Which is the world’s most vertical city?

You might think of Hong Kong, given its famous skyscraper skyline, but by different measures of verticality other cities come out on top Looking out from sky100, Hong Kongs highest observation deck on the 100th floor of the citys tallest building, the 494-metre-high International Commerce Centre, you get a 360-degree view of one of the worlds most famous skylines an urban jungle framed by mountains and the gleaming Victoria harbour, with endless clusters of high-rise buildings packed so closely together they resemble a game of Tetris. Its little wonder a city of such visible density has more skyscrapers than anywhere else in the world. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), Hong Kong has 355 buildings …

Dutch council forces playground to close over noise complaints

More than 4,000 sign petition to overturn decision, which aimed to appease neighbours A national debate has been sparked in the Netherlands after a council ordered a primary school playground to be shut for being too noisy. Questions have been raised in the Dutch parliament and a campaign has been launched to save the playground in the wake of the decision by Nijmegen council. Residents in apartments near De Buut primary school had complained that its pupils regularly exceeded a 70-decibel limit, which applies across the country for residential areas and is enforced by local councils. Official readings reached 88 decibels. The schools director, Janneke Colsen, said the school had been told to close the playground by the end of …

Revealed: creeping privatisation of London parks in summer

Exclusive figures show extent to which London councils are using parks for ticketed music festivals such as Wireless to plug budget gaps As chugging guitars reverberated over Finsbury Park last Sunday afternoon, crowds streamed through the Manor House gate past a banner commemorating the parks 150th anniversary. Next to it was another temporary sign: Welcome! Your park is open as usual. The statement was at best disingenuous the gates were certainly open, and so were many of the facilities, but it rather overlooked the 49,000-capacity festival surrounded by 12-foot-high grey metal fencing and audible a mile away. The festival was called Community, but at 50 a ticket, and with a narrow lineup of indie rock, its not that kind of …

All we know is MONEY!: US cities struggle to fight hackers

Baltimore this month joined Atlanta, San Diego and Newark in the list of US cities hit by ransomware attacks as the cyber intrusions are expected to continue We wont talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up! This was the ransom hackers crippled government computers with a virus, taking the systems hostage. The ongoing cyber-attack has water bills and other services. The horrors of hobbled cities and municipalities across the globe in recent years. The crisis in Baltimore, where officials have refused to pay the $76,000 bitcoin ransom, follows similar Atlanta, San Diego and report suggesting the cybercriminals used a malware component that originated with the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA allegedly lost control of the tool, called …

Goodbye to Gomorrah: the end of Italy’s most notorious housing estate

Famous as the setting for the hit Italian film and TV series Gomorrah, the towers of Le Vele became synonymous with poverty and organised crime until residents took charge When I think of my life in Le Vele, my skin crawls with rage, says Omero Benfenati. He looks out from a dark, narrow passageway framed by suspended steel stairways that block the natural light and lead up to abandoned apartments. Most of the windows are bricked up, and liquid leaks from split pipes on to the sewage and refuse-strewn asphalt several storeys below. We used to play down there, says Benfenati, now a housing activist. The uncollected rubbish bags make ideal goalposts for five-a-side football. Just a few years ago, …