Arrival Cities
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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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Scientific Proof That Cities Are Like Nothing Else in Nature

Scientific Proof That Cities Are Like Nothing Else in Nature | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

"Luis Bettencourt, a physicist with the Santa Fe Institute, explains why we've never been able to come up with a proper metaphor for the city"

 

Bettencourt’s theoretical framework suggests that a kind of optimal city exists when we have the most social interaction – and social and economic output coming from it – with the least cost of connecting people and goods and ideas to each other. A sprawling city, for instance, isn’t reaching the full potential it could achieve if more people moved into town in denser development. Likewise, a dense but congested city loses some of the potential it could achieve with better transportation.

ddrrnt's insight:

He encourages us to look at "what cities do", the processes and interconnected relationships, not just the form.

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Making room - "Planet of Cities” by Shlomo Angel

Making room - "Planet of Cities” by Shlomo Angel | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

GROWTH, unemployment, industrial production—data for comparing countries is in rich supply. But if economists want to analyse and contrast cities, they have less to go on: most information is not standardised and is thus hard to compare. This is a problem, given the world’s rapid urbanisation and cities’ ever growing economic weight: the UN expects the urban population to double between 2010 and 2050, from 2.6 billion to 5.2 billion.


A new book goes some way toward remedying this deficit: “Planet of Cities”, by Shlomo Angel*, a professor of urban planning at New York University. To make “a modest contribution toward a science of the city”, Mr Angel and his colleagues generated a lot of comparable data on things such as urban expansion, population density and open space. (...)


On average, cities of all population sizes are growing at the same rate. Population densities have been in decline for more than a century—and not just in rich countries, where many cities have sprawled. It also seems to be a global norm that half of a city’s footprint is not built up. And the distribution of cities within a given country indeed follows the “law” that George Zipf, an American researcher, discovered in the 1940s: that the largest city is always about twice as big as the second largest, three times as big as the third largest, and so on. (...)


The book, however, is much more than an interesting exercise in urban statistics. Mr Angel does not hide his agenda: he wants to demonstrate that the movement of people into cities cannot be stopped; trying to slow down urbanisation and even stop it will produce all kinds of unpleasant side effects, he argues, not least driving up housing prices—which hurts the poor the most. (...)


Rather than copying such efforts to limit urban expansion, as some environmentalists advocate, rapidly growing cities in developing countries should take a page from New York and Barcelona, says Mr Angel. In the 19th century both cities decided to prepare themselves for rapid growth. In 1811 New York’s city council approved a plan which allowed all of Manhattan to be built up and included the island’s now famous street grid. In 1859 Barcelona followed suit with a similar concept to expand the city nine-fold.


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Biodiversity must be built into urban development to make future cities .

Biodiversity must be built into urban development to make future cities . | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Understanding how biodiversity can contribute to sustainable urban development will be vital as 70% of the world’s population moves into cities, an expert from the Stockholm Resilience Centre has warned.


Biodiversity must be built into urban development to make future cities ...


Thomas Elmqvist, a Professor at the University of Stockholm told RTCC that an area the size of South Africa is expected to be lost to rapid urbanisation over the next couple of decades.


He said this could pose a number of challenges, which a focus on biodiversity could help to solve.


“This will be primarily agricultural land,” he said. “This will have knock on effects because at the same time we have an increase in population and an increase in the need for food, so we will need to increase production. (...)


“Cities are facing enormous challenges; climate change is one,” he said. “We know that climate change will increase the frequency of heatwaves. It will also cause much higher variation in precipitation. Here is an opportunity for cities to embrace what we know about ecosystems and how they could reduce vulnerability.

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Cultivating the green shoots of rural areas

Cultivating the green shoots of rural areas | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The ILO looks to harnessing the potential of the world’s rural areas as city dwellers in the developing world struggle to find work.


It is impossible to talk about sustainable development without taking into account this simple fact: half of the world’s population and 75 per cent of the world’s poor live in rural areas.


The challenge is even more pressing when we look at what’s happening in urban spaces.

“The cities are often saturated in terms of housing and jobs. Living conditions and the types of jobs available are sometimes also quite poor,” says Loretta de Luca, ILO’s Co-ordinator for Rural Employment and Decent Work. (...)


“Migrating to cities cannot be the only option for the millions of rural workers who are desperate for a better life,” adds de Luca. “But there will be more poverty and even hunger and political unrest if people return to rural areas without any support to increase their productivity and incomes."


