The Urbanist

Unusual neighbours

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12 November 2015

Episode 213

30 minutes


Photo: KittyKaht

More often than not you don’t get to pick your neighbours. But while some argue about fences, noisy parties and bushy trees, we decided to take a look at the diversity in our cities and pick out some unusual but rather harmonious relationships all round. Plus: we continue our series on the battle for New York’s public space.

12 November 2015

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Chapter 1

3 minutes

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Chapter 1

Unusual neighbour: Austrian president

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Presidents around the world reside in highly guarded compounds, far from the maddening crowds. Not so in Austria, where president Heinz Fischer lives with his wife in their own apartment close to central Vienna. Our Austria contributor, Alexei Korolyov, happens to live just next door...

3 minutes

Chapter 2

4 minutes


Photo: Ben Garrett

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Chapter 2

Berlin’s House of One

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The history of Berlin is filled with twists and turns but a new project aims to add a new and hopeful chapter to the history of the city. Berlin’s House of One brought together Jews, Christians and Muslims to build a common house of worship: here a synagogue, a church and a mosque all meet under one roof.

4 minutes

Chapter 3

5 minutes


Photo: Kainet

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Chapter 3

Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po

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Sham Shui Po, near the centre of Kowloon, is a neighbourhood full of cheap fabrics, cozy cafés, wartime buildings and independent sex workers. This mix of diversity makes it the most colourful and unusual district below the tourist radar.

5 minutes

Chapter 4

10 minutes


Photo: Anthony Quintano

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Chapter 4

Central Park

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The Central Park Conservancy started working with urban sociologist professor William Kornblum more than 25 years ago to study the use of New York’s most iconic park and the results have helped shape its conservation efforts ever since.

10 minutes

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