Fueled by record high prices, thieves from Chevy Chase, Maryland to Mumbai, India are causing headaches for authorities by stealing copper wires, aluminum bleachers, and iron manhole covers. Meanwhile, in Detroit, the problem of metal theft has driven energy company executives to confront directly those who would cut down copper wiring to sell at a profit. The trend could transform our cities, and also perhaps our architecture.
Housing and Economy in McGregor, South Africa
How can a picturesque South African village still deeply divided by the legacy of apartheid accomodate much-needed government housing without ruining their tourist economy? How can the town create economic integration to lift their citizens out of poverty? While I’ve written extensively on other aspects of my month-long trip to South Africa last summer, up till now I have not reported on the planning project we tackled. Read on for the answers we found.
Slums in Cape Town and Beyond
Part 5 of my South Africa series. To begin this week’s final post on South Africa, let’s consider this satellite image of most of metropolitan Cape Town, population roughly 2.9 million. This map depicts an area some 40 miles across. Next, this map of the economic geography of the city from a city planning document […]
The Minibus Solution
Part 4 of my South Africa series Imagine a public transportation system that combines the low cost and fixed routes of a bus, with the frequency and availability of a private taxi. The system would be idea: convenient, low-cost, and predictable. There’d be no fear the driver was taking you for a ride, and catching […]
Part 3 of my South Africa Series The lack of progress bridging the social divides in South Africa has not been due to political will. In addition to a variety of political rights (many which Americans will be familiar with from our Bill of Rights), the South African Constitution includes workers’ rights to join unions, […]
The Defensive City
Part 2 in my South Africa series The combination of affluence and desperate poverty in South Africa I described yesterday has made the country a world leader in both crime and security technology. In particular, security measures are pervasive in the physical form of the city. Although some of the security measures date from the […]
A Cityscape Divided
Part 1: Setting the Scene I recently returned from spending one month in Cape Town participating in a study abroad program. Each day this week I will post a new article exploring, in order, the social context, the defensive architecture I observed, government led low-income urban sprawl, Cape Town’s ingenious Minibus taxis, and a selection […]