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The Cities This Week: Edition 17




Exterior view of the station in context as it borders the developing King Abdullah financial district. Source:

Exterior view of the station in context as it borders the developing King Abdullah financial district. Source: designboom

RIYADH

Zaha Hadid’s winning entry for one of the Riyadh metro stations sports a lattice-like undulating skin–a sequence of opposing sine-waves– and will purportedly enclose a stop at the intersection of the high street/ batha line and the Abdul Rahman bin Auf/ Sheik Hassan bin Hussein line. the in-progress rapid transit system is part of major redevelopment bordering the King Abdullah financial district, itself a burgeoning area in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

JOHANNESBURG

Joburg authorities are going to make it increasingly difficult for cars to be used in the city in a bid to improve public transport and health. In his State of the City address last week, mayor Parks Tau revealed plans to reduce residents’ reliance on private cars, including mammoth spending on high-density housing infrastructure along public transport routes and improved public transport. “The urban design will strongly encourage this move away from private car usage,” Tau said at Wits University.

CONNECTICUT

Federal transportation investigators will work to determine what caused two passenger trains to collide during rush hour in Connecticut, sending dozens to the hospital. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board will be at the site of the crash this morning, the agency said. The two Metro-North passenger trains, heading in opposite directions, collided Friday evening in southwestern Connecticut, damaging both trains and leaving some people critically injured.

ROME

Thousands of protesters, led by trade unionists, have rallied in the Italian capital Rome against the policies of the new coalition government. Wielding red flags and placards, they urged the centre-left Prime Minister, Enrico Letta, to scrap austerity measures and focus on job creation. Public trust in his fragile coalition with the centre-right is dropping, opinion polls suggest. The country is experiencing its longest recession in more than 40 years. National debt is now about 127% of annual economic output, second only to Greece in the eurozone.

HONG KONG

Sixty-two people have been injured after multiple cars derailed on Hong Kong’s light railway in the north of the city, throwing passengers onto the floor, police say. The accident occurred on Friday in the New Territories region north of the city’s business district. “There was a derailment on the light rail,” a police spokeswoman told AFP news agency. The fire department said that four people had been seriously injured while most others suffered sprains and cuts from the collision.

LUMUMBAVILLE

The Democratic Republic of Congo plans to name a city to honor Patrice Lumumba, the independence figure who was assassinated more than 50 years ago, reported the Associated Press. The new city, to be called Lumumbaville, will comprise several existing communities in the Kassai-Oriental province (Lumumba’s birthplace) in the center of the huge nation, about 930 miles from the capital Kinshasa. Construction will commence next year.

NEW YORK CITY

Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears to have found a partner with the financial muscle to bring a Major League Soccer stadium to the largest public green space in Queens, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. It’s a project he’s been pushing for a while, and now it looks closer than ever to becoming reality. But there are urgent questions about how this for-profit enterprise will displace the ordinary New Yorkers who currently use the park in huge numbers. How much should cities should be willing to give up when it comes to encouraging private investment? Is it worth trading away the core of a neighborhood’s vital park?

TEXAN CITIES

A rash of tornadoes slammed into several small communities in Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens more injured and hundreds homeless. The violent spring storm scattered bodies, flattened homes, threw trailers onto cars. In Granbury, the worst-hit city, a tornado tore through two neighborhoods around 8pm local time Wednesday.

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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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