Policy Analysis/Policy Process

NAIROBI: FIGHTING BLACKOUTS IN A GROWING URBAN CENTER

The case discusses the acceptance and implementation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Transmission Ring (NMR) as one solution to address Kenya’s electricity supply issues. The NMR project required the balancing of multiple influencing parties to satisfy national development criteria, highlighted by Kenya’s Vision 2030, with multilateral financing prerequisites. While the case focuses on decisions made at a national level for development within one city, it addresses public and private concerns, individual and national economics, income inequality, environmental externalities, and rural vs.

En Route To Cleaner Air: Urban air pollution management in Santiago, Chile

Santiago suffers from a serious air pollution problem. With six million people, a third of the country’s population, in a bowl surrounded by the Andes, air quality is among the worst in the world. Two major sources of airborne particulates were exhaust from cars and buses.

Defining Sustainability in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy

Chief Minister Taib has set in place a massive sustainable dam project (SCORE) to increase energy production throughout Malaysia and develop Sarawak’s economy by bringing foreign industrial investment to the area. The SCORE project dams have been qualified as sustainable by the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum, and construction on the Murum Dam, the third of a potential 12 dams, was completed in 2013.

Kigali, Rwanda: Urban Agriculture for Food Security?

This case evaluates the premade decision of the Kigali City Council (KCC) to incorporate urban agriculture into the city’s long-term development agenda, as the key tool to address the problem of food security. A land-scarce country characterized by a predominantly rural population, Rwanda has a history of unsustainable approaches to food security, exacerbated by the collapse of the coffee industry in the 1980s and the genocide in the 1990s. After the genocide, international donors swept in to rebuild the war-torn country, which included projects designed to combat food insecurity.

Cities in Flux: Urban Redensification in Detroit and Guangzhou

A shrinking Detroit and an expanding Guangzhou shape this case, which aims to introduce readers to the nuances of population density and the importance of redensification in sustainable urban planning. Redensification policies in these cities offer a novel way of thinking about how to distribute populations and jobs to optimize public services and a city’s quality of life.

Leaning into the Wind: Building Sustainable Wind Power in China

In China’s 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015), the central government outlines ambitious targets for expanding domestic wind power generation. These targets are part of the government’s greater effort to reduce reliance upon thermal plants, which have produced unprecedented levels of pollution in recent years. As the world’s largest wind power collective, which is expected to reach 40 GW in capacity by 2020, the Jiuquan Wind Power Base serves as a paragon of China’s unbridled expansion into renewables.

Maboneng: Place of Light. A Case Study in Urban Regeneration in Johannesburg, South Africa

Until the 1970s, Johannesburg’s Central Business District (CBD) was the economic center of South Africa and, arguably, of the entire African continent. In the 1980s, however, a series of events and an epidemic of violence led to a mass exodus from the CBD to Johannesburg’s safer northern suburbs. The CBD became a virtual ‘no-go’ zone and quickly lost its significance as the center of Johannesburg. The city shifted to a decentralized sprawl and the CBD fell into a state of abandoned disrepair.

São Paulo’s Water Scarcity: 45 Days ‘Til Empty

The Brazilian city of São Paulo, capital of the State of São Paulo and Brazil’s largest metropolitan area, currently faces its most severe drought in decades. The drought, coupled with extreme heat, population growth and urbanization, has stressed water resources from the Cantareira water system, which serves more than half of the metro area. Water levels in the system have sunk to 16 percent of the system’s capacity. Available water supply from the system is expected to continue to decrease with the arrival of the dry season in April.

The Yellow Dragon and the Great Green Wall: Combating Desertification in Northern China

Every year extreme sandstorms created by strong winds blowing southwest from the Gobi Desert devastate air quality levels, bring transportation and outdoor activities to a grinding halt, and create major headaches for urban life throughout cities in eastern China, including Shanghai and Beijing. The past decades have seen increases in the severity and regularity of these sandstorms as deserts in China expand due to continuing degradation of agricultural areas and grasslands. This spreading desertification presents a challenge both for major cities and rural livelihoods.

In New Delhi, No Place to ‘Go’

India’s economic reforms of the 1990s have led to an exponential growth in industrial and commercial activities, which in turn has led to rapid urbanization. India’s capital city, New Delhi, has been struggling to provide its approximately 17 million residents with adequate amenities. This struggle is particularly prominent in the nearly 700 squatter settlements known as Jhuggi Jhopri clusters (JJ clusters), also known as Delhi’s slums, which are on public land owned by multiple civic bodies.