Urbanization News April 8

This weeks featured story is the release of The 2011 Knight Frank Global Cities Survey.  This survey compares cities based on economic activity, political power, quality of life and knowledge and influence to rank cities. What are the top cities this year? New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Brussels.  And in case you are wondering about the most important cities in the future the survey also has projections for 2020: New York, London, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. Order a free copy of the whole Wealth Report 2011 from Knight Frank and read articles about the report on their website.

Kenya Receives Sh8 Billion ‘Slum Loan‘ “Kenya has received a US$100 million (approx.Sh8 billion) loan from The World Bank to improve physical infrastructure and living conditions in informal urban settlements. The project dubbed Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project approved by the Bank last week will be used in upgrading slums in 15 biggest towns in the country.” Read more from AllAfrica.com

The Start Ferry’s Long Farewell On March 31, “ferries on two of the Star Ferry’s four routes sailed for the last time before ferry service between Hung Hom, Wan Chai and Central is cancelled… Though the Hong Kong government put out a tender for other ferry operators to take over the routes, no one was interested. What is lost by the end of the Star Ferry’s services in Hung Hom? An alternative to the buses, which crowd Hong Kong’s overburdened roads and contribute to its increasingly dire air pollution… A direct link between neighbourhoods whose fortunes have historically depended on the harbour.” Read more from UrbanPhoto and the South China Morning Post.

IBM’s new CityOne game have high hopes that it could transform strategic thinking on urban futures. “The developers of IBM’s new CityOne game have high hopes that it could transform strategic thinking on urban futures. Players are presented with a series of energy, water and economic problems, whilst charged with providing an urban space conducive to growth – all within a total available budget. Among the challenges they face in the 100 or so ‘real world’ scenarios are traffic congestion, water shortages and supply chain problems. They’ll be expected to use techniques such as service reuse, cloud computing and collaborative technologies to help make organisations in city systems more ‘intelligent’ and responsive.” Read more from This Big City and IBM.

SimCity for Real in Nya-Raipur India “Like all planned cities, Naya Raipur is monumental. The development plan includes an area of 80.13 kilometers, which will house 500,000 inhabitants by 2031. It has well-defined zones for institutions, housing, commerce, light industry, recreation and extensive parks, including a green belt. The main roads have a 100-meter wide right-of-way with a wide green median, while the secondary roads are 60 meters wide. The superblocks are 800 square meters and will include internal roads, as well as a green internal network. More than 100 kilometers of roads have already been completed.” Read more of Dario Hidalgo’s report on Nya-Raipur from the City Fix.

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