Stories: Urban Planning

  • Trump Towers Rio still hasn’t been built—and the residents it pushed out couldn’t be happier

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil –– José Paulo Simplicio de Souza was devastated when the government forced him out of his home near the commercial center of Rio de Janeiro to make way for a luxury waterfront property three years ago. The 33-year old food-vendor’s sorrow later turned to disgust when he found out the 45th U...

  • Rio hits the brakes on controversial favela cable car

    The black cables scarring the skyline of Complexo do Alemao stopped running months ago. For the residents of the favelas below, they're a constant reminder of how even one of Rio de Janeiro's most ostentatious projects built ahead of the 2016 Olympics has fallen victim to the financial crisis gripping the state. From the start, plans for the...

  • ‘It’s not safe’: South Africans fear using public toilets after woman murdered

    * Warning: Some details in this story are disturbing.* In Khayelitsha, a township just outside Cape Town, South Africa, community activists amping up their efforts to get safe, private toilets after a 19-year-old woman was murdered on her way to a public bathroom. It's a story that is told in the documentary, When She Didn't Come Back, in which...

  • There’s a Message for City Planners in Cape Town Plumbing Poll

    A mother and father stand in the doorway of their Khayelitsha home, looking on as their two young children goof around on the small patch of dirt outside. It’s something like a front yard, only that — flanked on one side by the family’s corrugated tin shack and on the other by a public portable toilet...

  • Ecuador’s Silicon Valley? Quito Bets Big to Be South America’s Next High-Tech Powerhouse

    Fernando Albericio wanted to make history. Lured by the opportunity to help jumpstart a tech revolution in a new country, Albericio, a veteran professor of organic chemistry with a passion for developing science and higher education centers across Latin America, packed up his home in Spain, put his family on a plane and moved into a new house...

  • Inside the Desolate Rio Neighborhood Being Bulldozed for the Olympics

    At first, you don't see it. Hidden near the gargantuan Athletes Village, the gleaming media center, and under-construction Olympic stadiums is a ramshackle set of homes. Before the city bulldozed most of the neighborhood, known as Vila Autodromo, there were about 700 families living here.  Vila Autodromo, located behind a former racetrack (...

  • Where To Next?

    The Shipibo indigenous community moved to Peru's capital Lima about two decades ago when their habitat was destroyed by logging, illegal mining and the construction of roads in the jungle. But today, plans to clean up the slum where they live are pushing them away once again. Ruxandra Guidi reports with the support of the International Reporting Project.  

  • A Look Inside Rio De Janeiro’s Oldest Favela, Threatened by Gentrification and the 2016 Olympics

    Brazil's favelas are translated as "slums" in English, but they're really more comparable to U.S. public housing. Favelas are more than just a place to live--they're often tight-knit communities inhabited by families who have lived there for generations. Nowhere is this more true than in Providencia, which at an age of over 100 years, is the oldest...

  • Astana: A City Built for Giants

    Astana simply means “capital.” In 1997, the recently-independent country of Kazakhstan moved its government here. Flush with new oil wealth, Kazakhstan has built an EPCOT city of sorts on the empty Central Asian steppe. With a jumble of international styles and knock-offs of historic buildings, the city embodies the aspirations of a post-Soviet people searching for a new...

  • Astana: A City Built for Giants

    Astana simply means “capital.” In 1997, the recently-independent country of Kazakhstan moved its government here. Flush with new oil wealth, Kazakhstan has built an EPCOT city of sorts on the empty Central Asian steppe. With a jumble of international styles and knock-offs of historic buildings, the city embodies the aspirations of a post-Soviet people searching for a new...