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Urban News

For Berliners, life in techno capital is not always a party

Berlin - Party-goers and tourists love Berlin, the capital of techno and home to a vibrant art scene.But behind the trendy facade lies an overstretched adminstration battling chronic understaffing and drastic cost cuts.

Xi orders China's 'toilet revolution' to march on

Bejing - China's president has ordered the country to march on in its "revolution" to clean up notoriously dirty and foul-smelling public bathrooms in a bid to improve quality of life and boost tourism.

Toronto could become home to world's first 'smart city'

Toronto could become the home of a pioneering smart neighbourhood under plans drawn up by Alphabet firm Sidewalk Labs. The urban development would prioritise emerging tech and connected infrastructure, becoming a testing ground for future cities.

Cape Town housing boom a bust for longtime tenants

Cape Town - As a child in the 1970s, Charmaine Marcus was forcefully removed from her Cape Town neighbourhood when the apartheid government declared it a whites-only area.

Beijing bricks up shops: Beauty or 'hideous'?

Bejing - It took Zhang Zhimin a decade to cultivate a loyal clientele at his imported shoe shop facing one of central Beijing's busiest streets. Yet it took authorities no time at all to make his life's work disappear behind a wall of bricks.

Avoiding a Greek tragedy for Athens' modernist architecture

Atenas - Although in the shadow of its ancient hilltop Parthenon, Athens is also home to elegant architectural gems from the 19th and 20th centuries which marked its emergence as modern Greece's capital.

Brazil vows good use of abandoned Olympic venues

Rio De Janeiro - Brazilian authorities launched a plan Wednesday to make sure expensive venues used last year in Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Games do not fall into disuse.

Wonderland Villas: A tale of Hong Kong's property rollercoaster

Hong Kong - Red-whiskered bulbuls start chirping around 5:00 am at Wonderland Villas, a hilltop complex in leafy northern Hong Kong whose own history charts the city's political, economic and social fortunes.

China's 'toilet revolution' targets dirty lavatories

Bejing - China is taking care of a pressing need: Authorities have installed or upgraded over 50,000 lavatories in a "national toilet revolution" designed to clean up filthy public restrooms.

Mountains and dams at Pyongyang bus stops

Pyongyang - The bus stops of Pyongyang have no advertisements. Instead of exhortations to buy an energy drink or sign up to a mobile service, travellers are offered soothing images before they cram into packed vehicles.

China to create new economic zone outside Beijing

Bejing - China will create a new special economic zone outside Beijing similar to those established in Shenzhen and Shanghai, the government said, in a bid to boost flagging growth and reduce the strain on the capital.

Development plan raises fears for Moscow Le Corbusier gem

Moscow - A striking combination of glass, curves and straight lines -- the Tsentrosoyuz building in downtown Moscow stands as a monument to modernist architecture and the genius of its famed designer Le Corbusier.

Balloon, camera, action: mapping a Palestinian camp in Lebanon

- Equipped with an inexpensive camera and a big red balloon, Firas Ismail -- a 20-year-old Palestinian refugee in southern Lebanon -- is not your typical urban planner.

Balloon, camera, action: mapping a Palestinian camp in Lebanon

- Equipped with an inexpensive camera and a big red balloon, Firas Ismail -- a 20-year-old Palestinian refugee in southern Lebanon -- is not your typical urban planner.

Balloon, camera, action: mapping a Palestinian camp in Lebanon

- Equipped with an inexpensive camera and a big red balloon, Firas Ismail -- a 20-year-old Palestinian refugee in southern Lebanon -- is not your typical urban planner.

Art springs from ruins of Rome's industrial past

Rome - The ruins of a landmark industrial building in Rome have become home to a thought-provoking art project that casts an unflattering light on the capital's patchy record on urban regeneration.

Urbanization makes its mark on evolution

Washington - Urbanization, that is human development in the form of towns and cities, is affecting evolution, according to a new scientific study. The researchers say this has implications for sustainability and human well-being.

As arable land disappears, here come the vertical farmers

Waregem - As cities expand, eating up swathes of countryside in the process, agricultural pioneers are finding new ways to grow the fresh produce we need, in containers, empty buildings and any other spare space they can find to create new vertical farms.

Streets with no names: Navigating the maze of African cities

Yaound - Maps, road signs, sat navs, Google maps -- it all makes travelling so easy. But how do you get around in a city with few street names, where buildings have no numbers?

From jungle to city, the move affects the immune system

The move from living in rural settings to cities altered human exposure to certain microorganisms. In turn this residential shift appears to have impacted upon immune function.

