Weekly Urban News Update
November 3rd, 2017
In This Update

A new study from Economists Enrico Berkes and Ruben Gaetani,  Income Segregation and Rise of the Knowledge Economy, reveals an unfortunate connection between the rise of the "knowledge economy" and the high-tech talent and industry it brings to cities, and urban economic segregation. By specifically comparing data on the level of patenting (which researchers use to measure 'innovation intensity') to measures of economic segregation across census tracts between 1990 and 2010, the researchers argue that patenting from knowledge-based, high-tech industries is responsible for over half the variation in economic segregation in cities, as well as for 20 percent of the increase in economic segregation that took place in that time period.

Read a summary of the study here.

Urban food waste is clearly a problem; the evidence is in every overflowing trash can you pass, in every casually-tossed banana peel in the middle of the sidewalk. But how bad is it? And what can be done about it? Tetra Tech, the National Resources Defense Council and the Rockefeller Center set out to answer these questions, by surveying the daily food waste patterns of more than 1,151 residents in Denver, New York and Nashville. The compiled data opens a window into what Americans decide is not for keeps (unsurprisingly, the top offending food is coffee grounds--bananas, oranges, apples and bread topped the charts too). But the data doesn't just show what was wasted; it shows why it's wasted, and what specific things can be done to reduce food waste overall.
Read the full reports here.

As part of an urban upheaval, Moscow is transforming itself, and in the process is leaving casualties in its wake. Some of them are the 4,000-strong blocks that make up the  Khrushchevka apartments, staple Moscovian landmarks that stand as credits to the larger-than-life public housing of the Soviet Union. After a vote in June that led to a unanimous approval for demolition by local authorities, the Krushchevka apartments will be torn down to make way for urban renewal, and in the process will leave 2 million people without homes. Though the move has been controversial and has received loud protest, the strange thing is that enough residents of the apartments- the majority of which have been privatized since the collapse of the Soviet Union- voted for the demolition for the motion to go through. Although authorities have promised that residents will be rehoused in the same district, many will be facing forced evictions and uncertain living situations. In a moving photo essay, see the iconic buildings and the people who call it home as they are now, before they both have to go.
View the full photo essay here.

In the Middle East, water scarcity is a source of tension. But some innovative leaders in the region have approached better water management as a shared priority that transcends borders and politics-and that could even serve as a potential platform for peace.

For more than 20 years, EcoPeace Middle East has worked across the Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli borders to promote practical solutions to transboundary water scarcity and pollution. Join EcoPeace's three co-directors-representing Jordan, Palestine, and Israel- for a unique discussion, where they will share their experiences using water diplomacy to improve livelihoods, create healthy interdependencies, and enhance regional stability. The discussion will also identify opportunities for progress on water issues within the peace process and the important role of the United States in fostering regional water security and stability.

When: Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
9:00 - 11:00 AM
Where:  Sixth Floor, Wilson Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

Learn more about and register for the event here.
Feature IHC Global Urban Feature: Urban Security
In cities, terror prevention can go a long way.

The Issue
As another week comes to an end, another vehicular terrorism attack has struck a city, killing innocent civilians and bringing fear scurrying back up to the surface of urban life. This time it is New York City, and the attack has already been labeled the bloodiest attack in the city since September 11th. As vehicular terrorism becomes more and more common, the responses to the attacks- from London to Barcelona- have been largely identical; after the fact, debates about "what can be done" are immediately reignited, and words like "inevitable" are thrown around. These attacks seem inevitable because the two things that terrorists need for vehicular terrorism to work are cars and pedestrians- two of the main building blocks of a city. While it seems difficult to find a  solution for preventing an individual from committing these violent acts, in this case--and in the case of many of the recent attacks--there is a workable solution to make these attacks less lethal: transforming public space. The site of this attack was on a notoriously busy bike path that is only marginally protected, and cars continuously violate these protections and drive through the path, an act that sometimes ends violently. By transforming public spaces such as this to make streets safer and combat terrorism, cities will also be protecting their pedestrians from regular traffic violence, which is the highest it has been in the United States since the 1990s.

What We See
There is no foolproof way of stopping urban vehicular terrorism; it is a nasty characteristic of the times that we live in. And though this issue calls for transforming public space, "transforming" does not have to be ugly, or authoritarian, or even overly noticeable. By bringing together multiple sectors of society, from government to members of the private sector to architects and urban planners, cities can and should create public spaces with both security and urban dwellers in mind. Some cities are already doing this; according to Citylab, when a car crashed through Times Square earlier this year resulting in the death of one person, the fact that the incident did not result in even greater tragedy was attributed to the square's pedestrian-friendly redesign that made it harder for cars to use the space. And creative measures have been popping up in cities all over that are used to prevent both terrorism and general issues with traffic. For example, security and aesthetic are conflating in Florence, where large and colorful flower planters have been put up in lieu of concrete barriers to complement the city's old-world beauty. What the incident in New York shows is that policy change needs to go hand in hand with security and design change. According to Citylab, policy change has proven successful in London, where surge pricing for systems of transit during peak hours has brought traffic accidents down by a whopping 40 percent. Though past calls for stricter regulations against cars driving on bike paths in New York have fallen on deaf ears, a new conversation could be opened in the wake of this attack. It is unfortunate that making cities more pedestrian-friendly also opens up a whole new avenue of security issues, but with innovative designs and policies that reduce the prevalence of driving in general, cities can cleverly curb the chances of both traffic accidents and terror incidents while still maintaining their urban aesthetic.    
Read more  here
To learn more about IHC Global's Key Policy Topics, which are both barriers and gateways to better, more equitable urban development, click here
News In the news and around the web
  • Other cities should take a peek at how Amsterdam is flourishing under the Sustainable Cities Engagement Model.
  • Vancouver became the poster child of why better cities need to be built.
  • IHC Global is at the NAR annual conference this week and is hosting a panel on the role of housing in cities around the world. Stay tuned for a full recap of our time there.

 A resident of the Khruschevka buildings, the 4,000-strong apartment blocks that will soon be demolished to make way for Moscow's urban renewal.
     Source: Guardian Cities
safetyTake our Making Cities Safe survey
IHC Global has created a survey to increase understanding and share knowledge around issues of safety in cities-looking specifically at safety in the home, on public transport, in formal and informal workplace settings, and in common spaces such as sanitary facilities. Results from this survey will provide input into a policy report addressing how SDG 11, Target 7, Indicator 2-which focuses specifically on making urban spaces safe--can be met.

Help us gain a better understanding of urban safety; take our survey  here!
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