ArchDaily Celebrates World Cities Day: 23 Unmissable Articles on Cities and Urbanism

ArchDaily Celebrates World Cities Day: 23 Unmissable Articles on Cities and Urbanism

Last year the UN General Assembly issued a resolution to “designate 31 October, beginning in 2014, as World Cities Day.” A legacy of the Expo 2010 Shanghai, the first World Cities day is being hosted today in Shanghai, with the aim of focusing on global urbanization and encouraging cooperation among countries to solve and promote sustainable urban development worldwide.

“In a world where already over half the population lives in urban areas, the human future is largely an urban future, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on the importance of World Cities Day. “We must get urbanization right, which means reducing greenhouse emissions, strengthening resilience, ensuring basic services such as water and sanitation and designing safe public streets and spaces for all to share. Liveable cities are crucial not only for city-dwellers but also for providing solutions to some of the key aspects of sustainable development.”

To celebrate World Cities day, we’ve rounded up 23 articles that you can’t miss on critical issues relating to our cities, ranging from sustainability to addressing equality and creative solutions for integrating cycling into our cities.

Think we’ve missed something? Let us know in the comments below.  


Eco-friendly, sustainable and green building are all buzzwords that we hear over and over again. But what drives sustainability? What responsibility do architects have? And, how can we think differently about materials? Check out these three features below that each seek to address one of these questions.

The Fear Sustaining Sustainable Urbanism

Why Architects Must Lead on Sustainable Design

The Timber Tower Research Project: Re-imagining the Skyscraper

The LEED ratings system and whether or not it is effective in encouraging sustainable building is also central to the green building discussion. Check out these two stories on when LEED works – and when it doesn’t.  

Why LEED Doesn't Work in Rural Africa and What Will

The Green Building Wars

Cycle Cities

What does the future of biking in the city look like? How can bikes, pedestrians and cars coexist peacefully? From elevated cycle tracks to protected bike lanes, check out some of the solutions currently under discussion. 

Why Cycle Cities Are the Future

How to Design Elevated Cycling Structures that Actually Work

New York Shows that Protected Cycle Lanes are a Win-Win Improvement

Smart Cities

“Smart City” is another big urbanism buzzword, but what exactly does it mean? And who will design our smart cities? 

Without Architects, Smart Cities Just Aren't Smart

Could Virtual Cities Make Our Real Cities Smarter?

When Buildings React: An Interview with MIT Media Lab's Joseph Paradiso

Forget Flying Cars - Smart Cities Just Need Smart Citizens

Who Will Design Our Smart Cities? (Hint: Not Architects)

Addressing Inequality

How do we design our cities to be inclusive? These four articles looks at how cities are addressing poverty and inequality as well as innovative solutions for social housing. 

From Bogotá to Bombay: How the World's 'Village-Cities' Facilitate Change

Makoko Floating School / NLE Architects

Justin McGuirk's Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture

Round-Up: 5 Striking Examples of Social Housing


As one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies, China is undertaking huge urbanization projects and new cities are sprouting up across the country.  Check out these three articles for three different perspectives on Chinese urbanism.  

(Re)Made in China: The Soviet-Era Planning Projects Shaping China's Cities

China's "City-Making Process": Investors' Power in the People's Republic

How I Built A New China: A talk with Expo 2010 Planner Siegfried Zhiqiang Wu

Lessons to be Learned

Lastly, we’ve also rounded up a couple of case studies on successful city initiatives, including 10 ways to transform cities through placemaking and public spaces and 10 lessons to be learned from Singapore. Make sure you also watch Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett's TED Talk with on how the most obese city in America lost a collective million pounds.

Ten Ways to Transform Cities through Placemaking & Public Spaces

Ten Points for Liveable Cities: Lessons from Singapore

TED: How an Obese Town Lost a Million Pounds / Mick Cornett

About this author
Cite: Katie Watkins. "ArchDaily Celebrates World Cities Day: 23 Unmissable Articles on Cities and Urbanism " 31 Oct 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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