As the work begins and the dust starts to settle on this year's Autumn Statement, I think we can see it as a real shot in the arm for infrastructure, R&D and innovation. These measures should see a real return in terms of productivity and growth. They should, too, help the UK keep up in telecomms developments. And they present a great opportunity to push even harder on urban innovation, so our companies can continue to develop and sell world-beating products and services that help cities thrive.
Once the heart of Cameroon's economic growth and bustling with tourism, the Far North region is now a key frontier in the struggle to contain and counter the threat of Boko Haram. But in spite of the extreme destruction wrought upon local communities and infrastructure, and amidst an ongoing armed conflict, the region stands not only to benefit from outside CVE (countering violent extremism) support but, moreover, has lessons of its own to share.
The world population is set to explode, from 7.3 billion today to around 9.7 billion in 2050, with two thirds of those living in cities. As urban areas grow, emissions will grow along with them: between 67 and 76 per cent of global energy consumption takes place in urban areas, consumption that accounts for a huge amount of total greenhouse gas emissions.
The residencies are based in the dynamic area of Braamfontein, a hub for art, music and good food. Earlier that day I'd taken part in a 'market hack' just behind Neighbourgoods Market, with street stalls, demonstrations and activities for public audiences to try cutting-edge, creative electronic and design tools.
These images are based on commuting data released earlier this year by the Office for National Statistics and show the commuting links between different cities in London and the south east. The point here is that, seen in this way, London is very much the 'mega city' depicted by the late urbanist Sir Peter Hall in his study of urban mega city regions of Europe.
Helene Joffe, Professor of Psychology at UCL, has found that most people's aspirations for living in cities are for friendlier places, with more space and the ability to travel. Generally, we want to be able to travel to see friends and family, we want conviviality, good health, safety, and employment.
It is easy to be cynical about the Northern Powerhouse. Critics have already labelled it as tokenism, or an afterthought from the Conservative Party to appease concerns that it does not think beyond its traditional strongholds. But it is more than that. Furthermore, criticising the vision before it has even got off the ground is actually counter-productive in the long run.
The global climate change negotiations are coming to a close in Lima, Peru, and we have edged ever so slightly closer to a climate deal. In the coming days, commentators will (as usual) be divided over whether it was a success, whether negotiators did enough to prepare the ground for the next conference...
What culture will we find in the urban spaces of the future? How is meaning articulated in cities beyond the often empty rhetoric of efficiency and progress? Our team (see below) are midway through a project that looks at possible high growth towns of the future through the forms of play found there.
My first night in the city was spent on the forty-second floor of the Edifício Itália, the second tallest building in the city, but the highest place in town to get a drink. Overcast as it was when we arrived, the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows was somewhat unremarkable, but as we finished our caiprinhas, the cloud began to lift and the city unfolded beneath us.