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

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

Turning shacks into 'mansions' in South Africa

by Pia Diaz

A women's housing co-operative in Ivory Park, South Africa, has become a beacon to shanty dwellers, providing some hope for the country's massive housing problem, as Pia Diaz reports. ... more

Nairobi's silent majority fights back
by Rasna Warah

When the ruling National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) government came into power in December 2002 after ousting the despotic regime of former President Daniel arap Moi, it vowed to, among other things, ensure that Kenya's growing urban poor would have access to adequate housing. But a recent spate of evictions and demolitions in Kenya's capital city Nairobi has raised questions about the sincerity of the new government's pledges, as Rasna Warah reports. ... more

Eco-friendly living made easy

by Emma Duncan

Julie and Rob Starsmore had no intention of moving from their flat in a regular housing development just outside London. But that was before visiting BedZED - a new "eco-village" in the UK that gives residents a high standard of living and at the same time reduces their impact on the Earth's environment. Emma Duncan reports. ... more

Auroville: an experiment in sustainable living

by John Rowley

On February 28, 1968, a remarkable experiment in what might now be called 'sustainable living' began on a hot, dry, deforested and eroded plateau on the Coromandel Coast of Tamil Nadu in South India. Children from 124 countries brought soil from each of their lands as a symbol of international unity and to mark the founding of the future 'city' of Auroville. Here, people from all nations and religions would come to live in harmony with each other and with the natural environment. Both the Indian Government and the United Nations gave their blessing. This year, John Rowley was invited to see how this utopian experiment is progressing. He arrived as 1,800 Aurovilians and their guests, gathered by starlight to celebrate the city's 36th birthday. This is his report. ... more

China plans to pass the US on fuel economy
by Curtis Runyan

China is planning to require vehicle manufacturers to make lighter, more efficient vehicles that will help curb the country's oil imports from the Middle East. The move might have important environmental consequences around the globe, as Curtis Runyan reports. ... more

Untangling traffic in Kabul
by Lailuma Saded, Shahbuddin Tarakhel, and Wahidullah Amani

A plan to restore electric bus service in Kabul may go a long way towards easing congestion and pollution. Lailuma Saded, Shahbuddin Tarakhel and Wahidullah Amani report from Kabul. ... more

Slum creates its own web site
by Rasna Warah

Our roving reporter, Rasna Warah, reports from Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro's largest slum, on a brand new experience in internet communication. ... more

Architects are helping Cuba�s housing revolution

by Rasna Warah

For over 40 years, the Cuban government has been struggling to maintain its radical social housing programme, based on the principle that affordable housing is a social right for everybody. Five years ago it adopted the idea of Community Architects, to help solve individual housing problems. In this specially-commissioned report, Rasna Warah reports on its success � and the difficulties that remain. ... more

Car wars: learning from Bogota
by John Whitelegg

Traffic accidents are killing millions in the developing world - but there is a solution from which the west should learn. ... more

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