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Hyper-densifying American cities: A mapping experiment

American cities have largely followed a model of highly expansive and low-density urban development. With the rise of the automotive industry and investments in the road and highway network, suburban housing became the archetype of the American way of life, with homes amidst vast green areas, located increasingly farther from the foundational urban centers and business and service cores. Aerial View of Los Angeles. Source:  Cory Doctorow As a result of this process, the metropolitan areas of the United States have a population density (inhabitants/square kilometer) lower than cities of comparable sizes in other continents around the world. The following graphic compares the five largest metropolitan areas in Europe and the United States. Own elaboration. Data source:  Demographia World Urban Areas Report The difference is even more drastic when compared to the largest metropolises in Asia. As seen in the next figure, the most comparable Asian metropolitan area to the American cases is
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Ranking: The 10 largest cities in the world without metro systems

Public mass transit systems are part of the everyday landscape of most major cities around the world. From the ultra-efficient train network of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area to the congested rail lines of Sao Paulo, metro systems move millions of people daily, making inter-city mobility more efficient and reducing travel times within cities and metropolitan regions. Sao Paulo Metro. Source: US News Since the opening of the first underground network in London in 1863, more than 200 metro systems have been built around the world. Beijing currently has the largest metro network in terms of length and daily ridership (807 km in length and 10.5 million trips per day). Other major metro systems are located in New York, Shanghai, Seoul, Moscow and Guangzhou. Despite the accelerated construction of metro systems since the mid-20th century, there are large urban areas in the world that are not currently served by metro services. Some of them have implemented alternative systems such as BRT (Bus R

A second chance for Detroit: the urban renaissance of the "Motor City" in ten spots

The urban image of Detroit since the end of the 20th century had become the archetypal example of decadence and abandonment: Ruined buildings, vacant lots, and uninhabited streets recreated a dystopian panorama that some defined as the great failure of capitalism and the "Dream American". Detroit at sunset. Photo:  Nic Redhead Such a statement was not - to some extent - an exaggeration. From the 1950s (population peak) to 2010, Detroit had lost more than one million inhabitants in its urban area, as the product of the closure of the automobile industries. It generated empty districts and a serious problem of insecurity and violence that turned the Motor City into one of the most dangerous urban areas in the United States and the world . In 2013, Detroit seemed to hit rock bottom, becoming the first major U.S. city to declare bankruptcy and with a future that did not look promising. However, despite its severe economic crisis and with the effects of the Pandemic still present

Bitcoin City, the "crypto-oriented" urban dream of El Salvador

With an area of 21,041 km2 in area and around 6.5 million inhabitants, El Salvador is one of the smallest and least populated countries in Latin America. However, over the past few months, this Central American nation has made headlines in the world press due to its decision to implement Bitcoin as legal tender in the country. This venture, promoted by President Nayib Bukele, was followed by a bolder proposal that goes beyond the strictly financial sphere. On 20 November 2021, in a massive event, the Salvadoran president announced the creation of "Bitcoin City", a new urban development planned from scratch and whose economy will be mainly oriented towards cryptocurrency mining and financial services. Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador. Source Bitcoin City will be located at the foot of the Conchagua volcano, 180 km from the capital San Salvador. This location is not fortuitous, as it is planned to take advantage of the geothermal energy produced by the volcano, which will cover the