Nothing is lost, everything is transformed - including in the city

Nothing is lost, everything is transformed – including in the city

Though cities are depicted as lively places bustling with human activity, things become more ambivalent when you look closer. Economic crisis, bad urban planning or urban pauperization are some of the many reasons explaining the proliferation of derelict spaces local authorities and developers gradually forget about. The exploration of disused urban spaces, called urban...
The future of urban housing

The future of urban housing

Sad but true: cities are becoming more and more expensive for families and young adults. A typical millennial can’t afford a 1,000 square-foot home (about 92 square meters) in the majority of the biggest US cities, and tends to share his flat to reduce the bill: the number of 18-to-35-year-olds living with roommates has...
Enhancing the place of women in cities

Enhancing the place of women in cities

“This is a man’s world” claimed James Brown in his famous song. And this is still true. The 8th March was the International Women’s Day, an occasion to recall the numerous gender inequalities that still remain: from wages to domestic violence, or the lack of women in decision-making spheres… Where do cities stand today ?...
Winter in the City

Winter in the City

Scientists and NGOs are unanimous : this winter is the warmest ever worldwide. And 2015 was even the warmest year ever recorded by the Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which showed that 2015 breaks the 2014 record of temperature by 0.13°C. According to the UK MET Office, the heat we all experience...
Fighting urban loneliness for more human cities

Fighting urban loneliness for more human cities

Although cities are full of people, loneliness is a growing concern. In our over-connected society, it is quite ironical to observe that we have never felt so alone : in the United States, 40% of people say they are lonely, a figure that has doubled in 30 years, while in Britain, one in ten...
Rethinking urban logistics

Rethinking urban logistics

If you have had no time to go Christmas shopping, you may be one of the 85% consumers that chose to purchase their gifts online (figures for 2014). A significant order volume which translates into no less than 2 million packages a day delivered in December… Most of them by road. In 2013, 85% of the...
Fighting air pollution with innovation

Fighting air pollution with innovation

France currently chairs and hosts the COP21. More than 190 countries are negotiating a new international agreement on climate change to keep global warming below +2°C. Among the different environmental issues, air pollution appears to be a growing concern for cities: some of them frequently reach alarming levels of air pollution, and get covered...
Running in the city

Running in the city

Recent years saw a growing popularity of urban running, as evidenced by the impressive number of participants in the numerous races organized in cities around the world. This went hand in hand with the development of mobile and tracking technologies, giving birth to a bunch of innovations and leading to the...
Kids in the city

Kids in the city

Nowadays, cities are evolving in order to respond to the needs of every part of its population, including children: green spaces to minimize the effects of air pollution, playgrounds,… This trend is visible in both urban planning and mobility, as well as in innovative advertising campaigns. Play Street Several American...
Underground cities

Underground cities

In a context of fast growing urbanization, cities are facing issues such as congestion and lack of space for new buildings and infrastructures. Based on this observation, architects and urban planners are more and more interested in the unexploited potential of underground areas, that could offer a solution to dense and...
Mapping the world with data

Mapping the world with data

Data from social networks, software or mobile applications have become major sources to create a new generation of maps. Nearly every week, there’s an innovative map making the buzz online, letting us discover how people move and experience cities around the world. Where do people tweet? American developer and “data artist”...
CES 2015: Towards a connected world

CES 2015: Towards a connected world

The 2015 edition of the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), held in Las Vegas from January 6th to 9th, was the largest in its history, with 3,600 exhibitors and 170,000 industry professionals. Confirming a trend that had already emerged during previous similar events, connected objects were once again under the spotlight, showing the...
Riding on the paths of innovation

Riding on the paths of innovation

Innovation in the field of bicycle riding is not limited to the bicycle itself, it also concerns services and infrastructure, starting with bicycle paths. It is hardly surprising that the most innovative projects in that area come from the countries with the most developed bicycle culture, The Netherlands and Denmark....
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Latest entries
Home isn’t a physical place anymore – and other insights about home by Ikea

Home isn’t a physical place anymore – and other insights about home by Ikea

Each year, Ikea releases its annual report Life at Home, the result of intensive research about what people have in their homes, and how they use it. To apprehend this second dimension, Ikea researchers interviewed more than 12,000 people around the world and, with their explicit permission, installed time-lapse cameras in some homes to have a general...
Get a sweat on at the bus stop with Reebok

