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Rise of the Chinese Ghost Town

Holly Krambeck's picture

 

In Chenggong, there are more than a hundred-thousand new apartments with no occupants, lush tree-lined streets with no cars, enormous office buildings with no workers, and billboards advertising cold medicine and real estate services – with no one to see them.

As my colleagues and I wandered, on–foot, down the center of Chenggong’s empty 8-lane boulevards and dedicated bus lanes, never seeing a single person, we marveled about the fiscal and political conditions that would have to exist to create something like this.  

Concerns over the growth of motorcycles in cities

Georges Darido's picture

The number of motorcycles in many Latin American cities, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Bogotá, has grown much faster than the automobile fleet in recent years.  In many Asian cities, motorcycles and three-wheeled vehicles are the primary modes on urban roads. 

Accessible and inclusive transport: can we achieve it?

Julie Babinard's picture

Have you ever been to a foreign city and not been able to figure out the names of the stations or directions of that city’s metro? Did you feel completely lost and upset with whoever designed the system? Maybe as a parent you have tried taking a bus with a stroller and gave up because you were not able to take it up the steep stairs?

The Land of Large Abandoned Objects

Chris Bennett's picture

The book ‘Stories I Stole’ was written by the English author Wendell Steavenson, who lived in the South Caucasus’ – mainly Georgia – from 1998 to 2001. This was a turbulent time, with great hardship and limited law-and-order. It makes for a fascinating read, since so much has changed in Georgia in these ten years.

Carbon Expo versus Bonn

Holly Krambeck's picture

I have recently returned from CarbonExpo in Cologne, along with most of the unprecedented 70-person Bank delegation we sent this year.  For the uninitiated, CarbonExpo is an annual, oh, call it a high-energy trade fair, where carbon finance project developers, financial institutions, auditors, policy makers, and international organizations meet to strike deals and innovate ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Data-Driven Governance?

Holly Krambeck's picture

During a recent World Bank retreat, my colleagues and I  visited Baltimore, a city that has developed some interesting, low-cost, innovative strategies to improve governance and increase transparency in policymaking. These strategies could be applied in many of the developing cities where we work, and, I will admit,  stumbling across this initiative was akin to finding hidden treasure.

Transport and Mega-events – How to get the most bang for the buck?

Georges Darido's picture

Mega-events such as the Olympics and the World Cup can be catalysts not only for huge investments in infrastructure, but also policy changes that may induce positive behavioral changes.  Transport operations and mobility are particularly important for mega-events as they involve much planning and long-lasting infrastructure.  The question, however, is how to keep the long-term development vision and legacy in mind while meeting the shorter-term mo

Transport in Mega-cities -- Does city size matter?

Georges Darido's picture

I just returned from São Paulo, perhaps the third biggest metropolitan area in the world with a population of 18 million and an endless vista of apartment towers and commercial buildings in almost any direction from the center.  The traffic problems are large and reported in the daily newspapers as the peak number of kilometers of the main road network in congested conditions (equivalent to LOS F).  This indicator tends to range between 100 and 200 km for any

Rehabilitating roads in Kiribati - the sustainable way

Chris Bennett's picture

Over time I have developed certain ‘home truths’. Among them is that the size of the country is inversely proportional to the length of the immigration and customs form, and the aggressiveness of dogs encountered when running is a reflection of their owners. In both cases this was proved true during my first mission to Kiribati.

Cairo Cash for Clunkers

Holly Krambeck's picture

 

Vehicle scrapping and recycling programs are not new. In fact, last year, The Economist put together a neat comparison of subsidies provided for vehicle scrapping programs across the world.  

What is new, is how the Egyptians have organized their own national scheme. Rather than place the onus mostly or entirely on a government agency to provide incentives for participation, the Egyptian scheme is – I dare say – a model of public-private partnership innovation.In the fall of 2008, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif charged the Ministry of Finance with organizing vehicle scrapping scheme, initially targeted at taxis and other mass transport vehicles.

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