Essays, case studies and articles on urban development

- strategies, markets, design

To plan or not to plan

Rapid urbanization in developing countries – opportunities and challenges The world population continues to grow in frightening speed and increasingly concentrates in urban agglomerations. It is estimated that by 2050 more than 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, up from about 54% today. Most of that rapid urban growth happens in developing…

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Mobility trends, new transportation technologies

Zero emission mobility, autonomous driving and shared vehicle use will change how we plan and use our cities and buildings. Finally it is happening. Following the pressure of lawmakers around the world, the automotive industry is now seriously competing to develop and mass-produce cars with more eco-friendly replacements for petroleum burning combustion engines. Carbon emissions…

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Towards more sustainability in urban development

Different urban planning strategies, new construction and building technologies and changes of our individual and collective behavior are necessary to create more sustainable urban life. In a rapidly urbanizing world, cities are concentrating and magnifying humanity’s civilization challenges and it’s underlying relationship with the natural environment. Cities are the laboratories and marketplaces in which changes…

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Sharing economy and collaborative real estate

Coworking, coliving and shared transportation trends are changing the way we plan and utilize our built environments As more and more people live in cities, we will have to move closer together, find better, more efficient ways of using our limited resources. We know that we have to become more serious about avoiding unnecessary consumption,…

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The one thing that makes EXPO 2020 in Dubai truly unique

Let’s be frank: FIFA World Cups and Olympic Games are easier to organise and market than a World Expo. FIFA World Cups are straightforward: The best soccer teams fight for a ball, and at the end there is one winner who gets the trophy. Olympic Games are more complex: Rio 2016 featured 28 different disciplines.…

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Dubai: Lots of buildings, but no city (yet)

How to connect the dots, develop an integrated, lively and efficient urban fabric? Dubai is horizontally spread out over a very large area, disproportional to its current population size.  The city stretches more than 60 kilometers along the Arabian Gulf, from its original city center at the Creek to Jebel Ali seaport in the south,…

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More than “three T’s”

Dubai’s next economic and urban development ambitions Dubai’s impressive growth story is often described as a “miracle”, as a “modern fairy tale”; a story so exceptional and hard to believe, that standard patterns of explanation seem not to suffice. How could a small, rather insignificant fishing village, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, at the…

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What defines “luxury life-style” communities?

Which offerings generate interest and provide relevant, long-term value in a changing world? Real estate trade fairs, such as the annual “Cityscape” in Dubai, offer an excellent overview of the latest industry trends in some of the leading emerging markets. Many of the international exhibitors from the Middle East and Asia, proudly showcase their most…

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Infrastructure moving centre stage

Global population growth and rapid urbanization may require additional infrastructure investment of up to USD 75 trillion by 2030. Governments have asked the private sector to provide up to USD 25 trillion, and yearly allocation of funds has indeed already reached USD 5 trillion. However, a global infrastructure market is still in its early stages, and investors…

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“Marina City”, Brazil

A sustainable urban development concept

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