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Video Title
Why cities should plant more trees

Over 3 million people die annually from air pollution. Planting trees can help lower that number. Trees help improve public health by cleaning and cooling the air around them. As the threat of climate change steadily increases, planting trees is a fairly simple way city leaders can help stem the negative consequences of rising temperatures and increasing population density.

Source: youtube.com

The perfect storm for the Automotive Industry

The global trends of urbanization, climate change and digitalization are challenging the automotive industry. Atos believes that this will lead to a customer service centric business model. Mobility in this new world will be shared and autonomous.

Source: youtube.com

#InequalityIs: Don Chen on inequality and urbanization Don Chen on inequality and urbanization

By 2050, about 70 percent of the world’s people will live in cities. Don Chen, who directs the foundation’s work in Equitable Development, sees this as a tremendous opportunity. “Societies function better when everyone is contributing,” he explains.

Source: fordfoundation.org

China’s urbanization brings progress and challenges

Shanghai which is China’s economic powerhouse. The city’s wealth is built on the labor of migrant workers.

China’s fast economic growth has sped up urbanization. And rural migrants have flowed to big cities like Shanghai, for jobs and a chance to make it big. This economic upheaval also comes at a human cost.

For our special series “What is China,” CGTN’s reporters Han Bin and Nathan King find out in different directions.

Ma Yunqi lives on the edge of the city, and on the edge of poverty. He rents this room with his wife, who’s also a migrant worker.

Leaving home is a choice of economic necessity. And the emotional cost is tremendous.

Ma Yunqi’s family is in a village in Anhui Province, more than 10 hours away by bus. His 7 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son, live with their grandparents.

It’s a common situation for “left behind children” and the elderly in rural China. Living conditions are poor, as the countryside has few resources.

Migrant workers like Ma Yunqi can’t see a brighter future ahead. But they are grateful to be able to support loved ones back home.

China’s cities have been undergoing a rapid economic and social evolution, at a speed and on a scale which are unprecedented. Migrant workers have acted as both a cause and effect of the urbanization.

For some the Chinese dream has already been achieved, and they own homes in Beijing and invest globally and perhaps one of the ultimate status symbols buying property abroad-we went to one of the big destinations of Chinese capital in the U.S.-Seattle and saw first-hand how affluent Chinese can afford luxury on the other side of the Pacific.

Chinese buyers looking at Seattle real estate will likely already know Mei Yang – the Nanjing native knows what Chinese buyers are looking for -even down to an auspicious price tag.

Driving around the affluent Seattle suburbs of Bellevue and Medina, Mei said good schools, the presence of tech giants like Amazon, and soon a branch of Tsinghua University, makes it a hot market for Chinese looking to invest.

On a wooded hilltop we meet Chloe Hou from Henan Province – a very young Chinese entrepreneur- she’s turning this hilltop into a housing development aimed at young families flocking to this area.

Mei Yang said some Seattle residents are concerned that Chinese investment is pushing up prices – making homes too expensive. But many U.S. sellers in the Seattle area are knocking on her door, knowing that she has good connections to wealthy Chinese buyers.

Chinese real estate investment in the US gets a lot of headlines-what doesn’t is the number of jobs it helps to create in construction retail the legal and financial sector not to mention the wealth it creates for all the sellers to Chinese citizens.

Source: america.cgtn.com

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

 

The Future of Cities A Globetrotting Filmmaker, Seeking Answers About Our Urban Future

By the middle of the century, the share of urban dwellers is projected to hit 66 percent of the global population—some six billion people. To accommodate the ballooning figures, cities will have to get creative.

“Is future urbanization going to be a good thing or a bad thing?” asks filmmaker Oscar Boyson. “If you care about people,” he adds, “this is going to be the defining question of our time.”

Any answers are likely to be complicated and numerous—but chances are good that there’s a lot to be learned by hashing out possible solutions with as many voices as possible.

