The Global Urbanist

News and analysis of cities around the world


Kerwin Datu
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Kerwin Datu

Kerwin Datu is editor-in-chief of The Global Urbanist.

We argue that the Habitat III Agenda currently on the table comprises several serious omissions, including any acknowledgement that conflict routinely arises in urban areas.

A chart doing the rounds of social media shows what a tangled mess the Middle East is. But if we tease it apart, we see a region neatly divided into two camps; it's just that one is divided amongst itself.

The Economist conference 'Future Cities: managing Africa's urban transformation' was held in Lagos last month. A rosy picture for foreign investors, but what kind of future is being offered the ordinary African?

Slum neighbourhoods are teeming with industry and commerce, yet the policy sphere still tends to treat them as residential spaces alone. What are the consequences of this misconception, and is it time to invoke a right to space, not just of housing?

Congestion charging isn't the only way to disincentivise drivers. Many cities are being very clever with parking policy, using pricing, regulations and design to make commuters think twice about relying on their cars.

The international community is increasingly optimistic about the wealth generated in Africa's cities. But with rising slum populations projected from the same trends, how shall the former overcome the latter?

Applying the principle of democratic equality to the planning of road space leads to powerful arguments for the pedestrianisation of our streets and the expansion of bus and cycle networks.

Manila's urban landscape is characterised by ineffective government planning alongside strong, ambitious private sector developers. Arguably, the city will only develop economically if the private sector takes over the role of planning the whole metropolis.

The clear strategies employed by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to exchange lessons and best practices on climate change action between mayors provide a great lesson in knowing what one can really achieve, in order to fully achieve it.

Mumbai architect and MIT Professor of Architecture Rahul Mehrotra argues that the positive aspects of the kinetic city or bazaar city that Mumbai embodies must be embraced to overcome the false formal v. informal conception of the city and to turn density into economic opportunity.

Monthly reflections from The Global Urbanist.

This month's topic: the international relations of cities.

This article was first released as an email newsletter on Sunday, 16 May 2010 to our subscribers, and posted here on Friday, 28 May.

Almost too many articles on urbanisation in the popular media today begin by citing the fact that the majority of the world's population now lives in urban areas, as of 2005, 2007, 2008 or 2009, depending often on when the writer started paying attention!

Lend Lease and Richard Rogers have won the right to develop the Barangaroo site in East Darling Harbour, overriding the Hill Thalis-led competition winning scheme.

Despite being one of the world's largest producers and exporters of oil, Nigeria has been gripped by fuel scarcity at its filling stations for a week. A round-up of articles attempting to explain the current crisis.

Today we launch the Global Urbanist, an online newspaper on urban affairs from cities across the developed and developing world. Click through the headline to read a letter from the editorial team.

The Chinese government hints at relaxing the hukou system, but only for smaller cities and towns, while Beijing fiddles with the management of its floating population.