following slides show 3 different ways that civic leaders are choosing to differentiate themselves, setting a strong vision that can drive changes in the city’s hardware and software
  • Pioneering – taking on challenges that are too complex at a country level, the pioneering cities decide to do what they can at their own ‘grassroots’ level, they are finding new ways of doing things – this takes a strong leader who might kick off a new era for the city – Seattle, Beijing, London-----above quote from ; http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=277http://www.examiner.com/x-17460-Portland-Real-Estate-Examiner~y2009m10d5-Did-city-planning-and-defining-of-urban-growth-boundaries-create-the-housing-bubbleThe state of Oregon was very aggressive, early on, in being involved in city growth, and defining urban growth boundaries for all metro areas in Oregon.Land inside the urban growth boundary supports urban services such as roads, water and sewer systems, parks, schools and fire and police protection that create thriving places to live, work and play. The urban growth boundary is one of the tools used to protect farms and forests from urban sprawl and to promote the efficient use of land, public facilities and services inside the boundary.Other goals of this planning included:• maintain a strong definition between city areas and surrounding farm and natural green areas• motivation to develop and redevelop land and buildings in the urban core, helping keep core "downtowns" in business• assurance for businesses and local governments about where to place infrastructure (such as roads and sewers), needed for future development• efficiency for businesses and local governments in terms of how that infrastructure is built. Instead of building roads further and further out as happens in urban "sprawl," money can be spent to make existing roads, transit service and other services more efficient.Many states and urban areas found Oregon’s urban growth regulations efficient and copied the plans to suit their urban areas.  Currently over 200 urban areas have some level of urban growth planning and regulations. One of the side effects of this urban planning, that perhaps was not anticipated, was that land became scarce within the urban growth boundary, driving prices up for that land. The end result was increasingly higher costs for housing within the urban areas.At the height of the housing boom, small parcels of land in the Portland metro area were selling as high as $200,000 and up for lots as small as 3500 – 5000 square feet.  As builders paid these high prices, they used the 3/1 rule, where housing reasonably had to be built larger so higher prices could be charged (3 times higher than the cost of the land), so a reasonable profit margin could be maintained.Housing prices in Portland Oregon rose exponentially during the housing boom, and far outpaced the affordability factor (incomes did not keep up with housing prices). The end result for Portland, and cities that mimicked Portland’s urban growth regulations, is the boom was not sustainable. The question is whether or not urban growth boundaries around the country contributed to the housing boom, and whether or not these rules need to be revisited since the housing crash.In Portland, the infrastructure has not kept up with the growing population. The freeways do not efficiently move traffic during peak traffic hours. It’s not Los Angeles, but traffic far exceeds the amount of traffic that was forecast when freeways were built. Downtown Portland does not have adequate parking. Wages are not high enough to sustain the high housing prices.As the housing market crashed, we now see “skeleton” developments where builders walked away from houses that were started, vacant lots and empty houses are everywhere. Foreclosures are on the rise, unemployment is above the national average at 12.2%. Yet, people are moving to Portland in droves.There are many major metro areas where land is at a premium. Think San Francisco and Manhattan. Prices for housing have always been higher than the national average in those areas due to the lack of space to expand. However, in those areas, incomes have always been higher as well to maintain some level of affordability. But what are we seeing now as the economy has turned?There is a flip side to this idea of urban growth boundaries and their responsibility for the housing boom.  Look at areas that sprawl, like Los Angeles and San Diego.  Home prices in these areas have always been higher than home prices in areas like Portland.  What accounts for higher home values in Los Angeles and San Diego, as opposed to Portland? Clearly there are factors at work, outside of urban growth boundaries, that contribute to high housing costs.  But these factors need to be considered as urban areas develop their new regulations and this economic and housing crisis unwinds. 
  • Bright Green Cities– some cities define themselves by focusing their strategy on ‘green’ – they look at urban density, recycle, encourage bicycling, have transparent strategies for renewable energy and transportation and some aim to be carbon neutral – Copenhagen, Portland, Vancouver, Malmohttp://vancouver.ca/greenestcity/index.htm
  • Creative – all about attracting talent and companies who need creative talent - they are doing this by ensuring cultural hotspots, existence and support for creative industries – Tucson, Bandung, LondonThe Creative City movement recognizes the importance knowledge-intensive industries such as film and television, publishing, information technology, biomedical research, education and new media have on promoting the growth and economic success of a city.To advance this strategic priority, London City Council approved the formation of a Creative City Task Force in September 2004. To assist the Task Force, the City also put together a Working Group representing many of London's top leaders in the cultural sector. The Creative City Committee was established by the Municipal Council on February 5, 2007, to further the Enriched Cultural Identity Strategic Priority of Council.http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Committees_and_Task_Forces/Creative_City/default.htm
  • Will Gurgaon be a failure? This type of development hasn’t always been successful in the West, as they have been built without character. But in Asia, could it be a different storybacklight.vpro.nlI am Gurgaon. The New Urban IndiaGurgaon is a planned suburb outside of Delhi (old village, but now caters to the young modern urban couple)The brain drain from India found it comfortable to come back to Gurgaon, with the economic growth that India sawwww.backlight.vpro.nl/Iamgurgaon
  • amidst all this change, what lessons should we take from the west, whose cities have developed on a different path from ours?
  • Future successful cities in Asia are going to leverage the wants and the needs, the hardware and the softwareSo what cities are addressing this, so that we could see that they’ll potentially move up in the rankings next year?It’s the cities that have combined hardware and software, who have done things knowing that the resident is the ultimate stakeholder, who think about the benefits for them – they are on the way up.We believe the stress points of the future in Asia are going to be getting it right for hardware, and then driving authenticity for differentiationIt’s how you address those stress points that will determine the success or failure of your brandCities need to respond in a more holistic way
  • Singapore is on track to move up in the rankings – it is very strong in the hardware,while still building on it, and has switched the communications focus to the software – attractions and culture – that will help to differentiate the cityOur experts said:Singapore and Taipei will move up, both because they are talking about sensitive planning. The programming of the software and hardware of the cities. Software (culture and events). Hardware (good transport, park network). Singapore – Political stability and increasingly influential economic role means that Singapore will continue to establish itself as the ‘honest broker’ of Asia. A little like Brussels, Switzerland and Luxembourg’s roles in Europe. It’s important to note that this sort of role cannot be self-made. One must be empowered by others to serve this role. Singapore can only be the ‘broker/ enabler’ on Asia if allowed to be so. This makes the role unique and powerful albeit a little fragilebut the most important factor in Singapore’s potential success is sheer ambition.
  • Very proud comments from Taipei residents, a lot of pride in the city.Again, there is good hardware – strong, visionary leaders, hardware is in place, now they are getting out the strong message on the ‘wants’Many initiatives to address global concerns – sustainability (zero landfill policy), green spaces (new parks) etcSingapore and Taipei will move up, both because they are talking about sensitive planning. The programming of the software and hardware of the cities. Software (culture and events). Hardware (good transport, park network). But Taipei is not easy for foreigners – one HK native, Taipei resident says it is insular and tough to integrate
  • Beijing is interesting and could go either way – follow Dubai with the collapse of the ‘if we build it, they will come’ strategy, or build on the confidence and pride of the residents, who see it as a land of opportunity.Beijing’s biggest weakness is its rather staid (government) personality, but this might be an attraction for some.Beijing – Central Government control will ensure that Beijing and other Chinese cities will become world leaders in domestic energy and food security. In so doing they will greatly influence the redefining of the hierarchy of global capital in which those that control the capitalisation of energy, food and geography (create consumers) will give up their place to those that control the capitalisation of technology, infrastructure and knowledge (empower pro-sumers)Shanghai seems to be on the wane – residents believe that all the business opportunities have been overexploited, but it is still a vibrant and eclectic mix of cultures.

