Around the globe, cities are growing at a remarkable pace. Especially in developing countries, rural-to-urban migration is creating new administrative, infrastructural and social challenges. Can megacities address these challenges and provide a model for life in the 21st century?
Mobility is the central issue for tomorrow's cities. Without mobility, economic growth and political life become impossible. We need to break with existing networks and move towards communication and transportation systems designed around the individual user.
Along with the emergence of global cities, we witness the emergence of slums. What is often overlooked is the critical economic role played by informal settlements. Slums give rise to new identities and support the formal economy by providing a structure from below.
Rapid city growth is just one side of the story. In many cases, it has slowed down and given way to another phenomenon of urban development. Tomorrow's cities will be defined less by the contentation of power and wealth than by the density of their networks. The emphasis is not on domination but on
How to build social cohesion in tomorrow's cities? Parks are one answer. They offer opportunities for recreation and social interaction. New York City's Central Park is one of the great achievements of urban planning. Now we need to find similar solutions for emerging metropolitan centers around the
Secretly checking emails, twittering from the restroom, online 24/7. How addicted to the "social media" phenomenon have we become? Markus Albert attempts to find out himself.
Social media and Google are quickly becoming invaluable to our lives. By breaking with old structures, the little start-up emerged as the most dominant force of the Internet Age.
The Scottish National Party is governing from Edinburgh. Their central aim: independence from England. But this does not necessarily spell doom for the UK. Instead, we might see the emergence of new forms of partial sovereignty.
The German federal government is relinquishing power to the EU in Brussels. Yet encouraged by the success of regional autonomy movements elsewhere, Bavarians want to bring politics back to Southern Germany - and closer to the people.
The long shadow of the Soviet Union can be felt even today. Around Russia, former republics and part-republics are experiencing turmoil across national and ethnic borders. If Moscow is not careful to play her cards right, destabilizing forces could soon become energized.
Our understanding of the universe is continuously expanding. But every question that is solved only leads to new questions. Alexander Goerlach talked to Sir Martin Rees about astronomy, scientific certainty, and the role of religion in contemporary society.