Global Series: Emerging Cities

07/13/2017 11:21 am ET Updated Jul 13, 2017
Sun Brockie/flickr, CC BY-SA

Cities have been in the spotlight recently, as hundreds of American mayors responded to the US withdrawal from the Paris climate deal by signing onto the international agreement themselves. There’s virtually no precedent for such local engagement with global affairs.

But cities have always been labs of innovation, as well as hotbeds of crime and inequality, architectural stunners, decaying ruins and everything in between. Our series Emerging Cities examines how urban areas around the globe, from Paraguay to Iran, are changing and making change.

From citizens who sit on the boards of energy companies to neighbourhoods that help fund local wind farms, community action is critical to the environmental movement.

Phoenix Lake, Dortmund’s coolest new quarter, was once an abanonded steel mill surrounded by polluted waterways and brownfields. Frank Vincentz/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) (], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA, CC BY-SA

A former industrial region in the heart of Germany is slowly reinventing itself for the 21st century, offering urban planning lessons for Detroit and beyond.

The headquarters of private security firm Prosegur after the spectacular robbery. Francisco Espinosa/Reuters

The heist and free trade are just opposite sides of the same coin.

Brazil’s favelas are famous, but so are its ambitious efforts to bring roads, water, electricity, and land rights to its informal urban settlements. eflon/flickr, CC BY, CC BY

For decades, Brazil has worked to improve conditions in its poorest neighbourhoods: building roads, drainage, lighting, and safer housing. Will budget cuts end its ambitious slum-upgrading efforts?

Alan Marshall, Author provided, Author provided

Given that cities may be home to 80% of humanity by the end of the century, they can only be sustainable if eco-friendliness is one of their core features.

A view of Tehran, with its mix of traditional and modern design. Jørn Eriksson/Flick, CC BY-ND, CC BY-ND

Without protection, Iran’s spectacular American- and Italian-designed mid-century structures will be reduced to dust, beams and concrete blocks.

Catesby Holmes, Global Commissioning Editor, The Conversation; Clea Chakraverty, Commissioning Editor, The Conversation; Fabrice Rousselot, Global Editor, The Conversation, and Stephan Schmidt, Audience Developer, The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.