The Asia Pacific region has enjoyed decades of economic growth—from the post-Second World War rise of Japan, to the rapid industrialization of the “Four Asian Tigers” (South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong) between the 1960s and 1990s, along with China’s meteoric rise through the late 20th century, and today’s fast-growing markets in Southeast Asia.
At the heart of this transformation is the region’s rapid urbanization. Between 1970 and 2017, Asia’s developing economies outpaced the rest of the world in both population expansion and growth rate, with the urban population increasing 3.4% per annum, compared to 2.6% in the rest of the developing world, and 1% in developed economies. The pace is set to continue in the years ahead, with the region set to add over 1 billion new urban dwellers by 2050.
Today, Asia Pacific cities are achieving international renown with Auckland, Osaka, Adelaide, Wellington, Tokyo, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane forming eight out of the top 10 performers in the 2021 Global Liveability Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit. But in the continent’s lower-income geographies, citizens face among the harshest living environments in the world. In a 2021 ranking of the world’s 100 cities most at risk from environmental factors such as pollution, extreme heat stress, dwindling water supplies, natural hazards, and vulnerability to climate change, 99 are in Asia.
The urban inhabitants often worst affected by climate vulnerability are from lower socioeconomic groups, who may live on hazardous and marginal land, in lower-quality buildings that lack anti-flood measures and temperature control. They may also lack access to facilities such as air conditioning and have fewer financial buffers to withstand income shocks caused by disasters like flooding.
As cities grow, they can often become more unequal as increased economic activity pushes up land values and pollution, which disadvantages lower-income citizens who are less able to move to better areas. Even laudable investments can worsen the problem. For example, mass transit systems that reduce travel time to central urban areas can also increase rents along routes, forcing lower-income residents to relocate. Houses in Asia have become increasingly unaffordable for many. One analysis of 211 Asian cities found home prices to be severely unaffordable for median income households. With affordable housing out of reach, many urban residents settle for inadequate housing with only limited access to safe water and sanitation.
Despite the breadth and diversity of the challenges, the region can take heart from its past and present. Singapore stands out as among the most liveable cities in the world, but it started from a tough beginning, recalls Khoo Teng Chye, former executive director for the Centre for Liveable Cities at the Ministry of National Development (MND) in Singapore.
“In the early 1960s, [Singapore was] rapidly growing and overcrowded, with a shortage of housing, a lot of slums, and people in poor, squalid conditions. The Singapore river was an open sewer and there was water rationing. I remember when I was a child, taps would run dry for the whole day, yet during monsoons we would have flooding. All the urban problems you can think of, we had them! Today, our population has tripled and yet the city has become more liveable, attractive, and resilient.”
Now, progress is being made across Asia Pacific to become more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive. Cities are beginning to break ground in exploring innovative responses to environmental challenges across the region,
By: MIT Technology Review Insights
Title: 21st century cities: Asia Pacific’s urban transformation
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/11/09/1039592/21st-century-cities-asia-pacifics-urban-transformation/
Published Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 01:30:00 +0000
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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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