Collection of city-stories around the world

Collection of city-stories around the world

Law, rights and city dynamics

To what extent do social and urban law have an impact on cities? The example of inheritance laws shows that inequalities are not only perpetuated through laws but can face mentality blocking. Indeed, although a new law giving men and women equal share in inheritance was proposed divided opinions emerged, notably among women.

Still in land dynamics, another process can be underlined. In Brisbane the gentrification process is impacting aboriginal people and keeps filling the gaps between communities. Indeed, urban Indigenous populations continue to relocate to the suburbs, where housing is usually cheaper than the centre ones as a result of rapid gentrification and associated rental and ownership price hikes. “The trend could be viewed as a contemporary iteration of the dispersals of the past – decidedly less bloody, though equally impelled by capitalistic imperatives”.

Pollution and traffic: two closely and causality linked issues.

Bicyles schemes are being reviewed to be integrated into policy measures. However the question remains: How is it possible to boost urban cycling ? Providing free bicycles? Implementing 20mph zones? Many solutions can be envisaged. In Edinburgh, one of the ideas to face this same issue is to implement a no-traffic law each first Sunday of the month, from 10 am to 5 pm, on key roads. Implementing such rules could be a good starting point for pollution and noise reduction.

A Project working towards a more sustainable way of living

Some projects are also proposing new ideas for more sustainable ways of living and reducing pollution. R-Urban in France, for example, consisted in the creation of mutiple eco-sustainable places. The AgroCité -a unit of urban agriculture- is made of community gardens, permacultures, composting and rainwater recycling systems, as well as devices and systems for energy production and educational and cultural spaces. It is also composed of The Animalab, a domestic farm whose production is directly embedded in the local distribution network through its Agrocité shop. Eventually, the Recylab is made of urban waste recycling equipments which enable the transformation into eco-construction materials.

A collection of city-stories around the world

A collection of city-stories around the world

Nadar photography practices in Paris, that were based on a new viewing angle -as was considering the city from the sky and from its sewers- are quite innovative for the time. Proposing a new approach of the mid-1800s XXth century’s societal realities, its photographs mirror the transformation of the Capital city and its progressive development. Just as Nadar interest for inexplored places as sewers, Urbex has launched a new movement of abandoned places’ exploration which can sometimes be undertaken for pratical historical purposes. For example, through urban exploration, the Hong Kongese Urbex group Ghost documents and photographs derelict buildings, thus constituting an archive for future generations, as the city is fastly monopolized by big development companies.

In Mongolia, some parents send their children into countryside because of the smog in China’s most polluted city resulting from coal burning (cf. WHO). Some cities try to implement local solutions to fight this kind of pollution problems. For instance, the city of Kilis started a free bicyle distribution for children that, besides helping lowering the carbon level, supports children in recovering from war traumas.–6aHPW9CMLTGPTkuFcPT7cUwpr3MxDdruyVQqEn_YvZcndq532ncBj37hmtZfwfAEGQRlCaef7NeoogTnzm5JDvoYgdA&_hsmi=69728059

Tackling waste issues and looking to implement effective circular economy is the aim of current London initiatives. Supported by the participation of the environmental charity Hubbub, people collect excess food from restaurants, home-cooks and supermakets, and refrigerate it in refrigerators located in London East Ham Leisure center, before donating it to the needy ones.

Changing the view we have on certain people is essential.  Architectural projects within local frameworks such as “Réinventer Paris” try for instance to include disability access in their scope. Article in French. Rehumanising our view on homeless people is also crucial. In Dublin, for example, many homeless people were provided with tourist guide training. Sharing their own city-narrative they aim to re-humanise people views on their concerns and dispell the stigma they are victim of.

A collection of city-stories around the world

A collection of city-stories around the world

🎉☀️IT’S FRIDAY and you are just in time to catch up on the latest news from #cities around the world!

The LabGov team has collected for you some interesting urban stories from cities like Olinda, Lagos and Los Angeles!

