background preloader


Facebook Twitter

The 15 worst cities for rush hour traffic - Feb. 20, 2017. Bangkok has the worst evening rush hour traffic in the world for a second consecutive year, according to GPS manufacturer TomTom.

The 15 worst cities for rush hour traffic - Feb. 20, 2017

The results were compiled after TomTom tracked a years-worth of traffic in 390 cities across 48 countries. Here is the 2017 ranking of cities with the most severe evening rush hour traffic: Bangkok, Thailand Mexico City, Mexico Bucharest, Romania Jakarta, Indonesia Moscow, Russia Chongqing, China Istanbul, Turkey St. Petersburg, Russia Zhuhai, China Santiago, Chile Guangzhou, China Shijiazhuang, China Shenzhen, China Los Angeles, U.S.

Beijing, China TomTom's senior traffic expert Nick Cohn said that Thailand -- and many other big cities at the top of the congestion ranking -- have become victims of their own success. "It would be a challenge for any city government [to] keep things moving," he said, noting that as more people have moved to Bangkok's low-density suburbs, commuter traffic has worsened. 'Forest cities': the radical plan to save China from air pollution. When Stefano Boeri imagines the future of urban China he sees green, and lots of it.

'Forest cities': the radical plan to save China from air pollution

Office blocks, homes and hotels decked from top to toe in a verdant blaze of shrubbery and plant life; a breath of fresh air for metropolises that are choking on a toxic diet of fumes and dust. Last week, the Italian architect, famed for his tree-clad Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) skyscraper complex in Milan, unveiled plans for a similar project in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing. The Chinese equivalent – Boeri’s first in Asia – will be composed of two neighbouring towers coated with 23 species of tree and more than 2,500 cascading shrubs. The structures will reportedly house offices, a 247-room luxury hotel, a museum and even a green architecture school, and are currently under construction, set for completion next year. But Boeri now has even bolder plans for China: to create entire “forest cities” in a country that has become synonymous with environmental degradation and smog.

Superblocks: Barcelona's war on cars. 'A brave new world': what happened to Newcastle's dream for a vertical city? When you look up from the smoking terrace at the rear of the Bridge Tavern in Newcastle upon Tyne, you see different eras of the city’s history overlapping.

'A brave new world': what happened to Newcastle's dream for a vertical city?

Around 80ft above is the green-painted underside of the Tyne Bridge, that proud symbol of Tyneside. Much closer to the ground, dangling a few feet above you, is a suspended concrete walkway that ends in mid-air. It’s a dead end – an aerial path that leads nowhere. “Isn’t that perfect?” Says Stephen Graham. We’re following the walkways to find traces of a tarnished urban dream that dates back at least half a century: an ambitious effort by planners to reimagine Newcastle by constructing a three-dimensional, multi-level city that would be bolted on to the streetscape of the centre. I want to explore what remains of this other Newcastle before it’s gone, and Graham is the perfect guide. Graham is professor of cities and society in Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

Car ban fails to curb air pollution in Mexico city. Image copyright Getty Images Banning cars on Saturdays in Mexico city hasn't reduced air pollutants according to a new study.

Car ban fails to curb air pollution in Mexico city

Scientists had expected that limiting driving at the weekend would reduce vehicle emissions by 15%. But this analysis looking at pollution measurements in a city with serious air quality problems, found no discernible effect. Residents got round the restrictions by car pooling, using taxis and purchasing extra vehicles, researchers say. WHO: 90 percent of world's population breathe dirty air. Nine out of 10 people globally live in places with poor air quality, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, blaming a worldwide air pollution crisis for being a major factor in millions of deaths per year.

WHO: 90 percent of world's population breathe dirty air

In a new report released on Tuesday, the health agency said 92 percent of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits. It also published an interactive map detailing the global "health emergency". "Some three million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution," the UN body said in the report, which was based on data from 3,000 sites across the world. "Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. Venezuela crisis: Bus drivers bring chaos to Caracas. Image copyright AFP Bus drivers in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, paralysed the city for eight hours on Wednesday by blocking the streets with their vehicles to protest against the country's economic crisis.

