Guardian Invites Readers to Submit the Best City Ideas for World Cities Day

With the first ever World Cities Day taking place on Friday, the Guardian is partnering with UN Habitat for the Cities Day Challenge, a day-long competition where representatives of 36 cities around the world will present their best city ideas, with the winner being selected for an in-depth article in the Guardian. Judged by Ivan Harbour of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Toronto City Planner Jennifer Keesmaat; Anna Minton, Dan Hill, Usman Haque and Adam Greenfield, the Guardian will be live-tweeting the entire day.

They are also reaching out to readers to "share your photos, videos and stories of something brilliant that your city does better than any other," some of which they will feature throughout the day. You can follow this link to contribute - or read on after the break as we take the opportunity to round up some of the biggest city ideas that have passed through the pages of ArchDaily.

Guardian Invites Readers to Submit the Best City Ideas for World Cities Day - More Images+ 7

Smart Cities

The biggest issue on everyone's lips is undoubtedly "smart cities." But what even is a smart city? How can they best be implemented? And which cities do it best?

Rio de Janeiro's "control center" is one of the most critical smart city interventions to date. Image Courtesy of IBM
In San Francisco, sensors are being used to improve the city's parking provision. Image © Frank Chan

Floating Infrastructure

What do you do when your city runs out of useful land to build on? What do you do when so many people live in inaccessible slums that children can't get to schools? The answer, in both these cases, is to start making things float.

The Makoko Floating School by NLÉ architects in Lagos, Nigeria. Image © NLÉ architects

Urban Swimming

With so many cities now identifying as "post-industrial" many have recently seen the reclamation of their polluted waterways - and when the water is inviting, what else is there to do but swim?

+Pool, the biggest ever urbanist project on kickstarter, hopes to reclaim a piece of New York's Hudson River for Swimmers. Image © Family, PlayLab
PLOT's Copenhagen Harbour Bath has been a hugely successful precedent in the urban swimming trend. Image © Casper Dalhoff

Temporary Architecture

Lately there seems to have been a mass realization that cities are not static entities. The design and implementation of temporary structures is now being utilized in situations from disaster rebuilding to plugging a gap in the city until more permanent projects are possible.

Acting as Christchurch's cathedral until the actual cathedral is rebuilt, Shigeru Ban's Cardboard structure has been hugely popular. Image © Bridgit Anderson
Carmody Groarke's Filling Station was designed to occupy an unused piece of land near King's Cross in London until a permanent development could be funded. Image © Luke Hayes

Cycle Cities

The popularity of cycling is definitely on the rise - and the infrastructure to support it, from the mundane to the spectacular, is on the rise with it.

Foster + Partners' ambitious Skycycle proposal made waves early this year. Image © Foster + Partners
Following from Foster's ambitious proposal, another proposal for unusual piece of cycling infrastructure has recently been floated. Image © RCC
Unlike the previous two proposals, DISSING+WEITLING Architecture actually got the job done with their "Cycle Snake". Image © DISSING+WEITLING Architecture

Progressive Social Housing

In recent years, the tension between "the 1%" and "the 99%" has become ever more visible. But despite the economic climate, some cities are doing whatever they can to push a progressive housing agenda - and using progressive architecture to help.

One of the most successful ways of pushing a social housing agenda has been ELEMENTAL's 'Half Finished House' typology. Image Courtesy of ELEMENTAL
About this author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Guardian Invites Readers to Submit the Best City Ideas for World Cities Day" 28 Oct 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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