Liveable Cities LabThe Liveable Cities Lab (LCL) is a laboratory dedicated to support cities by envisioning the future development. We do this by addressing global challenges such as demographic changes, urbanisation and climate change through a multi- and trans-disciplinary approach.
Half of the world’s inhabitants – close to 3.6 billion people – live in urban areas. The number is increasing steadily. How do we make these cities sustainable and at the same time improve the quality of life?
The Liveable Cities Lab explores the potentials and conditions that ensure liveability including policymaking and good governance as how to bring best value to the society, create a culture of inspiration and implement better-integrated urban infrastructures and design tools for managing global challenges and environment-related risks.
What does Liveability mean?
Liveability describes the frame conditions of a decent life for all inhabitants of cities, regions and communities including their physical and mental wellbeing. Liveability is based on the principle of sustainability and smart and thus is sensitive to nature and the protection of its resource. The special focus to improve Liveability is to take all dimensions that are relevant to Liveability into account: the physical, the social and the cultural. We start from our global perspective but are most sensitive about the specifics and characteristics of the local situation. A local approach is crucial for Liveability.
How can we create Liveability?
Depending on the existing frame-conditions in a specific city, designers and engineers need to adapt and provide different solutions, keeping in mind that solutions always have to pay attention to the development on all of the three liveability levels, in order to gain a deep improvement. Integrated thinking is the future for liveable cities.
What Liveable Cities Lab provides
The Liveable Cities Lab recognises the challenge to implement (or even advice) and intervene to all the areas of action and their elements to the same degree due to scale, stakeholder influence, or the age and culture of the city. To retain its experimental component the LCL addresses many different projects to understand and respond to current urban challenges, with the target to frame the conditions where change can come in.
Art of integration
The concept of integrative thinking shows LCL's approach to the realisation of liveable cities and goes beyond sustainability. The three main objectives are the physical, like buildings or open space; the social, like how to live together; and the cultural sphere, which touches on the relationships to the surrounding and our roots. However, to achieve liveability we need good governance structures and holistic urban planning. Finally economy is a driving force towards or against liveability.
Blue-green infrastructure in our cities
Enhancing Blue-green infrastructure and social performance in high density urban environments
Blue-green infrastructure is a network providing the ingredients for solving urban and climate challenges by building with nature. The main components of this approach include storm water management, climate change adaptation, and have an impact on the reduction of heat stress, increasing biodiversity, food production, better air quality, sustainable energy production, clean water and healthy soils, as well as more anthropocentric functions such as increased quality of life through recreation and blue-green areas in cities and regions.
The Liveable Cities Lab put together a team of researchers to research on the impacts of Blue-green on social performance with a focus on dense urban environments. This research primarily deals with the development and the identification of measures to improve the urban blue-green infrastructure and the related positive side effects on the urban quality of life. The aim is to identify best practices and lessons learned and provide guidelines, which can be used by city decision makers in general and urban water stakeholders in particular. By doing so this research will contribute to increase the status of urban liveability globally.
The Video from the kick-off meeting, held at Zeppelin University in July 2014 gives an overview on the intention of the research and the team from National University of Singapore, Harvard Graduate School of Design, MIT and Zeppelin University. The research was funded by the Ramboll Foundation.
Strengthening Blue-Green Infrastructure in our Cities (Compiled FINAL REPORT)
Team Reports Zeppelin University
Enhanced Socio-Economic Analysis of BGI as Urban Innovation
European Center For Sustainability Research
Prof. Dr. Dr. Manfred Moldaschl, Matthias Wörlen
Urban Governance for Livable Cities: Institutional Capacity Building for ‘Blue-Green Infrastructure’ Planning and Development
Prof. Dr. Eckhard Schröter, Dr. Jörg Röber
Team Reports MIT
Boston “Emerald Necklace” Case Study
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Prof. James L. Wescoat Jr., Alex Marks, Karen Noiva, and Smita Rawoot
Mumbai Case Study
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Smita Rawoot, Prof. James L. Wescoat Jr., Karen Noiva, and Alex Marks
Team Reports National University of Singapore, School of Design and Environment
Biophilic Design: Singapore’s Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
Prof. Nirmal Kishnani, Giovanni Cossu
Biodiversity Enhancement & Blue-Green Infrastructure in Cities
Prof. Tan Puay Yok, Cynthia Ng
Team Report Harvard Graduate School of Design
A History of Blue-Green Infrastructure in New York City: Creating the Adaptive City
Joyce Klein Rosenthal, Evangeline McGlynn
Cost-benefit analysis on blue-green infrastructure in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Singapore
Research for sustainability in the field of architecture and urban design mostly covers the aspects of ecology and social issues. Sometimes even cultural sustainability comes into play. But when it comes to a profound argumentation for blue-green infrastructures decision makers mostly look for profound arguments about the economic benefits. As today cost-efficiency is on the planners´ daily agenda, the know-how on economical aspects of urban planning projects has to increase dramatically in order to promote sustainable urban development. The research was granted by the Research Fund of the Ministry of National Development.
