[This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Cities Media Roundup to firstname.lastname@example.org, mentioning “Roundup” in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on the Submission pane of Jadaliyya.]
Environmental Sustainability and Land
An Inversion of Nature: How Air Conditioning Created the Modern City This Guardian article explores the social, cultural, and geopolitical ways the invention and wide-scale use of air-conditioning were fundamental to the creation of modern-day cities.
Heat: The Next Big Inequality Issue Looking at deadly increases in temperature in Quebec, Cairo, and Manila, this Guardian article explores how a lack of air-conditioning serves as a major source of inequality for poor and marginalized individuals, but also poses as a major threat to environmental sustainability.
Sultans of Green: Arab Gulf Cities and the New Urban Agenda A researcher’s take that explores the New Urban Agenda and the discussions surrounds the somewhat controversial selection of Abu Dhabi to host the upcoming World Urban Forum in 2020, a biennial meeting attended by the United Nation’s Settlements Program whose aim is to set the urban development agenda for cities worldwide.
Le Niet de Centaines d’Habitants de Beit Méry au Projet d’Usine de Déchets (The Niet of Hundreds of Inhabitant of Beit Mery to the Project of Waste Plant) Fearing for their health and well-being, many inhabitants of Beit Mery, Lebanon have taken to the streets to protest the transformation of their village into a mega-center of waste treatment.
Local and Regional Policies and Governance
Irak : le ministre de l’électricité limogé après trois semaines de contestation (Iraq: Minister of Electricity Fired After Three Weeks of Protest) In southern Iraq, citizens have engaged in deadly protests against corruption and the lack of public services and the chronic shortage of electricity resulting in the firing of the minister of electricity.
Urban Popular Cultures
إنه زمن الـ«توك توك» (It is the Time of the “Tuk Tuk”) The “Tuk Tuk” is increasingly becoming the main form of private and public transport among the lower-class population of Lebanon due to its speed, efficiency, and affordability.
A City in a Restaurant A popular Pakistani eatery in Dubai’s working-class neighborhood of Satwa, Ravi serves as a refuge and home for many South-Asian men, far from home and often feeling lonely and alienated.
War, Property, Demography, Planning
From the War of National Liberation to Gentrification: Conflicting Claims over Property in Algeria Robert Parks looks at the ongoing battle over the rightful ownership of the building at 11 Boulevard de la Soummam in Oran, Algeria as a case study of the current post-colonial debates regarding property, state violence, collective memory, and land privatization in Algeria.
التخطيط لحربٍ لم تأتِ بعد (Planning for a War is Yet to Come) The paper examines how the production of daily living geographies, such as housing, roads, and industrial zones by sectarian political organizations, to new battlefields, is essential to understanding urban development patterns in Beirut in the post-civil war period.
Law No. 10: Property, Lawfare, and New Social Order in Syria Since the start of the war in 2011, Assad’s government has appropriated and confiscated land from displaced communities to the advantage of its political supporters under the auspice of laws and accusations of terrorism.
Israel-Palestine. A Magnifying Mirror of the Future: Against a Background of Population Growth Ezra Nahmad explores the politics and corruption of demographic forecasts and population growth against the backdrop of apartheid and occupation, specifically looking at increased reproduction as tool to further consolidate Israeli colonial rule. Nahmad posits “Israel-Palestine” as a glimpse of the future of all societies: “advanced” but underdeveloped.
“Wise Cities” in the Mediterranean? Challenges of Urban Sustainability A recent publication by Eckart Woertz explores the many challenges to the social and environmental sustainability of urban growth in Mediterranean cities and beyond, such as environmental degradation, gentrification, growing inequality, climate change, and more.