Trees improve your health, and researchers develop tool to show exactly where cities should plant them

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Pollution levels decrease and the health of people improves when cities plant trees. Studies show that America’s trees save thousands of lives a year, mainly by preventing breathing-related problems (they also make you feel like you have more money, if you’re into that sort of thing).

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Tokyo’s urban train stations turned into farms in an effort to ‘green the city’

urban farm

Soradofarms

When you think of Tokyo you you think of smog and skyscrapers, and people, lots of people – you don’t really think of green spaces.  But in an effort to ‘green the city’, officials have given up the space on the roof train stations to make community gardens.

 

 

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Connected cities of the future are starting to emerge

connected cities

Three-quarters of people will live in cities by 2050.

It’s fashionable to attach the ‘smart’ tag to any technological trend today and this is particularly true of our cities. But, digging beyond the hype, what actually is a smart city and what progress are we as a society making towards that vision?

 

 

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Parking lot design challenge aims to revitalize urban areas

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Roger Sherman Architecture + Urban Design explores the idea of a year-round recreational area for kids of all ages in Ronkonkoma.

Parking lots and similar structures have been a popular battleground for urbanists and architects in their quest to reclaim urban space as they often represent large tracts of unused land that offer little existing aesthetic contribution. Arguably the ParkingPLUS proposals in Long Island, which are a follow-up to 2010′s Build a Better Burb competition, encourage behaviors that have created more livable downtowns while combining personal and public transit in striking new configurations. Though these proposals to reinvigorate a 4,000 sq ft parking lot are still mere pipe dreams right now, each was carefully examined for cost and suitability to each area’s needs, making them a possibility for the future. (Pics)

 

 

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Philips urban beehive lets apartment dwellers harvest fresh honey

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Urban beehive

Philips has just unveiled an innovative urban beehive that enables anyone to harvest fresh hone at home. The pod-like accessory attaches to a hole cut into a pane of glass, and once secured, you’ll be able to peer into the hive while the white entryway on the outside would allow the bees the freedom come and go. Simply pull a small cord and fresh honey will come pouring out.

 

 

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New York City’s billion dollar megaprojects that will transform the city by 2030

St. George outlet mall and observation wheel: $580 million

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s reign is coming to a close. He is talking up his next move, which involves teaching other cities to be more like New York. But behind the scenes, he’s also scrambling to push through dozens of building projects that will define his legacy. (Photos)

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The shifting global business landscape

Where and how the world does business is changing. For the last thirty days,emerging markets have been a source of low-cost but increasingly skilled labor. Their fast-growing cities are filled with millions of new and increasingly prosperous consumers, who provide a new growth market for global corporations at a time when much of the developed world faces slower growth as a result of aging. But the number of large companies from the emerging world will rise, as well, according to a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). This powerful wave of new companies could profoundly alter long-established competitive dynamics around the world.

 

 

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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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Eco-cycle is an automated bike parking system

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcZSU40RBrg[/youtube]

Many urban cites don’t have enough street space for setting up proper bike storage infrastructure.  The problem of overcrowding and illegal parking can cause potential hazards for emergency situations and general pedestrian navigation. In Japan, an earthquake-resistant underground bike parking system has been developed by Giken to help resolve the issue, approaching the situation through their design concept, which is based on culture above ground, and function underground. (Pics)

 

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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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