Pick of the Web
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Pacifying Rio

Rio de Janeiro has engaged in an ambitious security operation aimed at freeing its favelas from the control of gangs in time for the 2016 Olympics. But security is not the only rationale behind the program. As with everything, economic interests and international exposure drive Rio's makeover.

The heavy presence of Jerusalem Light Rail: why Palestinian protesters attacked the tracks

The destruction of tram stations during the protests in East Jerusalem is much more than vandalism, it shows that Palestinians are not quietly acquiescing to the ‘unification’ of the city, which they understand as the annexation of occupied land.

The everywhere of sanitation: violence, oppression and the body

New Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had nothing to say on the attacks in Uttar Pradesh, but a debate has emerged in India about how a rich country can lag so dangerously far behind its competitors in providing basic safe and clean sanitation.

The shadow citizenry

The shadow citizenry is a territorial reserve army of foot soldiers, who want in but are forced out; often defiant yet somehow disunited, disgruntled and raging in a global civil war of austerity and high frequency piracy.

Anatomy of a demolition

One year ago last month, part of a Delhi slum was demolished; the demolition received almost no public attention. As politicians across India are speaking to the urban poor, asking for their votes and promising them secure housing, it is important to recall these events and the official attitude they represent.

The urban paradox

As Cities in Conflict goes on hiatus, I take a look back at the past fourteen months of publishing articles, film, photo-essays, mappings and infographics on the series, and comment on where urbanism is today: stuck between logics of saviourism and withdrawal.

Cities in Conflict: the editor's pick

A look back at some of my favourite articles, interviews, photo-essays and films from the past fourteen months of Cities in Conflict.

Dompak eco-city: a tale of corruption

The creation of new master-planned cities is an emerging transnational trend stretching across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Indonesia’s dream of a clean, modern eco-city in Dompak, however has been mired by the corruption of local and national elites.

A year after Rana Plaza, still unearthing its causes

After years of trade liberalisation, corporate self-regulation, and a global race-to-the-bottom, we need to consider what kinds of systemic reforms are needed to improve worker safety and welfare worldwide, and ask ourselves whether the disaster at Rana Plaza is the natural outcropping of a system we created.

Nairobi's solution to terrorism: blame the Somalis

Last week’s crackdown on Somali refugees reads like a show of force by a government that desperately wants to hide the cracks in its counter-terrorism efforts.

Sexual violence on the margins of Delhi

While debates on sexual violence in India focus on the city, the experiences of women expunged to the city's fraught, anonymous margins are all too often excluded. Content warning: this article contains description of rape and sexual violence.

Whose smart city?

The proliferation of 'smart' solutions to a deluge of political and economic problems in today's cities may well serve to reinforce urban inequality at a time when new radical alternatives are in desperate need.

A sporting chance?

This year's 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony will feature the demolition of Glasgow's renowned Red Road flats. The showpiece demolition not only marks the 'changing face' of the city's East End but also the brazen revanchism of the city's regeneration policy.

Kashgar's redevelopment is about more than anti-Uyghur sentiment

While the CCP’s motives for redeveloping Xinjiang's capital are manifold, what seems to be provoking the most anger among residents, is the near total absence of Uyghur presence in decision-making.

On violence and protest in Brazil

While media coverage of Brazil's urban protests continues to focus on Molotov cocktails and smashed windows, the fight against police violence, repression and institutional racism continues.

Beyond the Kunming attack

The recent attacks on Kunming train station represent a watershed moment in China-Uyghur relations, as Uyghurs across China face widespread recriminations.

25 years of MIPIM is enough

Real estate managers, asset dealers and city sellers at this years MIPIM, the world's biggest property fair, will for the first time be met by a Europe-wide coalition, calling for an end to the great city sell-off.

The new Balkan revolts: from protests to plenums, and beyond

The current wave of protests in Bosnia may represent the birth of true activist citizenship. These movements discover new forms of collective organisation and explore the most fundamental questions for any society, namely social justice and equality for all. What happens in Bosnia will not stay in Bosnia.

Splintering Tunis

Three years after the revolution, Tunisia is searching for a new urban identity.

Designed conflict territories

As the traditional role of the commons is lost to proprietary, securitised technology and authoritarian control, could designed conflict territories provide a radically different social platform where agonistic conflict could play out?

From Olympic spectacle to social crisis: review of Future Suspended

Review: Crisis-Scape's new film invites us in to the shadows of Athens, a city tenuously held together by state imposed order, privatisation, anxiety and violence.

Athens: future suspended

Watch: What impact does a global financial crisis have on everyday life in the city? Crisis-Scape's final 35' documentary film traces the multiple transformations of crisis-ridden Athenian public space and those who traverse it.

Focus E15: the young mothers' struggle for universal housing

For more than six months, a small group of young, homeless mothers have been battling for decent and secure social housing for everyone. The mothers highlight an emerging problem facing thousands across the country: it's getting very hard to find a place to live. Today the women will hand in their petition to City Hall.

Territorial stigma and regeneration in Tottenham

The stigmatising narratives which dominate popular discourse on the 2011 riots have imbued the punitive regeneration of Tottenham with a political and moral urgency.

The Free Fare Movement comes to Rio

On 6th February, Rio's military police clashed with thousands of protestors calling for free movement in the city. What caused the fare-hike and why is the state so violently defending it?

After Rana Plaza

Why were NGOs left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse?

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