Venezuela crisis: Bus drivers bring chaos to Caracas

Hundreds of drivers demanded more pay and protection from violent crime. Many said they needed more money to maintain their buses and complained of a scarcity of spare parts. Meanwhile, the electoral council all but ruled out a recall referendum this year against President Nicolas Maduro. Only one European country would be better off without its capital city. The future of the US-Mexican border: inside the 'split city' of El Paso-Juárez. Unlike most teenagers, Ashley Delgado starts her school day by crossing an international border.

The future of the US-Mexican border: inside the 'split city' of El Paso-Juárez

She gets up at 5am so her mother Dora can drive through Juárez’s dense traffic to the Paso del Norte bridge, where she follows the caged pathway between Mexico and the United States by foot. Clearing customs takes on average half an hour, but often it’s double that – depending on the line and the guards’ moods. “Sometimes they put people in a little room for investigation and start to ask questions,” says the 14-year-old as her mum picks her up from the Mexican side at the end of a school day. “Where are you from? What are you bringing? Going Dutch: will Amsterdam grab a slice of the post-Brexit cake? Is Amsterdam going to be the new London?

Going Dutch: will Amsterdam grab a slice of the post-Brexit cake?

Some people seem to think so. Ever since last June’s Brexit vote, there has been serious talk of the Dutch capital as a potential candidate – if a slightly less obvious one than Paris, Frankfurt or Dublin. London's dirty air: How bad is it? Image copyright Getty Images The cold, calm weather of the past few days has seen London and the South East experience very high levels of air pollution.

London's dirty air: How bad is it?

Emissions from cars and wood burning stoves have seen levels of particulate matter soar to their highest concentrations since 2011. We look at how scientists assess the scale of dirty air across the UK and the long term trends. And just how dangerous is the air that we breathe? How do you measure air pollution? There are air quality monitors dotted all across the UK - The major, government-run national network is called the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN). How Green Buildings Could Save Our Cities. As the world’s urban population expands, architects and planners are mapping out ways to make cities more sustainable.

How Green Buildings Could Save Our Cities

Cities produce a vast amount of emissions and waste, putting a strain on both human and ecological health. But our buildings themselves may hold a solution. High-density urban areas—especially those built using green methods in design and construction—can be more energy efficient and pollute less. Project aims to grow a 'city of trees' Image copyright City of Trees A project aims to plant three million trees - one for every man, woman and child - in Greater Manchester over the next 25 years.

Those behind City of Trees hopes the effort will not only green the region but improve our understanding of the benefits trees provide to society. These include reducing stress, improve air quality and the amount of time shoppers spend in retail areas. Fear and loathing in Nicosia: will peace talks unify Europe's last divided capital? Some call it the dead zone; some a no-man’s land; some the green line. For more than four decades, a United Nations-patrolled buffer zone has bisected Nicosia, running through the middle of the Cypriot capital and dividing its historic heart.

It was a casualty of war: at first, the result of inter-communal fighting that took the form of Turkish Cypriot ghettos in the 60s; then as a no-man’s land between ceasefire lines delineated by little more than what two opposing armies agreed were their last defended positions. At 6am on 18 August 1974, the dead zone officially came into being. On account of it, Nicosia is Europe’s last divided capital. Behind reinforced sandbags, barrels and barbed wire, it remains for the most part a lifeless strip – with the exception of the odd UN patrol, the exclusive terrain of feral cats and dogs.

Guns for hire in Hereford: inside England's unlikely global security hub. There is a mysterious feel to Hereford, the picture-book English cathedral city on the border with Wales. When I stop people in the street to ask if they know the city houses a massive private security industry that operates in conflict situations all over the world, some say they don’t even know what private security is. But many other residents have military or intelligence connections themselves. One man tells me: “I am local but I don’t want to say what I do.”

