Archive for the ‘Cities’ Category

Two topics have been making the round of online urban news of late. Both involve public financing and public service in California.

First is the blatantly shameless news of the Mayor of Bell, who receives an annual salary of $800000. Even the US President Barack Obama earns much less than that. He was given the choice to resign or get fired, as if keeping the position would be a viable option. Bells will be ringing in the city of Bell once the mayor gets booted out.

The second concerns the outsourcing of public service in the the city of Maywood. Anarchy didn’t reign the city however. In fact, people are so far contented with signs of police effectiveness: a young guy is stopped by a police for carrying an over-stuffed bag and a resident is fined for illegal parking. Will this be an increasing trend in cash-strapped US cities? Coincidentally, Maywood will acquire the services of its neighboring city, Bell. No more kickbacks for Bell’s Mayor though.

Even before the high-rise buildings will be completed, some parts of China’s urban landscape already look like a ghost-town as portrayed in this photo-essay. I am trying to imagine how life in this tower-ville will be like once the finishing strokes of the paint job is applied, and the middle-class start trickling in. The first visual affects of the tower-ville led me to ask whether the construction of the buildings considered ‘earthquake-proof’ measures? Digging deeper (no pun intended) into the situation, this instant city will also create instant consumption and demand for energy, economic opportunities and social amenities.

Most of the photos show the vertical magnificence of the buildings. What it doesn’t show is the massive area and the at which this kind of development is happening. Jump to this page of the New York Times to view the full slideshow.