The Urban Guru Website


Cities are undoubtedly one of the most complex human creations. They are places where density meets diversity, order meets chaos, innovation meets tradition, communication meets anonymity, change meets inertia, fight for liberation meets economic oppression. They are places where women and men meet to try and realize their dreams. Cities are the cradle of urbankind, our eternal youth, ourselves.

Les villes sont incontestablement l'une des plus complexes créations humaines. Ce sont des lieux où  la densité rencontre la diversité, l’ordre fait face au chaos, l’innovation affronte la tradition, la communication se conjugue à l’anonymat, le changement se mêle à l’inertie, la lutte pour la liberté va de pair avec l’oppression. Ce sont les lieux où femmes et hommes se rencontrent pour tenter de réaliser leurs rêves. Les villes sont le creuset du genre urbain, notre éternelle jeunesse, nous-mêmes.

La ciudad es sin duda la más compleja creación humana. Es lugar de densidad y de diversidad, donde el orden y el caos pueden convivir. Es allí donde la innovación se mezcla con la tradición, la comunicación compite con el anonimato y el cambio enfrenta a la inercia. La ciudad acoge la lucha por la libertad cuando confronta la opresión. La ciudad es el lugar donde hombres y mujeres se encuentran cuando construyen sueños. Es la cuna de la urbanidad, nuestra fuente de eterna juventud. Las ciudades somos nosotros mismos.

 

Daniel Biau
Nairobi - Kenya

 +254 728 651005

biau.daniel@gmail.com

 

Daniel Biau is a former Director at UN-Habitat, the United Nations City Agency, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. 

He shares his time between his country of residence, his country of birth (France) and the rest of the world.


Cities of the World

04/10/2010 00:00

Infrastructure, foundations of the Shanghai powerhouse

In 2010, Shanghai counts a population of some 16.5 million inhabitants according to the United Nations Population Division[1]. It is China’s largest city and the economic capital of a country that has experienced a growth rate of over 10 percent per year for more than 20 years.   Located in...

—————

30/09/2010 00:00

Kenya's new constitution, a progressive framework for decentralisation

An article by Daniel Biau[1] and Alain Kanyinda[2] published in "Urban World", September 2010. On 4 August 2010, a new Constitution was approved by two third of the registered Kenyan voters in a national referendum organised as a part of the fundamental reforms agreed upon by the Kenyan...

—————

28/04/2010 00:00

Arab Cities on the way to Better Urban Life?

In April 2010 the first international meeting on the State of Arab Cities took place in Kuwait City, in a place only three hundred kilometres from Uruk, the Mesopotamian city-state. Located on the Euphrates, Uruk is considered as the first city in the world history. Under King Gilgamesh, five...

—————

14/07/2009 00:00

Villes et Violences

Depuis trois décennies la criminalité urbaine augmente dans de nombreux pays en développement, notamment en Afrique et en Amérique Latine[1]. Les homicides, vols et cambriolages font partie du quotidien des métropoles africaines et affectent une grande partie de la population dans des villes telles...

—————

17/05/2009 10:37

Credito Inmobilario Equivocado

Buenos Aires.pdf  This article is the Spanish version of the article on "Misguided housing credit" published in "Urban World" in March 2009. Thanks to Claudia Laub, Editor of PoSIbles, Buenos Aires.  

—————

10/05/2009 00:00

Des politiques du logement erronées à l'origine de la crise mondiale

Mille milliards de dollars   Le 7 septembre 2008, les deux géants du refinancement hypothécaire américain, Fannie Mae et Freddie Mac, ont été quasiment nationalisés par l’injection de 200 milliards de dollars du Trésor américain. Ils possédaient ensemble un portefeuille de plus de 5 billions...

—————

01/03/2009 00:00

Global Financial Crisis, Misguided Housing Policies (in Chinese)

Global Financial Crisis - Misleading Housing Policies.pdf    Chinese version published in Urban and Rural Development (URD), Beijing, 2009

—————

01/03/2009 00:00

The rise of Chinese and Indian Cities (in Chinese)

  The rise of Chinese and Indian cities.pdf    Chinese version published in "Human Settlements" magazine, Beijing, 2009

—————

15/01/2009 00:00

Misguided housing credit, the root cause of the global financial crisis

Analyzing the world financial crisis which marked the end of 2008, this article of January 2009 (published in "Urban World", March 2009, in "Urbanisme", Paris, May 2009, in URD, Beijing, 2009 and in PoSIbles, Buenos Aires, 4/2009) called for a serious debate on housing finance systems. This is...

—————

24/11/2008 00:00

Urban Challenges and Opportunities in Kenya

UN-Habitat has recently published the first “State of African Cities Report” in which a substantive chapter is devoted to East Africa, including to its largest cities of Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Dar Es-Salaam, and to its smaller agglomerations.   Before presenting the challenges that the...

—————