Cities are our most important innovation platform

Cities are crucial to our continued ability to innovate and compete.

We tend to think about individual gifts of insight when we think about innovation—researchers in crisp, white lab coats, slick tech entrepreneurs with fancy gadgets and VC’s doing inspired deals. But, innovation is really a messy business. It is full of blind alleys and half-baked ideas, random collisions and abrupt changes in direction.  Ideas mix and recombine, fail, reemerge and, in the end, a precious few become wildly successful.



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Wild animals are adapting to city life and thriving

A coyote boarded a train in Portland, Oregon.

Cities are seen as the hardest place for the hardiest of animals to exist. They are seen as environmental wastelands. But more and more wild animals are adjusting to life in the city as scientists in the the urban ecology field are finding.



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Future cities will have buildings that can think and breathe

Masdar City will use solar energy and other renewables , and will be car-free.

Mankind is rethinking how we build the structures we live and work in which is changing the way our cities look and feel.  According to architect Philip Beesley, our cities of smooth stone and steel may become more like floating forests – with buildings that can think and breathe and cool themselves.



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Designing new public spaces for our increasingly crowded cities

The New York team proposed that a net-zero park be created within a three-block-long stretch of central median running down Allen Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

One of the biggest challenges faced by people who are associated with building cities is being able to create open space when there seems to be none left. How do they give people in cities public spaces (parks, gardens, squares, even wide tree-lined streets) to gather and room to breathe in our increasingly built-up and built-out urban environments? (Pics)



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Drones, bacteria, and 3D printers will build the cities of the future

Urban architecture could take on a much different form as scientists make huge strides in robotics, natural building materials, and new construction methods.

Cities are complex ecosystems and they are confronting tremendous pressures to seek optimum efficiency with minimal impact in a resource-constrained world. While architecture, urban planning, and sustainability attempt to address the massive resource requirements and outflow of cities, there are signs that a deeper current of biology is working its way into the urban framework.



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Why there are no big cities that have municipal broadband networks

Recently, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance compiled this map of all the communities in the country that control their own access to the Internet. There are about 340 of them with publicly owned fiber-optic or cable networks, serving either all or parts of town. Those residents and businesses in the places served don’t have to spar with telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast. They get their Internet instead – like many communities do their electric utility – straight from the city.



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Denser cities are smarter and more productive

Density brings people and firms closer together.

One of the most important, and at times contentious topics in urban development is density.  Density plays an important role in economic growth. Density brings people and firms closer together which makes it easier to share and exchange information, invent new technologies, and launch new firms.



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Top 10 techiest cities in America


Seattle tops the list of top techiest cities in the U.S.

As part of the annual America’s Favorite Cities survey, Trave l + Leisure readers ranked 35 major cities on qualities such as microbrews, live music and street food. Readers also judged how tech-savvy the locals seem, and the reliability of wireless coverage; we combined the two sets of results to come up with our list of the techiest cities.

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Birds in cities sing at higher pitch: study


“Because sounds bounce and travel in different ways, birds have to use songs that can cope with this”.

Birds living in urban areas sing at a higher pitch to reduce the impact of echoes from surrounding buildings, a study claims. Higher-pitched songs travel further in built-up areas because their echoes fade more quickly, meaning the following notes are clearer and easier to pick out.