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The Cities This Week: Edition 14

A futuristic transport plan for Namibia’s capital aims to create a comprehensive, people-centred transportation system. Souce: Brian McMorrow via Wikimedia Commons.

A futuristic transport plan for Namibia’s capital aims to create a comprehensive, people-centred transportation system. Souce: Brian McMorrow via Wikimedia Commons.

 

WINDHOEK

The Windhoek Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan is close to finalisation in a partnership between the City of Windhoek and national government. The 20-year plan for better transportation in the city is advocated in light of the projected population growth of Windhoek to one million people in that period. The population presently sits at just over 300,000. New Era reports that the plan “will effectively reclaim road space for the people by focusing on safety, aesthetic and environmental concerns, as well as efficiency by integrating the road transportation network of Windhoek, Rehoboth, Okahandja and the Hosea Kutako International Airport.”

NEW YORK CITY

On Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 30 more underground stations would have cellphone service, bringing the total to 36, all in Manhattan. At some of the city’s busiest hubs, including Times Square and Rockefeller Center, riders will be able to make and receive calls, send text messages, and access Wi-Fi. Mr. Cuomo said the change would also bolster security, allowing travelers to call 911 in an emergency.

ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe’s plans to develop a new city were announced at the ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion of the Victoria Falls airport into a larger, modernised facility with greater runway capacity. The airport is being renovated in the lead up to the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly to be hosted in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and Livingstone, Zambia, in August. The new city will be built around the conference facilities that are to be constructed for the conference, between the current Victoria Falls town and the airport.

RIO DE JANEIRO

Rio’s world-famous Maracana stadium reopens on Saturday after nearly three years of renovation to prepare it for the World Cup finals in 2014. An exhibition match between teams of stars past and present, captained by Ronaldo and Bebeto, is being played before some 30,000 spectators. However, the reopening follows controversy over delays, costs and the future privatisation of the site. The renovation has been completed four months behind schedule. Days before the test event, seats were still being installed and pavements laid near the venue.

LOS ANGELES

Some brought children. Some brought friends. Alden Delos Santos brought Chihuahuas. Delos Santos, 41, carried his puppies Bianco and Sriracha in a front pack as he joined as many as 150,000 other bicycle riders Sunday along a downtown-to-the-ocean path of streets that were closed to car traffic for the occasion. It was the sixth and biggest CicLAvia, a celebration of cycling, walking, in-line skating, skateboarding, scootering and any other form of transportation that requires no motor. “You can see the city in a different way,” Delos Santos said as he set off from City Hall with his miniature white rescue dogs.

KAMPALA

In the latest measure to improve traffic safety, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) proposes to severely reduce the speed limit in the city. New Vision reported Wednesday: “The new plan provides for three classes of roads, with those near schools and health centres, restricted to the 30km per hour rule. According to a source at KCCA, drivers on roads connecting to highways and the northern bypass will be allowed a maximum speed of 50km/hr, while others will have a 40km/hr limit.” The plan, if approved, will take effect in June or July and it is hoped, will reduce road deaths and traffic accidents in Kampala.

BOGOTA TO CAPE TOWN

There’s a limit to the amount of physical change one person or a small group of people can initiate in a city, but what if hundreds of citizens united, each putting in place the projects and changes they want to see in their city all on the same day? That’s the goal of 100en1día (100 in 1 day) – a social movement originating from Bogotá, Colombia, which aims to inspire citizen driven change on a significant scale, transforming cities over a 24 hour period. The project has already encouraged hundreds of interventions in the Colombian cities of Bogotá, Pasto, Pamplona and Chinú, with street art, urban gardens and bike lanes all appearing on the same day. Bogotá is currently preparing for their second event on the 27th of April and international cities are also beginning to get on board. San José is launching its first event on the 20th of April and Cape Town and Copenhagen are running their own versions on the 25th of May.

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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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