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Próximo Futuro

Próximo Futuro


"Lush Walls Rise to Fight a Blanket of Pollution"

Próximo Futuro




MEXICO CITY — “We must cultivate our garden,” Voltaire famously wrote at the end of “Candide,” but even he could not have imagined this: a towering arch of 50,000 plants rising over a traffic-clogged avenue in a metropolis once called “Mexsicko City” because of its pollution.


The vertical garden aims to scrub away both the filth and the image. One of three eco-sculptures installed across the city by a nonprofit called VerdMX, the arch is both art and oxygenator. It catches the eye. And it also helps clean the air.


“The main priority for vertical gardens is to transform the city,” said Fernando Ortiz Monasterio, 30, the architect who designed the sculptures. “It’s a way to intervene in the environment.”




Continuar a ler no New York Times.


"Favelas, Foreigners and Due Diligence"

Próximo Futuro




If you haven’t see some iteration or other of the “KONY 2012″ campaign yet, you have lived a dearly rare life in America over the last few months. Likely as not you’ve even seen comments on social media about how played out it is: “get over it already,” “people only care on the internet, not in real life,” that sort of thing. You may, however, have missed the series of Tweets by an extraordinarily bright and talented writer called Teju Cole. If this is the case: here’s your chance to make good.

I bring up Mr Cole because of late I have been working on three new posts: one on household energy use in Rocinha, another that discusses the sense of community observed in favelas, and the one you’re now reading that’s been on my mind for several months now but hadn’t started writing for lack of a launching pad. Teju Cole finally provided that for me.

Now that you’ve clicked through the link and seen his article at The Atlantic, you’ll begin to see what his Tweets and the article that sprung from them has to do with favelas. It’s all about systems and symptoms, causes, and effects, intentions and privilege. Mr. Cole is American of Nigerian decent, and you may have noticed, is a PEN/Hemingway winner. In other words, he is legit. And given his cultural heritage, life experience, perceptive mind, and provocative voice, he’s more than equipped to comment on the KONY 2012 phenomenon.




Continuar a ler no blog [FAVELissues].


"A Cultural Clash Over the Bad Old Days"

Próximo Futuro




Men and women, young and old, all walk slowly now by the empty lot at Eighth and Constitución. Everyone stares. Some stop. Many point or shake their heads with surprise.

“It’s really gone, wow, La Ocho,” they say, referring to the old, wretched jail where drunk Americans and hardened Mexican criminals huddled behind bars amid the stench of vomit and corruption. But was the demolition, which took place last month, good or bad for Tijuana?

Few cities would even ask, in the face of such civic filth. La Ocho, after all, was a holding pen where American teenagers who were caught with a joint or had too much to drink often had to pay a $2,000 bribe for freedom. It was prison on prime downtown property, where gang leaders roamed free on the top floor as peons suffered below in tiny cells with useless toilets.




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