The future of urban housing

The future of urban housing

Sad but true: cities are becoming more and more expensive for families and young adults. A typical millennial can’t afford a 1,000 square-foot home (about 92 square meters) in the majority of the biggest US cities, and tends to share his flat to reduce the bill: the number of 18-to-35-year-olds living with roommates has...
Enhancing the place of women in cities

Enhancing the place of women in cities

“This is a man’s world” claimed James Brown in his famous song. And this is still true. The 8th March was the International Women’s Day, an occasion to recall the numerous gender inequalities that still remain: from wages to domestic violence, or the lack of women in decision-making spheres… Where do cities stand today ?...
Winter in the City

Winter in the City

Scientists and NGOs are unanimous : this winter is the warmest ever worldwide. And 2015 was even the warmest year ever recorded by the Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which showed that 2015 breaks the 2014 record of temperature by 0.13°C. According to the UK MET Office, the heat we all experience...
Fighting urban loneliness for more human cities

Fighting urban loneliness for more human cities

Although cities are full of people, loneliness is a growing concern. In our over-connected society, it is quite ironical to observe that we have never felt so alone : in the United States, 40% of people say they are lonely, a figure that has doubled in 30 years, while in Britain, one in ten...
Rethinking urban logistics

Rethinking urban logistics

If you have had no time to go Christmas shopping, you may be one of the 85% consumers that chose to purchase their gifts online (figures for 2014). A significant order volume which translates into no less than 2 million packages a day delivered in December… Most of them by road. In 2013, 85% of the...
Fighting air pollution with innovation

Fighting air pollution with innovation

France currently chairs and hosts the COP21. More than 190 countries are negotiating a new international agreement on climate change to keep global warming below +2°C. Among the different environmental issues, air pollution appears to be a growing concern for cities: some of them frequently reach alarming levels of air pollution, and get covered...
Running in the city

Running in the city

Recent years saw a growing popularity of urban running, as evidenced by the impressive number of participants in the numerous races organized in cities around the world. This went hand in hand with the development of mobile and tracking technologies, giving birth to a bunch of innovations and leading to the...
Kids in the city

Kids in the city

Nowadays, cities are evolving in order to respond to the needs of every part of its population, including children: green spaces to minimize the effects of air pollution, playgrounds,… This trend is visible in both urban planning and mobility, as well as in innovative advertising campaigns. Play Street Several American...
Underground cities

Underground cities

In a context of fast growing urbanization, cities are facing issues such as congestion and lack of space for new buildings and infrastructures. Based on this observation, architects and urban planners are more and more interested in the unexploited potential of underground areas, that could offer a solution to dense and...
Mapping the world with data

Mapping the world with data

Data from social networks, software or mobile applications have become major sources to create a new generation of maps. Nearly every week, there’s an innovative map making the buzz online, letting us discover how people move and experience cities around the world. Where do people tweet? American developer and “data artist”...
CES 2015: Towards a connected world

CES 2015: Towards a connected world

The 2015 edition of the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), held in Las Vegas from January 6th to 9th, was the largest in its history, with 3,600 exhibitors and 170,000 industry professionals. Confirming a trend that had already emerged during previous similar events, connected objects were once again under the spotlight, showing the...
Riding on the paths of innovation

Riding on the paths of innovation

Innovation in the field of bicycle riding is not limited to the bicycle itself, it also concerns services and infrastructure, starting with bicycle paths. It is hardly surprising that the most innovative projects in that area come from the countries with the most developed bicycle culture, The Netherlands and Denmark....
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Latest entries
Kit Kat offers you a break with a massaging billboard

Kit Kat offers you a break with a massaging billboard

Urban life is often stressful. Kit Kat, the “break expert”, offers you the opportunity to relax in a very original way with the world’s first massaging billboard. The company partnered with JWT to create this unique experience in Colombia. The billboards were all equipped with built-in vibrating massagers. You just need to lean against it to...
A world of data

