Of all the roles of government, emergency response may be the least controversial. When disaster hits, we expect our fire, police, and other public services to provide immediate relief. But as James McConnell, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Data at the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), reminds us, tactical effectiveness in a crisis requires more than boots on the ground, ready at a moment’s notice. — urbanomnibus.net
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday proposed the most ambitious seismic safety regulations in California history that would require owners to retrofit thousands of building most at risk of collapse during a major earthquake.
Garcetti’s recommendations target two of the riskiest types of buildings in Los Angeles built before 1980: concrete buildings and wooden structures built atop weak first floors, such as those on top of carports and garages and supported by slender columns. — LA Times
Beth Mosenthal penned an Op-Ed: Response to Michael Kimmelman's Critique of 1 WTC. She writes "I can only imagine the list of priorities that 1 World Trade entailed, but am still celebratory of the feat that it was realized despite perhaps the greatest obstacles any project could possibly...
Many of us who have ridden inside an elevator since its invention 160 years ago are accustomed to hearing its ominous hums and creaks, as well as stories of malfunctioning elevators that cause people to be stuck inside for hours. So, the idea of hopping into a cable-free elevator in a mid to...
Tate Worlds are exciting Minecraft ‘maps’ that present virtual environments inspired by artworks from Tate’s collection. The maps allow players of Minecraft to explore a range of paintings and sculpture, undertaking various activities and challenges that relate to the themes of the artworks, or exploring how they were made. Tate has teamed up with some of Minecraft’s best known mapmakers to create these virtual artworks, offering a unique combination of art, history and adventure. — Tate.org
The first two maps were released by the museum on November 24th and were based on two famous paintings of urban settings: Andre Derain’s 1906 painting of London, The Pool of London, and Christopher Nevinson’s 1920 painting of New York, Soul of the Soulless City.André Derain, the...
The video shows 15 different variations of one computational growth process. Based on this process we created a series of 3D printed wearables in cooperation with Prof. Neri Oxman from the MIT Media Lab.
When Shanghai Tower opens as China’s tallest building next year, the 2,073-foot (632 m) tower will feature elevators capable of traveling 40.3 miles (64.8 km) per hour, or 59 feet (18 m) per second, a new milestone. [...]
The question facing the industry today: how fast can elevators go without sacrificing comfort? [...]
At 66 feet (20 m) per second, even the slightest vibration will create a shock for passengers. — urbanland.uli.org
The European Space Agency recently released a group of photos taken by astronaut Alexander Gerst showing the International Space Station at night. The only real contextual information provided is that "the six astronauts on the weightless research centre live by GMT, and generally sleep at the same time."
Gerst—so close to Geist!—thus took advantage of the downtime to produce some images that make the ISS look uninhabited, a dead mansion rolling through space. — BLDGBLOG
The rhetoric of smart cities would be more persuasive if the environment that the technology companies create was actually a compelling one that offered models for what the city can be. But if you look at Silicon Valley you see that the greatest innovators in the digital field have created a bland suburban environment that is becoming increasingly exclusive — European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda for Europe
Back in September Rem Koolhaas gave a talk at the High Level Group meeting on Smart Cities, Brussels, 24 September 2014. During the talk he asked what really makes a city "smart", and argued that it's critical for smart cities and governments to converge again. h/t @Bruce Sterling
Proving that some market somewhere will find a value for anything, a company called Orbital Insight is now tracking "the shadows cast by half-finished Chinese buildings" as a possible indicator for where the country's economy might be headed. — bldgblog.blogspot.com
City Hall. It's traditionally the place where technology gets stuffed into a drawer and forgotten. But as budgets recover from the Great Recession and smartphone-toting citizens prod municipal officials, cities are now more Boston Dynamics than Boss Tweed. Soon the pols will be promising sensor-driven pots that cook the chicken for you, just the way you like it. — wired.com
Enter Cities Unlocked, a project intended to help people with sight loss navigate cities. The brainchild of a blind Microsoft employee, it uses GPS, a 3D audio headset, and Bluetooth beacons, among other technologies. [...]
“I’m a blind person, I need to keep my ears open,” she says. The headset uses bone-conducting technology, in which vibrations create a “3D soundscape” around the user. — nextcity.org
In fact, as many as 600 million birds die in window collisions in the U.S. and Canada every year, scientists estimate. [...]
A growing awareness of the threats to bird populations has prompted new laws and voluntary guidelines in cities from Toronto to San Francisco. Along with "green" building programs, these new rules are spurring demand for bird-friendly glass among architects, glass manufacturers, and their clients. — news.nationalgeographic.com
The architect today is no ‘fountainhead.’ It is rather sad to watch today’s ‘starchitects’, designing their weird-looking signature buildings. These seem now always to be either museums or condos for billionaires. The brand-name architect just build useless luxury housing for the 1% and their trinkets. The actual design of the world is now in the hands of other people. — Public Seminar Commons
McKenzie Wark pens a rather a wake up call of a book review on Easterling's new book Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space in which Easterling offers a set of subsidiary metaphors for contemporary infrastructure design: multipliers, switches, and topologies."The multipliers...
To capture more energy from the sun, one company is putting solar panels where they've never gone before: in the street.
This week, the Dutch company SolaRoad officially opened the world's first solar roadway in a suburb outside of Amsterdam. The 230-foot (70 meters) stretch of energy-absorbing concrete and glass will be used as a bicycle path for commuters, according to the company. — Live Science
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