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The Cities This Week: Edition 53




The Houses of Parliament suffered from floods as heavy storms hit central London. Picture: GETTY

The Houses of Parliament suffered from floods as heavy storms hit central London. Picture: GETTY

BANGKOK

“Police have been deployed in Bangkok to retake some sites occupied by protesters since they kicked off their anti-government campaign in November. Police moved into one of the main roads in the Thai capital’s royal quarter, facing little resistance. But they had to pull back from another protest camp at a government complex because of the likelihood of violence. The protesters, who want the government to resign, have set up camps at key junctions and government offices. National Security Council chief Paradorn Pattanatabut said several sites would be targeted.” – BBC News

LONDON

A woman has died after part of a building collapsed on to the car she was driving in central London. The incident happened at roughly 11pm last night on High Holborn, opposite Holborn tube station. Firefighters say that the concrete, triangular fascia on the front of the building came away, trapping the female driver and her two passengers in the Skodia Octavia car.” – Metro

LAGOS

“In a bid to reduce cases of disposing  waste water into lagoons, the Lagos State Government says it has concluded plans to construct waste-water plants in housing estates across the state. Governor Babatunde Fashola made this known on Thursday after inspecting the Abesan Waste-Water Treatment Plant, which serves the Abesan Housing Estate in Mosan Okunola Local Council Development Area. Fashola said plans had been concluded to construct a plant in Odo-Iyalaro in the Ojota area and some other housing estates to check indescriminate dumping of waste water. Expressing satisfaction with the capacity of the Abesan plant, Fashola said the project was made possible due to the commitment of the  Ministry of Environment.” – Daily Times

JOHANNESBURG

“Bricks and stones flew in the streets, and the thunder of gunfire from stun grenades echoed through the streets of the Joburg CBD – followed by hellish glows, smoke and hysterical screams from people dashing for cover. This took place while the police were engaged in skirmishes during on Wednesday’s failed DA “march for jobs” to Beyers Naudé Square, around the corner from the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters. The march was supposed to end at the square, but police stopped it before then and told them it was too dangerous to continue. The chaotic scenes at noon reduced South Africa’s commercial capital to a war zone. Many businesses around the Luthuli House precinct were shut, roads were cordoned off and traffic was clogged for several hours.” – Iol

NEW YORK CITY

“Last Friday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton promised to bring a new level of transparency to the country’s largest police department. “There should be no secrets in the NYPD,” Brattontold the Citizens Crime Commission during a breakfast meeting. “We are going to do more to open up the organization, to make it more inclusive, to make our information more readily available to the public, and to try and format it in a way that is more easily retrievable.” Bratton didn’t get specific, but it’s unlikely the past week’s “transparency” is what he had in mind. Not only have NYPD lips been surprisingly loose about the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, they’ve also spread word of some unbecoming behavior by Mayor Bill de Blasio.” – Atlantic Cities 

ABUJA

A group of people armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to “cleanse” their neighborhood of gays, dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them in the Nigerian capital city of Abuja, human rights activists said Saturday. Four of the victims were marched to a police station where officers allegedly kicked, punched and yelled pejoratives at them, said Ifeanyi Orazulike of the International Center on Advocacy for the Right to Health. He said police threatened the men with 14 years’ incarceration – the maximum prison sentence under Nigeria’s new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, dubbed the “Jail the Gays” law. Activists have warned that the law could trigger attacks such as the one perpetrated in the early hours of Thursday morning in Abuja, the capital of Africa’s most populous nation.“- AlJazeera

CAPE TOWN

“The city of Cape Town says its MyCiTi Bus express service will be up and running in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain by July this year. The first phase of the rapid bus service was launched in 2011 to much fanfare. But since then, taxi associations and the Golden Arrow bus company have objected to the roll out of the project along certain routes in the metro. The city’s Brett Herron says, “In the next few months we will get what we call the integrated public transport network and that plan will show all of the public transport routes and the modes that should operate on those routes across the entire city and will give us a prioritisation of those routes.”” – EWN

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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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