Projects that make a positive difference to people in cities

Four urban experts select the best interventions in cities from an urban farm garden to a slum community toilet




With millions of us currently living in cities across the world and with three quarters of the world's population expected to be living in cities by 2050, four urban experts consider the projects that have made a positive difference to those of us living in cities.

"Everything that connects to environmental responses, where it takes more than just one household, is good," recommends Saskia Sassen of Columbia University New York. "To set up a bike path or an urban farm garden that requires multiple households or neighbourhoods is one of the best interventions. Chicago, for example, insists that all new roofs have to be 'green roofs'."

Richard Sennett of New York University and LSE deems lots of small projects preferable to one big project. In one slum in Mumbai, India - where they don't have running water or the space for toilets - one community group created a community toilet with spaces separate for the women and men, where the women were able to talk away from the difficult overcrowded home environment, which Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age programme, cites as a good example of "a microcosm of a civilizing element in a city."



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