In pursuit of examples, Boyson fired off a quick YouTube video soliciting suggestions for places and projects. His effort generated 1,500 responses across 75 countries. Boyson had immersed himself in urbanist texts by the likes of Jane Jacobs and Jan Gehl, to name a few, but he wanted to, as he puts it, take a “quick trip around the world and see what is sticking.” So he ponied up for one of American Airlines’ round-the-world tickets, and, over the course of two weeks, jetted from New York to Santiago, Auckland, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Mumbai, London, Copenhagen, and Venice. Back stateside, he hit Detroit, L.A., and Boston.

The final result is an 18-minute filmThe Future of Cities, which splices analysis from the likes of Janette Sadik-Kahn and Edward Glaeser with mini-profiles of folks innovating on the ground.

Instead of hiring professional fixers to coordinate his travels and help pair him with sources, Boyson met up with people who had seen his initial video and agreed to show him the city through their lens. His contacts ranged from college kids to academics and architects. As soon as he touched down, Boyson hit the streets—or, when he wasn’t able to visit in person, viewers sent footage to him. (A student in Hong Kong, for instance, filmed Shenzhen street scenes when he went home to the city for the weekend.) “Pretty much everyone I emailed, even on three hours’ notice, was ready to rock,” Boyson says.

Faced with similar problems—a shrinking stock of affordable housing, car-choked streets—cities could do well to swap solutions. “Because cities inherently just don’t compete with each other, there’s a huge opportunity to collaborate with other cities,” Lauren Lockwood, Boston’s chief digital officer, says in the film. Boyson highlights some examples: Could a water usage tracking app, which aims to push back against utility shutoffs in Detroit, help places like Santiago and L.A., which are struggling with their own water-supply challenges? Could other cities adapt Santiago’s free electric rickshaws, or Singapore’s cap on the duration of a car’s lease? What about reimagining paved thoroughfares as public space or curbing the places where cars can roam?

A school in Lagos is built from locally available materials that float. (Oscar Boyson)

In the film, Jockin Aruputham, the president of Slum Dwellers International, and Morton Kabell, Copenhagen’s mayor for technical and environmental affairs, advocate incremental, citizen-driven initiatives. Boyson chronicles other cities that exemplify the concept of “kanju”—a term that Dayo Olopade, author of The Bright Continent, translates as “hustling” or “reimagining challenges as opportunities to innovate.” In Karachi, for example, bricks are made from tightly packed bags, while in Lagos, a school in a zone prone to flooding was retrofit to float. Residents pitch in to make it happen.

That idea echoes the role Boyson sees himself playing. “I’m more of an organizer of data and information than a guy telling you how it is,” he says. He envisions himself as a curator of voices and perspectives, not an issuer of dogma. He hopes this project is the first chapter of an ongoing conversation. The common denominator, he says, will be “going to real places and connecting with real people.” When it comes to outfitting cities for their future residents, he adds, it’s crucial to consider “who we’re making them for, and who we’re changing them with.” Those on-the-ground perspectives, he adds, are key. “The best thing about cities, and the internet, is that they connect people.”

Source: citylab.com

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

China launches new projects for sustainable urbanization

The 2017 New Urbanization Forum was held in Beijing on Sunday, with senior officials from the China Urban-townization Promotion Council and the National Development and Reform Commission in attendance. CGTN’s Su Yuting has more.

Source: youtube.com

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

MIT, Brazil, and the Challenge of Housing

The School of Architecture and Planning and the Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism (LCAU) at MIT have established a long-term initiative to rethink the future of affordable housing in Brazil, which faces an estimated shortage of 7 million units.

“The affordable housing gap — already a significant problem in Brazil — is growing wider,” says Gabriel Kozlowski, an architect and researcher who is part of the LCAU team. “Rethinking the architecture as well as the urban and economic models currently being implemented in the housing sector in Brazil is the first step toward providing better living conditions for millions of residents.”

The initiative is a combined effort among Brazilian academic institutions, research labs, and the private sector, in collaboration with MIT. The core local participants include the School of Architecture and Urbanism of São Paulo (FAU-USP); Arq.Futuro, Brazil’s largest platform devoted to the study and discussion of cities and urbanization; and the Institute of Urbanism and Studies for the Metropolis (URBEM), a “do-tank” for the conceptualization and implementation of large-scale urban development projects in São Paulo and other global cities.

