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Global Impact

A UPS Volunteer Shares His Tree-planting Story
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When I heard about the opportunity to plant trees at the Flight 93 National Memorial, I wanted to be a part of it.

Everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. I was in sixth grade and only lived an hour away from the Flight 93 crash site. Read More »

Living in an Aging World
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Reprinted from Longitudes

Cities need to adjust policies and rethink resources to support an aging demographic.

The world’s top 750 cities will experience profound demographic shifts over the next 15 years. For one, the world will be urbanizing rapidly: by 2030, the populations of these leading cities will increase by an estimated 410 million.

What’s more, the changes in birth rates and the longer life spans will have a transformative effect on housing patterns, labor participation, and infrastructure use.

Almost everywhere, urban populations are aging. According to Oxford Economics’ Global Cities report, more than 150 million additional residents over age 65 will populate the world’s top cities by 2030. And roughly 40 percent of these seniors – or 61 million – will live in China’s leading cities.

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Rethinking Transportation in Cities
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Reprinted from Longitudes

Creating more livable cities through accessible public transportation.

In previous posts, I’ve discussed the growing pains that come along with major urban development—congestion, air and noise pollution, etc.—as well as some of the creative solutions that cities have come up with to combat these issues.

One of the most effective ways for a city to decrease congestion and pollution—and become safer, more livable, and more attractive to those looking to move to the city—is a strong network of public transportation.

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Getting Smart about Cities in India
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Reprinted from Longitudes

India takes on the challenge of building smarter cities.

The cities of the future are all but certain to confront a number of unique challenges. Across the globe, cities are expected to experience enormous gains in population, with most of the growth concentrated in the developing world.

These cities of the future will need to balance the basic demands of a growing population against concerns for the environment, economic sustainability, and the logistics required to simply keep these enormous cities running. Planning for this future is made more complicated by the dearth of usable data.

Enter the smart city.

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Responsible Electronics Recycling
Photo courtesy of HP

Electronic devices are integral to our daily lives: we use them to get our work done, we like how they help us connect with others through video, e-mailing and texting; we track our fitness activities and goals, and we rely on them to deliver our movies, music, news, photos, reports and, yes, even cat videos. Read More »

Sanitation: A Key to Urban Growth
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Cities across the world need innovative, sustainable systems to help address obstacles created by growing populations.

Reprinted from Longitudes

As the world’s urban population continues to multiply, a multitude of challenges loom on the horizon.

According to an Oxford Economics study of 750 cities worldwide, the population of these urban areas is expected to increase by 410 million by the year 2030.

And while incomes are set to increase across the board, cities will exhibit significant divergence in their growth patterns:

  • Developed cities will grow slowly but demonstrate technological innovation.
  • Cities that are “emerging” will have to work to achieve parity with their more advanced counterparts, but will take years to catch up in areas like per capita GDP.

Clearly, meeting the challenges of future cities will require innovative, sustainable solutions.

In no area is this more apparent than in basic services like sanitation, which can rapidly transport a country from the 19th century to the 21st — and improve health and quality of life for the population.

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Unique Cities Demand Unique Planning
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How cities, old and new, can plan for the long term.

Reprinted from Longitudes

Today’s generation of urban planners are often influenced by the work of the late MIT professor Kevin Lynch, who, in his seminal 1960 book, The Image of the City, described the way human perceptions of the city—the way people orient themselves and navigate within a physical space—should affect city design.

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Sustainability as a Platform for City Growth
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Cities are revamping their sustainability plans with fresh, innovative solutions.

Reprinted from Longitudes

Populations in the world’s largest 750 cities are expected to grow by 410 million between now and 2030.

According to Oxford Economics’ Global Cities report, which UPS co-sponsored and whose data I’ll draw upon here, we can attribute this growth in large part to the migration from the farm to the cities across developing economies.

This migration is spurred by young people drawn by economic opportunities and the excitement urban environments offer, the rising cost of long-distance commuting — and the sheer fact that for many across the globe, the pace of city living is becoming more attractive.

As I discussed in my last post, this rapid urbanization signals that strong economic growth for cities is likely to be on the way—but there will be a need for large-scale investments and creative development to allow cities to adapt to their evolving needs.

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Hope in the Heart of Africa
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Discovering inspiration and fulfillment amid the impoverished conditions of Swaziland.

Reprinted from Longitudes

In the driveway of my new adopted home, on a mountaintop in Swaziland, a beat-up Isuzu truck has replaced the BMW I once drove. The designer clothes that once filled my closets have been replaced by off-the-rack outfits from a department store. Instead of fancy shoes, I wear sandals and have given up the pedicures I used to get regularly.

Here, I’m no longer the owner of one of the largest marketing agencies in Canada. Instead of taking care of fortune 500 clients, my husband, Ian, and I care for babies born in outdoor latrines and left to die.

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About Janine Maxwell

Janine Maxwell is co-founder of Heart for Africa
“Students: Think Less Like Americans”
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In a smaller, more connected world, students must become global thinkers.

As college students all across the United States settle into the new school year — some of whom are there to receive their final year of instruction before graduation — I have what may seem a strange bit of advice:

Try to think less like an American.

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