Check out our weekly recap on the #UrbanMediaLab and get updated on what has been happening around the world before you start your weekend.

Is there a “concrete” architectural solution?

Concrete is one of the most polluting materials, and is said to release 4-8% of the world’s CO2. That is highly due to the clinker manufacture, part of the cement-making process. The latter also necessitates up to 10th % of the world’s industrial water use. Compiling examples of historical urban uses of concrete, the article traces the economic and architectural structural changes that should be operated as well as the change in mindset to achieve a more sustainable and viable development model.

A brief drawing History of Lagos

From a fisher village to skyscrapers and shaped musical movement and music giant as Fela Kuty, Lagos has also proved to be a resilient city. Through a colourful cartoon, Tayo Fatunla pays tribute to the most populated Nigerian city.

Smart technological tools to tackle city issues

A short infographics on technological-based ideas to address the main city challenges; amongst which homelessness, pollution, and health.

Camarotização – Carnaval in Olinda, Brazil

This article illustrates how the carnaval in the city of Olinda in Brazil triggers social and spatial separation through the privatization of paying premises, in the so-called camarotização process,named after the term camarotes, which,means cabin. This process, linked to the American concept of skyboxification (M.Sandel) participates to the  “gourmetização do espaço”,  i.e economic-led separation and differenciation of spaces, that fuels socio-economic categorizations and discriminations.
Article in Portuguese

Cities at war

Chronological presentation of cities photographs ravaged by war, or still at war.

A new life for used coffee grounds

It takes more than 20 years for a cup of coffee to decompose. Kaffeform, a german start-up found a new way of creating coffee cups using old coffee grounds, wood and biological binders and thus proposing a reusable solution.

Art boom in Los Angeles

Written as a short story on the museums in Los Angeles by a New Yorker, the article sets the explanatory factors of the evolution of Los Angeles museums, making as well, an historical parallel with the city development and city artistic movements.

New Applications to help women address sexual harassment

SafetiPin and Harassmap are two technological tools created to support women facing sexual harassment in public spaces.

Housing crisis in Canada

Natives canadians especially from the First Nation reserve are asking for property rights. Facing housing shortages, poor living conditions, poor health, indigenous people are urging the government for solutions since their current absence of ownership implies no asset and therefore no mortgage. However, if one solution could be abolishing 1876 Indian Act to enable private land ownership, this remains subject to criticism, among the Indigenous people notably. Some of them are trying to create new models of private homes ownership.

A weekly collection of stories from cities around the world

A weekly collection of stories from cities around the world

Urban agriculture and food security

Miguel Altieri, professor of Agroecology at the University of California, Berkeley presents the challenges, benefits and the strategies that could be adopted to build a long-term Urban agriculture. He also emphasizes the need for more polycultural design, intercropping and rotations of green manures, drawing inspiration from the Cuban model.

Tourism: the rise of anti-tours

The soaring of anti-tour worldwide, of which  Porto’s “Worst city tour” is an example,  stresses the wish for more authentic types of Tourism, and increased exchanges with local inhabitants to discover their traditions and local habits. Thus, many sociologists argue that it could be a positive alternative to immersive tourism.

Skating in Nairobi

In Nairobi, where traffic congestion reaches high levels, people find alternative solutions to commute. Predominantly young males- although women have joined the movement- are now using rollerblades to move from a place to another. And this exciting yet risky activity encourages a sense of community which eases divisions between “local tribes”.

La France vue d’ici”: Documentary Photography project

This collaborative and participative project led by ImageSingulieres and Mediapart aims to gather photos from different artists who covered diverse parts of the french territory during the year 2017. Part of the project’s objectives is also educating the youngest to media, through workshops organised by photographers.

Roma capitale umana” – Rome Human Capital

Last sunday, people from various neighborhoods, schools, clubs and associations gathered together in Piazza Vittorio to protest against the Decreto-legge sicurezza that was approved by the Camera on November the 28th, taking the name of Salvini law and more globally, on all types of discrimination. Both examples of the first article which reduces the residence permit length and the second articles that increases the retention time from 90 to 180 days in centri di permanenza i.e identification and expulsion centres, show that the law system is complexifying the regularizing process for refugees.

