The Cities This Week: Edition 46

Cape Town's 2014 New Years Eve party ushers in its World Design Capital year. Source: Cape Town Magazine

Cape Town’s 2014 New Years Eve party ushers in its World Design Capital year. Source: Cape Town Magazine

London

British architect Norman Foster has unveiled a concept to build a network of elevated pathways above London’s railways to create safe car-free cycling routes, following 14 cyclist deaths on the city’s streets in 2013. Entitled SkyCycle, the proposal by architects Foster + Partners, landscape architects Exterior Architecture and transport consultant Space Syntax is for a “cycling utopia” of approximately 220 kilometres of dedicated cycle lanes, following the routes of existing train lines. Over 200 entrance points would be dotted across the UK capital to provide access to ten different cycle paths. Each route would accommodate up to 12,000 cyclists per hour and could improve journey times across the city by up to half an hour. “SkyCycle is a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city,” said Foster, who is both a regular cyclist and the president of Britain’s National Byway Trust. “By using the corridors above the suburban railways, we could create a world-class network of safe, car free cycle routes that are ideally located for commuters.“” – Dezeen

New York City

Bill de Blasio, whose fiery populism propelled his rise from obscure neighborhood official to the 109th mayor of New York, was sworn into office on Wednesday, pledging that his ambition for a more humane and equal metropolis would remain undimmed. In his inaugural address, Mayor de Blasio described social inequality as a “quiet crisis” on a par with the other urban cataclysms of the city’s last half-century, from fiscal collapse to crime waves to terrorist attacks, and said income disparity was a struggle no less urgent to confront. “We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love,” he said to about 5,000 people at the ceremony, many beneath blankets on a numbingly cold day. Mr. de Blasio, 52, the first liberal to lead City Hall in two decades, delivered his critiques as his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, whose Wall Street pedigree and business-first approach to governance seemed to embody the city’s current gilded era, sat unsmiling a few feet away.” – New York Times

Nairobi

“Kenya started building a $653 million new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International airport Tuesday. This is the second large infrastructure project it has launched in a week, aimed at boosting trade and cementing its status as a regional commercial hub. The new terminal, whose first phase construction is expected to be finished in 2016, will be able to handle 20 million passengers when completed.”Africa has historically missed out on development opportunities due to inadequa