This iPad App Builds Better, More Sustainable Cities

In its first iteration, Ecological Urbanism was a book: almost 700 pages of ideas and examples from the new field of sustainable urban design, born from a series of research projects at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. But the researchers realized that the book was essentially out of date as soon as it was published. The field of sustainable urban design is growing and evolving every day. The answer? Instead of a new edition of the book, they'd create an app.


Designed by Second Story, the iPad app is continually updated with new projects. It's more than just a digital version of the book—you can dynamically explore ideas by geography, or browse along a timeline that also sorts projects by scale of impact. Pages for each project display photos and more details. As the interaction designers say in their video, it's easy to carry around—definitely much easier than the original paper version. That ease of use might mean more urban planners will use it as a reference, leading to better-informed, faster-evolving design.

The app is available in iTunes.

Images and video via Second Story