The Global Urbanist

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Often neglected by political dictators as well as by urban theorists, small cities played a role in sparking the Arab uprisings in several countries. The lack of attention paid to them allowed growing unrest to go unnoticed, but also means that we still know little about the forces that allow small cities to change the course of history.

Yemen's world heritage capital city Sana'a is projected to run out of groundwater by 2017, but apart from off-hand proposals to relocate the city or pump desalinated water uphill from the coast, no real plans are in place to save the city in a worst-case scenario.

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On Sana'a

Bouazizi's protest suicide took place not in Tunis but four hours further south in the small city of Sidi Bouzid. The subsequent protest spread first to another small city, Menzel Bouzayane; demonstrations in Tunis did not start until a week later.

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The Global Urbanist is an online magazine reviewing urban affairs and urban development issues in cities throughout the developed and developing world.

Its readers are drawn from the urban policy and international development sectors, and include urban planners, officers in local, national or international government agencies, civil society leaders, and researchers.

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