Future Smart Reads: 18 Nov 2012

NEW YORK: BRT will soon come to Brooklyn, along the 44 corridor via Nostrand and Rogers Avenues, which serves about 40,000 passengers a day. Has the recent impact and experience of Hurricane Sandy shifted investment back towards buses rather than subway systems.

I think everyone who saw Sandy from near or afar recognized the critical role buses played once the subway system went down, underscoring the value of these types of investments in our transportation infrastructure

New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan

MUNICH: Can a subway system be efficient, modern and stylish at the same time? Munich certainly thinks so. In this article in the The Atlantic Times, the U-Bahn is described as a kaleidoscope of colours, making the waiting time (often minimal) even more pleasant. That’s of course unless the multi-coloured world doesn’t hypnotize you or send you into some sort of fit. Image: Nick Frank

GLOBAL: Can big data help police officers make our cities safer? We received a tweet from The Atlantic Intel, about the infographic which uses cops’ knowledge of their communities, to build data that police departments can use to prevent crime. With IBM software, cops can predict where trouble is likely—and turn “hot spots” into calm streets. Can Cape Town use something similar?

GLOBAL: Cities can no longer operate in isolation. Not only do disciplines need to work closer together (and intertwine), but cities which have experienced both successes and failures in designing and planning urban policies, need to be able to successfully and reliably transfer those experiences between each other. In this video presentation by Metropolis , the importance of the exchange of ideas is spoken about by various city leaders, displaying the need for a closer working relationship to tackle the challenges they face.
COPENHAGEN: Even the smartest and most “successful” cities may have had a history of poor urban ideas. In Copenhagen, the Søringen project was approved by parliament in 1964 and involved expropriating and filling in a swath of The Lakes to make space for the 12 lanes of motorway through neighbourhoods. The project was eventually scrapped over 15 years later due to a lack of funds rather than a political vision.
GLOBAL: Going local or at least more local is the way forward. But how should participation with local groups and citizens be structured to produce the desired results, while remaining inclusive to citizens from vastly diverse socio-economic groups? In a new report, Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?, World Bank economists analyzed nearly 500 studies on participatory development and decentralization to find out what works and what doesn’t.