In the news: Urbanization, Resource Scarcity, Cities, and Political Stalemates

(Updated March 35)

By John Macomber

Once you start tying phenomena together, the topics of our course are in the news everywhere. As we head into the last days of the Q3 term, here are a smattering just from the last week or two. It would be plausible to spring from these into an original post that applies some analysis or frameworks or segmentation to add the “so what” utility.

Resource Scarcity

“Lake Powell may dry up within a few decades” Summit County Voice, Feb 24, 2013 here.

Governments are Stuck

“Ungovernability Wins: A result that has come as a bombshell in Italy and across the Euro zone” The Economist March 2, 2013 here.

“US braced as cuts deadline passes” Financial Times March 2, 2013 here.

“Cities Gone Broke: How Financially Troubled [US] Cities are Pursuing Different Strategies to Avoid Bankruptcy” Urban Land Feb 19, 2013 here. 


“A costly California desalination plant bets on future affordability” (Carlsbad, CA plant funded by private equity and a bond issue) New York Times March 1, 2013 here and related post in IBEE blog here.

“Water Demand for Energy to Double by 2035” National Geographic January 30, 2013 here

“China Gives Green Light to New Era of Mega-Dams” Feb 6, 2013 here.

Public-Private Partnerships for Transit

“Eight Groups in Running for $2.1 bn PPP Remaking I-4 Highway in Florida”  Orlando Sentinel, Mar 4, 2013 here

“Natural Experiment: A river runs through it” (Two bridges over Ohio river near Louisville, one PPP and one traditionally financed, with quite different preliminary indications of progress and scope) The Economist March 2, 2013 here

“IVCRL to sell Troubled BOT [Indian Build-Operate-Transfer] projects” Feb 14, 2013 here.

Informal Housing and “Who is this for?” in Emerging Economy capitals

In Nigeria’s Largest City, Homeless are Paying the Price of Progress” New York Times, March 2, 2013 here.

“New Sao Paolo Mayor Shelves Massive Development Project” NextCity, Jan 24, 2013 here. “Less than 30 days into his first term as mayor of São Paulo, Brazil, Fernando Haddad [halted] the Projeto Nova Luz, a downtown redevelopment project based on a legally questionable transfer of eminent domain rights to a consortium of private companies….Haddad, however, is not giving up on public-private partnerships entirely, throwing his support behind a state government effort to stimulate affordable housing through smaller mixed-use developments.”

Resilience and Adaptation

“Rebuilding on their Own” New York Times, Feb, 26, 2013 here.

“Rising Seas to Hit Tropics Hardest” Feb 19, 2013 here

“Boston Prepares for Future Super-Storms” Boston Globe Opinion Feb 23, 2013 here.

Energy Efficiency and Entrepreneurship

Chicago: “Building Owners and Managers [trade association] Outlines “Smart Grid” [and district cooling and demand-response] Cost Savings” Mar 5, 2013 here

Green Building in Boston Picks up Steam as Cost Premium Declines” Boston Business Journal, Feb 15, 2013 here

“Power Down: How Competition Drove Energy Savings at the University of Pennsylvania” Sustainable Brands, Feb 7, 2013 here.

“18 New Ways of Visualizing a City” Sunlight Foundation Jan 28, 2013 (interesting graphics) here

“Scaling Up Systems to Make Cities More Sustainable” (very rich and well documented article) ALSA Feb 27, 2013 here

Nation-Building with Private Sector

“How Mexico got Back in the Game”  New York Times Opinion Feb. 23, 2013 here.

“Serbia Seeks Investors to Develop 317 Small Hydro Plants” Bloomberg BusinessWeek Feb 19, 2013 here


One thought on “In the news: Urbanization, Resource Scarcity, Cities, and Political Stalemates

  1. Pingback: New York – Sustainable and Competitive Urbanization, Infrastructure, and Finance? in the News This Week | Sustainable Cities: Urbanization, Infrastructure, and Finance

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