urban development

As stated by The Soft Power 30 in their report, not long ago, museums were a form of hard power. They acted as safeguards of the spoils of war and conquest of mankind. It was a form of expression of the state hegemony and cultural diplomacy. However, the role of museums has gone through some changes in the past years.

Cities are the future of the world. Over half the world's population lives in cities, and by the middle of the century more than seven in 10 people will live in cities, according to the United Nations. Almost all this urban growth will take place in emerging economies.

The contrast between LA and another great city, Seoul, is remarkable. I have been going to Seoul for about 20 years now, and I just brought a group of USC students there for a comparative international development class. Back in 1992, when I first visited Seoul, it was an emerging city of considerable promise, but also with considerable poverty. It has since become one of the world’s rich cities.

Rapid development and industrialization have forced the movement of populations into cities... For others, the transition offers new opportunities for business, education and eventual quality of life improvements. In India, this transformation is increasingly apparent

The Saudis awarded a more than $1 billion contract for a spire that will soar two-thirds of a mile high, to be named the Kingdom Tower. The plans make Saudi Arabia a front-runner in the race between the oil-rich Gulf nations for glitzy, architectural trophies that dot their desert territories...The projects are seen as status symbols to show off economic success.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is part think tank, part open-air forum, part community center. New York will be the first stop for the lab on a worldwide tour that will also include Berlin and Mumbai. In each city curators will invite leaders in fields including architecture, art, design, technology, education and science to participate in programs: lectures, workshops, games, performances and film screenings.

The BMW Group and Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation introduce New York City as the first site of a six-year social science project to improve urban living, beginning August 2011.