Livable cities

There are a lot of theories about how to design the perfect livable city but in order to speak  about a complex system we need to find a universal language. What features are needed to award a city with tags like livable, green, sustainable?

If you ever worked for transnational companies than perhaps you have heard about these mighty words: Mercer hardship allowance recommendations. Mercer evaluates local living conditions in all the 420 cities it surveys worldwide. Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:

  1. Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc)
  2. Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services, etc)
  3. Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom, etc)
  4. Health and sanitation (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
  5. Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools, etc)
  6. Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion, etc)
  7. Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
  8. Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
  9. Housing (housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services, etc)
  10. Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

The scores attributed to each factor allow for city-to-city comparisons. The result is a quality-of-living index that compares relative differences between any two locations.

Recent Posts

Funny personal mobility solutions collected by TED Blog.

TED Blog

When engineering grad students Sanjay Dastoor, John Ulmen and Matthew Tran met at Stanford University, they lamented the fact that there was no good way to get around campus. And so, they invented one: a longboard skateboard fashioned with an electric motor.

[ted_talkteaser id=1704]In today’s talk, given at TED2013, the three give demo their Boosted Boards — which charge off a wall outlet, run for 1,000 kilometers on a dollar’s worth of electricity and are powerful enough to go up the famous hills of San Francisco at 10 miles per hour. They are small enough to be carried in hand and have a battery range of six miles.

“That covers half of the car trips in U.S. alone,” explains Dastoor.

It’s a fascinating concept — one that would make any skateboard-enthusiast a happy commuter. To see the boards in action, watch this high-energy talk. And below, see several more unusual…

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