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Periscope

The section Periscope brings together links for websites with information concerning public space and the city, including the publication of books, articles and opinion pieces, seminars and lectures, and calls for entries in competitions or for prizes, among other themes. This overview of the general background of the European Prize for Urban Public Space aims to identify the most significant issues pertaining to public space and its most outstanding agents around the world.
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    The Pitfalls of Smartness

    The forthcoming European Sustainable Cities Summit will largely focus on the idea of Smart Cities. We suggest a reading that questions the sustainability of the smart model, for it privileges the technical over the social, generates uneven geographical development and can potentially deepen social inequalities.
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    African Cities and The Future of Public Spaces

    During his introductory lecture to the “Future of Public Space” event series, Rashiq Fataar, director of Future Cape Town pointed out that there seems to be an abundance of outdoor public space but asked; Who owns it? Who uses it? Fataar further highlighted that care should be taken to make sure that our public buildings and internal public spaces are accessible as well.
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    The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet

    Investment in bicycle infrastructure is a modern and intelligent move. Plenty of research shows the social, economic, environmental, and health benefits of urban cycling.
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    Bigger Roads Make Traffic Worse

    Building bigger roads increases the number of users and makes traffic worse. Pricing out the use of car in rush hours, and replacing the space dedicated to cars and roads with rivers, parklands and smaller roads does not provoke congestion and improves the environment and livability of cities.
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    Remembering Jane Jacobs

    100 years after her birth, Sassen reflects on how Jane Jacobs “changed the way we looked at cities”. Jacobs focused her analysis and activism on the subaltern and sub-economies that, in spite of being ignored and endangered, are intrinsic to the urbanity of large metropolis.
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    Governance and the New Urban Agenda

    The co-authored report by experts of the LSE and UCGL for the preparation of Habitat III holds that a new urban governance must be based on aspirations for the right to the city, highlighting the need for decentralization and municipal capacity-building.
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    NYC: free Wi-Fi or surveillance?

    Whereas free public Wi-Fi can be a good opportunity for poorer citizens who can barely afford private providers, it can also be a tool for surveillance particularly for economically vulnerable users. Municipal governments should find a way to offer the service and prevent generating new kinds of inequalities.
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    Parks as Urban Infrastructure

    Urban parks can offer solutions for cities to manage storm water runoff while also meeting residents’ recreation needs. Although using parks as urban infrastructure may be a time-honoured tradition, the report “City Parks, Clean Water” exploring the case of American cities, shows how the smart intersection between large parks and cities requires new technologies and new practices.
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    Right to the city: can this growing social movement win over city officials?

    Urban social movements have been taking over cities’ streets and squares for more than a decade already. They claim for more inclusive cities. As the UN gears up for Habitat III, will governments listen?
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    Renovating Paris Central Squares

    The municipality of Paris has a plan: more trees and fewer cars. The city will habilitate five of its main central squares that now are channeling a large portion of Paris traffic and bring them back to the pedestrians.
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