Cities

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‘This is part of the plan’: new train blurs line between China and Hong Kong

The Vibrant Express connects Hong Kong with mainland China in 20 mins and the citys residents are nervous Inside the newly built West Kowloon terminus, its hard to know where Hong Kong stops and China begins. A restaurant on one floor is technically on Hong Kong soil. Just below it, a duty-free shopping area belongs […]

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Cape Town faces Day Zero: what happens when the city turns off the taps?

In 10 weeks engineers will turn off water for a million homes as this South African city reacts to one-in-384-year drought. The rich are digging boreholes, more are panic-buying bottled water, and the army is on standby The head of Cape Towns disaster operations centre is drawing up a plan he hopes he never has […]

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Billionaire Bloomberg to fund $5m public health projects in 40 cities worldwide

Exclusive: Melbourne, Accra and Ulaanbaatar among cities to benefit from funding pledged by former New York mayor to tackle issues from air pollution to obesity Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire bte noire of both the sugar industry and the tobacco industry, famously fought for a ban on the sale of large-sized colas and other sweet drinks […]

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‘We hate the headscarf’: can women find freedom in Tehran’s female-only parks?

Parks exclusively for women are popping up in Iranian cities, but critics are divided over whether this is just another ploy to keep them hidden in public I love to take off my headscarf, says Laleh, 47, a hairdresser from Tehran. Shes sitting with a group of friends around one of the many picnic tables […]

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How skaters make cities safer and the fight to save the Southbank skatepark

Skateboarders are the shock troops of gentrification, making no-go areas secure and then seeing their newly valuable sites destroyed when the developers move in. Can one much-loved London spot buck the trend? It was like a part of my soul was destroyed, says Ian Davross Scudds. He is talking about the moment in 2004 when […]

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Hilly Lisbon launches electric bike share system in bid to solve congestion

The centre of Lisbon is notoriously hilly, stopping many people from choosing cycling as a form of transport. Can e-bikes encourage an uptake of pedal power? Wander around Lisbons city centre with its vertiginous cobbled streets, treacherous enough on foot in the rain, its hard to imagine cycling ever taking off. Some streets are so […]

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Lessons from the fast lane: does this study prove car-pooling works?

When Jakarta ditched its controversial three-in-one car-sharing rule many in the city expected the traffic to get better. It didnt. A Harvard and MIT study analysed before-and-after Google traffic data to find out what happened Driving in Jakarta at rush hour is something of a nightmare. The citys 9.6 million population swells each work day […]

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‘The worst it’s been’: children continue to swim as raw sewage floods Gaza beach

For most of the 2 million people in this overcrowded strip of land largely cut off from the outside world the beach and sea are the only affordable form of recreation. The only option now is to swim and even fish in filthy water It is high summer on Gaza Citys beach. A horse and […]

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Hipster-bashing in California: angry residents fight back against gentrification

In a state where house prices are twice the US average, artists and developers are feeling the ire of a growing movement to defend our homes and our culture Half a century after the summer of love and hippie harmony, California is experiencing a summer of loathing and hipster-bashing. Not just hipsters. Artists, techies, realtors, […]

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Paris plunge: daily queues after city opens cleaned-up canal to swimmers

Free swimming at La Villette is first step in Pariss efforts to reopen some of its murky waterways to casual bathers, and the Seine could be next Standing in his swimming trunks, Gilles looked up at the modern grey apartment buildings and trees that lined the Paris canal. He took a deep breath, then dived […]

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