Nickel Magazine - Current Issue

Volume 29-3: Urban Living

December 04, 2014

Nickel's contribution to sustainable cities


Getting Around:

Movement in, out and through urban areas is essential. How this is accomplished has enormous impacts on the quality of life of citizens and their environment. Success requires that there be sufficient peak capacity and clean, safe and welcoming infrastructure. In all of these the use of nickel-containing stainless steels are making valuable contributions and, in addition, doing so in durable, cost-effective ways.

Reliable Routes

Traffic congestion make cities less livable. And when one or more lanes of a bridge, overpass or elevated roadway are shut down for repairs that can take months to complete, the chaos is compounded. This is where the specification of nickel-containing stainless steels for critical infrastructure will be the cost-effective choice that carries added benefits for both citizens and the environment.

Building sustainable cities

With over half the world’s population now living in urban areas, the concept of sustainable or eco-cities has become increasingly attractive. Sustainability is however a complex topic, which makes applying the concept to a subject as broad as urban development quite challenging. For that reason there is no agreement on a detailed definition of what a sustainable city should encompass.

In Focus

Urban Living

In 2008 the rural/urban balance tilted: for the first time half the global population was living in urban areas and the tide of people leaving the countryside (see graph below) continues strongly. Currently 3.5 billion people make their homes in cities and many more commute from rural areas to work there. By 2030, according to the United Nations, 4.9 billion people—or 60% of the projected world population—will be urban dwellers.

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In Use

Case Study 03

London is classed by the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency as ‘seriously water stressed’. It receives less rainfall per person than Rome, Istanbul, Dallas or Sydney and pressure on water resources will continue to grow in the future. Another 700,000 people are forecast to be living in London by 2021 and climate change will increase the likelihood of longer, hotter summers.


In urban environments small scale anaerobic digesters are providing an innovative solution to recycling food and garden waste—with the added benefit of generating energy and producing fertiliser.

Chemical containers in Japan

Japan competes on the value it adds to raw and intermediate materials. The volumes of imported chemicals are increasing and the need for their safe transport and storage has never been greater. Tank containers made of nickel-containing stainless steel in a range of sizes are providing solutions for a growing number of Japanese chemical companies.

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In Brief

Safe passages

The reliability of signalized intersections is a crucial component of urban infrastructures. When electrical power to an intersection fails, often due to bad weather or traffic accidents, it can cause major gridlock and safety concerns as responses to fire, police and health emergencies are delayed or prevented.

Stately slide

Formerly owned by the Anglo-American Astor family, Cliveden House is located about 40 kilometers to the west of London. Situated high above the River Thames and surrounded by wooded countryside, this stately home has a colourful history dating back to the 1600s. Today, the house and grounds are a major tourist venue—attracting visitors from all around the world. The estate now belongs to the National Trust and the house has been a luxury hotel since 1985.

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