How do we fix air pollution? It's simple but it needs political will. Cutting toxic levels of city air pollution to safer levels is simple, but not easy – it requires resolve. Yet, despite the key culprit in the UK being well known – diesel vehicles – the government has been asleep at the wheel for years. Levels of nitrogen dioxide have been illegally high across much of the UK since 2010. In 2015 86% of major urban areas broke annual limits. Cutting this pollution means choking off diesel emissions and there is a wide range of effective measures available. Creating zones in city centres where polluting cars are either banned or charged is important, while making cities safe for cycling and walking cuts traffic too. Cleaner buses and taxis have an important role to play and change to the perverse taxes that encourage people to buy diesel over cleaner cars is needed. Ministers have now been forced to come up with a third plan, but clean air zones and car tax changes take time to clean up the air.

A new police beat in China: Smog. Spearheaded by Beijing's acting mayor Mayor Cai Qi, the political crackdown on burning fossil fuels comes amid a flurry of concern over the country's choking air pollution. The move came as a cold front Monday brought some relief to Beijingers, with blue skies visible and air quality levels back at "good" after a week of smog. "Like many of us, I am used to checking the weather and the air quality index (AQI) of Beijing first thing in the morning.

I totally understand the public's concerns and complaints over air pollution," Cai told reporters Saturday, according to Xinhua. London exceeds annual air pollution target in just five days. London broke the annual limit for air pollution just five days into 2017, according to data from the capital’s main monitoring system. From architecture to cultural life: how would you design a city from scratch? Cities define modern life. They make more money than other places, demand more of the people who live in them, and provide more for them too.

Except for the people who aren’t making money; and if you are the kind who does make money, you probably know little about them. Death on the road: can Mumbai shed its reputation as the ‘car crash capital’? For 30 minutes after she was hit, Archana Pandya lay bleeding on a road in the busy Mumbai suburb of Goregaon. From glamour to gunfire: the tourist city of Acapulco torn apart by violence. When mayor Evodio Velázquez’s sparkling white Jeep Cherokee SUV pulls up at the side of the road, patrols of soldiers and heavily armed federal police are waiting for him. Over half of us live in cities, so which is the safest? Singapore's 'silver tsunami': how the city-state depends on its elderly workforce. At first glance, Wong Kuan Ying looks like a typical Singaporean boss, with her smart, full-length trousers and impeccable posture, even at the end of a nine-hour shift. Her colleagues in Singapore’s West Coast Market Square food court are dressed more casually, in shorts and T-shirts.

Some of them look past the working age: you avert your eyes from their tired knees; they avert their eyes when you thank them. Kuan Ying tells me she is 72 but she doesn’t look it. Car scheme aims to cut Paris smog. On your bike: Helping refugees get around London. London Ends: the city's forgotten neighbourhoods – in pictures. Watch cities evolve over 32 years.

Cycling heaven and Hull: can the city recapture its 1950s pedal power heyday? “I wish I could think of one nice thing I could tell you about Hull,” Philip Larkin moaned to his friend DJ Enright not long after moving to the city to become university librarian in 1955. “Oh yes … it’s very nice and flat for cycling.” Why is it worth investing in green cities? To provide for all these new urban dwellers, we need more buildings, more bridges, more public transport and more energy -- and all of that requires money. City governments often struggle to raise the funds they need for urban mobility projects such as rail or bus rapid transit. There is a significant gap between the supply and demand for urban infrastructure -- some estimates suggest it is upward of $1 trillion per year to 2030. A tube for cars? Proposal to bury London's traffic says it's 'next best thing to teleportation'

Four major cities move to ban diesel vehicles by 2025. Image copyright Getty Images. Four Million Commutes Reveal New U.S. 'Megaregions' These are the world's 10 fastest growing megacities. Insider's guide to Ouagadougou: singed chicken, potholes, but no plastic bags. Car-free Belgium: why can't Brussels match Ghent's pedestrianised vision? Jakarta on Instagram: chaos v calm in the Indonesian megacity – in pictures. Shanghai is racing to become China's culture capital. These are the world's most livable cities. 'This city is designed for cars, not people’: residents' voices on Jakarta. Inside the bubble: the air-conditioned alternate reality of Jakarta's megamalls. The world's worst traffic: can Jakarta find an alternative to the car? Favelagrafia: Photos reveal truth beyond stereotypes. $40bn to save Jakarta: the story of the Great Garuda. Quiz: can you identify the world cities from their running heatmaps? City lights quiz: can you identify these world cities from space?

