Weekly Urban News Update
June 7, 2019
In This Update: 
Upcoming Webinars
In the News and Around the Web
This Week in Photos
The House The Robots Built
For millennia housing has reflected the best of human skill. But now, the look and feel of architecture may soon change as robots begin to take the place of humans in construction. Disruptive technologies are slowly shaping the architectural landscape and giving companies the ability to build more quickly and more ecologically. The BBC's Ben King reflects on the future and gives us an idea of what future homes might look like based on innovations in our present

Read more here.
VIDEO: Berlin versus London - Which City Is Better For Renters?
The BBC compares apartments in Berlin and in London to determine which city is better for apartment dwellers.  Tenants routinely face the challenges of rent hikes, city laws and landlord disputes, not to mention the cost of apartment maintenance. Short notice on price increases for a tenant's rental can spell the end of their stay in their home, and the threat of eviction from landlords if they take action is an additional worry. So which city is the better place to live?  Find out  here .
Affordability, Tradition Dampens Bangladeshi Demand for Storm-Proof Homes
Floating housing that can adapt to climate changes was designed by researchers at the University of Dundee in Scotland, to support low-income families whose homes were threatened by climate change and severe storms. The homes can withstand cyclones, erosion and flooding, and are designed of local materials to provide a resilient dwelling place for poor farmers and fishermen on the coast. However, local residents and elites are struggling with the concept of empowering their poorer neighbors. For more about how these homes provide safety for their owners - and push back against the stigma of poverty in the region - click here.
Canada's Digital Charter Does Not Comfort Alphabet's Smart-City Critics
Sidewalk Toronto, a project run by Google's Alphabet, is using sensors in the city to gather personal data. Critics say that Canada's new Digital Charter does not have enough legal power to protect people's privacy and personal data. Concerns about anonymity and potential abuse of data have driven some to voice their opposition, despite general support from most Torontonians. 

Read the full article here.
Paris Puts a Spoke In the Wheel of Electronic Scooter Providers
20,000 e-scooters have descended upon The City Of Light - without many regulations or controls. Abandoned and broken scooters have been thrown over bridges and into historic gardens, and pedestrians and riders have found themselves embattled on the pavements. City officials want to impose speed limits and fines on riders, in the wake of an increase in injuries and near misses in the past year. 

Read more here.
IHC Global Blog: Smart City. Just City Series
Guest blogger Shivani Chaudhry, Executive Director of the Housing and Land Rights Network in India, writes about the importance of involving a human rights perspective in developing smart city proposals. She focuses on key human rights gaps in India's Smart Cities Mission, an initiative launched in 2015 with the goal of creating 100 technological urban centers throughout the country. Following the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Mission was set to be revamped and expanded. Chaudhry argues that the Mission needs to focus more on women and marginalized groups to be successful, so that technology and a human rights perspective together can provide the best outcome for India.

Read the full blog here.
Upcoming Webinars
  • How Technology Can Improve Urban Design Engagement : Next City will host Streetmix CEO and Founder Lou Huang on June 12th to speak about how technology can improve urban design.
In the News and Around the Web
  • Colombia Seeks to Grant Land Rights to Female Farmers: Reuters reports that farming communities are set to receive thousands of land grants for free.
  • HUD Opportunity Zone Multifamily Development Receives $21 Million Loan : Located in Kodak, TN, it is one of the first properties to be financed with the HUD program.
  • Planned Demolitions in Lebanon Put 15,000 Children at Risk of Homelessness: Informal housing in refugee camps are set to be destroyed by the government if they are not changed to meet regulations by June 9. 
This Week in Photos:
  • America's "11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2019": The National Trust for Historic Preservation lists locations made famous by everything from war to music, and are now threatened by neglect, climate change and inappropriate development.
  • Landscaping the Eiffel Tower : Paris, a city known for its lush gardens and beautiful architecture, is set to install an upgraded, pedestrian-friendly garden around the world-famous monument by 2024. (For French, read here.)

Pictured above: The new eco-friendly Cambridge Central mosque, located in the UK.

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