Category Archives: Cities

Plyscraper city: Tokyo to build 350m tower made of wood

The $5.6bn cost of the 70-storey W350 Project is expected to be twice that of a conventional building

A skyscraper set to be built in Tokyo will become the world’s tallest to be made of wood.

The Japanese wood products company Sumitomo Forestry Co is proposing to build a 350 metre (1,148ft), 70-floor tower to commemorate its 350th anniversary in 2041.

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Source: gad

The story of Mr Sudhir: how to survive in Delhi's 'grey market'

When sociologist Richard Sennett was fleeced by an iPhone dealer in Delhi, the pair struck up a friendship that opened a window into the informality of modern cities

In the south-east of Delhi, a vast T-shaped market has arisen on top of an underground parking garage.

Nehru Place came into being because in the 1970s Delhi did not have enough commercial real estate to house its burgeoning small businesses. Original plans show the plaza above the parking garage as empty, and lined with low, four-storey buildings meant for offices rather than shops. Today, there remain traces of that intention. The boxy buildings lining the sides of Nehru Place form a downmarket version of Silicon Valley. Here, tech startups occupy cramped rooms next to computer repair shops and cut-rate travel agents.

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Source: gad

May is on a losing streak. England’s mayors could be a trump card | Anne Perkins

The prime minister is in a bind. Civic leaders speak for the people – surely they’re the kind of allies she needs right now

Late last year, the representatives of Britain’s overseas territories gathered in London. It is an annual event for these 14 appendices of empire, some of which, like Antarctica, are barely populated. Gibraltar, with its land border with Spain, is pre-eminent. Most of the others are small islands in hot places with a relaxed approach to tax affairs. In total, there are about 250,000 people living in these territories, who are protected by the crown and represented in their overseas dealings by the Westminster government.

Related: We thought Boris Johnson would tell us his Brexit plans. He said ‘Go whistle’ | Gina Miller

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Source: gad

What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like?

Most cities are utterly unfriendly to people with disabilities – but with almost one billion estimated to be urban-dwellers by 2050, a few cities are undergoing a remarkable shift

To David Meere, a visually impaired man from Melbourne, among the various obstacles to life in cities is another that is less frequently discussed: fear.

“The fear of not being able to navigate busy, cluttered and visually oriented environments is a major barrier to participation in normal life,” says Meere, 52, “be that going to the shops, going for a walk in the park, going to work, looking for work, or simply socialising.”

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Source: gad

How do you build a healthy city? Copenhagen reveals its secrets

The Danish capital ranks high on the list of the world’s healthiest and happiest cities. With obesity and depression on the rise worldwide, here are its lessons for how to combat them culturally

Maybe it’s the Viking heritage. There is an icy open-air pool in the waters of Copenhagen’s harbour, and although it is mid-winter Danes still jump in every day. On the front cover of the city’s health plan, a lean older man is pictured climbing out, dripping, his mouth open in a shout that could be horror or pleasure. “Enjoy life, Copenhageners,” urges the caption.

It’s not every Copenhagener who wants to take strenuous exercise in cold water either for fun or to get fit. But the packed bike lanes of the Danish capital, even at this sometimes subzero time of year, are testimony to the success of a city that is aspiring to be one of the healthiest in the world. Copenhagen consistently sits at the very top of the UN’s happiness index and is one of the star performers in the Healthy Cities initiative of the World Health Organisation, which, almost unknown and unsung, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The initiative was the idea of a group of individuals inspired by the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978, which was about elevating the status of primary care and public health in a world where everybody equated healthcare with hospital treatment after you got ill.

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Source: gad

The £3bn rebirth of King's Cross: dictator chic and pie-in-the-sky penthouses

Google HQ, boutique shops in old coal sheds, gasholders offering wedge-shaped flats at sky-high prices … as the vast project comes together after 18 years, our critic gives his verdict

The words “industrial luxury” are emblazoned on a window as you approach the cluster of majestic iron gasholders standing on the edge of the canal in King’s Cross. Built in the 1860s near St Pancras station, and dismantled in the 1990s when the station was expanded, the cast iron frames have now been reborn as the skeletal enclosures for three cylinders of luxury apartments – with prices beginning at £810,000 for a studio flat and rising, like the former gas tanks, into the many millions for a penthouse.

Industry and luxury are the two magic ingredients that have driven the £3bn redevelopment of King’s Cross in north London, tapping into the collective nostalgia for big brick sheds and the lure of a bit of bronze trim. Across 27 hectares of former railway lands, developer Argent has been piecing together a masterplan since 2000, employing 35 different architects to transform a gritty world of rails and warehouses into a polished vision of postindustrial regeneration. It is one of the biggest such projects in Europe and, despite the crass marketing slogans, it’s shaping up to be one of the best planned.

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Source: gad

What Cape Town can learn from Australia’s millennium drought

As Day Zero looms and the South African city gets set to run out of water, experts say lessons learned during Melbourne’s brush with a similar fate may help avert a global crisis

In December 2017, Seona Candy drove through the vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley near Cape Town towards the banks of the Sonderend river. In the late 1970s, the waterway was dammed to create the biggest reservoir in South Africa’s Western Cape. Behind the thick walls of the Theewaterskloof dam lay the capacity to hold 480 million cubic metres of water, nearly half of Cape Town’s water supply.

“When I got there, it was mostly dust,” Candy says.

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Source: gad

'We're all competing for the same jobs': life in Britain's youngest city

The 30% of Bradfordians under 20 face a perfect storm of problems, from youth unemployment to racial tension. But many of them insist it’s not all doom and gloom

When it comes to grim urban statistics in Britain, the city of Bradford tops many lists. Police statistics name Bradford as having the highest crime rates in West Yorkshire, while a 2014 YouGov poll named it Britain’s “most dangerous city”. Bradford also has one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK: 26% of young people were out of work in 2015, up from 11.3% in 2004.

What makes these statistics particularly troubling, however, is the one that ties them all together. More than 30% of the population here are currently under the age of 20, and the city has the highest number of under-16s in the country, giving Bradford the unusual title of being the UK’s youngest city.

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Source: gad

Which city in the world has the cheapest cannabis – and the most expensive?

A new survey of the cost of buying marijuana in 120 cities around the world suggests it is most expensive in Asia – but not necessarily cheaper in those cities where it is legal

The highly variable cost of cannabis in cities around the globe indicates that prices do not necessarily come down with increased consumption – or even legality, according to a new survey.

The 2018 Cannabis Price Index, compiled by Seedo, an automatic cultivator device company based in Tel Aviv, claims to give the going rate for cannabis in 120 cities, ranging from £22.86 (US £32.66) per gram in Tokyo to less than £1 ($1.34) in Quito.

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Source: gad

'His death kills me each day': Mosul residents return home – to what?

After Isis were driven out of Mosul, traumatised families slowly returned to their devastated neighbourhoods. Over more than two months, they told Mona Mahmood their harrowing stories

Warning: this report contains distressing details

Overwhelmed with grief and anger, families have been returning to what is left of their homes in the Old City of Mosul, following its liberation from Isis.

In a set of interviews conducted over more than two months, people haunted by the memories of their loved ones gradually opened up about the traumatic experiences they survived, and the uncertain future they now face.

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Source: gad