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The Cities this Week: Edition 7




Source: pointnshoot/ flickr

Source: pointnshoot/ flickr

 

CAPE TOWN

Businesses in Cape Town’s central business district can now access the city’s fibre network, with service provider RSAWeb the first to offer access. RSAWeb is offering connections of between 25Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s using the city’s fibre infrastructure and hopes that once businesses have embraced the project it may be able to extend it to high-density residential locations, too.

Also in Cape Town: Cape Town’s artists are coming out to play again, and bringing with them friends from other cities in South Africa and abroad. It’s time for Infecting The City 2013, the annual free public arts festival that invites ordinary folk to interrogate their city and interact with artists in unusual urban settings.

SAN FRANCISCO

Although the Bay Bridge opened six months before the Golden Gate Bridge, it is widely considered the lesser of the two. The Golden Gate’s Art Deco design in striking international orange has made it a global icon, while its silver counterpart is a heavily used expressway connecting San Francisco with its industrial neighbor, Oakland. After 75 years of living in the shadows, on March 5th the Bay Bridge came into the spotlight.

KIRUNA

White Architects has just been selected as the winner of the competition to relocate the City Center of Kiruna, located in the north of Sweden. Their proposal, titled “Kiruna 4-ever”, creates a sustainable vision for the long-term expansion of the city eastwards. It allows for the further development and broadening of Kiruna’s mix of cultures and diverse population by creating a welcoming and global city, unique in its placement within the arctic landscape.

PARIS

Ask the four leading candidates competing to become Paris mayor what kind of city they would ideally like to live in and they are likely to come up with one word — London. The vision of a forward-thinking global metropolis is becoming increasingly popular as they face up to the shortcomings of a French capital which is beautiful and atmospheric but increasingly outdated and inward-looking. However, there is at least one aspect of next year’s contest which will see Paris score a historic first over London — the election of a woman mayor.

KIGALI

Kigali will soon be no city for loud praise and worshipping churches after the city authorities passed new rules against noise pollution. The new regulations require bars, churches and events’ organizers to guard against noise pollution in the city or suffer heavy fines. Bruno Rangira, the public relations and communication officer for the city of Kigali told the press last week that the regulations come after noise pollution had become a nuisance in the city suburbs especially at night. And to ensure the new regulations are adhered to, hotlines for all the three districts in Kigali have been put in place for disturbed residents to call and report noise pollution in their neighborhoods.

BOSTON

Something will be sprouting on top of Boston this spring, and it’s going to bring fresh vegetables to hungry Hub dwellers with healthy lifestyles. According to Higher Ground Farm, a Boston-bred outdoor-urban agriculture company, when the warm weather starts to return, they will be opening a 55,000 square-foot roof-top farm in the city.

ARUSHA

A group of personalities have set up a platform, or an organisation, which runs under the theme “The Arusha we want“, aimed at improving the city’s environment and overall outlook. “The Arusha we want”, or its talkshops, want to change one of Tanzania’s dirtiest and badly planned town, into an organised city, though if the truth is to be told, it may take a miracle to rearrange a city which has only 30 percent of its vicinity surveyed.

NEW YORK

When Mayor Bloomberg announced New York City’s Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge last winter, we were excited to see how designers would reimagine these idle relics of last century’s infrastructure into something other than a shading device for smartphone-browsing in sunny weather. From the looks of the finalists, which Bloomberg announced this past Tuesday, tomorrow’s payphone could have a lot of app-style features, from weather reports and wayfinding to voice and gesture control.

DAR ES SALAAM

The Sultanate of Oman is keen at investing in infrastructure such as ports and railways here, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries. Tanzania and Oman signed a MoU under the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC) legal framework which focuses on trade relations and political consultations. It also aims at formalising trade relations and improving the environment for investors from both countries.

 

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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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