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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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The median age of a person living in the slums of the world is 18.

The median age of a person living in the slums of the world is 18. | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The median age of a person living in the slums of the world is 18. Or, in other words, as Daniel Ragan of UN Habitat (officially the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) told the group, most people in slums are youth. Further, Ragan explained, most of these youth do not have families. These variables create significant challenges in the the work of UN Habitat, which works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. Ragan spoke about a number of important projects in which they are trying to empower youth in slums to follow their entrepreneurial inclinations and develop businesses that will help them get out of the slums through modest financial grants from UN Habitat. Ragan noted that entrepreneurial projects of youth occur in spite of the allure of gangs, which often provide a much-needed sense of community to many of these kids.

 

One of the most riveting presentations at the breakfast was by  Dr. Joan Clos, the head of UN Habitat who spoke about the worldwide trends of increased urbanization of the planet and how most cities and countries are failing to adequately prepare for this. Dr. Clos described how nearly three billion or almost half of the total global population is under 25. The majority of these populations are living in cities and towns in the developing world where nearly 90% of the world’s urban growth is taking place.

 

“We therefore need to change the current model of urbanization to create more productive cities by focusing on more strategic issues including urban legislation, land tenure, urban planning and designing, urban economy and municipal finance to prepare the cities to be places that generate jobs for its ever increasing population … Youth issues should be at the center stage of this urban transformation.”

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Why We Should Worry About the Drop in Immigrant-Led Start-Ups

Why We Should Worry About the Drop in Immigrant-Led Start-Ups | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

New visa requirements are pushing American-trained foreigners to start their businesses in other countries.


In the late 1990s, there had been a big surge in skilled immigration due to a temporary increase in the cap for H-1B visas. In theory, that should have resulted in an explosion in new immigrant founded companies over the past several years.


The latest survey results from AnnaLee Saxenian of the University of California – Then and Now: America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs — shows a drop in the number of immigrant-found companies in Silicon Valley, from 52.4 percent from 1995 to 2005 to 43.9 percent from 2006 to 2012.


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Why We Need a Better 'Science of Cities'

Why We Need a Better 'Science of Cities' | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In his just-released Planet of Cities, Shlomo Angel argues that urban policy-makers and planners must do more to meet the challenge of urbanization. Angel, who is a member of the Urbanization Project at New York University and who conducted his research as a visiting fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, provides a detailed, data-driven analysis filled with maps of world urbanization patterns, as well as charts and tables documenting the challenges facing global cities. He took time out from his busy schedule to talk to Atlantic Cities about the key challenges facing our increasingly urban world.


RF: We live in an expanding urban world. How much and what kind of expansion can we anticipate? What parts of the world will see the most of it, and how can we best cope?


SA: In the coming decades, say between 2010 and 2050, cities in industrialized countries will add 170 million to their populations while developing countries will add 2.5 billion, or 15 times that. The largest shares of this growth, 25 percent each, will be in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent, and an additional 15 percent will be in China.


Via Flora Moon
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Smart Growth Helps Cities Adapt to Aging Boomers: EPA

Smart Growth Helps Cities Adapt to Aging Boomers: EPA | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

As baby boomers age, the need for elderly friendly towns and cities becomes increasingly important. This week, the EPA announced the winners of the fourth annual Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging award. The award honors communities that are improving quality of life through "smart growth," or growth designed to cut down on commutes and environmental harm; preserve open space; encourage community collaboration; and mix land uses.

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Demand for Foreign-Born Workers Is Spiky

Demand for Foreign-Born Workers Is Spiky | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In the ongoing immigration debates across the United States, a particular target has been the H-1B Immigrant Visa program, which allows American companies to hire skilled foreign workers for three years with the option to extend up to six years. 

 

A new study from the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program takes a hard empirical look at the efficacy and geography of the H1B program.

 

By analyzing the demand for H-1B workers at the metropolitan level, the report sheds new light on where skills are most needed, and how existing federal programs can be adjusted to better support economic growth.

 

[The author of this article, Richard Florida, then shares his point of view]

 

I’ve long argued that America’s short-sighted immigration policies are a key threat to its economic competitiveness and prosperity. "Immigrants from foreign countries spearhead innovations and enterprise in everything from steel making to semiconductors and all forms of high tech," I note in The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited. "We need to make this country welcoming to all enterprising, energetic, and ambitious people. This is the biggest no-brainer of them all."