Future of Asian cities Future of Asian cities Presentation Transcript

  • THE FUTURE OF ASIAN CITIESFutureBrand SingaporeMarch 2010
  • Cities are the heart and the art of our culture, thehomes of our governments and corporations, theplaces where science, commerce, art and culturecollide, the vital centers where healthcare andeducation live. The markets in the world arecentred in cities.www.192021.org
  • Top of mind city brands rarely make it to the top of the liveabilityrankings© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 3
  • Are the livability indices really about trying to recreate Utopia? Can any city really liveup to that?It seems that only the small cities are able to get to the top of the rankings – where areNY, London and Tokyo? And if they don‘t figure at the top of the list, why are 35 millionpeople living in Tokyo? These indices are not a realistic picture of what cities areactually going through now. © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • The story of Asian cities in three examples.© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 5
  • In Singapore, the ―hardware‖ of the city is very strong, but it has a reputation forbeing cold, efficient and no fun, so the brand challenge is about showing thewarmth and interesting bits© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 6
  • Tokyohas all the pieces that would make a strong brand, but they are notcommunicating it in a compelling way. They could make it a lot easier forpeople, but sometimes you get the impression that they really don‘t want otherpeople there... © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 7
  • Melbourne - As the ‗second city‘, there are different challenges to building abrand – it‘s not the obvious place for business to go, so how to they buildinvestment in the city? Residents seem happy, but some call it a bit sleepy,more family-oriented. Needs to dial its communications up a notch. Does beingthe second city make it more liveable? © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 8
  • The future of cities [will be] based on how reputationis used to seduce production and wealth creation‖ - Ingo Kumic, urban strategist© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 9
  • Country brand index framework AUTHENTICITY ATTRACTIONS CULTURE ETHOSWANTS GEOGRAPHY INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNANCE ECONOMYNEEDS © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • ―We need to ensure that a healthy society and environment is an outcome of something more fundamental, that is, the economy‖ - Ingo Kumic© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 11
  • ―We are losing culture so quickly. Globalisation is making the place monotonous. [We] will be under pressure to build meaningful cities.‖ -James Brearley, Principal BAU, -Adjunct Professor RMIT© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 12
  • Stakeholders don‘t value the attributes of a destination brand equallyWhat‘s important to What‘s important to What‘s important tobusiness: planning/design general population: industry:1. Economy 1. Culture 1. Culture2. Governance 2. Authenticity 2. Economy3. Infrastructure 3. Ethos 3. Geography4. Geography 4. Geography 4. Infrastructure5. Culture (what people do) 5. Governance 5. Attractions6. Ethos (how people think) 6. Infrastructure 6. Authenticity7. Attractions 7. Attractions 7. Governance8. Authenticity 8. Economy 8. Ethossource: FB interviews © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 13
  • ―If you convince ―It‘s about the locals it‘s a attracting great place to business, creatin live and have g employment for fun, then others their people.‖ will want to - James Brearley come.‖ - Rob Adams, Director Design and the Urban Environment, City of© FutureBrand Melbourne FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 14
  • 1. FOODIE 2. WORK HARD/PLAY HARD 3. FAST PACED – CAREER 4. GLOBAL/INTERNATIONAL 5. FAMILY-ORIENTED 6. EASYGOING 7. FAST-PACED – NIGHTLIFE 8. BUSINESS-SAVVY 9. SUCCESS-DRIVEN 10. CHAOTIC© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 15
  • Why would you move to another city in Asia? 1. Standard of living 2. Art & Culture 3. Safety 4. Weather/Climate 5. Natural beauty 6. New business opportunities 7. Environmentalism 7. Rest & relaxation activities 8. Family-friendly 9. Ease of travel© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 16
  • Which Asian cities do Asians want to live in (top 3responses)? 1. Sydney 2. Tokyo 3. Hong Kong 4. Singapore 5. Melbourne 17
  • Strengths:1. Beach2. Weather/Climate3. Standard of Living4. Natural beauty5. Rest & relaxation activities © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 18
  • Culture: 1. Work hard/play hard 2. Fast paced- career 2. Mainstream 4. Easygoing 5. Foodie© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 19
  • ―The balance of work-life is far better in Sydney than other Asian cities.‖ - Sydney native© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 20
  • Brand Sydney leverages Geography, Culture, Ethos and Attractions to communicate ―there‘s no place in the world like Sydney‖ AUTHENTICITY ATTRACTIONS CULTURE ETHOSWANTS GEOGRAPHY INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNANCE ECONOMYNEEDS © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • Strengths:1. Safety2. Standard of living3. Fine dining4. Art&Culture5. Shopping © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 22
