Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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cities > features

Bringing a new urban cool to US cities
American cities have lost 25 per cent of their tree cover in the past 30 years according to the environment group American Trees. But the city of Sacramento in California believes that trees are an answer to global warming, and are doing something about it. The story was told earlier this year by Blaine Harden, writing in the Washington Post, from which these extracts are taken. ... more

The ecology of cities
At an historic turning point when half the world's people are becoming city dwellers, the time has come to re-think our urban future in a more ecological way, says Lester Brown. ... more

The urban millennium
Sometimes it takes just one human being to tip the scales and change the course of history. In the year 2007, that human being will either move to a city or be born in one. Demographers watching urban trends will mark it as the moment when the world entered a new urban millennium, a period in which, for the first time in history, the majority of the world's people will live in cities, report Rasna Warah and Eduardo Lopez Moreno. ... more

Beijing's Rapid Transit Line puts cars in their place
by Yingling Liu

The opening of Beijing's 16- kilometre Rapid Transit bus system has begun to transform communications in that crowded city, says Yingling Liu, and is a sign that the Chinese Government has now accepted the merits of public transport. ... more

Aiming for zero garbage in India's cities
India's urban population is growing fast. It is also consuming more. And the more people have the more they seem to waste, says the Indian NGO Toxic Link. Here Chitra Balasubramanian reports from Delhi on some successful efforts to deal with the problem. ... more

Bogotá's green revolution
Half the world now lives in cities and two-thirds of its population, mainly from developing countries, are set to become urban dwellers by 2030. In facing up to this reality, former mayor of the Colombian capital of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa, describes how a green revolution is helping to transform this developing country city into a more liveable place, providing a better quality of life for its residents. ... more

Harare descends into chaos
The vital role of governments in providing clean water and sewage services to towns and cities is highlighted in this report from Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, where sewage and rotting garbage litter the streets as services and infrastructure continue to crumble. Dzikamai Chidyausiku reports. ... more

Suburban sprawl rolling over imperiled wildlife
by J.R. Pegg

The rapid conversion of American open space and farmland into subdivisions, shopping centers, roads and parking lots has emerged as a leading threat to the nation's biodiversity and animals, environmentalists say. ... more

COMMENTARY: Cars, more cars
by Sunita Narain

The explosion of cars in India's cities, and the neglect of public transport, is creating mayhem that can only get worse unless there is a change in the government's priorities says Sunita Narain, writing in Down to Earth the journal of the Delhi-based Centre for Science and the Environment (CSE). Here is a slightly shortened version of her editorial. ... more

Homing in, bottom up
by David Satterthwaite

David Satterthwaite reports on how slumdwellers and the homeless are helping themselves to a better quality of life. ... more

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