Overview

URBAN HUB is an interactive platform for people working on the future of cities and mobility.
We collect personal stories about urban landmarks and future ideas for the sustainable development of cities worldwide.

Sustainability

Sustainability

Top urban gardening tips

Want to garden in the city, but you don’t have any land? URBAN HUB looks into some of the best ways for urbanites to flex their green thumbs. Window, community or guerrilla gardening? Mix and match to create the option that works best for you.

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Sustainability

Improving youth employment prospects

Urban mobility expert thyssenkrupp Elevator is launching a new partnership with SOS Children’s Villages – a global NGO. Project SEED offers skills training and real-world work experience to young people in regions with severe youth unemployment. It kicks off on November 14-15, 2017, in Bogota, Colombia.

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Sustainability

Planning San Francisco's waterfront

The San Francisco waterfront is integral to the city’s identity, and its ongoing development is the responsibility of people like Dan Hodapp, Senior Waterfront Planner & Urban Designer, Port of San Francisco. URBAN HUB talks with Dan about his unique experience over the past 24 years.

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Sustainability

Improving mobility at home

It has never been easier to improve mobility. We often think of mobility in terms of tall buildings and transportation, but it is also important in many smaller-scale settings, such as libraries or schools. And now, there’s a solution that specifically addresses the needs of your own home.

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Sustainability

Urban Quality of Life

Tyler Brûlé’s urban interests are regularly on display in his influential magazine Monocle, in the annual Monocle Quality of Life Survey of 25 world cities, and at the Urban Quality of Life Conference. URBAN HUB talks with Tyler Brûlé about how he became so interested in the multi-faceted aspects of city living.

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Sustainability

Ensuring the future is green – Environmental sustainable development draws on concepts of little waste, lower consumption and switching to green, environmentally-sustainable resources like solar and wind or materials which can constantly be up-cycled.

Sustainability

Technology

Technology

Brazil’s Internet of Things

Brazil has launched an ambitious strategy “The Internet of Things: an action plan for Brazil” that has unleashed a new wave of local innovators and projects and encouraged tech companies to set up shop in Brazil. The country is now poised to make its mark in the world of the Internet of Things.

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Technology

Getting ahead with digitalization

Many companies and end consumers feel that digitalization is something they have to “adapt” to, but this is a very feeble response. Particularly for businesses. When paired with urbanization, digitalization is a unique opportunity to innovate and create new solutions for a better tomorrow.

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Technology

Drone delivery takes flight

Drone delivery. The idea has been buzzing around – particularly fueled by the race by retailers to be the first. So how soon will delivery drones take to the skies? Urban Hub looks at the hurdles that remain and the prospects for smooth sailing for drone deliveries in the future

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Technology

Life with elevator enhancers

The Baudet family of Paris recently moved to Hong Kong – into a residential skyscraper built in the early 2000s. They love their new home, but they’re bothered by long waits to catch an elevator. That situation changes, however, when the building owners install an innovative elevator enhancer.

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Technology

Beating the heat

When city temperatures rise, people look for ways to stay cool. A new breed of technologies seeks to augment, optimize, and even replace traditional air conditioning – simply by modernizing sustainable methods used for centuries. URBAN HUB looks at some clever ways to beat the heat.

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Technology

Using fewer resources for bigger change – What makes the world go around? Innovative technology. And in mobility, building, energy and manufacturing, especially green innovations are changing how people interact with and shape their environment.

Technology

Buildings

Buildings

Ice architecture – cool examples

Ice is everywhere—on the roads, in our drinks, but what about in your bed? Inuit people have been building their houses with blocks of ice and snow for centuries, but what about modern builders’ coolest creations? Check out the hottest trends in icy architecture from around the world!

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Buildings

Five inspiring futuristic buildings

Futuristic buildings are slowly changing the urban skylines. From unusual silhouettes to sci-fi detail, the creativity found in these ultra-modern structures sparks new interest in our cities. Plus, the innovative designs are often home to sustainability-driven technology.

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Buildings

Observation decks worldwide

Whether high up on a mountain, at the top of a tourist landmark, or way up in a record-breaking skyscraper like the Burj Khalifa, observation decks beckon us to see the world from a different perspective. URBAN HUB scales some of the most exciting and notable observation points in the world.

