John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Also, Portland's City Council rushes to remove agitators, and Uganda's biggest city decides to get rid of single-family houses.
Welcome back to our weekly look at what's been outlawed in cities across the world (past editions here):
LEGITIMATE RAPE, IN OCEANIA
Husbands in the Solomon Islands will no longer be sanctioned by law to rape their wives, the sovereign state's High Court has declared. The recent ruling attacks the old thinking that getting married means tacitly agreeing to sex whenever, and however, a man wants it. Here's the Solomon Star on this laudable legal development:
The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions submitted the case to the High Court, arguing that the law was dehumanising, unacceptable and contrary to the country’s conversation on ending gender- based violence and its commitment to the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Violence Against Women which was ratified by the Solomon Island Government in May 2002...
From a recent Family Health survey, the data showed that Solomon Islands experiences one of the highest rates of gender-based violence worldwide with an estimated 64% of women experiencing sexual or physical violence from an intimate partner.
Sixty-four percent. Wow. In related news, the Star reports that local women leaders have "welcomed" the court's ruling.
HITLERIZING THE GOVERNMENT, IN OREGON
The city council of Damascus has had it with all the threats. So it's fighting back by kicking people out of its regular meetings. This week, a certain John Fewkes filed a tort claim against the city after he was banned for six months from public hearings. He received the boot after making a rather unfortunate comparison that showed him to be ignorant of Godwin's Law. “A majority of the council would prefer to silence any dissentient opinion or viewpoint from their own being heard,” he said, according to the Oregonian. “This has more in common with Fascist or Nazi government than historical practices of the United States.” The councilors also exiled a woman in October after she looked at them and chanted “off, off, off with your heads.”
The bans have since been lifted. An attorney for the woman said it was dumb to think that “this sweet, church-going grandmother intends to literally behead council members like some jihadist.”
DETACHED HOUSES, IN UGANDA
(Downtown Kampala, by Conservation Concepts/Flickr)
Space is getting awfully tight in Kampala, the result of country folk pouring in to do something that doesn't require a plow. To manage the ever-increasing population of the largest metropolis in Uganda, the government has decided to colonize the sky, reports All Africa. Daudi Migereko, the minister of lands, housing and urban development, announced in late October that people will no longer be allowed to construct bungalows in Kampala's central business district. Instead, he asked developers to start erecting apartment towers with minimum heights of 10 stories.
The jarring rearrangement of the building code, which guarantees an architectural pileup in Kampala's skyline, is meant to take some of the hurt out of the country's perennial housing shortage – right now, the population could use about 1.6 million units. Warned Migereko: “Individuals who want to have one-acre pieces of land and build bungalows and maintain their secrecy behind wall fences will move 30 to 50 miles from the capital city.”
Top image from Bunches and Bits on Flickr.