The despotic city planner hadn’t counted on the determination of the mothers in question, or the ferocity of their leader – an owlish stenographer and freelance journalist by the name of Jane Jacobs. As part of his insatiable hunger for grand public works, Moses wanted to extend Fifth Avenue through the square, ostensibly to ease congestion, but with the real motive of rewarding developers and raising property values south of the park, where he had already razed a swath of Greenwich Village for redevelopment. Jacobs, who lived in the West Village and knew how much her neighbourhood valued the park, mobilised a vocal coalition of campaigners, residents and politicians, who eventually halted the project. “It is very discouraging to do our best to make the city more habitable,” Jacobs wrote to the mayor, “and then to learn that the city is thinking up schemes to make it uninhabitable.” That hearing was the only time Jacobs and Moses ever crossed paths, … [Read more...] about Street fighter: how Jane Jacobs saved New York from Bulldozer Bob
Greater new york city area
She has barely ever been in a car, and never eaten meat or flown. Now 31, she lives on the 15th floor of a city centre tower from where she can just see the ocean 500 yards away on one side and the suburbs and informal settlements sprawling as far as the eye can see on the other. Life is OK in this megacity. She earns the exact median income and is as green as she feels she can be: she has no children yet, her carbon footprint is negligible, and her apartment, built in the early 2000s, has been retrofitted for climate change with deep insulation, its own solar air-con and heating systems. It has a “living” wall of plants and a balcony where she grows a few vegetables. Waste is automatically sorted or composted. Outside it may be roasting, with temperatures often higher than 40C. Inside, she’s cool. She loves where she lives, even though the water tastes slightly salty sometimes and there are often electricity outages in the summer months because of the frequent … [Read more...] about The climate crisis in 2050: what happens if cities act but nations don’t?
If you live in Glasgow, you are more likely to die young. Men die a full seven years earlier than their counterparts in other UK cities. Until recently, the causes of this excess mortality remained a mystery. “Deep-fried Mars bars,” some have speculated. “The weather,” others suggested. For years, those reasons were as good as any. In 2012, the Economist described it thus: “It is as if a malign vapour rises from the Clyde at night and settles in the lungs of sleeping Glaswegians.” The phenomenon has become known as the Glasgow effect. But David Walsh, a public health programme manager at the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, who led a study on the excess deaths in 2010, wasn’t satisfied with how the term was being used. “It turned into a Scooby-Doo mystery but it’s not an exciting thing,” he says. “It’s about people dying young, it’s about grief.” He wanted to work out why Glaswegians have a 30% … [Read more...] about Urban living makes us miserable – this city is trying to change that
By Manami Miura, award-winning sake sommelier at the Ginza Kimijimaya liquor store, instagram.com/sakephygram My city in a nutshellTokyo is a city of gigantic proportions: 47 neighbourhoods slotting together like parts of an elaborate puzzle, home to more than 4,000 shrines and temples, 6,000 parks, and 300,000 restaurants (10 times as many as New York). Quiet shrines stand near neon-lit electronics shops, and serene parks edge up against alleyways lined with late-night ramen bars. But it wasn’t always this way: in the 1600s, when Tokyo was still called Edo, it was nothing but a tiny fishing village, until the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu decided to build a castle here. In 1868, it was made the capital, and it is now among the largest cities in the world. If you do one thingAsk 100 people what to do in Tokyo and you’ll probably get 100 different answers. I tell people to walk around Ginza. This central neighbourhood is one of Japan’s wealthiest postcodes, where glossy … [Read more...] about The insiders’ guide to Japan’s Rugby World Cup cities
If you’re interested in the end of the world, you’re interested in New Zealand. If you’re interested in how our current cultural anxieties – climate catastrophe, decline of transatlantic political orders, resurgent nuclear terror – manifest themselves in apocalyptic visions, you’re interested in the place occupied by this distant archipelago of apparent peace and stability against the roiling unease of the day. If you’re interested in the end of the world, you would have been interested, soon after Donald Trump’s election as US president, to read a New York Times headline stating that Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, considered New Zealand to be “the Future”. Because if you are in any serious way concerned about the future, you’re also concerned about Thiel, a canary in capitalism’s coal mine who also happens to have profited lavishly from … [Read more...] about Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand