Need to Know
02 : 09 : 19

The future of urban living gets a print publication, WeChat mini-programs boom in popularity and Lufthansa fuels sustainable travel.

This Californian café doubles as an R&D lab

Verve Roastery Del Sur, San Francisco Verve Roastery Del Sur, San Francisco
Verve Roastery Del Sur, San Francisco Verve Roastery Del Sur, San Francisco
Verve Roastery Del Sur, San Francisco Verve Roastery Del Sur, San Francisco

Santa Cruz – The Verve Roastery Del Sur promises an elevated coffee experience, with a café, draught coffee bar, roastery and lab under one roof.

Verve has teamed up with chef Mario Tolentino and barman Adam Weisblatt to create bold menus for the 7,000-square-feet space. Among items featured on its launch menu are porchetta and truffle cheese sandwiches, snap pea and ham fritters, and botanicals-infused cascara vermouth spritzes.

Beyond the local breakfast and lunch crowds, the space also aims to attract coffee connoisseurs. Tapping into recent shifts in the craft coffee market and a growing desire for alcohol-free indulgence, it houses a dedicated coffee bar offering non-alcoholic takes on Negronis and Old Fashioneds. Upstairs, an R&D space exists alongside a private room for barista training.

As explored in our microtrend Edible Incubators, food and drink companies are drawing inspiration from Silicon Valley with spaces that foster collaboration and creativity for new product launches.

A cross-disciplinary approach to tacking urban living

Citizen by The London School of Architecture (LSA) Citizen by The London School of Architecture (LSA)
Citizen by The London School of Architecture (LSA) Citizen by The London School of Architecture (LSA)

London – Citizen is a new quarterly magazine that promotes a holistic approach to living in the city.

Published by the London School of Architecture, the publication creates a space for academic and professional audiences to converge with the general public. Citizen draws from ‘urbanism, architecture, design, finance, economics, planning, sustainability, anthropology, sociology, transport and policy’ to create innovative yet realistic proposals that can improve urban life.

‘We felt that there is a pressing need to think in terms of broader approaches to rejuvenating and re-inventing the city,’ says editor-in-chief Isabel Allen. ‘Our magazine addresses the fact that the most pressing problems we face today – inequality, climate change, social discontent and so on – call for radical solutions and, crucially, for joined-up thinking and working between different professions.’

More than ever, brands are taking an active role in crafting the metropolises of the future. In our Branded Cities report, we set out the framework for brands to build a city that works for everyone.

Lufthansa puts carbon-offsetting in travellers’ hands

Germany – The airline has created Compensaid, an online platform that lets travellers view and offset the carbon footprint of their air travel.

Created by the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, Compensaid lets users see the impact of their flight history across all airlines and countries. Alongside flight distance, time and destination, they can also review the efficiency of various aircraft types, individual fuel consumption and the associated CO2 emissions.

If they wish, users can choose to pay a minimum of £9 ($11, €10) to replace fossil aviation fuels on future flights with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Alternatively, they can donate to a reforestation project in Nicaragua that will help to counteract long-term CO2 emissions.

‘Flying benefits our world in many different ways… but flying also has negative climate effects, which need to be counteracted – not least from a digital perspective,’ explains Gleb Tritus, managing director of Lufthansa Innovation Hub. ‘With Compensaid this impact can be reduced significantly with the help of innovative technologies such as sustainable fuel.’

As consumers become aware of the environmental impact of global travel, brands and airlines are launching initiatives that help them to actively make a difference. For more, read our Conscious Tourism Market.

Lufthansa Lufthansa

Stat: WeChat’s mini-programs are booming

China WeChat mini-programs are showing 52% year-on-year growth in monthly active users (MAUs). QuestMobile reports that the number of MAUs grew from 491m to 746m between June 2018 and June 2019.

Mini-programmes are digital storefronts embedded in the WeChat app that allow users to make purchases without leaving the app.The surge in interest can be attributed to an increase in the number of influencers on the app wanting to share affiliate links with their followers. Mini-programs allow these influencers to send notifications to their followers with links that direct them through the WeChat eco-system. Although users are spending less time on WeChat, the app remains China’s top social network, with 1.1bn monthly users. This success is the result of its integration into many aspects of users’ lives and consumer journeys, from playing the lottery, ordering food and purchasing luxury fashion items to applying for a mortgage.

As influencer marketing continues to grow, social platforms are transforming into sites of social commerce, allowing trusted peer-to-peer purchasing channels to flourish.

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