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

01/11/2008 00:00

China-India urbanization (in Chinese)

China-India Urbanization.pdf    Article published in the Chinese Architectural Journal, Beijing, 2008

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03/11/2007 00:00

Italie: une histoire urbaine en trois temps

L’histoire de l’Italie, berceau de l’urbanisation européenne, commence avec les Etrusques, entre Florence et Rome. Ils fondent les premières cités 600 ans avant notre ère selon un urbanisme méticuleux, avec des maisons bâties autour d’une cour, et des nécropoles. Ils s’organisent déjà en...

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19/08/2007 00:00

Chinese Cities, Indian Cities: a telling contrast

China and India are the two demographic giants of the planet. They count together close to 2.5 billion inhabitants, representing more than 37 % of the world population (estimated at 6.6 billion people in 2007). They are about to become economic giants and are seriously shaking traditional power...

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05/05/2007 00:00

Chine, 3000 ans d'urbanisation en spirale

L’histoire de la Chine illustrerait selon certains spécialistes une loi fondamentale de la dialectique, celle de l’unité des contraires. L’histoire de l’urbanisation chinoise alterne effectivement des phases de centralisation et d’autonomie, de structuration pyramidale et de laisser-faire...

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01/05/2007 00:00

China, 3000 years of urbanization

There is an amazing correlation between the urbanization process and the historical evolution of the central-regional-local relationships in China.    The history of China, an immense country, is often described as a succession of order and chaos, of multiple kingdoms in permanent war...

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01/05/2007 00:00

China Urban History (in Chinese)

China - 3000 years of Urbanization.pdf  Urban Planning Forum, Tongji University, 2007

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03/03/2007 00:00

Heated Debates on Water and Sanitation

According to the recent Human Development Report[1] the world faces a water crisis rooted in inequality and flawed water management policies.  More than 1 billion people are denied the right to clean water and 2.6 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.   Every year, according to the...

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01/03/2007 00:00

Three things we should know about slums

Slums are economically useful, a reflection of the urban social divide, and a bedrock of human resilience. They are not a market failure, but a market success…               Why Slums? According to UN-HABITAT slums represent one third of...

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01/12/2005 00:00

Two decades of Urban Management Programme

The UMP was initiated in 1986 at Istanbul, 10 years after the first Habitat conference, and a decade before Habitat II. Its launch marked an important step in the evolution of international thinking on urban development. In 1976, at Vancouver, the world discovered slums and squatter settlements,...

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01/06/2005 00:00

Spatial inequalities – the need for affirmative action

The concept of affirmative action was born in the 1960’s of the civil rights movement in the USA. Affirmative action policies have been implemented in many countries – particularly India, the United States and South Africa – to redress historical racial and sexual discrimination. In the United...

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