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Urban

When the i3 concept was unveiled alongside the i8 coupe concept back in 2011, it was the i8 that hogged the spotlight in commercials and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. But BMW engineers were hard at work in Germany developing real world production plans for the i3 and BMW is now set to put its first fully electric vehicle into mass production by the end of 2013. But the wee urban EV plays only a small part in BMW’s overall sustainability program. Read More
Somewhere between a steroids-infused shopping cart and a smart car exists the ever-so-tiny Casple-Podadera city car. With parking spaces at a premium in most European cities, the need to condense vehicles into tighter and tighter spaces is becoming an ever increasing economic and spatial concern. So unlike other inner-city cars, the cumbersomely named Spanish transporter brings with it a unique folding characteristic. Read More
Although more of us than ever are choosing to live in cities, that doesn't mean we have lost our love for green open spaces. The popularity of parks and areas which haven't been wholly taken over by urban development suggests we haven't lost our yearning for something other than man-made materials. Caroline Brahme's Grey to Green is a concept designed to add a splash of natural color back to urban areas. Read More
A major urban redevelopment is taking place in Sydney, Australia, as it attempts to become one of the word’s most liveable green cities within a 20-year time-frame as part of the “Sustainable Sydney 2030” vision. One remarkable inner city project passed a major milestone this month as part of its contribution to the eco plan. The development, named “One Central Park,” had its 110-tonne steel heliostat frame hoisted into place during the early hours of February 1st. Read More
The Kenyan government intends to spend a reported US$14.5 billion on the creation of Konza Technology City or "Silicon Savanna," which Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki hopes will become Africa's answer to Silicon Valley. Recently underway, the ambitious venture will see the construction of a brand new city on 20 sq km (7.7 sq miles) of what is currently natural savanna, 70 km (43 miles) southeast of Nairobi. Read More
American-based studio Höweler + Yoon Architecture has developed an intriguing concept for modern urban infrastructure between Boston and Washington called "Boswash." Central to the design of this imagined mega-region is the firm's "Shareway" design – a bundled transport concept that seeks to redress the nightmare of the urban commute by connecting public and individual transport to a single artery along the 450 mile (724 km) route of the existing Interstate 95. Read More
Cars and cities don’t mix together very well. Most cities were built without the horseless carriage in mind and even the ones that tend to become overwhelmed by cars after a certain point. BMW Group and Local Motors’ “BMW Urban Driving Experience Challenge” hopes to redress the balance with car concepts that “do good” based on technology predicted to be available in 2025. The winners of the second phase of the competition have been announced, made up of the 10 finalists responsible for the best concepts of premium-class motor cars designed for “Doing Good” in an urban environment. Read More
The IURO (short for Interactive Urban Robot) is a new humanoid service robot built by Accrea Engineering, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Researchers at TUM as well as ETH Zurich and the University of Salzburg are collaborating on an EU-funded research project that seeks to teach robots directions—the human way. Read More
Automakers have been toying with the idea of single passenger vehicles in an attempt to reduce emissions in urban centers, and Toyota's Coms is one such example. The company is showing off a new concept version based on this ultra-compact, single passenger electric vehicle dubbed the "Smart INSECT" at CEATEC JAPAN 2012 this week. Short for "information network social electric city transporter," it would connect the home, vehicle, and people in new ways through Toyota's cloud services. Read More
Most of us are fascinated by micro-homes and tiny apartments. Along with the urban planning benefits they promise, we love the ingenuity of their organization and debate alternate approaches to using the same space three times over. But how is this small-scale approach playing out in the real world? Let's take a look at the response to introducing micro-dwellings in major cities including New York City and San Francisco. Read More
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