Several other Brazilian institutions are joining the initiative, including INSPER, São Paulo’s leading center of education and research in the fields of business and economics, and the two largest private organizations representing the real estate sector in the state of São Paulo: the São Paulo State Housing Syndicate, SECOVI, and the Brazilian Association of Real Estate Companies, ABRAINC.

Two events in São Paulo this fall marked the beginning of this engagement. In October, FAU-USP hosted MIT School of Architecture and Planning Dean Hashim Sarkis for a public lecture, which took the form of a conversation about the new housing initiative and the opening of his exhibition, “The World According to Architecture,” mounted in the school’s gallery.

In November, Arq.Futuro, in partnership with the UN Habitat and the São Paulo State Secretariat for Urban Development, organized a two-day symposium entitled “Economy and the City: Housing and Urban Development.” With 40 speakers, the event aimed to open a discussion on the current state and new possibilities for affordable housing in Brazil.

“As a result of a series of economic and political practices, housing is a theme that was clearly left aside by architecture during these last decades,” says Kozlowski, who represented MIT at the event. “I believe this research collaboration is not only necessary but also symbolic for structuring an in-depth conversation on the future of affordable housing in Brazil to help reverse the current situation.”

The symposium also featured a video conversation between Sarkis and Adèle Naudé Santos, a professor in the MIT Department of Architecture and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, discussing the significance of housing research for Brazil and MIT’s role and vision for this collaboration.

Research activities will commence in 2017. During the spring — supported by a five-year grant offered by the São Paulo Research Foundation — the architecture school FAU-USP will gather a team of faculty and researchers led by architect Angelo Bucci to engage in a long-term project on housing.

“Housing is the primordial and most permanent theme of architecture,” says Bucci. “It is of the highest relevance to promote a cycle of research and debate that addresses new architectural designs necessary for today’s cities.”

The framework of the research is being developed in collaboration with MIT, which will also exchange faculty and students for short research periods over the next five years. During summer 2017, Santos will take MIT students to São Paulo for a workshop as part of the LCAU biennial theme of housing.

“We intend to design a community on an urban infill site that has reasonable access to facilities needed by the residents,” says Santos. “The housing should be flexible to accommodate different household formations, support income-generating activities, and through the shared spaces and amenities foster a sense of community. This will be a new neighborhood typology and an innovative building type, spatially, and technologically. The challenges are large, but we expect that the MIT team working with their Brazilian counterparts will bring bold thinking, rigor, and creativity to affordable urban housing solutions.”

Source: news.mit.edu

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Why Cities Are Where They Are in the World

Have you ever wondered why the world’s largest cities sprout up where they sprout up? It has a lot to do with water, natural resources, history, and being in the northern hemisphere.

Wendover Productions took a really hard look at why cities are whey they are in the video below and it’s completely fascinating. Some of the reasons are pretty obvious: Being close to water helps because the ocean is what connects the world, and without access to drinkable water cities would die of thirst. Being near natural resources obviously helps, too, since living near the stuff you need just makes sense.

But what’s most interesting is probably how most of the big cities in the world are located in the northern hemisphere, and that’s because many of history’s largest empires were located in Europe and Asia. And many of history’s largest empires were located in Europe and Asia because the shape of both Europe and Asia is wider than it is tall. And being a wider continent means there’s a lot of land that’s roughly on the same latitude which means roughly the same climate, which means plants and animals that were successful on one part of the continent can probably be successfully raised in another part of the continent (or even a new continent along the same latitude like say, North America), which means towns and colonies can support more people, which means they can eventually become the biggest cities in the world.

Source: gizmodo.com

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

 

The Chamwada Report: Episode 76 Sustainable Urbanization in Africa
Unscrambling Africa

Anyone who has googled most African cities like Nairobi will know that the images that come up are not exactly flattering. It's mostly slums, conflict or at best, wildlife.One day, Mutua Matheka went up to the rooftop of one of the taller buildings in Nairobi and saw the city, from a perspective new even to him. He realised Nairobi is actually beautiful. This moment changed everything. Mutua saw the distortion of what is presented to the world versus what is. He set out to photograph his city, in order to show the beauty he saw in it and, to balance the imagery that introduces the world to Nairobi.

Source: kickstarter.com

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

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