Weekly Urban News Update
November 8, 2019
In This Update: 
New Delhi Declares Public Health Emergency
Why City Public Transit Means so Much for the Global Protest Wave
A Report on Tripoli: the "Bride" of Lebanon's Uprising
Apple Pledged $2.5 Billion to Housing, but Experts Say Policy Change Must Follow
How Toronto is Prioritizing Public Interest in its Relationship with Big Tech
IHC Global Spotlight on this Week's Events
This Week in Photos
In the News and Around the Web
New Delhi Declares Public Health Emergency
The government of New Delhi declared a public health emergency last week after the city's concentration of particulate matter surpassed 20x the level deemed healthy by the World Health Organization. The decree closed schools, banned construction, and limited car use for five days. The Indian capital's pollution is especially bad at this time of year. In addition to typical rates of car and industrial emissions, crop burning in neighboring states, fireworks launched during Diwali, and local weather patterns contribute to toxic air. At Grist, Miyo McGinn says that long-term and sustainable air quality improvement in India will be an uphill battle depending on behavioral change as well as policy change. Despite an existing ban on crop-burning and firecrackers, both practices continue and the population is reluctant to try greener alternatives.

Read more here.
Why City Public Transit Means So Much for the Global Protest Wave
City public transportation sites are a key space for the ongoing "global protest wave." This makes sense, writes Terry Nguyen at Vox, because transportation services are a central part to urban life as they connect residents to jobs, schools, and social communities. The extent to which city dwellers are satisfied with their transportation experience is intimately tied to their perception of the local government tasked with providing it. In New York City, residents saw a recent police crackdown on fare evaders as a sign of racial bias in the police force. In Santiago, protestors saw a fare hike as evidence the government did not care to represent its voters. In Hong Kong, the protestors have accused the Mass Transit Railway System of siding with the Chinese government, when MTRS shut down metro stops protestors previously used as places to gather.

Read more here.
A Report on Tripoli: the "Bride" of Lebanon's Current Uprising
In Lebanon, Tripoli, rather than the capital of Beirut, is considered the "bride" of its current uprising. The "city of contrasts," is home to potential disputes over wealth disparity, a Westernized city culture that is faces an increasingly public religious conservatism, lack of infrastructure and city services, and spillover of regional conflict. Accusations of corruption and lack of political representations stand at the core of the protests for many. Tripoli is home to some of Lebanon's wealthiest individuals, yet more than 50% of the population lives at or below the poverty line. Rather than invest in sustainable city policies and create projects to help the poor help themselves, politicians frequently provide free services in exchange for political support.

Read more here.
Apple Pledged $2.5 Billion to Housing, but Experts Say Policy Change Must Follow
On Monday, Apple pledged $2.5 billion to improve housing affordability and availability in California. But experts says political will, rather than money, will determine whether California can address its housing crisis. Apple's pledge follows similar moves by companies Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. But experts warn a one-time investment cannot overcome existing zoning roadblocks in California, where ideal swathes of undeveloped land are already zoned for commercial projects. Some also wonder whether Apple's pledge to assist first-time homebuyers will help only a small group of people, while neglecting to help renters and anyone who does not receive financial assistance.

Read more  here .
Toronto Prioritizes Public Interest in its Relationship with Big Tech
Last week, a Toronto court determined that Sidewalk Labs cannot develop beyond the twelve acres originally allotted to it as it hoped to do. Sidewalk Labs, a Google sister company, is proposing to build Quayside, in Toronto, a smart city from the ground up.  This is a "major victory" against Big Tech and for the city write University of Toronto's Shoshana Sax and Matti Siemiatycki in a New York Times op-ed, because it demonstrates the city of Toronto is not abandoning its responsibility to public interest as  it embraces urban innovation. The court ruling is considered a compromise as it allows Sidewalk Labs to proceed with the original plans, but prohibits expansion at this time and stipulates any data collected would be firmly under public, rather than company control.

Read more  here .
This Week in IHC Global Events:

World Cities Day: Better Cities, Better Lives

IHC Global was pleased to co-host the panel: "World Cities Day: Better Cities, Better Lives through Frontier Technology," with Dentons Smart Cities and Communities Think Tank and international urban expert Brian English. Read about it on our blog here


Community Screening of PUSH the Film

IHC Global was glad to have been able to bring a screening of "PUSH" the film to Washington, DC with Global Land Alliance. PUSH is part of a new movement called "The Shift," by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Housing, and United Cities and Local Governments to change the way the world thinks and interacts with housing and home. Read about The Shift 
here.
National Association of Realtors 2019 Conference

IHC Global Senior Technical Advisor Steve Brown led a successful leadership training seminar at the NAR Conference in San Francisco on Thursday. Attendees were from places as diverse as Belgium, Ukraine, Panama, and Guam. Leadership training is a key component to promoting ethical real estate markets and transactions which in turn support property rights, economic empowerment, and economic growth.

This Week in Photos
  • Flooding in Bangui Displaces Tens of Thousands: Weeks of flooding have left tens of thousands of people homeless in the capital of Central African Republic 
  • Delhi's Toxic Sky: The government declared a public health emergency in the Indian capital.
In the News and Around the Web
  • Jakarta's Cemeteries Are Causing Conflict and Family Rifts: In overcrowded Jakarta, cemeteries are burying multiple people in spaces designated for one in an effort to address shortage of burial land. 
  • The U.S. Withdraws from International Climate Agreement: The United States officially informed the U.N. it will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords.
  • Where Will the Top 10 Cities Be in 2035?:  Visualize projected GDP and population here
The India Gate pictured on a clear day (left) and earlier this week (right).
(Photo Credit: Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty)


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