Edged Out by the Olympics

  As Rio makes way for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, many of the city's favelas are being knocked down and paved over: "As Rio recovers from a long decline, some of the new projects are largely welcome, like an elevator for a hillside favela in Ipanema, or new cable cars in the Complexo do Alemão slums....

Everybody Inhale: How Many People Can Manhattan Hold?

Though down from its 1910 population peak of 2.3 million residents, Manhattan's current population of 1.6 million--plus 2.3 daily visitors--is growing, projected to increase by almost 300,000 residents in the next twenty years. Amy O'Leary of The New York Times surveys the options of growth in New York City by citing several books an Urban...

Airline Routes Are a Pretty Good Predictor of Twitter Connections

 A new study by three Canadian researchers finds that many Twitter connections are either formed between users in the same city, or are between users in cities with frequent airline links between them. The research demonstrates how the Internet follows trends seen in the real world, though it does not explore whether similar...

How Cities Can Build a Cultural Identity

 On the occasion of carnival, the last big Roman Catholic-influenced celebration before Lent's Ash Wednesday, Kaid Benfield explores the vibrancy the cultural celebration brings to cities. Certainly, cultural festivities contribute to the character of a city, while at the same time the festival takes on a life of its own inside the culture...

Moscow's High-Tech Ambitions

  Skolkovo, an ambitious project to turn Moscow into a leading high-tech hub, is now in its third year. Progress has been on the slow side, but project managers are confident that the new ultramodern complex will boost Russia’s global competitiveness along five dimensions: aerospace, IT, biomedical science, energy efficiency and...

Have you visited Inside Out Project lately?

  Since the Inside Out Project launched last year at TED, more than 70,000 individual photos have been shot and pasted in almost 9,000 locations around the world, sharing a vision of individual identity for the world to see. To house this astonishing collection of portraits online from around theworld, Inside Out recently...

In Toronto, a Major Victory for Light Rail

During the last year, Toronto has been heatedly debating the future of its transit network, with billions of city dollars at stake. Toronto's current mayor, Rob Ford, ran his campaign on a pledge to build underground subway lines rather than build an above-ground light-rail network to reach the suburbs. Last week, the city council voted in favor...

City migration as a development problem? It's the ultimate urban myth

 This article seeks to debunk the current perspective on urbanization in which people are considered the problem rather than the solution. Alastair Donald, associate director of the Future Cities Project, argues that, "The current view of urbanisation is problematic on two fronts: it demonstrates how a negative worldview dominates...

How the Occupy Movement Changed Urban Government

 Professor Kenneth A. Stahl looks at how the "Occupy" protests revived the importance of cities as physical spaces. Stahl sees a the movement a protest against the trend among city governments to cater to "mobile consumers and capital investors" rather than their own citizenry. Is place becoming newly relevant to urban...

Obama to Cities: Drop Dead—the Life and Death of a Great American Urban Policy

Under the leadership of President Obama, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began revitalizing its urban policy. It demonstrates the president’s commitment to cities, though a lot of work remains to be done. "When Barack Obama took office, he created the first-ever White House Office of Urban Affairs...

Cities of the Future

Eduardo Souto de Moura, the 2011 Pritzker Prize Laureate, gave a lecture on Thursday, November 17, 2011 as part of the Leaders in Global Energy Series hosted by Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He highlighted his most recent design of a home, his innovative use of natural light in a museum (with no...

Yesterday's City of the Future

Arcosanti, a 1970s "urban laboratory" in the desert seventy miles north of Pheonix, Arizona, was founded as a bulwark against "the problems of pollution, waste, energy depletion, land, water, air and biological conservation, poverty, segregation, intolerance, population containment, fear and disillusionment." This...

Report on Rates of Urbanization in China

New data on China reveals that its middle class will hit 40 percent by 2020. It is currently urbanizating at a rate of 47% but that will increase to 55% by 2020, according to the International City Development Report released jointly by the Social Sciences Academic Press and Shanghai Academy of Social Science The Shanghaiist reports, ...

At War With São Paulo’s Establishment, Black Paint in Hand

In São Paulo, a long history of socioeconomic rifts has spilled into the streets in the form of protest graffiti.  As members of the lower class take up black paint to express their anger against the towering inequalities so common to Brazil, the foreign art world has developed a keen interest in the budding practice.  Those...

The Population of Chinese Cities? Almost 700 Million.

  Over half of China's population is now urban, not rural: Demographers had seen this moment coming. The 2010 census showed the differential between town and country to be within a mere few tenths of a percentage point. And yet it is still a remarkable turnaround. In 1980 fewer than a fifth of Chinese lived in cities, a smaller urban...

“I love the city, but am ashamed of its condition”

  Kolkata, a former industrial powerhouse, is struggling to keep pace in India's modernizing economy. According to The Economist: [N]o one disputes that West Bengal has suffered deindustrialisation on a par with the likes of Detroit. According to the central bank, the state accounted for a quarter of India’s industrial capital stock...

When Paris Became . . . Paris

  Robert Zaretsky reflects on 160 years of urban renewal: This year marks the 160th anniversary of the event that transformed Paris into the city that frames so many of this year’s Oscar nominees. It was in 1852 that President Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, fired by the memories and myth of his uncle’s earlier...

A New Eco-City, 100 Miles from Beijing?

  The plans for a new 30-square-kilometer city in Tianjin: As China rapidly modernises, there is need to create a sustainable city model as increasing rural-urban migration places pressures and demands on overtaxed and crowded existing cities. Situated 45 kilometres from Tianjin City and 150 kilometres from the Chinese capital of...

Urban Renewal in Ecuador

Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil, has been transformed by a dramatic redevelopment effort: In 1992, the city made a serious attempt to address its problems and reverse its negative momentum. A reorganized municipal government emphasized civic campaigns designed to increase residential connection with the city. A partnership of public and...

Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime

  Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime   A Lecture by Joseph Sassoon  Moderated by Timothy Mitchell  Time: 12:30-2PM  Location: Knox Hall, Room 208 ~ 606 West 122nd Street, New York, NY  The Ba`th came to power in Iraq in 1968 and remained there for thirty-five years until the 2003 US-led...

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