Some useful recent reports – all to be taken critically. From austerity to prosperity: Seven priorities for the long term. McKinsey. New times, new connections: civil society action on climate change, Green Alliance, by Faye Scott. The State of African Cities 2010: Governance, Inequalities and Urban Land Markets, UN-Habitat. World Energy Outlook 2010. International Energy [...]
Note: Most of this week’s articles are not freely available in full on the internet. How the Observer brought the WWF into being, Observer, by Kate Kellaway. Article to market the 50th anniversary of the world’s largest non-governmental conservation charity. Includes links to the original Observer articles from 1960. Geoengineering: lift-off, Economist. Discussion of high [...]
A fascinating study on cities by Joel Kotkin (PDF) of the Legatum Institute, a free market think tank. At the core of the paper is an examination of the experience of three cities – London, Mexico City and Mumbai – but Kotkin covers a lot of ground. Key points include: The historical role of cities [...]
Yesterday’s Financial Times (FT) had an article which could not be any more Malthusian. According to a feature by Kevin Brown, the financial newspaper’s Asia regional correspondent: “It has become a truism, buttressed by the hard realities of economic performance, that the 21st century will belong to Asia. But there is a big problem to [...]
There are many problems with the proposals by Paul Romer, a professor of economics at Stanford, for charter cities – mainly to do with political sovereignty – but he does make an important point on desalination. Speaking on an episode of the Global Prosperity Wonkcast he argued that improvements in desalination technology make large tracts [...]
The best television programme I saw while my site was down was undoubtedly Julien Temple’s Requiem for Detroit. It portrayed the city as epitomising the rise and fall of the American Dream in the twentieth century: mass production of the automobile, mass consumption, shopping malls, freeways, racial divisions, white flight, deindustrialisation and ending with the [...]
James Heartfield has an article on the newgeography website celebrating what he calls dispersed settlements and others deride as urban sprawl. He concludes that: “Far from being necessarily de-humanising, dispersed settlements are an opportunity for an enlargement of the human spirit. To imagine that there is anything in physical proximity that is essential to community [...]
After last week’s vilest ever television programme here is a contender for dumbest ever. Kevin McCloud, know in Britain for presenting television programmes on architecture, finds wisdom and happiness in Dharavi, the Mumbai slum reputed to be the largest in Asia. He argued in his Channel 4 documentary that despite the poverty he sees it [...]
Just saw Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle’s film about an 18-year-old from the slums of Bombay who overcomes adversity to win the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The film does not have a explicit political message but there is something unhealthy about its obsession with India’s urban squalor. The characters tend to [...]
The latest annual World Development Report from the World Bank is about “reshaping economic geography” and specifically the role of cities (see 30 December 2007 post).
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