Imagining a new Mosul, the fate of Moscow's tower blocks, a new wave of female Cambodian activists

    by Best of the Week
    Wednesday, 1 November 2017 12:55 GMT

A devotee looks at the camera as she offers prayers to the setting sun during the "Chhath" festival at Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Nepal October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Discover all this week's top land and property rights stories from across the web

The city of Mosul was captured by IS militants in June 2014, becoming the group’s de-facto second city.

Just over three years later, in July, after the world’s largest urban battle since World War II, Mosul was liberated. An aerial bombing campaign and vicious house-to-house fighting left the east of the city half destroyed. Almost nothing remained of the west.

To remove booby traps left by IS and rebuild the city will cost an estimated $50 billion over five years.

To highlight the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Mosul, the Tamayouz Excellence Award invited architects and designers from around the world to imagine a new Mosul that can support the almost 1 million displaced people expected to return following years of conflict and destruction.

The final proposals offer an enlightening look at how we can balance the opportunities afforded by a blank canvas and the responsibilities to survivors of conflict, along with the need to suitably remember victims.

The winner of the Rifat Chadirji Prize, named after the Iraqi architect and author, was Anna Otlik of Wroclaw, who imagined a matrix of modular homes, based on traditional designs, that could grow organically from a grid system as the displaced return to their homes and the city re-populates.

A runner-up proposal envisions the rebuilding of five bridges across the River Tigris – this time as inhabited, farmable structures that can support sustainable agriculture as well as the city’s transport needs.

Other designs incorporate the detritus of the conflict more intimately – building on top of rubble to create a multi-level city space, or transforming the subterranean tunnel system built by IS into a metro network.

-Ruairi Casey

Discover more top stories from around the web this week. Have we missed anything? Tweet at @mjponsford or email place@thomsonreuters.com.

NEWS

Record loss of global tree cover In 2016, driven by forest fires

Zimbabwe: land reform - white farmers given 5-year leases, while blacks get 99 years

ICRC calls for proper care of Nigerian cities to curb slum rise

Green shoots of dignity sprout in Dalits’ fields

New Zealand wants to stop foreigners from buying homes

Murder of Berta Caceres part of calculated plot: report

Drones to help survey slum areas in Odisha, India

Hong Kong's poor live in homes smaller than prison cells – study

FEATURES

Inside a homeless encampment on the brink of eviction

Colombia's land battles shatter the peace in Cauca Valley – in pictures

The wrecking ball swings at Moscow – a photo essay

A wave of young female activists from Cambodia aim to shake up the patriarchy. Here’s how.

This ingredient in your Halloween chocolate could be linked to deforestation

Up close with the tribes of Ethiopia’s imperiled Omo Valley

Unannounced demolition of slums in Mumbai leaves residents of Garib Nagar with nothing

COMMENT

Land rights, opportunity at stake in greenies’ Battle of Galilee

A yawn - that's how most Israelis respond to land theft

What a defaced Jeff Koons sculpture tells us about land ownership In augmented reality

Sign up for our weekly newsletter