A world of data

The World Council on City Data, a UN branch, just launched the Open City Data Portal. This intuitive database provides up to 100 service performance and quality of life indicators about 24 cities across the world. Transportation, safety, energy or health… Based on ISO 37120, the first international standard on city data, the interactive map gives a full...
Paris is turning car-free once a month

Paris is turning car-free once a month

As we mentioned in a previous Focus, air pollution is a growing concern for cities, frequently covered with a heavy and disturbing smog. Paris appears to be one of them, and recently experienced alarming pollution peaks in March 2015. To tackle the problem, Paris mayor Anne Hildalgo decided to create traffic-free zones across the city, including the Champs Elysées. The famous avenue...
Jeep turns your dirty car into a piece of art

Jeep turns your dirty car into a piece of art

To promote  Jeep Territory, a new ground for Jeep test drives in Moscow, the car brand teamed up with Leo Burnett Moscow to create “Beauty in Dirt”, an unusual (but artistic) campaign. The organizers of the promotion went to the parking of a huge mall, and looked for dirty cars. An artist turned the dirty back windows of the cars...
Which are the fastest-shrinking American cities?

Which are the fastest-shrinking American cities?

Everyone knows the story of Detroit, a bankrupt city which lost a lot of inhabitants in the past few years. But Detroit is not the only shrinking American city, and not the fastest shrinking one either. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed population changes in the 381 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas from July 2010 through July 2015. Over...
The futuristic shots of Tokyo streets at night

The futuristic shots of Tokyo streets at night

Tokyo is well-known for the omnipresence of colourful billboards and neons that give its streets a mysterious and special atmosphere at night. Liam Wong, Graphic Design Director for Ubisoft, recently went to Japan for the promotion of the game Far Cry 4. Picking up photography as a hobby, he took the occasion of this trip to capture these nocturnal scenes. The series of “video game-like”...
This billboard performs a magic trick for you

This billboard performs a magic trick for you

The Quebec City Magic Festival is famous for its creative (and magical) campaigns. This edition didn’t disappoint us, with “The mysterious billboard”, a simple but effective concept. A big red curtain hides the billboard. But when cars go by, the curtain suddenly falls, and the billboard… disappears! A magical experience designed by the agency LG2. Una pausa...
London’s traffic is slowing down – and it’s not necessarily a bad thing

London’s traffic is slowing down – and it’s not necessarily a bad thing

New figures unveiled this week by Transport for London show that London’s traffic has clearly slowed down, from 19.33 miles per hour in 2012 to an average of just 16.5 miles per hour this year. Many diverse factors explain this trend. London is currently experiencing major construction works, with mega-projects such as the site of the future US...
Will the future delivery boy be a robot ?

Will the future delivery boy be a robot ?

We hear a lot about autonomous cars, but most of the projects aim at improving individual mobility rather than solving delivery issues. Last month, the giant pizza firm Domino’s unveiled an autonomous pizza delivery robot. This little guy contains two compartments (one cold for beverages, and one hot for pizzas – obviously). It can move and avoid obstacles...
Take a selfie with Lego

Take a selfie with Lego

As Lego just opened a flagship store under the new Canopy of the Forum des Halles in Paris, the brand promoted this new space with a playful campaign in the streets of Paris. 3 JCDecaux bus shelters were customised with a mosaic made of Lego bricks. A free space allowed curious passers-by to insert their head and take...
Watch out ! Pigeons patrol in London to monitor air pollution

Watch out ! Pigeons patrol in London to monitor air pollution

Pigeons are often seen as harmful urban animals, unloved by urban dwellers. The air quality monitoring startup PlumeLabs saw an opportunity to change their reputation with some technology (and a touch of humour). They kitted out 10 pigeons with a tiny pollution monitor backpack, creating a Pigeon Air Patrol able to inform people about the pollution level of London....
The billboard you can conduct

The billboard you can conduct

Hungary has a great musical history, but young people tend to desert classical music concerts. Hungarian Telekom and the Budapest Festival Orchestra teamed up with Isobar to create an interactive experiment on digital billboards. By moving their smartphones, passers-by could conduct the Budapest Orchestra and give the tempo. At the end of the experiment, the conductor’s apprentices were...