Urban Planet: Iskandar Malaysia, Vacancies in Germany

Urban Planet is a daily roundup of blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.

As many cities in Asia confront issues of overcrowding and pollution, developers in Malaysia are planning an eco-city for 3 million people. Iskandar Malaysia, will cover an area the size of Luxembourg and host facilities of Pinewood Studios, Legoland, and Newcastle and Southampton Universities. (The Guardian)

With the American elections safely behind us, Streetsblog explores Nate Silver’s heuristic: “if a place has sidewalks, it votes Democratic. Otherwise, it votes Republican.” As Bill Lindeke notes, “One of the key reasons why our political experience is marked by incredulity is because of this spatial division. And sidewalks may just be the most obvious sign of this gap. More than anything else, sidewalks can predict your vote, what kind of political values you have.”

As the German population ages, the country is experiencing a housing surplus and increasing prevalence of vacant homes. The shrinking population of young people in Germany is more interested in living in city centres than previous generations – resulting in a “large-scale devaluation” of areas full of single-family homes. While this trend is currently most prevalent in remote and economically underdeveloped cities, a recent study conducted by Wüstenrot Stiftung, a nonprofit foundation focused on urban planning, construction and habitation, warns that this demographic change will soon threaten residential areas in more prosperous regions. (Spiegel Online)

Image from The Guardian

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