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[ News ] Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015 - 09:26
Most of us would probably be content to say that beauty is subjective. There may be a measure of symmetry or scale in what makes a person, object, or landscape attractive, but ultimately, beauty's not inherent to the thing. It's in the eye of the beholder. But in the case of cities, beauty is objective, argues Alain de Botton in a provocative new video—and saying that it's not is a danger to the... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015 - 09:19
Lahore, Pakistan is on a dangerous path toward a future of urban highways, underpasses, and flyovers that will eventually suffocate the city. By prioritizing car-centric infrastructure through new development contracts, the city is making traffic congestion, air pollution, and road safety—already major challenges—worse. Infrastructure projects are important triggers for economic development.... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015 - 09:03
The World Bank is working with other development finance institutions to raise some $500 million to modernise weather and flood forecasting services in Africa. Daniel Kull, a disaster risk specialist with the World Bank, said it was talking to lenders, including the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, about mobilising the funds to improve prediction, particularly in sub-... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015 - 08:51
Tests on a vast aquifer found in Kenya's drought-wracked Turkana region show the water is too salty to drink, a government official said on Friday. The 2013 discovery of underground lakes the size of the U.S. state of Delaware, according to satellite imagery, was hailed as a chance for the arid northern region to finally feed its people. At the time of the discovery, Kenya's water minister said... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015 - 08:42
When leaders and decision makers from across Asia and the Pacific gather next month in Japan to discuss how to reduce disaster risks, their top priority will be to build resilience in a region that saw some 80 million people affected and nearly $60 billion in economic losses incurred by natural disasters last year. That’s according to Natural Disasters in Asia and the Pacific: 2014 Year in... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Sunday, March 1, 2015 - 22:09
  The Islamic State group released at least 19 Christians on Sunday who were among the more than 220 people the militants took captive in northeastern Syria last week, activists and a local leader said. The news provided a modicum of relief to a Christian Assyrian community that has been devastated by the abductions, which saw Islamic State fighters haul off entire families from a string of... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 11:02
São Paulo’s water crisis has gone from bad to worse. Simon Romero reports for the New York Times that water already is being shut sporadically in Brazil’s largest city — sometimes for days. Worried residents have taken to collecting water in buckets and even drilling their own wells. Rationing in a way that would limit distribution to two days a week may be required. The crisis is fueled by... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 10:42
The Spanish city of Barcelona has been ranked the world’s smartest city, beating off competitors, New York, London and Singapore, with Rio de Janeiro missing out on a top five position. Compiled by Juniper Research, analysts in the mobile and digital technology sector,Barcelona was given the top position following an analysis of 25 cities’ ‘smart’ capabilities, with particular focus on their use... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 10:07
At CityLab, Alana Samuels posed a great question: Why are developers still building sprawl? Even as surveys show many people they want walkable communities, the builders keep producing car-oriented sprawl, she writes. Samuels looked at Los Vegas and Atlanta, two of America's most sprawling cities, and so her samples may not represent all of America. Yet she has a point: Builders are constructing... Read more
[ News ] Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 21:04
Putin threatens Ukraine with suspension of gas supplies * Says people in eastern Ukraine suffering with no gas * Ukraine says Gazprom delivers less than already paid (Adds Putin comments, more Novak) By Vladimir Soldatkin and Katya Golubkova NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, Feb 25 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that Russia would halt gas supplies to Ukraine if it did not receive... Read more