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U.S. population in cities growing faster than in suburbs

U.S. population in cities growing faster than in suburbs | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Those who are following the resurgence of urban centers, this won’t be a surprise – the population in cities growing faster than in suburbs:

 

For all 51 metro areas with a million or more people, cities as a whole grew by 1.1% from 2010 to 2011, while suburbs increased 0.9%. That’s a big change from the last decade, in which suburbs expanded at triple the rate of cities.

 

“This can really be seen as a milestone,” said William Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer who analyzed the census data to be released Thursday. “What’s significant about it is that it’s pervasive across the country.”

 

via U.S. population in cities growing faster than in suburbs – latimes.com.  http://www.latimes.com/health/la-na-census-cities-20120628,0,826572.story

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40 Percent of Fortune 500 Companies Founded by Immigrants or Their Children

We know about immigrant founders at large technology companies, such as Intel, Google and eBay. Less well known is how many immigrants and children of immigrants have founded other successful American companies.


A new report from the Partnership for a New American Economy found more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Eighteen percent (or 90) of the 500 companies had immigrant founders. The children of immigrants started another 114 companies. (A copy of the report can be found here.)

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America's 'Trente Glorieuses'? - Seeking Alpha

America's 'Trente Glorieuses'? - Seeking Alpha | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In the post-war period starting from 1945, France and much of Western Europe experienced a virtual cycle of rapid economic growth lasting thirty years called les trente glorieuses. Economic growth was driven by the combination of rising working age population, incomes and standards of living. This is known as a "demographic dividend".


America may be on the verge of its own trente glorieuses as it experiences its own demographic dividend, driven by the combination of a rising working age population as the children of the post-war Baby Boomers grow up and enter the work force and immigration.

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New Asian Immigrants Exceed Hispanics

New Asian Immigrants Exceed Hispanics | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

An expansive study by the Pew Research Center details what it describes as "the rise of Asian-Americans," a highly diverse and fast-growing group making up nearly 6 percent of the U.S. population. Mostly foreign-born and naturalized citizens, their numbers have been boosted by increases in visas granted to specialized workers and to wealthy investors as the U.S. economy becomes driven less by manufacturing and more by technology.

 

"Too often the policy debates on immigration fixate on just one part — illegal immigration," said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a political science professor at the University of California-Riverside and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "U.S. immigration is more diverse and broader than that, with policy that needs to focus also on high-skilled workers."

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Do We Pay More To Live in Diverse Neighborhoods?

Do We Pay More To Live in Diverse Neighborhoods? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Diverse neighborhoods had higher population growth and stronger property value growth last year – and they’re a bit pricier to begin with.


Americans are moving toward diverse neighborhoods. However, growth in those neighborhoods could affect their diversity: if prices in diverse neighborhoods rise, lower-income residents may get priced out over time. Because the two largest minority racial/ethnic groups – blacks and Hispanics – have lower incomes, on average, than whites, rising prices could reduce diversity in those markets. When the next Census rolls around in 2020, the list of most-diverse neighborhoods in the U.S. could look very different.

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Bicycle Superhighway in the city of Copenhagen

Bicycle Superhighway in the city of Copenhagen | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

As the Times reports, the city of Copenhagen has launched the first of 26 planned suburban commuter arteries built exclusively for bicycles: long, well-paved, carefully maintained bike paths to link its suburbs with the inner city, up to 14 miles long and requiring the cooperation of 21 separate municipal governments.


These are the numbers the Times reports. Remarkably, the story makes no mention of the extraordinary figure for cycling’s modal share in Copenhagen, so I will: fully 37 percent of Copenhagen residents — and 55 percent of downtown dwellers — use bikes as their primary mode of transportation.


Read more -> Three reasons why Copenhagen is the world leader in urban sustainability


Via Laurence Serfaty, Wa Gon, David Hodgson, Anne Caspari
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Asians are now the top class of immigrants to US, surpassing Hispanics and earning 45% of engineering PhDs

Asians are now the top class of immigrants to US, surpassing Hispanics and earning 45% of engineering PhDs | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The Hispanic influx is surpassed


Asians, not Hispanics, are now the leading class of immigrants to the US. About 430,000 Asian immigrants arrived in the US in 2010, compared to about 370,000 of Hispanic origin. An influx of educated Asians is filling the demand for science and engineering talent: Asian students earn 45 percent of engineering PhDs awarded in the US despite comprising only 5.6 percent of the population.