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Smart Tech For Scaled-Up Urban Agriculture | Earthtechling

Smart Tech For Scaled-Up Urban Agriculture | Earthtechling | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

High-yield greenhouse tech developed by the Swedish government has found a home in Plantagon's large-scale, vertical greenhouses designed for cities.


It has been estimated that by 2050, as much as 80 percent of the earth’s population will reside in cities. Considering that, by conservative estimates, the total population will total 2 billion, this question is, how are we going to feed our cities in an ecologically friendly way?  (...)


When plants reach the bottom of the greenhouse, they are harvested via a harvesting machine. After the harvest, the trays and pots are disinfected, and the pots are separated and replanted with another seed for the next round in the cultivation loop. (...)


The idea is that such large-scale greenhouses can work symbiotically with the built environment of the city, including its industrial buildings. Greenhouses can make use of the surplus heat produced by such buildings to become more energy efficient, suck up carbon dioxide from the air, and make use of food waste for fertilizer. (...)



via | Earthtechling

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Downtowns enjoying robust population growth

Downtowns enjoying robust population growth | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Areas grew at double-digit rates from 2000 to 2010 in metro cities.


Government incentives such as giving land away to encourage redevelopment lured investors. At the same time, the Millennial generation of young professionals and empty-nester Baby Boomers created powerful marketing demand for housing in urban neighborhoods where they could walk to work or entertainment. 


"People recognize the lower cost of living near things," says Ilana Preuss, vice president and chief of staff at Smart Growth America, a national group that fights suburban sprawl. "The trend toward downtown living is both in big cities and small cities. ... Suburban tracts have lost a huge amount of their values."


Downtown populations grew 13.3% in the largest metros. But downtown populations remain a small part of overall populations in metro areas.


Downtown gentrification is not likely to have displaced many minority residents, Lang says.

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Vertical Farms Start To Take Root In Reality

Vertical Farms Start To Take Root In Reality | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Take away the tractors, gadgets and GMOs, and the world’s first farmers would feel right at home today. A lot has changed in the last 10,000 years since the first rows were planted in the Fertile Cresent, but the formula remains basically the same: water, sunlight and good soil to grow your crops.

Yet a global population of 9 billion by mid-century means we need to grow about twice as much with less of everything. The future of farming may be on the way up--several stories up.


Via David Hodgson
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In Praise of Slums - By Charles Kenny

In Praise of Slums - By Charles Kenny | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Slum dwellers may be at the bottom of the urban heap, but most are better off than their rural counterparts. Although about half the world's population is urban, only a quarter of those living on less than a dollar a day live in urban areas. In Brazil, for example, where the word "poor" conjures images of both Rio's vertiginous favelas and indigenous Amazonian tribes living in rural privation, only 5 percent of the urban population is classified as extremely poor, compared with 25 percent of those living in rural areas.

 

... better quality of life is because of better access to services. Data from surveys across the developing world suggest that poor households in urban areas are more than twice as likely to have piped water as those in rural areas, and they're nearly four times more likely to have a flush toilet. In India, very poor urban women are about as likely to get prenatal care as the non-poor in rural areas. And in 70 percent of countries surveyed by MIT economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, school enrollment for girls ages 7 to 12 is higher among the urban poor than the rural poor.

 

Banerjee and Duflo found that, among people living on less than a dollar a day, infant mortality rates in urban areas were lower than rural rates in two-thirds of the countries for which they had data. In India, the death rate for babies in the first month of life is nearly one-quarter lower in urban areas than in rural villages. So significant is the difference in outcomes that population researcher Martin Brockerhoff concludes that "millions of children's lives may have been saved" in the 1980s alone as the result of mothers worldwide moving to urban areas.

 

As Harvard University economist Edward Glaeser puts it, slums don't make people poor -- they attract poor people who want to be rich. So let's help them help themselves.

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Immigrants will save us

Immigrants will save us | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

As for whether low-skilled immigrants are “takin’ urr jobs,” research shows that in the long term, they’re not. While “there are winners and losers in the short run,” ultimately, “immigration increases the scale of the economy, but it needn’t change the unemployment rate,” writes Albert Saiz, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania in his 2003 report “The Impact of Immigration on U.S. Cities.” Think of it this way: If you doubled the population of the United States, writes Saiz, there would be twice as many workers, but also twice as many consumers — the two cancel each other out.

...

