Forbes: March and April 2017

Hi all! If you’re new to this blog / my Twitter account, you might not know that I write about the science of cities for Forbes, usually 3-5 stories each month. Below, you’ll find summaries and links to each of my stories published in March and April 2017, but you can also view my entire portfolio here.



A Volcano Erupts In Auckland…. In Theory
March started with a somewhat apocalyptic story. Did you know that NZ’s biggest city sits on a volcano field 360 sq km in size? A new paper, published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, looked into the potential impact on Auckland’s infrastructure in the event of an eruption. So I wrote all about it.

The Different Robots You Might Meet As You Walk The Streets Of A City
This one was a lot of fun to write – I’d come across so many autonomous technologies in the preceding few weeks, that I really enjoyed pulling them altogether, and giving my own take. This story became an ‘Editor’s Pick’, which I was chuffed with, and was shared widely on FB and Twitter.

Using Technology To Help Visually-Impaired People Navigate Cities
My final story in March was on a paper I first came across in late 2016, and it was one that really changed my view on urban design. When people think about accessibility in cities, they’re usually referring to ensuring easy access for wheelchair-users. But there are other city-dwellers who can be very vulnerable, but are too often ignored – the blind and partially-sighted. I’m delighted that this story also became an ‘Editor’s Pick’, and was shared by lots of charities working with blind people.


Cities Are Running Out Of Freshwater. Here’s How Science Can Help
I am fascinated by water, how we use and abuse it, and how things will need to drastically change soon, if we’re going to ensure our water future. So my first story for April was all about that big question, and about some of the technologies that might help us make better use of the limited water we have available to us. This story didn’t do all that well in terms of views, so I decided to share the whole thing here on my blog. You’re welcome 🙂

Old Coal Mines Could Have A Future In Green Energy Storage
Another Editor’s Pick!! Coal mines could have a future in our energy landscape, but not in the way Trumpy-Mac-Trumpyface would have you believe. Hint: it involves hydropower. This story was shared by the main Forbes Twitter account, which made me VERY happy.

Should Airport Runways Be Circular?
I knew this one would attract some attention, because when I first saw another story on it, I immediately thought ‘WHAAAT?!’ As usual, I didn’t rehash said story – I went off and read the various research reports that the team behind it have published, and gave my own take. This was ALSO shared on the main Twitter account – what a month!!

Where The Streets Are Paved With Green: Counting Urban Trees
Ding ding ding…. Three of my four stories ended up making it to the hallowed halls of the main Forbes Twitter account this month – yippee for a social media hattrick! This one was largely focused on an MIT project + paper around using Street View to map street trees, but it also mentions a couple of other bits.

And that’s THAT. Away from Forbes, March and April ended up being rather busy, so am chuffed that I managed to get so many stories out in the big wide world. I hope you enjoy them 🙂