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Buildings

The futuristic corporate HQ

Corporate headquarters are not just monuments to a company’s own success. They are a statement of style, vision, and even ethics. They also give architects an outlet to merge their creativity with functionality. URBAN HUB looks at the trend of Instagram-worthy office buildings.

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Buildings

A new twist is trending in towers

Are the days of the classic rectangular skyscraper numbered? New thinking based on new technologies is providing new ways for architects to explore the geometry of vertical space. URBAN HUB looks into a hot new trend in urban building: the growing popularity of “twisted” high-rises.

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Buildings

Beacons of urban sustainability – Today’s urban city planning creates future beacons for cities which convey the new messages of sustainability, green choices and living responsibly.

Buildings

Cities

Cities

Building earthquake-resistant cities

The most important elements of earthquake-resistant cities are good building rules, placement, materials, design and construction. Cities prone to earthquakes are on the frontlines of deploying new ideas to protect their citizens, as well as retrofitting older buildings with the latest technologies.

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Cities

Indian smart city Pune

Already known as a university and IT hub, Pune is no stranger to adapting innovations to stimulate growth and prosperity. Now Pune’s smart city concept – with input from experts and residents – fully brings it into the digital age. New IoT solutions are already creating a better quality of life.

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Cities

Sidewalk Labs and Toronto

The industry for urban innovation is booming. Smart technologies are catering to cities looking to boost connectivity and sustainability. Tech giant Alphabet now goes one step further and plans to build an entire smart waterfront in Toronto – via it urban innovation company Sidewalk Labs.

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Cities

Built-in sustainability

The demolition of a building results in a large quantity of waste that is often incinerated or dumped in a landfill. Couldn’t those resources be put to better use? Many architects are now designing buildings that can be easily adapted to suit new purposes or broken down into re-usable parts.

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Cities

Barcelona – Smart City 3.0

Barcelona is pioneering the idea of Smart City 3.0 – a new, more holistic approach that aims to streamline the integration of technology with government policies and better integrate that with citizen participation. URBAN HUB revisits Smart City Barcelona.

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Cities

Smart inside and out – In many ways, the smart city concept is simply good urban planning that incorporates both advances in digital technology and new thinking in the age-old city concepts of relationships, community, environmental sustainability, participatory democracy, good governance and transparency.

Cities

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Climate-proofing coastal cities

Most of the world’s megacities are located on coasts. Powerful storms put them all at risk of flooding, and extreme weather is only expected to become more common and severe. Meanwhile, sea levels are rising. So what kinds of coastal protection solutions are being tested? URBAN HUB takes a look.

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Energy Efficiency

Heating things up sustainably

Many colder countries consume more energy for heating than for electrical power, so it should come as no surprise that the ongoing global concern with energy efficiency and environmental sustainability should be driving new trends in keeping people warm. URBAN HUB is hot on the trail…

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Energy Efficiency

Mega projects and the environment

The mega project sometimes brings to mind construction that leaves behind damage along with the gains. Recent massive infrastructures have learned from past mistakes and now focus on an environmentally-friendly impact through better planning and technology and putting the planet first.

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Energy Efficiency

Policy change saves energy

How can NGOs effectively lobby for energy efficiency? Through education and outreach or activism? The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) focuses on policy change and partners with industry thought leaders who provide them with know-how and real-life examples of the benefits of energy efficiency.

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Energy Efficiency

Zero energy, countless benefits

The future’s nearer than you think: we already have all the technology needed to construct residential and commercial buildings that generate at least as much energy as they consume – or more! URBAN HUB looks into “net-zero energy”, and visits several projects using this intriguing new concept.

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Energy Efficiency

Keeping the energy in and waste out – Energy efficiency combines educating people about consumption with new, improved, and green building construction that reduces an urban center’s environmental footprint.

Energy Efficiency

Smart Mobility

Smart Mobility

Urban parking makes space

Parking in the city isn’t everyone’s favorite topic – but surprisingly it’s trending among architects, urban planners, and builders. Not only is new technology helping people find spots faster, new design and thinking is creating better and more attractive urban parking solutions.

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Smart Mobility

Autonomous driving technology

One of the hottest topics in technology today is autonomous vehicles and mobility. But it’s not just the automotive sector that is excited. That’s because this disruptive technology now has applications in manufacturing, supply-chain logistics, services, and even maintenance.