  • Culture: 1. Work hard/play hard 2. Foodie 3. Fast-paced – nightlife 4. Fast paced – career 5. Business-savvy 5. Global/international© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 23
  • ―It maintains a weird balance between closed community and open globalism.‖ - Tokyo resident© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 24
  • Brand Tokyo leverages its authenticity and culture, as well as its infrastructure efficiency, when communicating to the outside world AUTHENTICITY ATTRACTIONS CULTURE ETHOSWANTS GEOGRAPHY INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNANCE ECONOMYNEEDS © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • Strengths:1. Ease of travel1. Tax Benefits3. Nightlife3. Shopping4. Standard of living © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 26
  • Culture: 1. Fast paced - career 2. Global/internationa 2. Business-savvy 2. Success-oriented 5. Fast paced – nightl 5. Work hard/play har© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 27
  • ―Always on the brink of the latest trends.‖ - Hong Kong native© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 28
  • Brand Hong Kong AUTHENTICITY ATTRACTIONS CULTURE ETHOSWANTS GEOGRAPHY INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNANCE ECONOMYNEEDS © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • Strengths:1. Safety2. Standard of living3. Ease of travel4. Accommodation/homes5. Tax benefits© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 30
  • Culture: 1. Law-abiding 2. Global/internationa 3. Success-oriented 4. Fast-paced – caree 5. Foodie 5. Mainstream© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 31
  • ―One of the easiest to adapt to and live in. efficient and safe, at times too clinical. People like to complain but few go the distance by taking action.‖ - Singapore resident© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 32
  • Brand Singapore communicates its mainstream message to tourists, as its economic message is more targeted. Focus is on attractions and culture. AUTHENTICITY ATTRACTIONS CULTURE ETHOSWANTS GEOGRAPHY INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNANCE ECONOMYNEEDS © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • Strengths:1. Standard of living2. Tax benefits3. Art & Culture4. Fine dining5.Outdoor activities & sport© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 34
  • Culture: 1. Foodie 2. Creative 3. Progressive 4. Artsy 5. Innovative© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 35
  • ―It has created its own identity through establishing a culture defined by art, food, sport etc and which delivers a highly enjoyable lifestyle for all.‖ - Melbourne resident© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 36
  • Lessons from Asia to the world© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 37
  • 1. STANDARD OF LIVING 2. SAFETY 3. FAMILY-FRIENDLY 4. AFFORDABLE 5. ACCOMMODATION/HOMES 6. FRIENDLY LOCALS 7. EASE OF TRAVEL 8. FINE DINING 9. WEATHER/CLIMATE 10. SHOPPING© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 38
  • This is a time of change© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 39
  • Sydney: Tokyo:1. Tax benefits 1. Accommodation/homes2. Affordability 2. Affordability3. Ease of travel 3. Natural beauty4. Art & Culture 4.Environmentalism 5. Tax benefitsHong Kong: Singapore:1. Accommodation/homes 1. Affordability2. Environmentalism 2. Accommodation/homes3. Art & Culture 3. Weather/Climate4. Affordability 4. Political freedom4. Outdoor activities & sports 4. Art & CultureMelbourne:1. Affordability2. Environmentalism2. Weather/climate3. Ease of travel4. Accommodation/homes 40
  • What will drive change for cities in the future?© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 41
  • Energy Transportation SuburbanisationWaste Water Crime © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • ―If we continue to innovate ‗how‘ cities exist, rather than ‗why‘ they exist, we will simply continue to rearrange the deck chairs.‖ - Ingo Kumic© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 43
  • Cities need to address the wants (software) as well as the needs (hardware) in order to be successful AUTHENTICITY ATTRACTIONS CULTURE ETHOSWANTS GEOGRAPHY INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNANCE ECONOMYNEEDS © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • Taking our inspiration for change from others© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 45
  • ―Green & useful parks.‖ - James Brearley© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 46
  • You‘ve probably heard of it. New York City‘s newest park received enormous attention for yearsbefore it even opened. Boasting a coterie of celebrity backers, the converted elevated rail linebecame one of the most celebrated and anticipated public projects in recent memory. Theinteraction with the city and the transformation of blighted infrastructure into beautiful park is animpressive accomplishment.www.inhabitat.org © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 47
