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
"Given the interrelationship between living space and human behaviour, those who design buildings, neighbourhoods, public spaces and cities, ought to draw on the various disciplines which help us to understand people’s thought processes, symbolic language and ways of acting. It is not enough to...
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
This ambitious project will be the first of its kind in the world, one that planners hope can become a model for other cities. The Parisian suburbs – or banlieues – are notoriously underprivileged. Generally, Paris and its environs are markedly economically segregated: the central city is...
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
Venezuelan soldiers and officials began moving hundreds of families on Tuesday out of a half-built 45-story skyscraper that dominates the Caracas skyline and is thought to be the world's tallest slum. Residents from the "Tower of David” were going to new homes in the town of Cua, south of Caracas [...]. President Nicolas Maduro's government has not yet said what it will do with the tower, but one local newspaper reported Chinese banks were buying it to restore to its original purpose. — nbcnews.com
Previously:Iwan Baan presents TORRE DAVID / GRAN HORIZONTE in Los AngelesAnywhere but Here: Deserted Banking Empire turned Skyscraper SlumThe world's tallest slum: Rare look at an illegal ghetto in the sky
Skyscrapers and shanties, gleaming malls and rundown markets, palatial houses and the piss-poor guys who build them: Those are the divides in cities like Mumbai, Nairobi and Manila. Rich and poor do not much mingle.
But a movement is afoot to change that. It aims to integrate the poor into the urban bloodstream, instead of shunting them from sight. For this "inclusive cities" movement, urban renewal doesn't require razing slums and markets. — npr.org
A Milwaukee bar called Nomad World Pub wanted to create a special place for its customers to watch the World Cup, so it decided to set up a faux favela inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s poverty-stricken mountainside slums. The fact the space comes with a taco hut — a type of food not even served in Brazil — reveals the depth of ignorance out of which it was created. You have to wonder: is the menu in Spanish too? — hyperallergic.com
Cars offer more than just convenience: they can give lower income Americans an economic leg up. [...]
While tracking households that had participated in two federal housing voucher programs, [a study] found that car owners were twice as likely as transit users to find jobs and four times likelier to retain them. Car-owning households were also able to locate near better neighborhoods and schools. This reaffirmed previous work ... arguing that car ownership plants the seeds for upward mobility. — thedailybeast.com
On the World Design Capital (WDC) website, Cape Town presents some remarkable shack design projects aimed to solve a nationwide slum problem. Yet even with more than 200 informal settlements and 600,000 residents waiting for formal housing, the Western Cape has been slow to implement the 'transformative design' it celebrates. [...]
The backlog hit 2.1m units in 2013 and at least 1.9 million people (more than 10% of all households) live in shacks or other makeshift dwellings. — theguardian.com
One of the coffin-sized living spaces — which have been built into the bridge frame near the Manhattan entrance — is secured with a flimsy bike lock and bolted to a metal beam by its inhabitant.
The pods are built into the underside of the upper deck, below car traffic but above the subway and bike lanes.
To reach his makeshift studio, the bridge dweller — a stocky, neatly dressed Chinese man in his 40s — climbs a chain-link fence to a nook above the bike lane, witnesses said. — nypost.com
Last week, the city of Phoenix made a startling announcement. The Arizona capital had previously identified 222 chronically homeless veterans living in the city, more than half of them veterans of the Vietnam War. [...]
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said last week that every last one of them now had a roof overhead. The city has effectively ended chronic veteran homelessness, according to the mayor [...].
Phoenix did this – prioritizing housing first, then wrapping other services around it. — theatlanticcities.com
Because of Beijing’s sky-high apartment rental costs, as many as two million people—about a tenth of the city’s population—are said to be living below street level in underground storage basements and air-raid shelters partitioned into cramped, windowless rooms. Many of those who have to crowd into these homes are migrant workers like Wang, from the nearby province of Hebei. — qz.com
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