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The Cities this Week: Edition 3

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TOKYO

Tokyo and Osaka have topped an index of the world’s most expensive cities to live in for 2013, familiar positions for the Japanese megacities which have traditionally dominated the list prepared bi-annually by The Economist. The Worldwide Cost of Living report put the Japanese capital at the top of the index after comparing more than 400 prices across 160 products and service such as food, clothing, household supplies, rent, utility and recreational costs. Also read about why you shouldn’t believe the hype around the rankings.

CAPE TOWN

Taxi associations holding up the City of Cape Town’s implementation of the MyCiTi busses in Salt River and Walmer Estate withdrew their objections on Tuesday, but the Hout Bay Taxi Association maintains its objection to MyCiTi in Hout Bay.

NEW ORLEANS

On the heels of a record travel day after Super Bowl 2013, New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport officials are gearing up for the busy Mardi Gras travel season, which begins Friday. Including visitors arriving for Carnival and locals fleeing from the crowds, tens of thousands of passengers are expected to go through the terminal almost every day between now and Ash Wednesday on Feb. 13.

HARARE

Harare will soon introduce water rationing as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to water problems afflicting the city. Most suburbs have been receiving water intermittently for the past four days following a major pipe burst at Prince Edward Water Works. There are also perennial water shortages in some areas that council has failed to address. Town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi yesterday said the city would come up with a proper water rationing schedule as they continue to refurbish the city’s water equipment.

BEIJING

The Chinese Lunar New Year is considered the largest migration of people in the world, as millions of Chinese travel back to their home villages to celebrate with family and friends. According to the state news agency, Xinhua, 3.41 billion trips are expected to be made during the festival from January 26 to March 6. As China prepares to welcome the Year of the Snake, there is a new call to cut Beijing’s fireworks appetite. After repeated periods of extreme air pollution this winter, local environmental officials worry that the holiday displays will further degrade the city’s already dangerous air. Over the first month of 2013, Beijing has seen repeated bouts of off-the-charts pollution. The air quality typically improves over the Chinese New Year period.

ANTARCTICA

How do you turn a tiny science-city at the far end of the earth into a flexible biosphere capable of skating around vast fields of ice with up to 90 m.p.h. winds and temperatures that can drop below 100 degrees F? Enter Halley VI, the world’s first perambulatory municipality. A moveable city.

ABUJA

The Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is to partner the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to draw a road map on housing delivery in Nigeria. Speaking at the opening of a three-day strategic planning workshop on “The Imperative for Change”, the minister, Ms Amal Pepple, said the partnership would address critical  issues and re-invigorate the ministry to attain efficiency. Also in Abuja: the implementation of routes delineation for mini and high capacity buses in the metropolis remains suspended as the FCTA puts in place measures to cushion the effects of the policy.

OSLO

The Oslo City Council has presented the plan for a new Oslo Library, which will be situated in Bjørvika, near the new Opera House and the Oslo Harbour. The price tag for the new library will be close to NOK 2,6 billion, and the proposal will probably receive financial support from both parties in the city council.

LANZHOU

China’s shift from a rural to urban society is speeding up development projects, including one where a developer is flattening mountains to build a new city. Hemmed in by hills and the Yellow River, and under government orders not to use arable land, the fast-growing city of Lanzhou has chosen to literally flatten the natural obstacles in the way of progress.

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Melissa Meyer

Future Cape Town London-based correspondent

Urbanist-in-training from Cape Town, currently working in London. MSc City Design & Social Science.

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