The world has long been plagued by the myth of French women. We can’t seem to get enough of what makes them so effortlessly beautiful, impossibly fashionable, and perfect in every way. Reverence for la femme française is on high, now that France has elected a pro-female president who wants to engage the world, not insult it, to tackle climate change, not question its existence, and who sees women for who they are, not what they look like. Add best baby makers to the list of France’s accolades: French women are the most prolific baby producers in Western Europe, recent data show. While Danes have to try and lure couples to hotels with special deals to spark procreation, French women are producing nearly two kids—1.96 to be exact—per mother, which is just shy of the magical number needed (2.1) to keep its population steady. That compares to 1.35 in Italy and 1.7 in Denmark.
The need in urban planning to make knowledge-driven decisions has spurred the creation of new solutions to gather and utilize insight from residents. Participatory planning has often been realized through workshops and during face-to-face encounters, but little of the knowledge gathered in these situations is of use in further urban planning and city development. New technological innovations, such as map-based public participation tools, support gathering information that matters and makes cities wiser. Interaction with citizens not only creates information, but supports also learning and innovation building, and creates trusts.
Technological innovations like Maptionnaire help gather information that makes cities wiser. Maptionnaire is a leading solution for collecting, analyzing and discussing resident insight on a map. With the help of Maptionnaire, various cities have been able to change their modus operandi. Through these learning processes actors from different sectors of the city are brought together to create joint understanding of the possibilities of public participation. Cities have started to value and use resident input as an equally important part of its knowledge base for planning. There is a great potential for more efficient use of participatory tools to make processes smoother and to save money. Future development work is needed to further facilitate knowledge transfer from residents to the use of planners and other city officials.
Posted in Cities
En realidad, tras el concepto de Smart City no se escondería nada novedoso sino, más bien, otro ejemplo de la transformación que han sufrido nuestras ciudades tras la finalización de los cincuenta años de capitalismo embridado posteriores a la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Una apuesta firme por aquello que los holandeses han venido en denominar, eufemísticamente, sociedad participativa, y que no viene a ser otra cosa que el paso de la consideración de las ciudades como espacios para la reproducción de la vida y la sociabilidad humana, a espacios de inversión y consumo. De esta forma, las ciudades son hoy día áreas para la extracción de rentas, ya sea a través del mercado del suelo, la privatización de los servicios públicos con el establecimiento de nuevos y constantes copagos en los mismos, o la puesta en marcha de novedosos servicios que no suponen más que una nueva forma de liberalización encubierta.
Worldwide, the majority of people already live in cities and by 2050, it is estimated that 75% of 10 billion people have cities as an important social determinant of health. Air pollution, physical inactivity, noise, social isolation, unhealthy diets, and exposure to crime play a very important part in the non-communicable disease burden. This 3-part Series explores how integrated multisector city planning, including urban design and transport planning, can be used as an important and currently underused force for health and wellbeing within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals in both high-income countries and low-income and middle-income countries.
Urban design – an important future force for health
Healthier neighbourhoods through healthier parks
Urban design and transport to promote healthy lives
Posted in Cities, Design, Health, Neighborhoods, Transport, Urban
Tagged cities, design, Health, neighborhoods, Transport, urban
Significant global health challenges are being confronted in the 21st century, prompting calls to rethink approaches to disease prevention. A key part of the solution is city planning that reduces non-communicable diseases and road trauma while also managing rapid urbanisation. This paper considers the health impacts of city planning through transport mode choices. In this, the first paper, we identify eight integrated regional and local interventions that, when combined, encourage walking, cycling, and public transport use, while reducing private motor vehicle use. These interventions are destination accessibility, equitable distribution of employment across cities, managing demand by reducing the availability and increasing the cost of parking, designing pedestrian-friendly and cycling friendly movement networks, achieving optimum levels of residential density, reducing distance to public transport, and enhancing the desirability of active travel modes (eg, creating safe attractive neighbourhoods and safe, affordable, and convenient public transport). Together, these interventions will create healthier and more sustainable compact cities that reduce the environmental, social, and behavioural risk factors that affect lifestyle choices, levels of traffic, environmental pollution, noise, and crime. The health sector, including health ministers, must lead in advocating for integrated multisector city planning that prioritises health, sustainability, and liveability outcomes, particularly in rapidly changing low-income and middle-income countries. We recommend establishing a set of indicators to benchmark and monitor progress towards achievement of more compact cities that promote health and reduce health inequities.
Four leading academics propose the ‘grounded city’ – where sustainable transport, accessible broadband and modest housing take precedence over ostentatious tower blocks. Our manifesto is about how the fairer city can be achieved by changing both the imaginary and the practice underlying economic and social policy. The central argument is that we can move towards a fairer city by reframing our problems and rethinking our solutions in two ways:
1. Break with the dominant old problem of the competitive city, which competes economically against other cities and sponsors internal competition for limited opportunities.
2. Stop fixating on redistributive policies which will not deliver fairness, and start thinking about reorganising policies which build a grounded economy in the areas which are not exposed to competition.
The global obsession of our age is competing everywhere with everyone for everything. In the mainstream imaginary, every city has to chase competitive success in a league table where it secures prosperity by getting ahead of others. Our premise is that competition is the wrong kind of imaginary; that we are trapped by an idea of the externally competitive city as a basis for economic success.
We believe that civic engagement, or including people in your governing process, is important to your success. Whether you’re a government organisation or a business, connecting with your communities will benefit both you and your community. But getting started with a civic engagement project can be intimidating. So this week, we’ve put together a resource list for you to help you plan and feel confident about your community engagement project.