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Posts Tagged "sanitation"

Anthropology in Practice

A Right to Be Clean: Sanitation and the Rise of New York City’s Water Towers

These iconic structures are as much a part of New York City's skyline as any famed landmark. But they play a larger role in New York City's history.

During the morning rush hour in New York City, tourists stand out as being the ones looking up. It’s possible that they see more clearly what most New Yorkers take for granted: water towers. Those archaic looking wooden structures that grace the rooftops of almost every New York City building play an integral, though often [...]

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Food Matters

Two Podcasts About the Other Side of Eating

It’s a few days after Thanksgiving, but nevertheless, I’m thankful for sanitation. Here at Food Matters, we spend a lot of time talking about the things that go into our mouths, but throughout the world, the stuff that happens on the other end is almost as important. According to the UN, one in three people [...]

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Can the World Afford Cheap Water?


More people in India have access to cellphones than to basic sanitation. Meanwhile, more than 7,000 villages in the northwestern part of the country suffer drinking water shortages as the water table in this breadbasket region continues to drop. And the same story can be told all over the world, according to participants of a [...]

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Can the “Urban Advantage” Bring Better Global Health as City Populations Skyrocket?

urban health advantage cities population growth

City dwellers are thought to be, on average, healthier than their rural counterparts. This so-called urban health advantage is usually attributed to better access to health care and improved overall infrastructure, such as clean water, safety and education. But many of the globe’s cities are already bursting and actually offer a far worse quality of [...]

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How Valid Are Health Concerns for the Occupy Wall Street Camps?

Watching the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators march by the offices of Scientific American yesterday got me thinking about health conditions at Zuccotti Park. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said that “health and safety conditions became intolerable” at the encampment, so he was forced to evict demonstrators and remove their tents and sleeping bags.  Hmm. [...]

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Talking trash during the dog days: A brief history of sanitation in New York City

Without modern sanitation, life would be nightmarish—human and animal waste would fester on the streets along with garbage and food scraps, producing a stench so foul that you’d want to keep your windows closed even in the sweltering heat of summer (for the moment, envision lacking the luxury of air conditioning). The offensive odors and [...]

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Plugged In

Inspiration on World Toilet Day

Yep. You heard me: Nov. 19 is World Toilet Day. Brought to you by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the World Toilet Toilet Organization (and supported by Domestos, a Unilever cleaning brand), the day reminds those of us with nice warm bathrooms and healthy sanitation that it ain’t that way for all [...]

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