Shaping Landscapes and Human Welfare. Comparative Field Study of the Non-Material Effects of Blue-Green Integration in Singapore
Prof. Herbert Dreiseitl, Oliver D. Tovatt, Bettina Wanschura; Singapore 2015
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
Prof. Herbert Dreiseitl, Jonathan A. Leonardsen, Bettina Wanschura; Singapore 2015
LCL research on the Definition of Liveability
LCL commissioned Leibniz University of Hannover to gain an academic perspective on the definition of Liveability. Based on these results LCL continues to refine this definition continuously.
The City of Udaipur, India, is looking for better solutions to improve the quality of its performance to be a more smart and liveable city. Prof. Herbert Dreiseitl's studio at National University of Singapore in cooperation with Ramboll explored the status of Udaipur´s liveability and how it can be improved by using tools of an integrated approach to landscape architecture with a strong focus on Blue-Green Infrastructure Design, Mobility and open spaces. Working in places like in India forces us to have a high sensibility for the specific culture of the spot.
Video NUS-Studio results >>
Cities are the leading source of global economic growth, resource consumption and carbon gas emissions. Urban superpower in the 21st century is all about human capital. But how do cities attract the right people? Liveability is part of the answer.Cities for people
|Research project to boost urban liveability|
Cities have become the engines of economic prosperity and development. Over the next two decades, it is estimated that the global middle class will expand by another three billion people. Ramboll helps cities become more liveable and improve their competitive edge through a full suite of competencies necessary to provide a holistic, cutting-edge city offering.Developing liveable cities
|Report: Strengthening Blue-Green Infrastructure in our Cities|
The IBA Heidelberg is focusing on the Patrick Henry Village (PHV), a former US military base that will be transformed to a new thriving mixed-use neighborhood. How is the district supplied with water, heat and electricity? What is the role of climate and nature within the neighborhood? With a certain focus on urban metabolism, the LCL is contributing to create a sustainable and liveable future neighborhood.IBA Heidelberg
|2016 ASLA Professional Awards|
|Ramboll Young Planners collaborate on urban liveability and capital aspects|
Following the establishment of Ramboll’s Young Planners network in Überlingen at the end of May, a group of ten aspiring planners convened for a second summit in Copenhagen last weekend. Hosted by Ramboll’s Liveable Cities Lab (LCL) and Group Director for Planning & Urban Design, Neel Strøbæk, the summit served to reinforce the participants’ understanding and practical application of urban liveability principles and facilitate cross-company collaboration.
The summit brought together representatives from Ramboll in Sweden, Finland, UK, Denmark, Singapore, Water, and Environment & Health covering a range of disciplines from infrastructure design, architecture, landscape planning, land use and water management.
|LCL is part of the NATURVATION - A Horizon2020 project |
In the face of climate change and increasing environmental, economic and social pressures, sustainable development has become a strategic issue for cities in Europe and around the world. No longer a ‘nice to have’ addition to development-as-usual, urban sustainability has become central to the response to climate change and in enabling growth, security and social well-being.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are seen to hold significant promise in enabling the urban transition to sustainability. They have potential to provide multiple benefits across the range of sustainability challenges facing cities – from managing flooding to securing improved health outcomes for different groups of society. They offer flexibility in the face of a changing climate. Yet despite their significant potential, the use of NBS remains marginal, fragmented, and highly uneven within and between cities. NATURVATION Summary
ContactPlease click on the names below to read more about each of the contacts:
Director, Liveable Cities Lab
John Stewart Frey
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