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Hot-and-cold running crisis: cities, water, and climate change

Woman carrying water through the Dharavi slum of Mumbai.Photo: Meena KadriCross-posted from Cool Green Science. Imagine living on less than a bathtub of water for all your daily needs: drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes ... and everything else. By 2050, more than 1 billion city dwellers may be doing just that if we don't build new infrastructure or begin new water conservation efforts, according to a new study [PDF] by scientists at The Nature Conservancy and other institutions. And more than 3 billion in cities may suffer similar water shortages at least one month of every year, says the report. …


China’s ghost cities and the biggest property bubble of all time

A couple of months ago, a lot of people were passing around the news about China's plan to create a megacity that would be home to 42 million people, the so-called "Turn the Pearl Delta Into One" idea. The reporting was generally favorable, painting a picture of economic growth and opportunity -- the narrative of a prosperous China, with a growing middle class, that has become commonplace in recent years. Unfortunately, the view of China's urban planning strategies from the ground is less shiny. A riveting report from Dateline, an Australian TV show, reveals a disturbing pattern of development for …


Wisconsin Gov. Walker rejected high speed rail but wants the money anyway

Before he was the guy who tried to kill Wisconsin unions, Scott Walker was the guy who campaigned on a promise to kill high-speed rail in Wisconsin. There wasn’t a lot of room for interpretation or anything -- I mean, one of his campaign websites was, for chrissakes. But now Walker is asking for $150 million in federal funds to upgrade an existing rail line. Not only that, but he says “This is not inconsistent with the position I took in the past.” You know, except that the position he took in the past was “NO TRAIN,” and now …


Tearing down the highways that choke our cities [VIDEO]

The power of an elevated freeway to dominate and degrade a city's streets is overwhelming. So much so that if you live near one it can be almost impossible to envision what the place might look like if it were gone, and the old patterns of the streets restored. But in places where that has been done -- like San Francisco's Embarcadero and New York's West Side -- the result is exhilarating. Property values go up. People move freely along the waterfronts that were blocked off for generations. Traffic flows well. And suddenly it becomes impossible to imagine how these …


Bob Herbert’s savvy advocacy for better infrastructure will be missed

Bob Herbert.Photo: Damon Winter/The New York TimesCross-posted from New Deal 2.0. Dear Mr. Herbert, I was sad to hear that you will no longer be writing for the op-ed page of the New York Times. Your critical perspective on the class war being waged against the middle and working class and the poor, on the waste and recklessness of our wars, and on the wrenching struggles of ordinary Americans made you an invaluable voice. But I want to suggest that even more important than those insights was your consistent attempts to point to a better future, and the path to getting …