Collaborate Groups, projects & programmes, discussions, Q&A

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 11:20
The first column argued that urbanisation was not natural or inevitable, but a direct result of the forces of capitalism.  The second examined how the Urban Industry actively misinforms through hyperbole on the benefits of an urbanised life – and claimed that everything we thought we knew about cities being wrong. This column examines the philosophical underpinnings of the Urban Industry. It looks at how the "idea of progress" that argues cities are a symbol of human advancement was born, is embedded and continues to be transmitted, despite its deeply problematic foundations. Urbanisation is... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 11:24
Africa has the world's deadliest roads: Why this could actually be a design problem—and how every trip cheats death Every time you pass an oncoming car successfully you are cheating death, and whenever you overtake another vehicle you are knocking on heaven’s door MZUZU is a nice town in northern Malawi, full of the usual: dust clouds, blustering hawkers, charming smiles and over-exuberant servings at food kiosks. Not long ago, I took a road trip from Nairobi to Blantyre, going all the way by public transport through Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi, on a combination of large 60-seater buses,... Read more
Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 10:05
Landscape architect Kristina Hill focuses on helping cities adapt to climate change, particularly sea level rise. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she discusses the challenges, solutions, and costs of saving cities from encroaching oceans.   Sea levels are rising faster than they have in at least 28 centuries, according to recent research, and by 2100, they are expected to rise by one to four feet — possibly even higher. If emissions go unchecked and polar ice sheets melt on a large scale, global sea levels could climb by dozens of feet in the coming centuries. From Shanghai and... Read more
Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 08:58
The natural environment of eThekwini, the city also known as Durban, has been put under severe pressure due to rapid urbanization and climate change. These have contributed to the degradation of the City’s environmental assets, such as rare and threatened ecosystems, rivers and coastal wetlands, undermining the wellbeing of people and the economic prospects of the City, according to a World Bank report released on March 1. The report, Promoting Green Urban Development in African Cities: provides an urban environmental profile of the City of eThekwini. It notes that the City, has developed in... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 10:48
Climate change is leading to significant migration in Kenya, dividing loved-ones and driving families apart. Meet Teresina, whose husband Julius has been forced to move hundred of miles away to earn an income to keep his children in school. It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. As couples around the world look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day, Teresina Karimi from Kenya dreams of being with her husband, who lives hundreds of miles away. “I miss him but there are no options here. There is nothing else that we can do,” Teresina Karimi (45) says, sheltering under the rim of... Read more
Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 09:28
Sufficient fresh water; universal access to cleaner energy; the ability to travel efficiently from one point to another; a sense of safety and security: These are the kinds of promises modern cities must fulfill if they are to stay competitive and provide a decent quality of life to their citizens. By 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas. The challenge will be to supply these populations with basic resources like safe food, clean water and sufficient energy, while also ensuring overall economic, social and environmental sustainability. Already today,... Read more
Posted on Monday, January 25, 2016 - 12:34
The typical modern Chinese city leaves a lot to be desired — and everybody seems to know it. Their streets tend to be extremely wide, cutting off one side from the other, but are still clogged with traffic that is unhindered by road rules. Their expansive sidewalks would be good for walking except for the fact that cars park and drive on them. Their populations are housed within 500×500 meter apartment complexes that are shut up behind high gates, inhibiting street life — socializing is best done at the nearest shopping mall. Their appearance is monotonous, it is a common complaint that China... Read more
Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 10:45
Selling food in Nairobi's informal settlements can provide cheap meals and create vital livelihoods, especially for women, but these providers are usually ignored and remain invisible. Food vendors play a key role in nourishing their fellow residents in informal settlements, offering ready access to fruit, vegetables, snacks, and cooked foods. But unlike food vendors in markets or downtown streets, vendors in informal settlements are often hidden and overlooked by policymakers. The Kenyan slum-dweller federation, Muungano wa Wanavijiji, has explored why vendors sell in informal settlements,... Read more
Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 10:22
Do big cities have more in common with each other than with the rest of their own countries? Are there meaningful comparisons between cities such as New York, London and Shanghai, rather than between nation states? That is the suggestion of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Such mega-conurbations have bigger populations and economies than many individual countries - and the think tank argues that they face many similar challenges, whether it is in transport, housing, security, jobs, migration or education. In a report on global trends shaping education, the... Read more
Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 19:02
City mayors from around the world have gathered in Paris at the Conference of Parties (COP21) to discuss green solutions, with many pledging to pursue a suite of sustainability initiatives to tackle climate change. Some of these discussions hold valuable lessons for smart Indian cities of the future. Today, unchecked and growing resource consumption and waste generation in Indian cities are commensurate with the populations they sustain. As economic growth triggers greater urbanisation, the cities of tomorrow need to break away from this traditional paradigm. New urban development models... Read more