 

Can cities manufacture that sort of immigrant-sparked stimulus? Last week, the Washington Post reported on Baltimore’s efforts to attract 10,000 new immigrant families within a decade — not just doctors and engineers, but low-skill, low-education immigrants as well. Dayton, Ohio, is trying something similar with the Welcome Dayton plan, which will aim to make the city more alluring to immigrants, regardless of their skills or education level. “We’ve got a city that was hit really hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs,” says Dayton city manager Tim Riordan. “The past hasn’t exactly worked out, so we figured, let’s give it a try.”

 

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Pallet Rack Architecture Competition | Jaaga

Pallet Rack Architecture Competition | Jaaga | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

At the same time, urban India faces a housing shortage as hundreds of millions of people move from rural areas into the cities seeking a better future. The cities are ill-equipted to handle the new comers as the existing infrastructure is already over taxed by the current population.

 

The purpose of this competition is to create innovative architectual designs which use pallet racks to create housing / village clusters which can support 100 plus families. The structures should be as effecient as possible in water and energy usage. Designs should account for residential space as well as community space for the inhabitants. The overall design should fit on a 3 acre plot of land.

 

Designs will be evaluated based on:

- perceived 'livability'

- cost

- self sufficiency

- aesthetics

 

Designs should be submitted as projects on the Open Architecture Network (OAN).


Watch this TEDx talk by Archana Prasad to learn more. 

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Sampath Reddy's curator insight, May 22, 2014 4:38 AM

Im working on low cost community centres and the $300 house challenge www.300house.com , I believe freeman murray and jaaga initiative of pallet rack architecture has some potential solutions, Anybody interested in this project..

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'Huge' water resource in Africa

'Huge' water resource in Africa | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater.


They argue that the total volume of water in aquifers underground is 100 times the amount found on the surface.


The team have produced the most detailed map yet of the scale and potential of this hidden resource.


Writing in the journal Environmental Research Letters, they stress that large scale drilling might not be the best way of increasing water supplies.


Across Africa more than 300 million people are said not to have access to safe drinking water.


Demand for water is set to grow markedly in coming decades due to population growth and the need for irrigation to grow crops.

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Why Cities? Ending Climate Change Begins in the City

Why Cities? Ending Climate Change Begins in the City | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
The climate change debate has been going on for years, with people on both sides of the fence arguing for its existence — and against it.

 

It’s hard to argue or turn a blind eye to the fact that, as the world’s population continues to grow, cities are becoming more and more crowded and the day-to-day pollution put into the environment by humans is starting to have an effect on our world. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of the world’s mega cities committed to addressing climate change, and have a meaningful global impact. They have created this stellar interactive graphic to help spread the news...


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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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kolkata

kolkata | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The slums of Kolkata can be divided into three groups: the older ones, up to 150 years’ old, in the heart of the city, are associated with early urbanization. The second group dates from the 1940s and 1950s and emerged as an outcome of industrialization-based rural–urban migration, locating themselves around industrial sites and near infra-structural arteries. The third group came into being after the independence of India and took vacant urban lands and areas along roads, canals and on marginal lands. In 2001, 1.5 million people, or one third of Kolkata’s population, lived in 2011 registered and 3500 unregistered slums.

 

Registered Slums (bustees): these slums are recognized by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) on the basis of land title; since 1980, they have been taken over by the CMC for letting/lease to slum dwellers.

 

Unregistered slums: this comprises slums onthe land encroaching settlements.

 

The "bustee-type" generally has some form of secure tenure or ownership rights based on land rent or lease, with structures built by the slum dwellers, or house rental/lease of structures built by third parties.


Tenure security is, in principle, not available to the unregistered land encroaching settlements on road sides (jhupri), along canals (khaldhar) or on other vacant land (udbastu).


Over 40 per cent of Kolkata’s slum residents have been slum dwellers for two generations or longer, and more than half originate from the Kolkata hinterland. With the majority engaged in the informal sector, with average monthly earnings of between 500 and 1700 rupees and a household size of five to six persons, some three-quarters of the Kolkata slum population are below the poverty line.


