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Changing Urban Environments

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Theconversation. When we parachute into a city, whether for work or leisure, we are more sensitive to contrasts between the familiar places we leave behind and the new places we encounter.


When I travelled from my home near Fremantle in Western Australia for a three-week stint living in Richmond and working at Deakin University, I admired the rich intensity of Victoria Street and noted how the odd junctures in the grid street pattern created a maze like a children’s puzzle played by adults in sedans. However, the feature that struck me the most was the contrast between old and new Richmond. Even without my experience teaching and researching about heritage and landscape, the effects of Melbourne’s property price boom would be painfully obvious.

I found the vast differences between the older and newer properties jarring. Gentrification isn't a benign process: it forces people from their homes. Invariably, on leaving King’s Cross station in London every morning, the first person to speak to me is not an editor or colleague, but a complete stranger who explains they’re homeless and would appreciate any change.

Gentrification isn't a benign process: it forces people from their homes

It’s rare to see the same person twice: many homeless people sit outside the station whatever the weather. The Financial Times columnist Janan Ganesh perhaps sees a different King’s Cross to me, focusing on the joys of private members bars and snooker clubs in this area. As with many places in London, King’s Cross has changed a great deal in the last five years and gentrified considerably. Gentrification doesn't have to be a dirty word for business. When Reuben Wood and business partner Karl Collins opened their hair salon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter in 2004, the area was full of empty buildings, and the salon itself was built on derelict land.

Gentrification doesn't have to be a dirty word for business

But Wood’s hunch that the area was on the cusp of becoming fashionable proved correct: today the Northern Quarter is a bustling hub full of cafes, bars and beauty salons. “The area is booming,” says Collins. Belgrade's 'top-down' gentrification is far worse than any cereal cafe. On the banks of the river Sava, at the foot of Belgrade’s historic centre, Savamala was a congregation point for prostitutes for decades, who would solicit lorry drivers heading to Danube port.

Belgrade's 'top-down' gentrification is far worse than any cereal cafe

In 2009, however, things began to change. The area’s warehouses and defunct socialist-era firms began transforming – into bars, galleries and creative hubs. Today it could best be described as a Balkan bootleg of Hackney or Williamsburg, or indeed any other gentrified, hip quarter around the world, where cocktails are served in jam jars and the brickwork is exposed. But the trajectory of the area’s revival is set to grind to a halt with the arrival of Belgrade Waterfront, a €3.5bn (£2.5bn) project between the Serbian government and the Emirati property developers Eagle Hills. The 10 most unaffordable cities for housing … and the most affordable city – in pictures.

How green is your city? UK's top 10 mapped and ranked. The story of cities. Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says. Our future crops will face threats not only from climate change, but also from the massive expansion of cities, a new study warns.

Growing mega-cities will displace vast tracts of farmland by 2030, study says

By 2030, it’s estimated that urban areas will triple in size, expanding into cropland and undermining the productivity of agricultural systems that are already stressed by rising populations and climate change. Roughly 60% of the world’s cropland lies on the outskirts of cities—and that’s particularly worrying, the report authors say, because this peripheral habitat is, on average, also twice as productive as land elsewhere on the globe. 48 Hours on Clapham High Street – in pictures. TEDActive Blog. How rapid urbanisation is changing the profile of wildlife in cities. Globally, more people live in urban areas than in rural ones.

How rapid urbanisation is changing the profile of wildlife in cities

Africa and Asia are urbanising faster than any other regions in the world. By 2050, 66% of the world’s population is projected to be urban. For example, Nigeria is projected to get an additional 212 million urban dwellers by 2050, China 292 million and India 404 million. This rapid urbanisation poses challenges for sustainable development and public health.

Getting To The Core Of Global Health In 2017. Andrew Marr's Megacities - Sustaining the City - Episode 3. Andrew Marr's Megacities - Cites on the Edge - Episode 2. Andrew Marr's Megacities - Living In The City - Episode 1. Urban Geography: Why We Live Where We Do. Overview of Political Geography. Political geography is a branch of human geography (the branch of geography concerned with understanding the world's culture and how it relates to geographic space) that studies the spatial distribution of political processes and how these processes are impacted by ones geographic location.

Overview of Political Geography

It often studies local and national elections, international relationships and the political structure of different areas based on geography. History of Political Geography. Urban Geography Research Group. 21st Century Challenges. What’s the challenge?

21st Century Challenges

Humans are rapidly becoming an urban species, with millions of people migrating to cities each year. Over half of the world’s population live in urban areas and this is likely to reach 70% of the population by 2050. How will urban centres across the world keep pace with predicted continuing growth? What are the visions of tomorrow’s cities? Cities. '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. Metrolink will start work on second Manchester city crossing in January. Work on a second Metrolink line through the heart of the city centre will begin in January.

Metrolink will start work on second Manchester city crossing in January

The three-year £165m Second City Crossing project will allow more trams to cross the heart of Manchester. Starting in Lower Mosley Street, it will run through St Peter's Square before turning down Princess Street and along Cross Street. After Corporation Street, it will re-join the existing line just outside Victoria station. New £350m Metrolink Line To Trafford Centre Gets Underway. TFGM has announced that preparatory works on the new 5.5km (3.4 mile) Metrolink line have now begun. Approved in October last year, the Trafford Park line will branch off from the existing Pomona stop and call at six new destinations - Wharfside (near to Old Trafford football stadium), Imperial War Museum, Village, Parkway, EventCity and the intu Trafford Centre. As Europe’s largest industrial estate, Trafford Park hosts over 1300 businesses and 35,000 employees. The scheme may result in possible lane closures Expected to open in 2020, the line will increase the Metrolink network to more than 64 miles over 99 stops and reportedly comes after 89% of people expressed favourable views of the extension during a twelve-week public consultation in summer 2014.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has warned the scheme, contracted to M-Pact Thales, may result in possible lane closures - and has announced a series of drop-ins for people to find out more: