Digital and Sustainable Cities: 5 of the Best Blog Posts of 2012


Whether it’s high-speed broadband or urban apps, digital technologies have already transformed the way many people engage with their cities. But here at This Big City we think the biggest changes are yet to come, which is why we decided to launch a new category this year dedicated to all things urban and digital. Here’s 5 of our favourite posts from 2012:

Unlocking Future Bicycle Networks with the World’s First Crowdsourced Bicycle Map

Rachel Smith looks at how online maps can be used to influence the design of future bicycle networks:

Participants are asked to select a road or street by clicking on the Google-based map provided. The following questions ask the respondent if they think the traffic volumes, vehicle speeds, number of parked cars, visibility at intersections and topography on the selected road/street are ‘bicycle friendly’.

You can read the full post here.

Is Tallin Europe’s Most Innovative City?

Mark Minkjan considers how free wifi and public transport is changing Tallin:

I visited the Estonian capital almost five years ago, and the city was already offering free public WiFi to its visitors and inhabitants. In an interview, a city official stated that free WiFi should not be seen as a goal in itself, but a tool that benefits the city. And the tool has proven its worth to Tallinn.

You can read the full post here.

Russian Crowdsourcing Platforms aim to Solve Urban Problems

Forget Silicon Valley. In this post, Teplitsa explores how some of the best crowdsourcing applications in Russia are changing cities:

In theory, there are already various government agencies and institutions working to manage local life so that citizens can live in comfort and security. But in practice the results are not always satisfactory. To solve this problem, “clouds” have been created — virtual projects, in which anyone with an Internet connection and a desire to improve things can take part.

You can read the full post here.

Cyclopath: the Web and Mobile App for Rating and Creating Bikeable Cities

Janey Lee tests out a Minnesota-based web and mobile app for improving cycling in the city:

Cyclopath services the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Minnesota by allowing users to rate path ‘bikeability’, create tags like “new pavement” or “little traffic” for specific areas, enter new trails into the online map, and essentially make the cycling experience more convenient and enjoyable.

You can read the full post here.

Singapore Taxis Get Smart

For Singapore’s taxis, there are multiple routes of the same length to get from A to B. Roger Wood looks at how an open software platform is transforming the industry:

Providing an open software platform gave application developers the amazing ability to fuel intelligent design of taxi services. This virtuous loop of information might be remembered in years to come as the corner stone for driverless navigation, when we eventually arrive at that point.

You can read the full post here.

The Best of 2012 on This Big City: People | Planning | Digital | Transport | Buildings