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Editor’s note: Thank you for welcoming us into your inboxes through 2018! Your feedback, suggestions and tips have left us in no doubt that we’re writing for 37,056 of the world’s most visionary and thoughtful marketers, strategists, creative entrepreneurs and more. It’s an honor😊

As we approach the end of the year, we’re rounding up a few of our favorite innovations. We hope you find them inspirational and actionable! But also, we have a favor to ask: we spend thousands of hours compiling the Innovation of the Day newsletter. If you find it valuable then please share this edition. It really helps. 🙌Thank you! 🙌

With that, on to Day 7 of our 12 Days of Trend-Driven Innovation!

The majority of our world’s population already lives in urban areas, and a further 2.5 billion people are forecast to be living in cities by 2050. Cities are engines of consumption and opportunity but at the same time they face – and create! – countless challenges: inequality, unaffordability, pollution, waste and more.

Here are seven very urban innovations to inspire you in 2019. How can you make urban lives easier, cheaper, cleaner or just better?!


Bumblebee Spaces | This San Francisco-based startup uses motorized ceiling modules to help homeowners use the empty space below their ceilings. Welcome news for anyone struggling to square city living with convenient access to everyday personal items!

Manukau | Talking of maximizing use of space...this New Zealand bus shelter doubles up as a homeless shelter at night. An infrastructure win-win for cash-strapped local authorities?

Apotek Hjärtat | This Finnish pharmacy turned its store windows into giant light therapy signs to help locals combat SAD during the country’s long dark winter. A very local problem, but people in every city will welcome wellness being seamlessly embedded into their hectic (and often unhealthy!) lives.


Sint-Trudo | This might not be the world’s first vertical forest, but this Dutch initiative is the first included in a low-income housing project. Because all residents will embrace nature being brought into their urban environments!  

Surabaya | This Indonesian city now enables residents to ‘pay’ for bus tickets with plastic waste. A convenient, rewarding approach to engaging citizens in the fight against trash.


Dust See | The Seoul City government launched this AR-enabled app to enable residents to ‘see’ pollution levels in order to encourage them to take precautions. An accessible and visual solution to a growing global urban issue.   

Bulgari | The Italian luxury brand will invest EUR 800,000 in restoring Largo di Argentina, an ancient archaeological site in Rome. An initiative that couldn’t be further from an ephemeral pop-up (!), but one that will create a deep connection to the brand’s heritage, and its customers.

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