Cities

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What happens when all our cemeteries are full?

The problem is most acute in cities that do not practise grave recycling. Countries such as Singapore, Germany and Belgium offer public graves for free – but only for the first 20 or so years. Thereafter, families can either pay to keep them (often on a rental basis) or the graves are recycled, with the most recent residents moved further into the ground or to another site, often a mass grave.

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Eight cities that show you what the future [may] be like

Cities used to grow by accident. Sure, the location usually made sense—someplace defensible, on a hill or an island, or somewhere near an extractable resource or the confluence of two transport routes. But what happened next was ad hoc. The people who worked in the fort or the mines or the port or the warehouses needed places to eat, to sleep, to worship. Infrastructure threaded through the hustle and bustle—water, sewage, roads, trolleys, gas, electricity—in vast networks of improvisation. You can find planned exceptions: Alexandria, Roman colonial towns, certain districts in major Chinese cities, Haussmann’s Paris. But for the most part it was happenstance, luck, and layering the new on top of the old.

At least, that’s the way things worked for most of human history.

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Mastercard purchase data + Transportation data = Urbanomics

By combining MasterCard’s transactions data (they process 43 billion per year) with Cubic’s transportation data, analytics and visualization technology, the platform — dubbed the Urbanomics Mobility Project — will yield insight into the way transit and economic activity are linked in cities.

The hope is that everyone from urban planners to commercial real estate developers will find the tool useful, and that city and regional governments will sign up as clients. With transit-oriented development increasingly on the mind in the public and private sectors, the release is timely.

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