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Smart Mobility

Mega projects improving mobility

Whether for work, school, or pleasure, people are always looking for better ways to get somewhere. So it’s no wonder that cities and countries around the world are investing heavily in mass-mobility solutions. URBAN HUB presents some of the highlights in Urban Mega Projects, Part II: Transportation.

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Smart Mobility

Liveable city mobility trends

Meike Niedbal, Head of Business Development at DB Station & Service AG and Project Lead Smart Cities, discusses how current trends are leading to a revolution in mobility, and how urban public transportation can improve quality of life for all demographic groups.

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Smart Mobility

Improving mobility for seniors

As urban populations grow, so do the number of mobility-impaired city dwellers – such as the elderly. URBAN HUB takes a look at how the urban infrastructure can be improved for greater mobility, including how technology is making in-home stair-lift installation less stressful for elderly urbanites.

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Smart Mobility

Keeps people moving to better solutions – People fed up with congested cities, are innovating smart mobility with new mobile technologies and intuitive apps which integrate public transportation, better infrastructure, and car sharing.

Smart Mobility

Urban Lifestyle

Urban Lifestyle

Top ten extraordinary lifts: Elevators to see before you die

Urban Hub tours 10 amazing elevators from around the world. Elevators that impress with a beautiful interior, that overcome architectural challenges and even elevators that do not hide in a shaft and feature beautiful design that can be appreciated from the outside.

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Urban Lifestyle

Urban university buildings

Universities like Harvard or Oxford are known for academic excellence, but also for the beautiful buildings on their campuses. But they aren’t the only universities with beautiful buildings: universities around the world have been hiring renowned architects with stunning results. Here’s our top 10.

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Urban Lifestyle

Ice skating in the city

Winter brings out red noses and steaming mugs of hot tea but also outdoor sports enthusiasts. If you don’t live near the slopes or cross-country trails, it’s very likely your local city has an ice rink for winter sports lovers. URBAN HUB picks out the 10 most stunning urban spots to skate.

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Urban Lifestyle

Five Water and Light Shows

Start with water – fast-moving water – and lots of it. Add light – lasers, LED, projectors, and even fire. Mix in music, recorded or live, and make it loud. The result is pure aquatic magic! URBAN HUB looks at some of the best urban water & light shows on the planet.

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Urban Lifestyle

Swimming in the cities

Many people are familiar with fabulous city beaches around the globe from Tel Aviv to Rio de Janeiro. Now other urban municipalities are re-examining their waterfronts and finding ways to offer their own brand of urban swimming – from pools submerged in the river to seaside swimming just blocks away.

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Urban Lifestyle

An urban lifestyle for the future –  By first recognizing the impact of our city lifestyles, we can pave the path for sustainable economic development and a brighter, greener future.

Urban Lifestyle

Urbanization

Urbanization

Ben Hammersley: surviving megatrends

What challenges does the future hold for us, and how can we overcome them? In the second part of the URBAN HUB interview with noted futurist Ben Hammersley, he discusses the testing times awaiting us because of current megatrends, and some strategies for coping and thriving in the world of tomorrow.

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Urbanization

Urban planning from above

The point of urban planning depends on the era, the decision-makers, geography, technology and many other factors. Just as drawings and maps help us to navigate places or understand things, so too do photographs. Particularly aerial photos help us to see the bigger picture of city planning.

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Urbanization

Megatrends – with Ben Hammersley

Popular, personable and provocative, futurist Ben Hammersley is in high demand around the world, as businesses and government grapple with the uncertainties of the digital future. In an exclusive interview, URBAN HUB talks with Ben about the megatrends that are already propelling us into the future.

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Urbanization

The green belt debate

How much nature does a city need, and where? There are many options, ranging from rooftop gardens and wedge parks, to large city parks and ambitious urban growth boundaries (UGB). But it is urban green belts that are now at the heart of controversy in cities like London. Why? URBAN HUB investigates.

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Urbanization

Rising mega urban development

The urban development mega project takes many forms, but lately “the bigger the better” has become modus operandi. This third in a series of articles on mega projects takes a closer look at big-sized urban construction and the inspiring ideas and solutions that arise from them as well as one or two pitfalls.

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Urbanization

Our cities, our future – Urbanization, a trend which shows no signs of abating, will remarkably change the way we live, work, and interact in our communities.

Urbanization