Séverine Deneulin & Roy Maconachie – Gated Communities Lock Cities Into Cycles Of Inequality

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

theconversation.com. November 2014. In recent years, many films have portrayed the landscape of urban marginality and inequality in Latin America. Brazil Central Station and City of God were both popular, but few can rival the Mexican thriller, La Zona (the Zone), in depicting the disturbing panorama of inequality in Latin America’s megacities and the consequences of socially and economically divided cities.

The film is set within the confines of a gated community in Mexico. High security walls and guards encircle a hundred or so large houses with lush, evergreen gardens. The residents have their own council and make their own rules and regulations.

One night, a group of outsiders infiltrates the fencing through a domestic service entry loop. They break into a number of houses and kill one resident. A skirmish ensues between the residents and the infiltrators, and all the intruders are killed except for one, a young adolescent boy who manages to escape but is trapped within the gated community.

Read more: http://theconversation.com/gated-communities

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Perspectives In Anthropology

perspectivesPerspectives in Anthropology, is a new online publication series launched in 2014. The series specializes in articles on Social, Cultural, and Urban Anthropology which are available online as open-access and free-to-read. All publications in the series are evaluated by an open-source, peer-review process.

The staff of Perspectives in Anthropology was concerned that public accessibility to research journals remained limited, even though much of the research reported on was publicly funded. As a result, Perspectives in Anthropology was set up as a contribution towards open-source publications in Anthropology. At the same time, we recognized the increasing importance of digital media and new internet communicative technologies (ICTs).

Perspectives in Anthropology is also committed to promoting debate at the interface between anthropology and applied knowledge such as methodological and interdisciplinary areas as well as that between anthropology and other academic disciplines. Perspectives in Anthropology encourages submissions on a wide range of topics in social, cultural and urban anthropology consistent with these aims.

Added to the increasing emphasis on open access publishing, we hope that Perspectives in Anthropology will achieve an international profile through its association with the Open Anthropology Cooperative (OAC), other online anthropological publications, and with open-source peer reviewing by respected experts in relevant fields. This mode of distribution will permit a much larger readership than specialist academic journals, and this will also help to establish Perspectives in Anthropology as an online publisher with a public outreach function in which powerful ideas and good writing will secure a broad international readership.

Read & enjoy: http://perspectivesinanthropology.wordpress.com/

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Stefanie Spear – Transitioning To Urban Resilience

If current trends continue, by 2050 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, according to the Action4Climate video competition film Rotterdam—The Transition to Urban Resilience. Filmmaker Lieke ‘t Gilde says it’s time to recognize the city as a natural ecosystem in order to meet human needs now and in the future. Gilde says that “nature-based and innovative solutions are essential for a sustainable future for cities all over the planet.”

The film takes place in Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. It introduces the URBES project—Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services—which is a partnership that develops ideas, tools and knowledge that are shared and co-created with cities in Europe.

Check out this inspiring film to learn about the sustainability projects that are transitioning Rotterdam to a resilient city.

Read more: http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/29/transitioning-urban-resilience/

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Adam D’Souza – ‘The Next Generation Of Tech Talent Needs To Be Educated In History, Classics And Languages’

classroom-hands-uptelegraph.co.uk. October 2014. The new national curriculum has just launched in England’s primary schools. Its critics claim that it is neo-Victorian and old-fashioned in the face of a changing world.
That there is growing “skills gap” is irrefutable. But we are at a turning point and the decisions we make will affect our society for generations to come. The study of literature or history, and the encouragement this gives to forming one’s personal views will help the builders of new digital systems.

Such is the pace of innovation that it is impossible to predict what technologies will be crucial to the economy in three years, let alone 10-15 when today’s primary school pupils will be entering the jobs market.
This is the fatal flaw in the utilitarian educational approach identified by Hywel Jones, headmaster of the West London Free School. At a conference last week on the liberal arts, Mr Jones stated his ambition to teach “the best that has been thought and said”.

No government initiative or improved teacher training can conjure up more time in the classroom. If we allocate limited hours to teaching ultimately useless skills, we will end up with a society outgunned by our neighbours.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/The-next-generation

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Change.org – Petition des Instituts für Romanistik der Universität Leipzig

leipzigFür den Erhalt von Stellen und Kompetenzen am Institut für Romanistik der Universität Leipzig / Petition des Instituts für Romanistik der Universität Leipzig.

Die Landesregierung des Freistaates Sachsen hat veranlasst, zwischen 2016 bis 2020 an den sächsischen Universitäten eine große Zahl von Stellen (1042 Stellen) zu streichen. Jedes Jahr sollen ca. 24 Stellen an der Universität Leipzig der Kürzungsguillotine zum Opfer fallen. Eine große Zahl davon betrifft die Philologische Fakultät, bisher sind es ca. 14 Stellen, aber es sollen weit mehr werden. Das Institut für Romanistik ist ebenfalls betroffen und in seiner Existenz stark gefährdet.

Wir fordern das Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst des Freistaates Sachsen und das Rektorat der Universität Leipzig auf, die massiven Stellenkürzungen zurück zu nehmen.

Der Strukturvorschlag des Rektorats trifft das Institut für Romanistik in drei Hauptbereichen schwer:
–  Streichung der Professur für spanische, lateinamerikanische, portugiesische und brasilianische Sprachwissenschaft, einschließlich zugeordneter Stellen, insgesamt 2,5 Stellen
– „Anteiliger“ Lehrtransfer der Professur für französische, frankophone und italienische Sprachwissenschaft an ein anderes Institut
–  Streichung des Bereichs Frankreich / Frankophonie bei der Ausschreibung der Professur für Literaturwissenschaft und Kulturstudien Hispanistik / Lusitanistik

Das Institut für Romanistik lehnt alle drei seitens des Rektorats gemachten Vorschläge entschieden ab, weil aus den geplanten Maßnahmen ein akuter Mangel an Lehrkapazität resultiert und weil die Maßnahmen aus inhaltlich-wissenschaftlichen Gründen nicht umsetzbar sind.

Das Rektoratspapier bedeutet das Ende der international anerkannten Romanistik als eigenständiger Disziplin an der Leipziger Universität.

Wir fordern den Sächsischen Landtag, die Regierung des Freistaates Sachsen und das Rektorat der Universität Leipzig auf, die geplanten Stellenkürzungen zurückzunehmen, damit das Institut für Romanistik seine Arbeit in vollem Umfang fortsetzen kann.

Diese Petition ist adressiert an den Präsidenten des Sächsischen Landtags, Herrn Dr. Matthias Rößler, die Staatsministerin für Wissenschaft und Kunst des Freistaates Sachsen, Frau Prof. Dr. Dr. Sabine von Schorlemer, und an die Rektorin der Universität Leipzig, Frau Prof. Dr. Beate Schücking.




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Ansuya Harjani – World Faces $650 Billion Housing Problem



A staggering 330 million urban households around the world live in substandard housing or are so financially stretched by housing costs they forgo other basic needs like food and health care, according to McKinsey.
Urban dwellers globally fork out $650 billion more per year on housing than they can afford, or around 1 percent of world gross domestic product (GDP), McKinsey estimated in a new report, highlighting the enormity of the affordability gap.
More than two-thirds of the gap is concentrated in 100 large cities. In several low-income cities such as Lagos and Mumbai, the affordable housing gap can amount to as much as 10 percent of area GDP.

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102117275

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