If you're planning a trip to London in 2012 you'll be able to among the first to see an enigmatic sci-fi apparition called the Shard (aka London Bridge Tower), a 1017ft skyscraper currently under construction. When finished , the 72-story tower will be the tallest building in the U.K, and one of the tallest in Europe.
The Shard has several twisting glass facets on its exterior inspired by the masts of ships that once anchored on the Thames. The master architect, Renzo Piano, designed the Shard as a ‘vertical city’ that includes a public piazza, 586,509 sq ft (54, 488 sq m) of world class office space, an exclusive collection of residential apartments which will be the highest residential apartments in the UK and will be serviced by Europe’s first 5-star Shangri-La Hotel, retail space, restaurants, and a public viewing gallery.
Imagine a planet dominated by cities like Mega-City One, a megalopolis of over 400 million people across the east coast of the United States, featured in the Judge Dredd comic or "San Angeles," formed from the joining of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and the surrounding metropolitan regions following a massive earthquake featured in the 1993 movie "Demolition Man."
Don't hold your breath: the 21st century will soon have 19 cities with populations of 20 million or more.
If you agree with urban-authority Jane Jacobs that the city is more important to the human species than the nation-state, you'll enjoy Economist writer-at-large, Johnny Grimond, who argues that today the majority of the people on our planet will live in cities for the first time in history, and that going forward, human history will become urban history: homo sapiens has evolved into homo urbanus.
Situated on the banks of the Yangtze River Delta in East China, Shanghai is the technology and broadband capital and largest city of the People's Republic of China and the ninth largest in the world.
#1 MUNICH, Germany won first spot after much data-sifting and deliberation. Munich beat out the combination with it’s winning combination of investment in infrastructure, high-quality housing, low crime, strong media and good old fashion charm.
~ Jose Lobo, ASU economist
(Shanghai, China Waterfront)
Forbes created a cool slide show of the world's ten cleanest cities (with an idiotic 6 place tie for 10th!). If you don't pay close attention or have the slide show speed set at too fast a clip, you might think that all the cities of cleaniless are either in Canada or the Nordic countries. The Top Ten include Calgary, Helsinki, Ottawa, Minneapolis, Oslo (Gustav Vigeland Statues above), Stockholm, Zurich, Katsuyama, Bern, Montreal, Vancouver (oops! that's eleven). Enjoy, Heh?