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Mexico: Huge earthquake topples buildings, killing more than 200

bbc.com - September 20th 2017

A strong earthquake has struck central Mexico, killing more than 200 people and toppling dozens of buildings in the capital, Mexico City.

More than 20 children died and 30 are missing after a school collapsed, President Enrique Peña Nieto said.

The 7.1 magnitude quake also caused major damage in neighbouring states.

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More than 100 Chinese cities now above 1 million people

A boom in telecommunications businesses – including the arrival of e-commerce giant Alibaba – has transformed once-sleepy Guiyang. Photograph: Alamy

IMAGE: A boom in telecommunications businesses – including the arrival of e-commerce giant Alibaba – has transformed once-sleepy Guiyang. Photograph: Alamy

theguardian.com - March 20th 2017 - Benjamin Haas

China now has more than 100 cities of over 1 million residents, a number that is likely to double in the next decade.

According to the Demographia research group, the world’s most populous country boasts 102 cities bigger than 1 million people, many of which are little known outside the country – or even within its borders.

Quanzhou, for example, on the south-east coast of China, was one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world a millennium ago, when it served as a hub for traders from across Asia and the Middle East. 

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What Happens If a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan?

Manhatten skyline. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Image: Manhatten skyline. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

theatlantic.com - March 15th 2017 - Kaveh Waddell

On a quiet afternoon, two medium-sized nuclear blasts level portions of Manhattan.

If this were a movie, hordes of panicked New Yorkers would pour out into the streets, running around and calling out for their loved ones. But reality doesn’t usually line up with Hollywood’s vision of a disaster scene, says William Kennedy, a professor in the Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University. 

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Over-populated or under-developed? The real story of population growth

People shopping at a market in Lagos, Nigeria. Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP Image:  People shopping at a market in Lagos, Nigeria. Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP

theguardian.com - June 28th 2016 - Kweifio-Okai and Josh Holder

Global population hit 7.3 billion midway through 2015, an increase of 2 billion since 1990. It will continue to climb steadily, according to forecasters, reaching 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100.

But there is more to the population story than unprecedented numbers.

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The Most Polluted City in the World Isn’t Beijing or Delhi

           

Commuters travel through a traffic jam on their way to New Delhi from Gurgaon on May 3. (Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database (update 2016)

washingtonpost.com - by Adam Taylor - May 13, 2016

What's the most polluted city in the world? Some might point to Beijing, the Chinese capital, and its now legendary smog problem. Others may point towards India, where Delhi's own air pollution problems are become similarly infamous. However, a new report from the World Health Organization suggests that these megacities are actually only the tip of the iceberg – and the actual city with the world's worst pollution is probably in Iran.

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Africa's Population Will Quadruple by 2100. What Does That Mean for its Cities?

          

Don't worry, African cities can cope. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)

New population figures paint a difficult picture for African cities. But there's more to the story than sheer numbers.

CLICK HERE - World population stabilization unlikely this century

CLICK HERE - State of African Cities 2014 , Re-imagining sustainable urban transitions

citylab.com - by Sam Sturgis - September 19, 2014

Numbers continue to stack up against the world’s poorest continent.

Global population levels are expected to increase from a current figure of 7.2 billion to nearly 11 billion by 2100, according to figures released . . . by the U.N. Previously, it was believed the world’s population would peak at around 9.5 billion. Nearly all of this new growth, meanwhile, will occur in Africa, which is expected to quadruple in size.

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How the Third Industrial Revolution Will Create a Green Economy

A photograph of a city skyline at dusk with lamps in the foreground that resemble stylized trees.

Image: A photograph of a city skyline at dusk with lamps in the foreground that resemble stylized trees.

huffingtonpost.com - October 20th, 2015 - Jeremy Rifkin

The global economy is slowing, productivity is waning in every region of the world and unemployment remains stubbornly high in every country. At the same time, economic inequality between the rich and the poor is at the highest point in human history. In 2010 the combined wealth of the 388 richest people in the world equaled the combined wealth of the poorest half of the human race.

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The World’s Most Dangerous Volcano May Kill Another City

Vesuvius and the surrounding Naples metropolitan area. Seen on July 28, 2015. Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ESA

Image: Vesuvius and the surrounding Naples metropolitan area. Seen on July 28, 2015. Copernicus Sentinel data (2015)/ESA

wired.com - July 29th, 2015 - Erik Klemetti

If you are a volcanologist, nothing strikes fear into your heart as much as thinking about the next Vesuvius eruption. This Italian giant is nestled in the sprawling metropolitan area of Naples, population 3.1 million. We’re not talking “nearby” like Rainier is to Seattle or Popocatépetl to Mexico City.

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7 Ways Design’s Future Is Actually Rooted in the Past

Sustainable Design Is Local Design: Angkor Wat is one of the earliest and most impressive examples of sustainable architecture. During Siem Reap's heyday, the two reservoirs regulated water, so that the temple could be used in the dry season. The pools also helped to distribute cool air throughout the temple.

Image: Sustainable Design Is Local Design: Angkor Wat is one of the earliest and most impressive examples of sustainable architecture. During Siem Reap's heyday, the two reservoirs regulated water, so that the temple could be used in the dry season. The pools also helped to distribute cool air throughout the temple.

wired.com - May 19, 2015 - Liz Stinson

When the Khmer built Angkor Wat in the 12th century, they probably didn’t use the word “sustainable” to describe their creation. At the time, the temple and its unique design was nothing more than a result of Cambodia’s climate, which oscillates between extreme wet and dry. The temple ran on a hydraulic engine comprised of eastern and western manmade pools of water called barays.

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How Ebola Found Fertile Ground in ​Sierra Leone's Chaotic Capital

 

Kroo Bay in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, became an Ebola hot spot in December. In one of the city's most densely populated areas, residents had a difficult time avoiding contact with people potentially infected with Ebola.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC    by Amy Maxman    Photos by Pete Muller                                                       Jan. 27, 2015
....A close examination of what made Freetown so vulnerable to the outbreak offers critical lessons for the future in fighting Ebola or another major calamity. 

Like many developing world cities, Freetown—population 941,000, the largest city in Sierra Leone—lacks the infrastructure to support its impoverished populace, making it prone to tragedy, whether through pestilence, violence, or natural disaster. Despite its congestion, Freetown continues to attract people who come in search of work, school, and the mere promise of electricity. It's no coincidence that typhoid and cholera regularly plague Freetown and that Sierra Leone's civil war climaxed in the city with horrific bloodshed.

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