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Curated by Project Syndicate

Future Cities

31 commentaries

Half of the world’s population live in cities, and that share is growing rapidly. How can cities expand, maintain services and communities, and be environmentally sustainable?

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  1. Greening Our Cities
    navarro1_Ernst Haas_Getty Images Ernst Haas

    Greening Our Cities

    Sep 24, 2019 Emma Navarro & Nanda Jichkar explain why urban development must be at the center of any global effort to tackle climate change.

  2. Locating Equality
    james158_GettyImages_dollarcoinhousechimney Getty Images

    Locating Equality

    Aug 5, 2019 Harold James sees rising real-estate values in urban hubs as a major force causing wealth disparities to widen.

  3. Don’t Fear the Scooter
    GettyImages-1140832884 Getty Images

    Don’t Fear the Scooter

    Jul 23, 2019 Alon Tal argues that smart policymaking can easily address most complaints about a new feature of urban life.

  4. Build Your Own Talent Magnet
    johnson117_GettyImages_digitalcitycommunication Getty Images

    Build Your Own Talent Magnet

    Jul 1, 2019 Simon Johnson shows why countries should focus on nurturing innovation ecosystems that are not in the largest cities.

  5. Putting Africa’s Secondary Cities First
    mayaki4_GettyImages_africaeuropeglobepenlight Getty Images

    Putting Africa’s Secondary Cities First

    May 21, 2019 Ibrahim Assane Mayaki advises policymakers not to lose sight of intermediary urban areas' crucial role in economic development.

  6. The Monetization of Garbage
    nwaloziri1_EZEQUIEL BECERRAAFPGetty Images_sorting rubbish Ezequiel Becerra/AFP/Getty Images

    The Monetization of Garbage

    Apr 19, 2019 Stephen Nwaloziri advocates financial incentives as a way to help big cities manage waste more effectively.

  1. prasad24_Michael M. SantiagoGetty Images_nyse Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

    A Weak, Uneven Global Recovery

    Eswar Prasad & Caroline Smiltneks explain why domestic political divisions and inflationary pressures jeopardize current market optimism.
  2. singer230_View PicturesPeter CookUniversal Images Group via Getty Images_cambridge View Pictures/Peter Cook/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    Will Cambridge Support Free Speech?

    Peter Singer examines the university’s ongoing case against Nathan Cofnas, a research fellow who advocates “race realism.”
  3. bp china economy1 CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images

    Can China Get Out of Its Rut?

    China’s authorities have powerful economic-policy levers at their disposal to achieve their 5% growth target this year and to put the economy on a more sustainable long-term growth path. But several trends – from the shift toward state capitalism to population aging to the loss of goodwill between Chinese and Americans – could thwart China’s ambition to join the ranks of high-income countries by mid-century.

  4. roach164_PEDRO PARDOPEDRO PARDOPOOLAFP via Getty Images_china development forum PEDRO PARDO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

    China Stifles Its Own Debate

    Stephen S. Roach

    For more than two decades, the China Development Forum was a meeting where foreign business, political, and academic leaders could debate the state of the Chinese economy with the country’s highest leaders. But this year’s gathering eschewed open and honest dialogue, in favor of telling only “good stories” about China.

    bemoans the transformation of the country’s most important platform for open dialogue into a schmooze-fest.
  5. pdoyle1_ISSOUF SANOGOAFP via Getty Images_cfa franc ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images

    Leaving Africa’s Colonial-Era Currency Will Be Hard, But May Be Wise

    Peter Doyle considers how exiting the CFA franc zone could benefit Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, despite the challenges.
  6. benami212_Elyxandro CegarraNurPhoto via Getty Images_eumilitary Elyxandro Cegarra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Europe’s War Jitters

    Shlomo Ben-Ami urges EU member states to prepare for the possibility of the US abandoning its NATO commitments.
  7. mazzucato62 Getty Images

    Governments Must Shape AI’s Future

    Mariana Mazzucato & Fausto Gernone

    As with social media, the incentives around AI are aligned for rent extraction, where large companies, acting as intermediaries, amass profits at others’ expense. Governments urgently need to step in to ensure that the technology is being designed and brought to market in ways that will serve the common good.

    urge policymakers to see themselves as proactive participants in technological innovation and market-making.
  8. duquemarquez2_ArterraMarica van der MeerUniversal Images Group via Getty Images_guyana Arterra/Marica van der Meer/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    How Guyana Became Latin America’s Leading Development Lab

    Iván Duque Márquez highlights the current government’s unique approach to managing its renewable and non-renewable resources.
  9. sierakowski107_Beata ZawrzelNurPhoto via Getty Images_poland Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Beating Back Populists at the Grassroots

    Sławomir Sierakowski interprets the seemingly mixed results of recent municipal and provincial elections in Poland.

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