Lagos: Africa's Fastest Growing Megacity. Kabul – the fifth fastest growing city in the world – is bursting at the seams | Cities. Seen from above, Kabul looks like a city bursting at the seams. Cars clog the streets, negotiating for space with street vendors and donkey carts. At the fringes, crude houses pepper the hillsides and the valley along the river, spreading far beyond what a short time ago were the edges of the Afghan capital. Over the past decade, Kabul has become one of the world’s fastest-growing cities. The toppling of the Taliban in 2001 and the hope of increased security and economic possibilities enticed many Afghans to move here: people displaced by fighting in the countryside, refugees returning from Pakistan and Iran, and hordes of labourers simply looking for a better life. The city, however, has been unable to keep up with such fast-paced urbanisation, and seems incapable of providing jobs and services to sustain all its newcomers.
Yet despite being strained beyond capacity, Kabul seems to have lost none of its attraction to the people flocking here. “Kabul used to be an egalitarian city. 'Latino Urbanism' influences a Los Angeles in flux. Work crews in recent weeks have made major design changes to Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, widening the sidewalks and adding planters, chairs and round cafe tables with bright-red umbrellas where rows of parked cars used to be. The upgrades aim to make the street as welcoming to pedestrians as drivers. They're also superfluous: the urban-planning equivalent of carrying coals to Newcastle. Broadway has for several decades been among the most popular and vital walking streets in Southern California, one typically crowded with Latino shoppers, including many recent immigrants from Mexico.
What's more, Broadway's makeover — which arrives just as some of its discount stores are being replaced in a wave of gentrification by upscale boutiques — happens to take many of its design cues from street life in Latin American cities. Rojas sees the influence across the region, from Santa Monica along the coast to Pasadena in the foothills, and especially in Los Angeles itself.
Hospitable, sociable. TECH COMPANIES DISCOVER RIO’S FAVELAS Technology... The 'Ruralization' of Urban Areas - Sarah Goodyear. The statistic gets trotted out at just about every urbanism conference: for the first time in history, the majority of the world’s people live in cities. By 2050, 70 percent of the population will live in urban areas.
Those numbers have been repeated so often they've become cliché, a lazy way of saying that "cities" are "important. " But those statistics mask a deeper and more complicated reality, which is this: the distinction between urban and rural, between cities and suburbs and countryside, is disappearing as populations boom and traditional societal structures dissolve. The borders between different ways of living are blurring. And that means “urbanization” represents something different from what it has in the past. A provocative essay published the other day on Future Capetown, written by Beloved Chiweshe, flips the urbanization meme on its head. Those problems, Chiweshe writes, take a disproportionate toll on women.
Radical Cities – Latin America's revolutionary housing solutions | Books | The Observer. The Venice Architecture Biennale is usually a grand gathering of the biggest names in architecture, where they can display their brilliance to their peers. In the 2012 edition, however, the Golden Lion awarded to the best exhibit went to something whose fascination was not primarily to do with the input of professional architects.
This was the Torre David, in Caracas, a 1990s office tower left unfinished when funds ran out. What makes it remarkable is the fact that it has now been colonised by squatters, making it into a vertical barrio, a self-regulating community of the poor, within a frame designed for corporate profit. In territories once intended for photocopiers, computer terminals, desks and meeting rooms, there are homes, streets, shops and churches. Patches of mirror-glass cladding contrast with the ubiquitous orange bricks and concrete blocks of self-built Latin American houses, with a petrified ooze of sloppy mortar from the joints. All of which makes Radical Cities timely.
Learning from Lagos: Floating school, Makoko, Nigeria, Kunlé Adeyemi, NLÉ | Buildings. Using local materials and skills, this school in a floating slum is a brave exemplar for a community in dire need, yet the Lagos state government is threatening to demolish it Makoko, a Nigerian shantytown on the marshy waterfront of Lagos, is not exactly Venice, but there are marked similarities between the two. Both are built on wooden piles driven into saline mud and tidal ooze. The streets of both are famously full of water.
Both were settled by fishing communities, Venice − officially − in AD 421, Makoko at some time in the 18th century. Their populations are of a similar size − 60,000 in Venice, around 80,000 in Makoko − although no one knows for certain. At this point, the difference between these two water-borne settlements becomes horribly clear. Makoko, meanwhile, has sprawled into the marshy waters fringing Lagos over the past century. Here is the fish market with its daily catch of gleaming barracuda, red snapper, crab and prawns. But, Makoko is very poor. Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City. In June, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the number of refugees worldwide in 2013 topped 50 million, the most since World War II, a figure substantially increased by the Syrian conflict.
Add to that one million Iraqis displaced during the first months of this year. These vast forced migrations have accelerated discussions about the need to treat camps as more than transitional population centers, more than human holding pens with tents for transients. A number of forward-thinking aid workers and others are looking at refugee camps as potential urban incubators, places that can grow and develop and even benefit the host countries — places devised from the get-go to address those countries’ long-term needs — rather than become drags on those nations.
Photo “You can call a place like Zaatari impermanent and not build adequate infrastructure,” as Don Weinreich, a partner at Ennead Architects in New York, recently put it. Slide Show Mr. This is all black market. Lessons of DIY Urbanism in a Syrian Refugee Camp. Governments are so accustomed to dictating their will, through coercion if necessary, that they find it unimaginable that people might willingly – and with creativity and enthusiasm – self-organize themselves to take care of urgent needs. So pause a moment to behold the remarkable Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan. This settlement of 85,000 displaced Syrians is showing how even desperate, resource-poor people can show enormous creativity and self-organization, and turn their “camp” into a “city.” In many respects, Zaatari bears an uncanny resemblance to the DIY dynamics of the Burning Man encampment in the Nevada desert – an annual gathering that attracts more than 65,000 people for a week.
Both eschew “government” in favor of self-organized governance. Both confer opportunities and responsibilities and individuals, and facilitate bottom-up initiatives through lightweight infrastructures. To be sure, Zaatari is a squalid place with lots of problems. WATCH: How African cities have grown over 200 years. Medellin’s new, successful story. Reimagining Planning in the Urban Global South. I asked myself the question: so what struck me about the process of thinking across boundaries and reimagining planning in the issues that we have been discussing in our celebration of DPU’s 60th anniversary in this conference. At the risk of simplifying a complex and dynamic set of discussions, I want to make six points. 1.
Reimagining planning is clearly a normative process The question of whose values, and whose vision we’re dealing with is absolutely crucial. Sue Parnell, of University of Cape Town, highlighted the normative character of our challenge in the first session. Also Aromar Revi, from the Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS), raised the question in the first session of the importance of history: ‘Do not erase our history!’ Sheela Patel, of SPARC and SDI, reminded us in no uncertain terms, and I quote her: ‘All professionals need to take informality and creation of inclusion as urgent business – or lose credibility with the majority of city-dwellers.’ 2. 3. 4. 5.