Jordan Heller ~ One Of America’s Poorest Cities Has A Radical Plan To Remake Itself

CLEVELAND ― The last time Tymika Thomas’ name appeared in newsprint was in connection with an elaborate 2012 robbery in the Cleveland suburb of Wickliffe in which Thomas and two accomplices stole numerous handguns and more than $30,000 in cash from a bookie.

Thomas, who knew the victim and was well aware that he kept a large amount of money in his home, took the man out for a night on the town while her partners broke into his house. Thomas and the man returned to find two armed robbers wearing ski masks. They absconded with the man’s possessions and took Thomas as a hostage. The kidnapping was bogus, of course, meant to disabuse the victim of any suspicion that Thomas was involved.

“The judge called me the mastermind,” says Thomas, now 42, dressed in a blue smock and a hair net that covers her thick blonde braids, before explaining her motive for the crime that earned her four years and nine months in prison — a sentence she completed last year. “We were all kind of in a rut, I had six kids and just lost my job, and we were just looking to get financially stable.”

We are in the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, located in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood on the east side of the city, a community that has long suffered from disinvestment. Despite her felony conviction (“Getting a job was my biggest fear,” she says, “having to check that felony box”), Thomas is now a supervisor at the laundry, where she runs a crew that prepares packs of surgical linen for the Cleveland Clinic, the world-renowned hospital nearby.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/cleveland-ohio-poorest-cities

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Rebecca Dalzell ~ A City To Grow Into

“It sounds utopian, I know,” says Daniel Haime, standing over the map of Serena del Mar, the city he is building on the Caribbean Sea. He plans to transform a 2,500-acre site outside Cartagena, Colombia – which his family bought in 1968 – into a lively metropolis. There will be a world-class hospital, low-income housing and state-run schools, a marina and bike trails, a luxury hotel and waterfront dining. One day, vaporetti on the lagoon could connect Serena del Mar to downtown Cartagena.

It seems like an auspicious time to build a new city in Colombia. In 2016, the government and theFARC rebel group signed a peace deal ending 50 years of conflict. A cautious optimism buoys the economy. Bogotá and Medellín, the country’s largest cities, have become models for smart urban design. But not Cartagena. It may be one of the fastest-growing cities in Colombia but, according to Nicolás Galarza Sanchez, a research scholar at New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management, it is also a case study in how not to expand. It has spread in a fashion typical of South America: high-rise condominiums for the rich have sprouted along the waterfront while poor settlements made up of squalid, informal dwellings have grown in areas prone to flooding. Galarza and his colleagues are working with the Colombian government to help manage growth in 100 cities across the country.

Read more: https://www.1843magazine.com/a-city-to-grow-into

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Anna Kučírková ~ Millions Face The Life-Threatening Dangers Of Poor Sanitation

In our ever changing and evolving world, improvements in living conditions are essential. Sanitation is our first line of defense against communicable diseases and epidemics of infectious diseases such as influenza, typhoid, cholera, and more.
And while developed nations tend to have outstanding methods of sanitation and good hygiene practices, developing nations still lose millions of lives every year because of poor or non-existent sanitation systems, according to the World Bank (2017).
But knowing generally about the problem doesn’t really help you understand just how bad the situation really is. In order to move toward change, a clear-eyed view of the problem is essential.
Here’s what you really need to know.

The Stark Lack of Basic Sanitation Around The World
Modern sanitation facilities are vital to public health. And while access to sanitary facilities has increased dramatically in the past twenty years, nearly 2.3 billion people still don’t have toilets or access to upgraded latrines.
Thankfully, the General Assembly of UN declared access to safe drinking water and modern sanitation as a human right in 2010. International efforts to help provide safe and accessible drinking water and sanitation are underway.
But, in spite of the progress, the 2015 target to cut the proportion of the population without access to improved sanitation facilities in half missed by nearly 700 million people.
There are still hundreds of thousands of people dying each year from diseases directly related to their lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

The one element that perpetuates a vicious cycle of disease and poverty is open defecation.
In places where open defecation is widespread, the number of deaths of children under 5 years old are as high as the levels of malnutrition and poverty.
Access to clean water is one of the keys to defeating the deaths of millions around the globe.

Read more: https://connectforwater.org/the-life-threatening-dangers-of-poor-sanitation/

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Maeve McClenaghan ~ A Hundred Homeless People Have Died Since October But No-One Is Asking Why

It has been almost two years since Cardon Banfield’s partially-mummified body was found in a tent, just metres from a public footpath in Worcester.

The homeless 74 year-old, who settled in the UK from the Caribbean in 1961, part of the Windrush generation, was so badly decomposed that the coroner was only able to identify him through DNA testing.
In the intervening years, campaigners and local charities have pushed for an official review into how an elderly man came to such an ignominious end. But despite public pressure, the local Safeguarding Adults Board – the body tasked with exploring possible social care failures – refused to do an official review.

This week Worcester City council published an informal review into Banfield’s death. Now, those that called for the review say it fails to fully address the issues and are calling again for an official review.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal that homeless deaths are hardly ever reviewed in England and Wales, with, on average, just one official review a year being logged since 2010.
With no official count of deaths and very few reviews being commissioned, experts are concerned that officials simply do not know how and when homeless people are dying.
In this climate, the Bureau has launched Dying Homeless, a project to record deaths on UK streets.

Read more: https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/hundred-homeless-people-have-died

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Al Jazeera Witness ~ Clifford Bestall ~ Hillbrow: Between Heaven And Hell


Filmmaker Clifford Bestall takes a personal journey to the heart of one of South Africa’s most dangerous neighbourhoods and through the stories of some of its residents reveals a rich seam of today’s urban South African experience.

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One Carefree Night

A short documentary shot in South Africa. We follow four teenagers growing up in Manenberg, a suburb of Cape Town, where gangsters roam and drug use is rampant. Lauren-Lee, Ryaad, Cameron and Cohen are among the few teens who still attend school. They hope a high-school diploma will get them out of Manenberg. But there’s another promise that keeps them attending: senior prom. They save up all year to rent a fancy car and to buy ball gowns and tuxedos. The post-exam prom is their Cinderella moment: one magical evening when the dream of escaping their bleak reality seems like it just might come true.

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