As a child, Anthony Foxx knew he couldn’t ride his bike far from home without being blocked by a freeway. By the time he became U.S. transportation secretary he understood why.
“We now know — overwhelmingly — that our urban freeways were almost always routed through low-income and minority neighborhoods, creating disconnections from opportunity that exist to this day,” [...] “I really believe that this is an issue that has been on the shelf collecting dust for a long time,” Foxx said. — washingtonpost.com
In a fresh bid to confront a problem that has confounded lawmakers for decades, Los Angeles city and county officials approved sweeping plans Tuesday aimed at getting thousands of homeless people off the streets.
But one crucial question remains unanswered: Where will most of the money come from? [...]
The renewed government attention to homelessness was spurred in part by a 12% surge in people living on the streets [...] pushing the total to more than 44,000 homeless people countywide. — latimes.com
The freeway system, which Southern Californians once saw as a ticket to freedom, an emblem of L.A.'s love of individuality and movement, increasingly serves as a landscape of hard luck and a desperate sort of community — a place to hunker down. [...]
As the homeless population grows in a city whose public realm is the haggard product of several decades of neglect, the freeway has taken on a crucial, if often dispiriting, neighborhood role despite itself. — latimes.com
A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report said today.
As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management. — The Guardian
"Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: 'Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.'"Related coverage:Unchecked climate change...
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
Los Angeles elected leaders announced Tuesday that they will declare a “state of emergency” on the growing homelessness problem in the city and commit $100 million toward housing and other services for homeless people. [...]
"If we want to be a great city that hosts the Olympics and shows itself off to the world,” Cedillo said, “we shouldn't have 25,000 to 50,000 people sleeping on the streets.” — scpr.org
If America decides to take on its growing slum problem, people will need to think hard about how to do so. Mobility programs are proven to work for the families who move, but what happens to the neighborhoods that people leave? Can affordable-housing projects in low-income areas also help poor families succeed, or are they doomed to fail their residents, no matter how nice they are, because of where they are located? — theatlantic.com
The Ponte saga is a classic South African story. Once a Jacuzzi-filled playground for the segregated white elite in the apartheid era, then falling into chaos in the 1990s as the wealthy fled to the suburbs, then the object of failed luxury-condo schemes, the tower is now undergoing a renaissance as an icon of Johannesburg’s urban revitalization. [...]
The hollow core began to fill with garbage and rubble – several stories high. — theglobeandmail.com
Collectively, the encyclical affirms how important it is to make the moral case for city design. Too often, developers, urban planners and city leaders seem to think that it is obvious or implied why the decisions they make are in the best interest of the public. But there is no shortcut to articulating why our planning choices speak to the fundamental human dignity of the communities we’re working in. — nextcity.org
Still, when Mayor Bill de Blasio today unveiled his plan for New York’s troubled housing authority, NYCHA, dismantling these aging towers was not a piece of it. The plan calls for charging more for parking, redeploying staff to other agencies to save costs and leasing land within the housing complexes to private developers to save money. [...]
So why does New York City still have so many high-rise housing projects? — theatlantic.com
The Navigation Center is one of the most innovative homeless-help experiments being undertaken in the U.S. — meaning that when it opens the week of March 16 at an old high school at 16th and Mission streets, it will be watched not just by every homeless camper in the vicinity, but by aid agencies around the nation. [...]
The Navigation Center will be doing this as a pilot project for eight to 18 months, depending on its success. — SFGate
It’s time to retire the term gentrification altogether. Fourteen years ago, Maureen Kennedy and Paul Leonard of the Brookings Institution wrote that gentrification “is a politically loaded concept that generally has not been useful in resolving growth and community change debates because its meaning is unclear.” That’s even truer today. Some U.S. cities do have serious affordability problems, but they’re not the problems critics of gentrification think they are. — slate.com
France has embarked on an ambitious plan to remake Paris -- and, in the process, solve its suburbs problem. On Jan. 1, 2016, Paris, along with Clichy and more than 120 of its closest suburbs, will be enfolded into the Métropole du Grand Paris, an ambitious but still ill-defined project to create a sort of uber-city -- an overarching metropolitan government for the greater Paris area, encompassing around 7 million inhabitants and over 270 square miles. — Foreign Policy
The Hemakcheat was once one of Cambodia’s most beloved cinemas and Meas Sopheap one of its star dancers. Today it is a notorious slum, and Meas one of hundreds who shelter there. [...]
Hundreds of men, women and children shelter here, many on the ground-floor auditorium where they are shrouded in permanent darkness among hundreds of bats that screech and flap their wings constantly. [...] More waste falls from makeshift floors constructed above. The rotten stench of sewage is overpowering. — theguardian.com
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