Behind high walls, new S.African city proud to be a world apart

- Green, tidy, with safe public areas and winding bicycle paths -- Steyn City is a vast "self-sufficient" development outside Johannesburg, that highlights growing controversy over South Africa's divided urban society.

Empty Cairo homes beyond reach of Egypt's poor

Cairo - Ahmed and Mohamed are both married with children but still live with their mother, unable to afford one of the hundreds of thousands of homes sitting empty in Egypt's capital.

Manuela's Madrid: A pretty, gritty city

Madrid - Tourists love it, locals are proud of it, but beyond Madrid's tree-lined boulevards, pavement cafes and world-class museums lies a world of inequality that its new mayor vows to fight.

Choice view over Rio for waterborne beggar

Rio De Janeiro - Thousands of people eke out an existence living in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, a giant city racing to overhaul itself ahead of next year's Olympics.

Op-Ed: A more informed urban narrative Special

London - The challenges linked to the urban environment requires following multiple paths to find solutions. Academic voices are often overlooked, but the reality is countless scholars offer crucial insights that can clarify contemporary concerns.

Exploring lead risks in urban farming

Philadelphia - Urban farmer Ryan Kuck alleges that his garden was slowly poisoning his children in Philadelphia. Lead poisoning has often been a problem in United States and we'll explore the reasons behind this.

Google Street View lets you time-travel into the past

As of today, Google has begun rolling out a new feature for Street View, the component of Google Earth and Google Maps that lets you view places as if you were actually there, that allows you to travel back in time and view the place in the past.

China's urban drive risks digging economic hole

Anshun - After a lifetime of farming and mining in the hills of southwest China, Zhang Zongfu was thrust into subsidised housing closer to town, and into a monumental urbanisation drive aimed at boosting growth.Zhang likes his newly built digs, which are effect...

Urban areas make song birds ill

Phoenix - People living in densely populated urban areas affect the health and fitness of native wildlife. A new study draws a link between the degree of urbanization and the prevalence of two parasites in wild house finches.

Photo Essay: Everyday items can hold a beauty of their own Special

Nashville - The sights and sounds of the urban city can differ greatly from those of a more rural environment. While one area may be more pastoral and peaceful, scenes found in any of environment can hold a certain beauty.
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Urban Image

Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
A market in Lagos  south west Nigeria.
A market in Lagos, south west Nigeria.
Zouzou Wizman
 Sky Study  Paris  1856—1857   albumen silver print from glass negative. The Metropolitan Museum o...
"Sky Study, Paris, 1856—1857", albumen silver print from glass negative. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1987 (1987.1094) cat. no. 25.
Charles Marville / The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Manhattan Bridge and the New York City Skyline.  A wonderful person shared a quote last year by ...
The Manhattan Bridge and the New York City Skyline. "A wonderful person shared a quote last year by Henri Matisse that really resonated with me," says Gucwa."'A large part of the beauty of a picture arises from the struggle which an artist wages with his limited medium.' I think that there is a tremendous amount of truth in the (idea) that when you are limited, you are forced to work extremely hard to get the results you desire."
Vivienne Gucwa
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN
When it comes to Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram  de Guzman isn’t worried. “Instagram ...
When it comes to Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram, de Guzman isn’t worried. “Instagram's going to change - it's getting too big not to. I don't mind if Facebook is at the helm as it changes. I think it'll help users actually, because Instagram will have many more resources at its disposal to develop the product.”
John de Guzman
 Rue de Constantine (Fourth Arrondissement)  1866   albumen silver print from glass negative. The Me...
"Rue de Constantine (Fourth Arrondissement), 1866", albumen silver print from glass negative. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1986 (1986.1141) cat. no. 56.
Charles Marville / The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Deserted streets on a rainy day in Lyon France
Deserted streets on a rainy day in Lyon France
Erik Johansson photo  where images are manipulated with Photoshop
Erik Johansson photo, where images are manipulated with Photoshop
Courtesy Erik Johansson
 Banks of the Bièvre River at the Bottom of the rue des Gobelins (Fifth Arrondissement)  ca. 1862 ...
"Banks of the Bièvre River at the Bottom of the rue des Gobelins (Fifth Arrondissement), ca. 1862", albumen silver print from glass negative. Musée Carnavalet, Paris. cat. no. 54
Charles Marville / Musée Carnavalet, Paris
Graffiti on fence surrounding development property in downtown Toronto.
Graffiti on fence surrounding development property in downtown Toronto.
The Thin Blue Line Ride heading out of Rock Hill SC for the less busy country roads along the route.
The Thin Blue Line Ride heading out of Rock Hill SC for the less busy country roads along the route.
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville  TN
Pictures of various urban sights in Nashville, TN

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