Urban Diary – Interesting reads

This post is a continuation of our Urban Diary blog series where we compile interesting reads and discussions from around the world on urban issues.

Urban Pain

In a decade or so, half of India’s population will be living in urban centres, straining urban infrastructure that cannot be commensurately expanded or improved to support such huge population concentrations. In this context cities run the risk of being mega slums if they are not managed well. Citing the work of Isher Ahluwalia committee report and other initiatives, the article provides an important perspective on the urbanisation challenge; and how as Dr. Ahluwalia says, this must be addressed with a combination of increased investment and strengthening of governance.

Urbanization in India: Stronger Cities through Better Institutions

In this blog post the author cites a recent World Bank study, which explores how a weak public sector can amplify urban challenges. Stressing the importance of better institutional framework, the post argues that the interconnected challenges of land policy, infrastructure and service delivery cannot be addressed individually. The right policy mix is essential to keep cities growing as hubs of learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Cities must lead the way into a sustainable future

Jeffery Sachs, Professor at Colombia University, argues that sustainable development offers a new concept for the world economy in the twenty-first century; encouraging cities, countries, and the world to focus simultaneously on three goals: economic prosperity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

The 10 Smartest Asia/Pacific Cities

Using Smart Cities Wheel, a framework created to help quantify smart cities using six components – Government, Mobility, Living, Environment, Economy & People – Boyd Cohen, writing for Fast Company, compiles the top 10 Asia Pacific smart cities for 2013.

The Unbuilt City

An 800-ft tower with a revolving restaurant on the Marina, tube trains, urban forest and more. In this article A. Srivathsan writes about the many ambitious projects that never took off which have given Chennai its shape as much as the projects that did.

New Visualization Tools Simulates Street Designs in 3D

Leveraging his experience in video game design, a Portland-based video designer has developed a three-dimensional animated tool that allows urban planners to simulate how a street would look and feel if it were laid out differently.

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