Best of the web: Isolated towns, drone investigations, and space plans

    by Best of the Web
    Wednesday, 27 September 2017 18:56 BST

Two stag deer are seen through the mist at dawn during the annual rutting season in Richmond Park in London Britain September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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

This week’s best read comes from Aurora Almendral for her portrait of Palanan, a isolated Philippine town on the cusp of connecting with the rest of the country:

The town, 190 miles northeast of Manila on a stretch of rugged Pacific coastline, is separated from the crowds and chaos of the rest of the Philippines by a three-day trek through tropical jungle, a seven-hour ride on a wooden pump boat or a 25-minute flight on a three-seater Cessna.

Cloistered in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, Palanan’s farmers cross fields on the backs of loping water buffaloes. Children in plaid uniforms walk to school along beaches of white sand. A few motorcycles with sidecars, brought in on boats, rumble through the carless streets of the dusty town center. Carved canoes slide down broad rivers, and narrow outrigger boats bob along the shore.

But all that may change. The government is building a road that will cut a path of more than 50 miles through the Sierra Madre, from Ilagan City, the capital of Isabela Province, to Divilacan, a neighboring town, with plans to continue it into Palanan and a scattering of nearby villages.

Read more on The New York Times.

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


70% of brands in Malaysia and Singapore don't disclose palm oil use

'Sexist' South African apartheid land law declared unconstitutional

Government will take over burnt Myanmar land says minister

Moscow just opened a new urban wilderness: Zaryadye Park is beautiful and nationalistic

Survivors of London’s tower block fire relying on food donations despite £20,000,000 being raised for them

A planned road to an isolated Philippine Town offers a lifeline and land rigths concerns

Activists occupy Berlin's famous Volksbühne theater, say they resist city's gentrification

Frack my land or lose the rights, Ohio woman tells driller

In Australia, indigenous land laws imperil country’s space plans


A major drone journalism investigation into the human impact of sand-mining 'pirates' in Lagos by Punch Nigeria

How land titling has improved the lives of Argentina’s urban poor, on VoxDev

The divide and conquer land rights policies that harm Canadian communities, in Policy options

Why Amazonian forest peoples are ‘counter-mapping’ their ancestral lands

Corporations like Google and Amazon reap the spoils of winner-take-all urbanism. Here’s how they can also bear greater responsibility, says Richard Florida in CityLab

The Anthropocene idea has been embraced by Earth scientists and English professors alike. But how useful is it?

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data, says the Economist

Fake Georgian architecture is everywhere in London - why do they love it so much? A new exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects explores


Are property rights are natural or human constructions? The answer could decide where taxation is moral or wrong, argues philosopher Philip Goff

Housing policy can’t be fixed until we treat houses as homes and not as stores of wealth, argues Stewart Smyth is the Co-Director of The Centre for Research into Accounting and Finance for LSE Blog

Throwing money at displaced communities is not enough, says Oxfam

Are powerlines beautiful? It depends how you draw them. See the illuminating blog

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