  • We may now be returning to the conviction that Frederick Law Olmsted started with 150 yearsago: To justify the expense of Central Park, he charted the value of real-estate fronting the parkBetween 1856 and 1873. He found that over that period property adjacent to the park increased invalue by $209 million.www.fastcompany.com © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 48
  • Seoul reduced small particle air pollution from 74mg/m3 to 48 by removing a network of elevatedexpressways to reveal a long-hidden stream and create a pedestrian walkway.Fish species went from 4 to 25;Bird species from 6 to 36.www.good.is © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 49
  • ―Respect for heritage. Don‘t build freeways, solve the car problem other ways. Don‘t get rid of bikes.‖ - Rob Adams© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 50
  • © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 51
  • The Vélib‘ system, as it is called, is so simple that even non-Parisians can try it out. Just walk upto a bike station, purchase a one day pass for about €1, and hop on your new set of wheels.Then, when you‘re done exploring the city, return the bike to any open spot at any station in thecity.Seems logical, doesn‘t it? It‘s rather common for first time encounters with setups like Vélib‘ inParis, SmartBike in Washington DC, or BIXI in Montreal to yield wide-eyed ―Why doesn‘t my citydo this?‖ reactions. As busy people with places to go and things to do, we all needeasy, affordable and accessible transportation.www.inhabitat.com © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 52
  • look up public transportation improvements in BogotaIn the 1990s, in the face of horrible road congestion, Bogota did something amazing – it reducedspace for cars. The city removed lanes from a number of major thruways to make way for newhigh-speed busses, and sidewalks that were used for parking cars were replaced by pedestrianwalkways and bikeways. A large number of pedestrian bridges were built, allowing people toeasily pass over the major roads of the city. In short, the city was redesigned around peopleinstead of around the automobile.www.rideforclimate.com © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 53
  • ―The brief was basically to look at the traffic situation in London for the year 2030. Our concep was to create a car-free-zone in the central of London, called London Garden. Inside this zone developed a system created around bicycles, allowing a special designed bicycle/scooter to b well integrated with the infrastructure as well as becoming a part of the interior of the buses an taxis. Inside London Garden, the users have more awareness of the individual energy consumption. In fact, the energy that you create while biking is used as a currency while dock the bicycle into the bus or taxi.‖ www.martenwallgren.blogspot.com© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 54
  • ―Sustainability, water and renewable energy-based security.‖ - Peter Droege, author/professor© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 55
  • © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 56
  • The city of Chicago estimates that by 2020 it will need 27 billion kilowatt-hours more electricityto stay powered than it did in 2000. Rather than build new plants, the city is making its sys-tems more efficient. It plans to get a quarter of that power from cogeneration—combined heatand power. Standard natural gas burning creates a lot of wasted heat, but cogeneration reusesthat extra heat to produce electricity by using it to boil water and push the steam through aturbine—more than doubling the efficiency of natural gas (from 30 percent to 80 percent). Thatmeans lower energy costs and lower energy usage, which means fewer emissions. By2010, Chicago wants to be producing 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity throughcogeneration. Buildings that can benefit from independent sources of power, likemuseums, hospitals, schools, and office buildings, are ideal sites for cogeneration facilities. - good.is © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 57
  • It is the first city in all of China to pledge to become carbon-neutral. Rooftops in newlyconstructed apartment blocks as well as on the houses in the surrounding countryside are oftencovered in angled panels of dark tubing. The tubes soak up sunlight, using its warmth to heatwater within and eliminate the need to burn fossil fuel or suck up electricity for that purpose. Suchsolar hot-water heaters are mandatory, and are responsible (along with all the city‘s other solarefforts) for cutting energy use compared to alternatives by 348 million kilowatt-hours per year—cutting greenhouse gases at the same time.www.cleanenergyawards.com © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • Sitting on the outskirts of Beijing, Steven Holl‘s eco city-within-a-city is now accepting more than2,500 new residents. Featured previously on Inhabitat, Holl‘s Linked Hybrid Development is acompletely self-contained housing complex that features of one of the largest geothermal heatingand cooling systems in the world, serving the development‘s entire 6.18 hectares (15.27 acres).Five semi-public recreational areas wind their way through the compound, offering residentsgreen space in the midst of high density living. The awards are already coming in and the LinkedHybrid complex has been dubbed the ‗best tall building‘ by the Council on Tall Buildings andUrban Habitat (CTBUH).www.inhabitat.com © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 59