Japan's Fukuoka poised to be the country's Silicon Valley - Nov. 16, 2016. These are the world's five biggest slums. The pursuit of happiness: could a ‘happy city index’ end Bristol’s blues? Our future in cities. Politics, thrills or social media: what drives the new breed of urban explorer? Gridlock in West Africa: Accra's troubled attempts to tackle its traffic crisis. Photos Reveal Smog so Bad Breathing it Is Like Smoking Two Packs a Day. This is humankind's 'great urbanisation'. We must do it right, or the planet will pay. A meat-free Turin? Is Italy’s first 'vegetarian city' a recipe for disaster?

India: New Delhi is the most polluted city on earth right now. Shrinking cities: the rise and fall of global urban populations – mapped. Megacities to ghost towns: Asia's extreme skylines. How geospatial technology can help cities plan for a sustainable future. Two billion more people will live in cities by 2035. This could be good – or very bad. These are the world's most visited cities in 2016. This slum had no sewerage system, so the residents built one themselves. Cultivating the land of the concrete jungle: environmental and social security, but for whom? The economic benefits of providing sanitation to Cape Town's slum dwellers. Asia’s cities are increasingly competitive. Now it’s time to focus on liveability. 'Hell on earth': the great urban scandal of family life lived on a rubbish dump. The Tallinn experiment: what happens when a city makes public transport free? Reykjavík: the geothermal city that aims to go carbon neutral. Blame it on the bike: does cycling contribute to a city's gentrification?

Africa is urbanizing twice as fast as Europe did. This could be a major opportunity. Crime stats or coffee shops? How to spot the world's most gentrified cities. Cities changing streetlights to improve health. Four myths about slums: 'Don't assume people want to leave' Is the mass sharing of driverless cars about to reshape our suburbs? Paradise lost: does Copenhagen’s Christiania commune still have a future? 'It was cold, confusing and foreign': your stories of moving to a new city. African cities: Left behind. How happy are you with your city? EU report data – in pictures. The world's 20 most visited cities - where does London rank?

Cities in numbers: how patterns of urban growth change the world. Paris divided: two-mile highway by Seine goes car-free for six months. Havana's dirty truths: rubbish-strewn streets spark anger at city's failings. This interactive map lets you watch who commutes to your city every day. These are Africa’s fastest-growing cities – and they’ll make or break the continent. The cities with the best work-life balance? You might be surprised by some of them. A 'radical alternative': how one man changed the perception of Los Angeles.

The world's friendliest cities, according to Conde Nast Traveler. Inside Shanghai Tower: China's tallest skyscraper claims to be world's greenest. Tight squeeze: Japan's coolest micro homes. Rio Olympics: view from the favelas – 'Going out to buy bread can cost a life' Liveable cities 2016: ​Tehran tops 'most improved' list – in pictures. How to win the fight against air pollution. Why turning smog into diamonds isn’t as crazy as it sounds. A new New York? Manhattan's oldest neighbourhood goes car-free, kind of … Rio 2016: ‘Microwave’ murders, lost bullets and skull cars: life in the mafia-run favela the IOC don’t want you to see. Marwa Al-Sabouni: How Syria's architecture laid the foundation for brutal war. How Airbnb is reshaping our cities. These are the world's most liveable cities. Cooling Chicago. The rise and fall of the world’s cities, mapped.

This map shows the incredible growth of megacities.