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Resilient Cities

The Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative (PCSI), a joint program of the Asia Society and the Urban Land Institute, has released a new report, Creating Resilient and Livable Cities. The report, which builds on expert dialogue at PCSI’s 2nd Annual Forum in Manila this past March, presents practical strategies for creating tomorrow’s sustainable cities and addresses how good governance, disaster preparedness, planning cities for people, and building resilient infrastructure contribute to creating more livable and more resilient cities.

Read more and download a copy of the report at


Biophilic Cities

Birmingham joins San Francisco and Oslo in global green cities club

Source: Steven Morris, The Guardian, Thursday, 4/3/14

Abstract: The city of Birmingham is the latest to be recognized (and the first British city) as part of the global network of “biophilic cities” – those recognized for their open spaces and connection to nature. Eight cities are part of this club, including San Francisco, Oslo and Wellington. The biophilic cities club recognizes that nature contributes to a happy, healthy and meaningful life, and provides opportunity for the cities to be a leader in the field. While biophilic design has gained traction in offices and homes, it has not succeeded at gaining the same hold at a broader city scale. The biophilic cities club presents opportunity to create community among this common value, as well as share and collaborate around strategies and policy that support this value. This recognition for Birmingham reinforces its plans already in place, and supports the city’s goal to be a leading ‘green city’.


Urban Green Space

Urban Green Space Makes People Happier Than Money

Source: Luisa Zottis, TheCityFix, 4/29/14

Abstract: Green space is being increasingly connected to better and happier living, and new quantitative and qualitative data supports these findings. More and more cities around the world are recognizing the link between access to green space and nature, increased levels of physical activity, and happiness. Parks and green areas amidst urban areas provide residents outlets to release stress, and create a healthier, more livable environment.


Big Data

Can Big Data Save Lives?

Source: Jonathan Strombolis and Adam Frank, The Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities, 3/27/14

Abstract: With the rise in urban expansion and growing populations, cities today are focusing more on establishing resilient communities. Resiliency is a key aspect of a sustainable city and is becoming a greater concern for both public and private leaders. Technology and open data can be solutions to many of the issues societies are facing related to population growth, such as climate change and globalization. Jonathan Strombolis and Adam Frank from Palantir Technologies discuss the benefits of cities having access to big data and specifically how Palantir has used technology and online data to help cities in the midst of a crisis. Palantir has found that problems with data analysis come down to data integration. Those managing the data must know how to organize it and how to access and use it. If managed efficiently, open data will allow all stakeholders to access the same organized information, resulting in a more effective decision making process and decreasing the social, economical, and environmental impacts on communities.



Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN)

The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is a peer-to-peer network of local government professionals in the United States and Canada working to create “a healthier environment, economic prosperity, and increased social equity.” The organization is made up of members from 8 regional networks that collaborate on projects and share expertise and best practices in order to achieve more effective outcomes. The USDN also awards grants to members and partnering organizations for projects that focus on the challenges that many of our cities are facing.