Weekly Urban News Update
July 27th, 2018
In This Update
Trends and Risks
Equity as a Lens on the Future
IHC Global Highlight: Dentons Smart Cities Summit 2018

To Nurture Nature
The effects of urbanization can be seen and measured in many different ways. During the 19th century, with the work of Charles Darwin and the advent of evolutionary thinking in mainstream biology, people were better able to describe the changes they witnessed in the flora and fauna around them. With the idea of speciation in mind- the process by which organisms undergo evolutionary changes which leads to new morphologies, sub-species, and altogether different species- we can look to the plants and animals around us to get a sense of how human settlement and urbanization affects the natural order of things. Read more here.

The Space of Global Warming, or an Island of Heat
Human activities are becoming increasingly more energy intensive, this includes simply being in an urban space. Experts have long discussed the idea of the Urban Heat Island- the term used to describe the relatively higher air, soil, and surface temperatures of urban areas to their proximal, less dense, areas. As Urbanization is predicted to increase rapidly, so will energy demands for living, working and industry. While this issue is poised to become more urgent and pressing, there are great minds working on ways to reduce the ubiquitous Urban Heat. Such as, increasing vegetation, painting things white or light colors to increase albedo- a measure of reflectivity, and energy/heat recapture for electrical appliances and utilities such as the all important air conditioning. Read more about Urban Heat Islands and the temperature of our global future here.

Trends and Risks

Blurring Lines
London is not alone as a major city whose parks, plazas, and quadrangles have become places of confusion. As many private enterprises acquire what was formally, or is still treated colloquially as, public space, issues over property, privacy, and civil rights and liberties are coming to the fore. "Pseudo-public spaces" create a legal and civic conundrum, especially as concerns over inclusiveness and social equity in urban areas grow. Read more here.

Planning for the Worst
Urbanization is both an opportunity and cause for concern. As global crises displace people, and as people increasingly move to urban areas, the issue of security shines through the international urban development discussion. Major cities are defined by their population size and density, two factors that can be said to have lead to some of the fundamental advances in civilization. Urbanization and crisis, however, is a very dangerous coupling, from harboring disaffected populations to informal and/or exploitative development and property management, we should all pause and consider the security aspect of our global urban future. Read more here.
Equity as a Lens on the Future

Healthy Spaces
Another application of the increasingly important data driven decision making that is determining our civic lives is the ability to gauge the health of a city. The health of the citizens, and of the environment, built and natural, can now be directly spatialized, and planned for. Read more about an example of the holistic turn urban planning is taking in Baton Rouge  here.

The More the Merrier?
In Minneapolis there is a debate raging over density and affordability. The city is looking to increase the number of available units for families in a way that is financially sustainable and accessible. The multi-faceted discussion in many ways echoes concerns and trends across the U.S. as  the interests of single family homes, multi-family units, and apartments or luxury housing units clash in zoning disputes. Read more here.
Dentons Smart Cities Summit 2018

This week IHC Global was very excited to attend Dentons Smart Cities Summit! With experts representing all sectors, this summit addressed the inevitable Smart urban future from a variety of angles and approaches. From security to sustainability, various stake holders met to set the terms for mapping out the policies and innovations that will realize Smart Cities beyond the hype. Read more about the Dentons approach to Smart Cities here, and find information about the event here. 
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