One of the chapters of my PhD deals with urban governance in postwar Tokyo. I argue that the intermediate layer of government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, was an effective arbiter of the “developmental city”. A Guardian article from 2015 caught my eye.
I was in Yangon in November 2019 to present on modern architecture in post-independence Yangon. In what is the first post in ages to grace this neglected blog, you can find details and a link to download the presentation after the jump.
The Greens are known to come up with what many perceive as draconian regulations to protect the environment. They even went as far as suggesting a “veggie Friday”, in meat-loving Germany!
Now they have suggested to ban private fireworks, put a small deposit on coffee cups and prohibit gravel pit as a surface cover in cities. They’re flying high on their recent electoral successes and can seriously contemplate becoming the strongest party in Germany if elections were called later this year.
I don’t think anyone has any problem with their ideas and understands their rationale. It’s just the scale and lack of boldness in them that I find striking, coming from a Green party that was once known to be a hotbed of radicalism but has long lost its zeal. My friend Gareth calls them “neoliberals with wind farms”.
You can’t pile dozens of regulations on your population to nudge consumption patterns, while the elephant in the room, the current economic system and its reliance on hydrocarbons, remains untouched. The Greens’ ideas to avert climate change are not going to bring about the rapid change needed to avert climate catastrophe. The “Fridays for the Future” campaign has rightly called them out on it.
Some other climate-related thoughts have come out of reading a few Jacobin stories on top of the one linked above recently, including on “why it’s OK to have children”, “in defense of air conditioning” and on the “green new deal” by Thiti Bhattacharya.
Berlin has been making waves in the global news with a campaign to expropriate a large private owner of apartments. Some uncollected thoughts after the jump. Continue reading
Two interesting articles in Germany’s Die Zeit on flying and climate change: One resolutely calling on our responsibility to stop flying immediately; the other saying that not flying is not going to save the world.
My Global Cities class at Temple is running the second time around this term and I am fine-tuning my approach. The class on Latin America has been mentioned by a few students as their favorite so far. In it, we read select chapters out of Justin McGuirk’s Radical Cities.
San Isidro – Buenos Aires
I realized when presenting at RIHN in Kyoto on Friday that I still have some work to do with regards to one of my thesis’s major arguments: Small factories in the ward area were more successful because they were more efficient “users” of urban space.
As term is about to start, I wanted to resume posting some lecture summaries of my Global Cities class. Some of the most interesting set of lectures were the ones on sub-Saharan Africa. When we, as a primarily “northern” audience, pick the continent to study slums, it is important and natural to reflect on our inherently problematic viewpoint. Are we, in other words, “slumming it”?
Using Rana Dasgupta’s Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi for my Global Cities class is a double-edged sword. I wonder whether it offers a “fair” representation of life in the city.
I started teaching a class at Temple University Japan called Global Cities this term. It is a General Education course that introduces students to contemporary aspects of urbanization around the world. A few thoughts on the class and teaching methods after the jump.