Whether through new infrastructure work, transportation initiatives or training programs, efforts to link informal settlements with the infrastructure of the formal city are well underway in cities across the globe.
The New York Times reports that Mayor-elect de Blasio is having second thoughts about living in Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor. The announcement came after a meeting with Mayor Bloomberg during which they discussed "the intricacies of garbage pickup."
More and more, it appears, people are not just voting with their feet to visit and use parks, but they are literally casting their ballots and voting with their pocketbooks to say that parks are crucial parts of their communities.
Tony has assembled a team to bring the best and brightest creative entrepreneurs to Vegas, determined to build out a utopian community within a major urban center. It's the most fascinating and ambitious project I have ever witnessed, and I feel lucky to be documenting it as it unfolds.
Known as the 91st Street Marine Transfer Station (or locally as "The Bloomberg Dump"), it will occupy 2 acres and be 10 stories high. Hundreds of garbage trucks a day will bring thousands of tons of garbage and then dump it into barges.
In many cases, urban gardening begins organically, but without a supportive policy structure in place, it can be difficult for these programs to take root, thrive and be of maximum and equitable benefit to the whole community.
Recently in the New York Times, Delia Ephron expressed her frustrations with Citibike. Her hostility toward cyclists seemed overdue or outrageous, depending on your bike-car-pedestrian priorities. But an element of Ephron's ire raised an issue that has gotten relatively little attention.
I'm in the same park where 30 years ago my sister and I ran and played. Two girls turning pirouettes similar to ours hide behind some bushes. However, there is something very different in this deja vu: missing is the fountain with its sound of rain falling on marble.
A number of American cities are looking at innovative and creative ways to develop new park land for their residents in projects which can also help protect their local streams and rivers from the type of dirty water and even raw sewage overflow caused by heavy rainfalls.
For everyone who is tired of our dysfunctional federal government, this metropolitan revolution offers a path forward. Metropolitan areas are succeeding in spite of grave economic and political challenges at the national level.
Detroit may continue to make headlines as the largest U.S. city to enter bankruptcy, but during our visit -- my first time ever in the Motor City, other than changing planes at the airport -- I found a lot more to catch my interest than economic woes.
With billions headed for urban centers in the decades to come, and with cities already home to a majority of the earth's population, the future of cities and our environment are inextricably connected.