slums

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Cities at Their Best and Worst

The Pump Handle and Casaubon’s Book are writing posts this week about the global trend of urbanization. More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and this shift has implications for the health of the planet. I grew up in suburban Delaware, and my first experience with urban living came in college…

Urban Challenges in the 21st Century

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is tasked with promoting “socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.” The agency’s new executive director, former Barcelona mayor Joan Clos, gave his first formal address to the UN General Assembly and outlined some of the priorities for improving…