Get a sweat on at the bus stop with Reebok

Obesity is an increasing issue in Colombia. According to a study carried out by the Health Ministry, half of Colombians are overweight and are generally unhealthy. To contribute to this fight against bad health habits, JCDecaux Colombia transformed 6 bus shelters in Bogotá and Cali into outdoor gyms for Reebok’s “The Gym is Everywhere” campaign. Professional trainers...
A Sao Paulo highway underpass will turn into a lively pedestrian park

A Sao Paulo highway underpass will turn into a lively pedestrian park

As we mentioned in a previous Focus, neglected urban spaces represent great potential for the creation of vibrant public spaces. Sao Paulo decided to take this opportunity by turning a derelict, hostile space under a highway into a giant hanging garden, dedicated to cyclists and pedestrians. The two-mile long Minhocão viaduct, built in the middle of the city, is one of...
Mercedez-Benz experiences the world’s first outdoor holographic prism

Mercedez-Benz experiences the world’s first outdoor holographic prism

Road accidents due to a lack of vigilance to blind spots claim hundreds of lives every year. To raise awareness of the dangers of blind spots, Mercedes-Benz created the world’s first outdoor holographic prism in Berlin with WallDecaux. Its new E-class is equipped with an Active blind spot Assist. Mercedes-Benz promoted this new technology with a...
A map to visualize the daily commute of Americans

A map to visualize the daily commute of Americans

Commuting is an important part of the day for many Americans working far from their homes. But what do all these commuting routes look like at a city level? Data analyst and system designer Mark Little created animated maps based on the American Community Survey data. These animations help visualize the route of commuters going to...
Uber is deeply changing our mobility habits

Uber is deeply changing our mobility habits

A recent survey by the French environmental agency Ademe reveals how deeply the vehicle for hire services changed our mobility habits. The users of Uber and other services tend to drop the use of taxis – their use falling from about 2,2 days a month to just 0,5 days. More than capturing market shares, they created a...
Be creative with this interactive poster

Be creative with this interactive poster

British snack food manufacturer Walker’s invited the Manchester public to play with this interactive poster. The participants had to use their bodies to form the shapes of various letters in order to win one of the 20,000 holiday trips and vacations of the contest, organized in partnership with lastminute.com. The interactive poster had the ability to recognize gestures and...
Kellogg’s opened its first-ever restaurant in New York City

Kellogg’s opened its first-ever restaurant in New York City

No, you are not dreaming: since July 9, you are able to order Frosted Flakes at a restaurant. Kellogg’s embraces the experience economy with this new restaurant concept, at the heart of the city’s Times Square. Unique recipes, developed by famous chef Christina Tosi, mix the Frosted Flakes with original and gourmet ingredients. Customers can pick up orders via “kitchen cabinets”,...
Stockholm is the most connected city according to Ericsson

Stockholm is the most connected city according to Ericsson

“Smart city” is an empty concept without a sustainable dimension. Resiliency, collaboration and mobility are essential criteria to create liveable, vibrant cities. Every two years, Ericsson releases the Networked City Index to observe the sustainability level of the so-called smart cities. This survey measures the performance of 41 cities in sustainable urban development and ICT maturity. Stockholm tops this 2016 edition,...
New York State is going anti-Airbnb

New York State is going anti-Airbnb

Cities have not been very friendly with Airbnb lately. After Paris and Berlin, the New York State Senate just passed a bill that would make illegal to post a short-term rental (less than 30 days) on Airbnb. If New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the bill and turns it into a law, any New Yorker who posts entire home...
The sky is the limit

The sky is the limit

Buildings of the old Budapest can be architectural marvels. Photographer Zsolt Hlinka decided to change the way we normally perceive our building environment by choosing a new perspective for his “100 year-old houses” series. His photographs, taken while looking up, use the buildings themselves to frame the sky, bringing contrast and depth. Buildings create long tunnels...
And the riskiest place to live is in... Vanuatu !

And the riskiest place to live is in… Vanuatu !

With natural disasters on average affecting more than a third of the population each year, Vanuatu is considered as the riskiest place to live in the world, according to the World Risk Report 2016. The global report takes into account the frequency of natural disasters in each country, as well as their level of equipment to resist...