See more in today’s infographic, then dig into our roundup of immigration views below in “What Do Others Say?”

 

How do we know?
Check the original sources behind the fact:

Pew Research Center: "The Rise of Asian Americans"

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2012/06/SDT-Rise-of-Asian-Americans.pdf
National Science Foundation: "Doctorate recipients from US universities"

http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/sed/digest/2010/nsf12305.pdf

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Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk?

Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Reading Tom Vanderbilt’s series on the crisis in American walking, I noticed something about the cities with the highest “walk scores.” They’re all liberal. New York, San Francisco, and Boston, the top three major cities on Walkscore.com, are three of the most liberal cities in the country. In fact, the top 19 are all in states that voted for Obama in 2008. The lowest-scoring major cities, by comparison, tilt conservative: Three of the bottom four—Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, and Fort Worth—went for McCain. What explains the correlation? Don’t conservatives like to walk?

 

You might think it’s a simple matter of size: Big cities lean liberal and also tend to be more walkable. That’s generally true, but it doesn’t fully explain the phenomenon. Houston, Phoenix, and Dallas are among the nation’s ten largest cities, but they’re also among the country’s more conservative big cities, and none cracks the top 20 in walkability. All three trail smaller liberal cities such as Portland, Denver, and Long Beach. And if you expand the data beyond the 50 largest cities, the conservative/liberal polarity only grows. Small liberal cities such as Cambridge, Mass., Berkeley, Ca., and Paterson, N.J. make the top 10, while conservative cities of similar size such as Palm Bay, Fl. and Clarksville, Ten. rank at the bottom.

 

http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/

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KENYA: Urban poor face rising food insecurity

KENYA: Urban poor face rising food insecurity | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

A recent urban food security assessment carried out by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the government of Kenya has revealed that more than a quarter of urban children in the country are stunted - a symptom of chronic malnutrition - while 13 percent of high-density urban households have unacceptably low levels of food consumption.

 

Many of the urban poor resort to coping strategies such as restricting consumption, eating fewer or smaller meals and eating cheaper products. The urban poor in Kenya spend 60 to 65 percent of their income on food.

 

According to the assessment, Kenya's urban population accounts for about 35 percent of the total population, with 70 percent of urban dwellers living in slums. Kenya’s urban population grew by 4 percent in 2010, and the World Bank estimates that urban poverty will represent almost half of Kenya's total poverty by 2020.

 

At present, the government is promoting urban and peri-urban agriculture to improve food access among the urban poor.

 

“Urban agriculture is an important coping strategy for the urban poor, many of whom would be food insecure. We are targeting some 100,000 urban farmers per year over the next three years," the Ministry of Agriculture's Songa said.

 

The government says it will subsidize seeds, fertilizers, sacks and training to the farmers to help them produce short-cycle crops such as tomatoes, vegetables and beans.

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The city roars back

The city roars back | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

PEOPLE in Britain are living longer and having more babies—and more foreigners are joining them. That is the main finding from the 2011 census results released on July 16th. The population of England and Wales is growing faster than most demographers thought, at 7.1% for the decade, thanks mainly to immigration and a rise in fertility fuelled by the newcomers. But there is another, still less expected, change: big cities that were shedding people a decade ago are growing at a terrific rate.

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Immigrants rejuvenate the United States

Immigrants rejuvenate the United States | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

This chart (pdf) from BBVA, shows the ratio of 65-and-up-year-olds to 15-64-year-olds was shared by BusinessInsider.


Cam Hui from SeekingAlpha explains the research shows that "without the influx of Mexican immigrants, the demographic of the U.S. would be much, much older."

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Africa: 1.3 Billion People Live in Extreme Poverty

There are 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty and close to 900 million chronically undernourished globally, according to United Nations.

 

the world now faces the challenge of raising global food production by 60 per cent by 2050, while managing the natural resource base so that we are not robbing future generations.

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