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Using the Heat Island Effect for Good: Best #Cityreads of the Week

A round-up of the best stories on cities and urbanism we've come across in the last seven days.

h concept

The Umbrella, Reimagined

Turning the traditional umbrella upside down can keep you dry in more places.

Environment Agency

What London Would Look Like If the Thames Barrier Failed

What could be the worst tidal surge in six decades has swamped parts of the U.K. but not London, thanks to the miraculous Barrier.

Why Writers Love New York City

And why they leave so often.

Reuters

Shanghai's Air Pollution Today Was Literally Off the Charts

Blame cars, and coal-fired burners.

Reuters

Rand Paul Thinks He Can Show the GOP How to Court Urban Voters

The libertarian from Kentucky has his own plan for how to save Detroit.

PORSCHE DESIGN TOWER

Miami's Newest Condo Tower Will Be Home to Nearly 2 Percent of the World's Billionaires

It has three car elevators. 

Reuters

Mourning Mandela, Around the World

Memorials and tributes to the South African icon, from Soweto to Brooklyn.

Foundin/Facebook

How a Thousand Tiny Figurines Will Connect Strangers All Over the World

With an upcoming art installation, anyone can "adopt" a tiny figurine online and wait for it to be found in Singapore. 

Reuters

Does Paying Food-Stamp Recipients to Eat Healthier Fare Work?

People in underserved communities want better food. They just can't afford it.

Reuters

How Digicell Brought Cell Service to the Remotest Countries on Earth

And what it'll do now that it's run out of places to go.

Akuppa John Wigham/Flickr

Apps for the Elderly

Tricycles, computer magnets, and other technologies that could help people grow old comfortably.

Street Doctors

Combatting London's Knife Crime Epidemic With First Aid Lessons

A group of doctors is trying to convince young Britons that stabbings are serious.

Flickr/Zolk, JoeThePhotog

San Antonio Can't Decide If It's Building Streetcars or Light Rail

The city is locked in a bewildering debate, with transit funding at stake.

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One Easy Way to Make Public Bus Service Cheaper and Greener

Let U.S. transit agencies buy the vehicles from abroad.

This 'Urban Clothespin' Is Solar-Powered and Glows in the Dark

Yup, somebody has given the humble clothespin a "sustainable twist."

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Climate Change Is Creating Anxious Fish

Acidic oceans are stressing out fish, say researchers, and that's not good for global food security.

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New York City's Subway Matchmaking Service Is Hiring 'Cupids'

Get paid to scope out eligible singles on the train.

ITDP

The World's Top 7 Bike-Share Systems

And how to make your city a contender.