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From the Editors

In this issue we rub two contrary dynamics—bureaucratic inertia and world-class aspirations—against each other to open up worlds of dreams, banality, ambition

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To let: Space in new industrial park

An up-close view of a new Chinese-built special economic zone in Zambia’s copper belt region, the first such initiative on African soil

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Mopping up the junk food mess

The seductive taste of highly processed, low-fibre foods is shifting nutritional habits across the developing world’s cities, with worrying consequences

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Health justice now for the future

A sustainable urban health justice policy requires a relational view of place

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Compassion, not calculus

Recent public marches against road tolls highlight the fact that urban road transport can still be politicised actively in cities of the global south

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Viva Riva!!

In a post-conflict society like the Democratic Republic of Congo, jobs are scarce, enterprise minimal and expectations for professional promotion a strange concept. The country’s fledgling film industry is however changing things, allowing people to aspire, and also come to terms with a pervasive social trauma

Djo Tunda wa Munga

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The War Reporter

Ryszard Kapuscinski has been praised as a conjuror extraordinaire of modern reportage, and also dismissed as a profound and dangerous racist

Sean O'Toole

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On projective thinking, imagination & resistance

A conversation with architect and urban designer Rahul Mehrotra

Edgar Pieterse

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The City of the Future

Kenya is about to break ground on a future-tense city called Konza Technology City, a place without bricks, stones or nails, where there is no smell of human labour, also no stammering.

Binyavanga Wainaina

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No Sleep till Ban-Galore !!!

Increasingly, Bangalore, now officially known as Bengaluru, is vexed by a singular question: Is it a world city? The way city officials regulate nightlife suggests one possible answer.

Hemangini Gupta

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A Visionary Statement

The tagline “world-class African city” was first invoked more than a decade ago to describe Johannesburg and its future aspirations. But what does this phrase actually mean? And why has it proven so durable in the city’s official planning discourse?

Kim Gurney

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The most dangerous job in the world

In November 2011, Kenyan author and journalist Rasna Warah visited Mogadishu to interview Mohamoud Nur, the 57-year old mayor of Mogadishu and governor of Somalia’s Benadir region. She asked him about the challenges he faces as mayor of one of the most dangerous cities in the world. She also met with locals, who recalled a vibrant, cosmopolitan city before the civil war.

Rasna Warah

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House under water

Learning to live with persistent flooding

Amy Faust

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"Everything is Business"

Reaping profit from real estate development and housing the poor

Claudia Gastrow

Wide Angle