  • The project reimagines the entire San Francisco peninsula in the year 2108 A.D., having beenoverlain, if not completely replaced by, a kind of prosthetic hydrological landscape – complete withunderground rivers of algae which will be cultivated as a source of hydrogen for fuel.Architecturally speaking, the city will sprout a whole series of new structures, including multi-angled fog harvesting machines, tendril-like towers along the waterfront, subterranean transporttunnels, and biologically active reservoirs buried beneath the streets.www.worldchanging.com
  • ―Political transparency...crucial to how a city is perceived by potential investors whether they be recreational, academic or business tourists.‖ - Ingo Kumic© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 61
  • • 1) They live in the only city in America where the phrase “urban- growth boundary” can be used to kick off cocktail-party conversation or, in certain company, as the anchor to a pickup line. (And because they adopted the nation’s first such boundary, which contains suburban sprawl and preserves farm land, all the way back in 1978.) • from good 100, but find another sourceThe urban growth boundary is one of the tools used to protect farms and forests from urbansprawl and to promote the efficient use of land, public facilities and services inside the boundary.Instead of building roads further and further out as happens in urban "sprawl," money can bespent to make existing roads, transit service and other services more efficient.www.oregonmetro.gov © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 62
  • Vancouver is situated in an exceptional natural environment and is often cited as one of the best cities in the world to live, work, visit or invest in. We also have one of the smallest carbon footprints of any major city in North America and we‘re a leader in green building, planning and technology. In February 2009, Mayor Gregor Robertson launched the Greenest City initiative, with a goal to map out how we can earn that title by 2020. -vancouver.ca/greenestcity© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 64
  • That is what Gurgaon offers: clubs, infrastructure, commercial space, shopping areas, malls. These are things that we see when we travel. It‘s what we expect back in return when we come back to our country. Gurgaon has been created by builders. In my view, Gurgaon is the place where there‘s globalisation. It‘s the most modern place that people in the country look forward to. www.backlight.vpro.nl/iamgurgaon© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • The future© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 66
  • Future successful cities in Asia are going to leverage the wants and the needs, the hardware and the software AUTHENTICITY ATTRACTIONS CULTURE ETHOSWANTS GEOGRAPHY INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNANCE ECONOMYNEEDS © FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • ―Good balance of everything - standard of living, language, regional hub for many MNCs, safety, religious freedom. - Singapore native ―Safe, Clean, Great culture for outdoors, Cosmopolitan, Family-oriented. - Singapore native ―The level of economic development in Singapore is equal if not higher than other Asian countries. Singapore is also a English-speaking country, which works to our advantage.‖ - Singapore native© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010
  • ―Friendly people, liberal society, lively culture and fantastic food.‖ - Taipei native ―Speciality of good food and historical culture.‖ - Taipei native ―A vivid and energetic city combining Chinese culture and Western manners.‖ - Taipei resident ―Friendly people, liberal society, lively culture and fantastic food.‖ - Taipei native© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 69
  • ―A lot of opportunity but somewhat separate from outside world in terms of culture/entertainment/media, high learning curve.‖ - Beijing resident ―With most business opportunities, sees top economic growth.‖ - Beijing native ―Utterly unique in nearly all aspects of everyday life/culture..‖ - Beijing resident, American national© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 70
  • Conclusions• Develop your brand from existing strengths – leverage culture and authenticity to build an emotional message, but ensure that you have the hardware and software in place• Look at the challenges that other cities have faced before deciding on your strategy, ensure you are thinking about the challenges of the future• Talk to your residents and to potential residents to find out what motivates them• Ensure that you are addressing business needs, and can do that in a way that doesn‘t alienate residents© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 71
  • For more information on the Future of Cities, please contact Christina Crane at christina@da-pao.com or 604.328.7036© FutureBrand FUTURE OF CITIES | MARCH 2010 72 72