"For the first time in human history, more of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in cities than in rural areas. That is an incredible demographic and geographic shift since 1950 when only 30 percent of the world’s 2.5 billion inhabitants lived in urban environments.
The world’s largest cities, particularly in developing countries, are growing at phenomenal rates. As a growing landless class is attracted by urban opportunities, meager as they might be, these cities’ populations are ballooning to incredible numbers.
A May 2010 Christian Science Monitor article on “megacities” predicted that by 2050, almost 70 percent of the world’s estimated 10 billion people—more than the number of people living today—will reside in urban areas. The social, economic and environmental problems associated with a predominantly urbanized population are considerably different from those of the mostly rural world population of the past."
"The French have a wonderful word—flâneur—for someone who seeks to explore and understand the nature of a city’s landscape, usually by taking spontaneous adventures amidst the ebb and flow of life going on around them. In this week’s theme we invite you to lose yourself reading about the flâneur-esque adventures of Maptia’s streetwise connoisseurs and explore a myriad of cities through their eyes."
"By 2030, two out of three people will live in an urban world, with most of the explosive growth occurring in developing countries. For a preview of the future, the last in the Challenges for Humanity series explores São Paulo, Brazil; Lagos, Nigeria; Bangkok, Thailand; and Hyderabad, India."
A more sustainable Australia.As the 2013 election campaign continues, we’ve asked academics to look at some of the long-term issues affecting Australia – the issues that will shape our future.Australia…...
People who live in them actually have greater social cohesion, according to one sociologist.
Thomas R. Hochschild Jr. actually first encountered the social cohesion of cul-de-sacs in his latest research when he wandered into one in Connecticut with his clipboard and polo shirt, and someone called the cops. That never happened on the other types of streets he was studying, places where it would turn out the neighbors didn't know each other as well, and it was less clear who "belonged." Repeatedly, though, he found at the end of cul-de-sacs families who watched each others' children and took in each others' mail, who barbequed and orchestrated the removal of snow together, and who considered each other close friends. In cul-de-sacs, these families had a stronger sense of shared social space and territoriality. An outsider stood out.
Twenty kilometers (12 miles) from England’s Kent and Essex coasts, the world’s largest offshore wind farm has started harvesting the breezes over the sea. Located in the Thames Estuary, where the River Thames meets the North Sea, the London Array has a maximum generating power of 630 megawatts (MW), enough to supply as many as 500,000 homes.
The wind farm became fully operational on April 8, 2013. Twenty days later, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this image of the area. The second image is a closeup of the area marked by the white box in the top image. White points in the second image are the wind turbines; a few boat wakes are also visible. The sea is discolored by light tan sediment—spring runoff washed out by the Thames.
"Established in 2004 by local social entrepreneur Hans Dieter Temp, an organisation called Cidades sem Fome (Cities Without Hunger) is working to reduce hunger and joblessness among some of the most economically deprived areas of Sao Paulo, through urban agriculture. Local community members are given the tools and training to start producing fruit and vegetables on unused land acquired by the organisation. This not only brings much needed quality produce and food security to the community, but it is also addressing the issue of unemployment – a constant problem in Brazil’s favelas."
A wonderful project that is not only dealing with malnutrition and unemployment but is contributing to people's sense of importance, which is invaluable.
A shining example that shows that the way forward is through people working together.
When the city is viewed not as a destination for design but as the source material for it, a new relationship between design and the urban landscape is possible.
Whether it’s repurposing a billboard to act as a humidity collection system for clean drinking water in Lima, Peru, or integrating Wi-Fi capabilities into Madrid’s paving stones with the iPavement initiative, cities are increasingly expanding the capabilities of their existing assets and reforming the urban terrain as a landscape of opportunity.
The truth is that a city has all the resources it needs; the key to unlocking these resources is seeing the urban landscape not as the end result of a previous creative process, but as the beginning of a new one—a landscape to design with, not for.
Given that the Met Office has issued a heatwave "Level3" warning for the south-east of England it is appropriate to give some thought to how and why the conditions are particularly hot in cities, like London.