Article in Italian

The commitment of the Italian city of Cremona in implementing circular economy

After taking the lead in a European project on waste-management strategy UrbanWins financed by the European Union, the Italian city of Cremona has achieved significantly positive results in introducing a circular economy.

Gathering against anti-semitism in France

A Rally will be held on the 19th of February in Place de la Republique in Paris. The purpose? If anti-semitism is deeply rooted in the french society, violence observed a turning point for the last decades. In particular, a 74% percent rise in anti-semitic incidents was reported over the last year.

Amazon abandons its extensive corporate campus building project

After facing a backlash from local communities, the big corporate Amazon decided to abandon his plan to build its headquarters in Long Island, Queens, NY.


Milano plastic free

Milan is experimenting a plastic free strategy in 200 shops of two of its neighborhoods: Isola and Niguarda, supported by the Italian association Legambiente. This campaign launched by the municipality is preceding the implementation of the 2021 European directive which will forbid any use of objects made of disposable plastic.

Article in Italian

Holland builds the first Cycle paths born out of recycled plastic

Holland inaugurated the first cycle path entirely made of plastic bottles and scraps. Currently no longer than 30 meters, the path born out of a partnership between Kws, Wavin and Total was constructed empty inside to let rain water flow out. Article in Italian

Mayors from big cities around the world meet to work on climate justice

A summit gathering worldwide major cities’ mayors was organised on the 20th of February in Paris. It led to the creation of an international platform with legal tools to support mayors in implementing climate justice.

Save the date: Launch of EDU@LabGov 2018/2019

Save the date: Launch of EDU@LabGov 2018/2019

On Friday the 15th of February, from 4pm to 6pm, in the LOFT of Luiss campus located in Viale Romania 32 will take place the opening day of Urban Clinic EDU@LabGov -LABoratory for the GOVernance of the city as a commons – for 2018/2019 Academic year, a transdisciplinary and applied research track. Started in 2012, and provided by EDU team from LabGov, the Urban Clinic welcomes students from Law, Political Science and Economics departments of LUISS University, in the objective to help them acquire and develop soft skills and take place within LUISS Guido Carli University.

Read more on EDU@LabGov :

In the LOFT, students will have the chance to attend an opening conference, hosting Giovanni Lo Storto, Head of LUISS University, Massimiliano Giansanti, president of Confagricoltura (the Italian General Confederation of Agriculture) and the “peasant-chef” Peppe Zullo, who will lead a conversation on Urban Agriculture, Healthy, conscious and sustainable nutrition, relationship between well-being and nutrition, and will eventually talk about sustainable Agri-food entrepreneurs.

This encounter illustrates a turning point for LabGov in the public expression of common projects that will be jointly led by LUISS, LabGov and Confagricoltura. Wishing to promote a culture of healthy, conscious and sustainable nutrition, the project will be rooted in Urban Agriculture; subject that will be addressed in the 5 modules of the EDU@LabGov Urban Clinic as well as in the project OCULUS – Orti condivisi urbani per il lavoro, l’uguaglianza, la salute”. The shared vision is that agriculture remains the first way of producing food, everyday, and at an affordable price to ensure food security for the consumers, both in terms of quality and quantity and participate to a durable ecosystem. If the three entities are convinced that raising awareness in collective and collaborative landscape management will progressively lead to the creation of a collective heritage, they also pay particular attention to Nutraceutica, a concept deriving from the words “nutrizionale” (nutrition) and “farmaceutica” (pharmaceutics) which consists in the study of active principles in food which could prevent from chronic degenerative diseases.

During the second hour, Claudia Giommarini, managing LUISS ERS “ethics, responsability, and sustainability” will intervene, before the 2017/2018 EDU@LabGov students’ certificates’ delivery.