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The Planet of Cities

Read Greg Clark’s monthly column with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The column covers cities, climate, and the built environment. 

16 January 2023

The Planet of Cities: Recovery, or Reinvention, for our cities?

In this month’s column Greg Clark examines the need for cities to reinvent themselves in light of different kinds of changed behaviour patterns across the world’s cities. As we begin 2023 the impact of the pandemic is still playing out in our cities world-wide...

13 November 2020

RICS Year in Review

Watch the RICS Year in Review here in which Greg summarises the monthly columns of The Planet of Cities.

5 March 2020

MENAT’s year in the global spotlight

The cities of the middle east, north Africa and Turkey – collectively, the MENAT region – are, for an urbanist, some of the most interesting in the world. This year alone, three cities in the region will host major gatherings of global importance. The tenth session of the World Urban Forum...

3 April 2020

Thoughts on a pandemic

Firstly, I hope all of our readers are well. We are living in very troubling times. Like many of you, I am working from home and keenly following developments across the world. Clearly, there is much to keep abreast of. The seemingly exponential growth in infection rates across...

5 July 2020

The beginning of the end of the urban century?

As the Covid-19 crisis has played out, the chorus of voices prophesying a new great moment of de-urbanisation has grown. Those with portable jobs, able to leave the world’s major cities, temporarily appear to be doing so in significant numbers. The professional class is capitalising on newly won, digitally enabled freedom of movement....

7 May 2020

An accidental experiment in a new way of life

You’ll recall that last month, I posed three questions regarding the urban legacy of the Covid-19 crisis. I must say thank you to everyone who replied: the volume and quality of the responses that we received was wonderful to see. If you haven’t already, you can read a selection of the most thought-provoking answers here. What is clear to me...&nbsp;</p>

7 August 2020

It's too soon to sort the Covid-19 winners and losers

If you were to rank the cities best placed to emerge from the pandemic with their reputations enhanced, you’d likely settle on one of two lists. The first The first would include cities such as Taipei, Athens, Singapore, Seoul and Kyoto; those in which...

3 July 2020

The new map of urban investment opportunity

As you will know by now, July is WBEF’s Build Back Better month. We, like many others, are focused on how the planet can emerge stronger from this ordeal. For my part, I’d like to focus on the funding challenge. I believe there are three critical, crosscutting considerations...

4 September 2020

The net-zero transition and post-pandemic prosperity

As the western world moves into the second half-year of COVID-19, one senses widespread expectation that the pandemic legacy must include lasting environmental dividends. Sustainability has become a key motif of recovery strategies at...

15 October 2020

Business districts as usual?

The COVID-19 crisis has only sharpened the debate over the future of cities. Distinct perspectives, underset by a variety of considerations, are emerging across the world. Attitudes towards public and private amenities, the adoption of new technologies, and existing preferences for mobility, transport systems and housing all appear to be shaping...

13 November 2020

Good governance pays dividends

I’d like to begin this month’s column by asking a question. How could it be that cities with broadly comparable attributes enjoy varying levels of success on the global stage? Take two cities with apparently similar fundamentals: population size, geographic...

12 February 2021

Has the world left Europe behind?

As I wrote in my Planet of Cities column Business Districts as Usual? in October 2020, different parts of the world are in distinctive cycles with the pandemic itself. Whereas some are largely free of COVID-19 and their city centres active again, others are still in full lockdown. In certain places, leaders are...

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