Urbanization News April 1

This week’s featured story: Construction of NYU Campus in Shanghai Started this week in Pudong The NYU Shanghai project will be China’s first international university co-established with a US university.  NYU president John Sexton officially announced the university early this week right before headlines in China and the US announced that the construction had begun on Monday.  The campus is located in the financial and trade zone of Pudong and it is expected to open in the fall of 2013.  Enrollment is expected to include about 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the world, with Chinese students making up more than half. Read more about it in China Daily Newspaper or the the NYU Local

Ashoka: Announces finalist for its Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Liveable and Inclusive Cities Competition. The three entries that receive the most votes will each earn a prize of US $10,000. Vote now for the three most innovative solutions that “engage communities, entrepreneurs, and key institutions in collaborating to integrate and develop affordable, inclusive, and sustainable urban housing that respects the environment, local cultures, and practices.” Finalist projects are located in India, Brazil, Argentina, Kenya, Mexico, Haiti and the USA.

Did urban planners unwittingly help the Egyptian revolution? “When millions of Egyptian protesters successfully overthrew longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, observers credited new technology such as Facebook and Twitter as well as the passion and planning of the activists. But some say that decisions made long ago on the design of Cairo played a role… Tali Hatuka, an architect and head of Tel Aviv University’s Laboratory of Contemporary Urban Design, argues that urban planners can help promote democracy by creating formal areas for protests, such as squares or plazas such as Tahrir Square — where Egyptians gathered to protest — and informal areas like parks.” Read more from Congress.org

DfID withdrawal from UN-HABITAT displays naivety on slums. “The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) recently completed a major review of its funding of multilateral aid agencies, which tried to identify which of 43 agencies represent the best “value for money” for the UK taxpayer… One outcome is that it has retracted all voluntary funding from UN-HABITAT, the United Nations’ lead agency on urban development issues…” Read more from the Global Urbanist.

Finally we want to wish all urbanist a Belated World Water Day (22 March 2011) with a glimpse of National Geographic’s profile of Water Savvy Cities.  On their list: Tokyo, Las Vegas, Melbourne, New York, Tiajin, Singapore, Kampala, Stockholm and Seattle. See the whole gallery of photos that is part of a National Geographic News series on global water issues.

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