Thomson Reuters Foundation expands coverage of cities

by Zeina Najjar
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 14:40 GMT

A view of the Turano slum in Rio de Janeiro March 11, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

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The Thomson Reuters Foundation will be expanding its property rights coverage with the addition of Citiscope, an online platform created to help cities work better for all people through the power of independent journalism.

Citiscope, previously hosted under its own domain, will become part of PLACE, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s website dedicated to reportage on land and property rights. PLACE explores the complex social, economic and political effects of inadequate rights to property and other resources which leaves people vulnerable to eviction and locked out of the formal economy, unable to build a better future for themselves or their communities.

With more than half the world’s population living in urban areas, no coverage of land and property rights would be complete without expert reporting on cities. The addition of Citiscope will allow us to deliver just that,” said Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “We are very grateful for the support we have received from Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, without which this would not have been possible.

My colleagues and I founded Citiscope with a vision — in an increasingly urban age, to inspire journalism focused on the power of cities to innovate, to find ingenious solutions to their challenges, tapping skills from city hall professionals to the business sector to neighborhood leadership,” said Neal Peirce, editor-in-chief of Citiscope. “Becoming part of PLACE presents an exciting opportunity to broaden and deepen the outreach of those vital
 city experiments across the globe.

A new Cities section on the website will expand PLACE’s coverage on cities and urban development. All stories will also be published on the Reuters news wires, reaching an estimated one billion people daily.

We are pleased to support the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s expanding coverage of property rights which are a cornerstone of economic empowerment,” said Peter Rabley, Venture Partner at Omidyar Network. “The new expanded Cities section on PLACE, powered by the acquisition of Citiscope historical content, stories and talented reporters, will help inform and empower urban dwellers, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and others to create the conditions for safe, secure and affordable living and working environments through better property rights.

As a foundation devoted to reducing inequality, we believe that it is essential to have substantive coverage of the complex issues facing cities around the globe, especially the urgent need for families to have decent and affordable homes in stable communities. Deep reporting on both challenges and innovative solutions will help build our understanding of how to achieve more inclusive cities,” said Xavier de Souza Briggs, Vice President of Economic Opportunity and Markets at the Ford Foundation.

This addition builds upon the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s editorial focus on under-reported news, which includes coverage of women’s rights, trafficking and slavery, the human impact of climate change, food security, humanitarian crises, and social enterprise.

An archive of Citiscope stories produced from 2013 to 2017 — features on urban innovations, commentaries from urban expertsexplainers on topical issues and coverage of the United Nations Habitat III conference, will continue to be available at

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