Rural adolescents commit suicide at roughly twice the rate of their urban peers, according to a study published in the May issue of the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Although imbalances between city and country have long persisted, “we weren’t expecting that the disparities would be increasing over time,” said the study’s lead author, Cynthia Fontanella, a psychologist at Ohio State University.
“The rates are higher, and the gap is getting wider.” — the New York Times
This is important for Africa, where despite high urbanisation rates the development focus has been primarily rural. Consider Ghana. The country’s urban population has grown from four million in 1984 to more than 14 million today. Fifty one percent of Ghanaians now live in cities. While urbanisation rates vary across Africa, Ghana reflects an overall global trend towards a predominantly urban future.
Ghana demonstrates how cities can be highly productive in Africa. — qz.com
As a society slowly urbanizes over time, its psychology and culture change, too... If American culture and psychology grew more individualistic as the country urbanized, wouldn't that transformation be clear in the words from American books (and the concepts that lie behind them)? — The Atlantic Cities
A leading architect has launched a scathing attack on Government planning reforms and warned that large parts of the country could resemble Los Angeles.
Lord [Richard] Rogers of Riverside claims that under the plans Britain's biggest cities could merge into one enormous urban sprawl. — dailymail.co.uk
How great are the benefits of density? Economists studying cities routinely find that after controlling for other variables, workers in denser places earn higher wages and are more productive. Some studies suggest that doubling density raises productivity by around 6 percent while others peg the impact at up to 28 percent. — nytimes.com
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. — spiegel.de
Two winners, one special prize, and eleven honorable mentions have been announced in the Venice CityVision Competition. The international ideas competition routinely challenges architects, engineers, designers, students and creative individuals to develop visionary urban proposals with the intention of stimulating and supporting the contemporary city, in this case Venice. — bustler.net
For at least a century, governments have tried to urbanise their nations. Communist states sought to drag people out of what Marx and Engels called their "rural idiocy". Capitalist governments – Mahatir Mohammed's administration in Malaysia is a good example – tried to persuade and bully indigenous people into leaving the land (which then became available for exploitation) and move to the cities to join the consumer economy. Urbanisation was equated with progress and modernity. — George Monbiot, guardian.co.uk
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