Weekly Urban News Update
May 18th, 2018
In This Update

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has confirmed the first urban case of Ebola virus, found in Mbandaka, a city with over one million people. This diagnosis has been called a "game-changer" by a World Health Organization, as diseases are much harder to contain in urban areas- a worrisome issue with a disease as lethal as Ebola. However, the Congo and other countries that were affected in the 2014-2016 epidemic have learned a great deal about management an containment of the disease and the international response to this outbreak has been swift compared to others in the past. An experimental vaccine for the virus has officially rolled out in the Congo as well, so there is hope that the situation can be contained.

Read more  here.
The proposed cuts to U.S. foreign aid may not be as deep as was once widely anticipated.  In two hearings held this week, members of Congress pushed back on the proposed USAID budget for FY19, with many agreeing that the amount allocated to the development agency would curb the United States' ability to effectively implement development programs around the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including the agency's commitment to leading countries on the "journey to self-reliance." Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina was particularly adamant that these cuts be reevaluated and potentially eliminated. IHC Global is a strong proponent of U.S. supported economic and social development, and we encourage the continued investment in foreign aid together with higher prioritization of urban development, including clean water, sanitation, and property rights, on the US foreign assistance agenda.

Read more  here .
1) A new documentary charts the long, winding commutes of Istanbul, Mexico City and Los Angeles.
The amount of time we spend commuting in our everyday lives is so large it deserves to be documented. Luckily, Argentinian documentary filmmaker Luciana Kaplan is up for the challenge; in her new film, she explores the lives of three different people in three different parts of the world, and how public transportation weaves into their lives- often precariously. The three stories center on Estela, a "Mexican beauty parlor worker living in the suburb of Ecatepec"; Melten, a "Turkish mother of two who crosses the Bosporus every day to get to her job in a clothing store in Istanbul"; and Mike, an "engineer who drives more than four hours each day across Los Angeles to get to his workplace."

Discover more about these stories  here.

2) Paris is really considering going for free transit
Mayor Anne Hidalgo is determined to make Paris a sustainable city, and she may just succeed. The city has launched a transit study that will determine the benefits and costs of adopting free transit, an ambitious move for any city to undertake. So far, estimates say that it would cost the Paris region an extra €6 billion annually (yikes). However, cleaner air, reduced healthcare costs, and plummeting carbon emissions are among the benefits that may far outweigh the costs.

Learn more about the potential plan and the pros and cons  here.

3) Event: A New Vision for New York City Transit
The NYC transit system is as notoriously temperamental as its residents, and divide between capacity and demand seems to keep getting bigger. The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation and Regional Plan Association invites you to go beyond the headlines as NYCT President Andy Byford presents the details of the new Corporate Action Plan for the future of New York City Transit. Audience Q&A will follow. An RSVP is required. Doors will open with a light breakfast served at 8 AM, and the program will begin at 8:30 AM.

When:  Thursday, May 24, 2018
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM EDT
Where: Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall, 
NYU Law School
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY
RSVP to the event here.
News In the news and around the web
  • Look back at the three years of Medellin's plan to protect urban biodiversity.
  • The smaller cities in America are still growing the fastest.
  • Explore a unique perspective of how Chicago's architecture manipulates light and shadows.

A lesson in shadows and architecture from Chicago. Thank goodness for Frank Lloyd Wright, eh?
Source: Guardian Cities
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