This summary has been extracted from:

UN-Habitat (2003) Global Report on Human Settlements 2003, The Challenge of Slums, Earthscan, London; Part IV: 'Summary of City Case Studies', pp195-228.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu-projects/Global_Report/pdfs/Kolkata_bw.pdf

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We Will Have to Make Our Future Cities Both “Resilient” and "Sustainable"

We Will Have to Make Our Future Cities Both “Resilient” and "Sustainable" | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

As Bello points out , though resilience and sustainability—two of the hottest buzzwords in urban planning—are practically used interchangeably, they are in fact in some tension with each other. A resilient system bounces back from challenges, unharmed, and a big part of building in resilience includes building in ways to fail safely.Sustainability, on the other hand, means efficiency, at least in part, as designers strive to strike a balance between human needs and environmental impacts. (...)


Accordind to World Urbanization Report, the twentieth century witnessed the rapid urbanization of the world’s population. The global proportion of urban population increased from a mere 13 per cent in 1900 to 29 per cent in 1950 and, according to the 2005 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, reached 49 per cent in 2005. Since the world is projected to continue to urbanize, 60 per cent of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2030. The rising numbers of urban dwellers give the best indication of the scale of these unprecedented trends: the urban population increased from 220 million in 1900 to 732 million in 1950, and is estimated to have reached 3.2 billion in 2005, thus more than quadrupling since 1950. According to the latest United Nations population projections, 4.9 billion people are expected to be urban dwellers in 2030.

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Cities Without Borders | Sustainable Cities Collective

Cities Without Borders | Sustainable Cities Collective | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

With more people now living in urban environments for the first time in human history, we have a tremendous opportunity to harness the productive capacity of a city. Money saved from no longer maintaining physical boundaries could be better spent on developing the urban fabric of future cities. High density, multi-functional spaces, and interconnectivity are paramount. Investing in renewable energies as well as innovative food sources would further the autonomy of the city.


by: Rashiq Fataar

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Cities: Salvation Or Infestation? : NPR

Cities: Salvation Or Infestation? : NPR | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

There are lots of lines of evidence telling us our current model for cities is unsustainable. Does that mean cities themselves are the problem and we should all move back to the farm?


Urban agriculture and rooftop farms could be part of the solution. There are proposals to make buildings more like plants so that they can get everything they need right where they sit. There are opportunities for using Big Data to make urban energy consumption hyper efficient. In a thousand-thousand ways — some big and some small — there are opportunities to reimagine how cities work and how we work within them. That is pretty awesome.


With seven billion people and counting, it is likely that the density and efficiencies cities enable might be our only hope for a vibrant, high-tech and sustainable civilization. And with 70 percent of the world's population expected to move into cities by 2050, do we really have any choice?


Adam Frank @AdamFrank4

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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.


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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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Can Urban Agriculture Feed a Hungry World?

Can Urban Agriculture Feed a Hungry World? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Agricultural researchers believe that building indoor farms in the middle of cities could help solve the world’s hunger problem. Experts say that vertical farming could feed up to 10 billion people and make agriculture independent of the weather and the need for land. There’s only one snag: The urban farms need huge amounts of energy

 

— City Farmer News

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Anchoring Wealth to Sustain Cities and Population Growth

Anchoring Wealth to Sustain Cities and Population Growth | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

To meet the intersecting challenges of population growth and environmental degradation, the U.S. must abandon its “throwaway city” habit, which creates abandoned spaces like this factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Instead, community wealth strategies, like cooperatives, can be used to anchor capital in place.


In Brief There will be at least 100 million more Americans by 2050, and likely 150 million more. Yet the cities that will house them are so spatially and economically unstable that it is impossible to do much beyond superficial sustainability planning.

 

[Dan notes: The full article offers a number of solutions being undertaken in Cleveland.]

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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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Smart Growth: Fighting sprawl with walkable communities

Smart Growth: Fighting sprawl with walkable communities | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Governments are embracing "smart growth" planning principles to create jobs and more environmentally sustainable communities.


The Atlantic shares how walkable neighborhoods with easy access to local shops and mass transit can reduce the transportation and housing costs of the average household budget, as well as reduce the effects of pollution. Smart growth also has the potential to boost an area's economy by increasing foot traffic at local shops.


"The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that smart growth developments will likely increase over the next 30 years as household demographics and housing preferences change and the U.S. population grows."

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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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Powering Agriculture: An Energy Challenge For Development

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Challenge For Development | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Agriculture remains the most prominent source of livelihood for households in developing countries, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimating that countries need to produce 70% more food on the same amount of land in order to feed their continually growing population. When communities have reliable energy providers, they are given their best chance of thriving. As population expands, farms and agribusiness will need to produce, process, and transport an increasing amount of food.


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