As part of our quest to find out what makes cities smart, we throw a spotlight on infrastructure: How can information technology and urban planning help to make us more flexible and mobile? At the same time, mobility is just one aspect of a wide spectrum of complex networks that govern life in an urban context. In view of limited resources and changing climate, another factor seems even more pressing: energy consumption and conservation. — betterymagazine.com
To its critics—and even many of its fans—“culture” and “Dubai” barely belong in the same sentence. The city is perhaps the world’s most extreme example of a business-first, built-from-the-sand boomtown. But Shoufani and her fellow Poeticians have become a prime exhibit in a debate that has broken out with renewed vigor in the Arab world and among urban theorists worldwide... — bostonglobe.com
Indeed, one of the main criticisms of such design is that it aims to exclude already marginalised populations such as youths or the homeless...Preventing rough sleeping is a recurring theme. — BBC Future
Frank Swain discovers the "unpleasant designs", of modern cities. He talks with Selena Savic, a PhD student at the Ecole Polytechnique Federerale de Lausanne in Switzerland, who co-authored a book on the subject this year. h/t Bruce Sterling
The Freedom Ship would be home to 50,000 people and have its own airport, casinos and shopping centers. The Florida-based company behind the city of the sea says it is hopeful it can raise the $1 billion needed to begin construction on the massive vessel. — nydailynews.com
For other cities, order comes easily. Washington, D.C. was built all at once on the Potomac River to the specifications of the 1791 L’Enfant Plan; a half-century later, Paris was gutted and remade, top to bottom, per Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s instructions. Things in Toronto have always been a little less tidy—instead, we’ve got “messy urbanism,” as American urban planner James Rojas has called in. — thegridto.com
Despite concerns about the sustainability of the glass-walled condo and the monotony they have brought to the Toronto skyline, these are not issues that concern city planners. That’s someone else’s department.
For planners, the main thing is to ensure that everything fits in — in other words, that nothing stands out. As long as a building isn’t too tall, too dense, or too good, the department is happy to give its approval. — thestar.com
In his 12-year tenure, Bloomberg built a gleaming Oz of new parks and plazas, skyscrapers and bike lanes. This didn’t stop plenty of terrible buildings from going up. But a focus on streets and architecture redrew whole swaths of the city: Brownstone Brooklyn boomed, the High Line opened, industrial wastelands became waterfront playgrounds. Urban living became a cause, a public good. Design, down to the curbside and the public bench, was no longer an afterthought... — nytimes.com
From the sparsely dotted Chinese walking man to the top-hat-wearing, cane-bearing Dane, almost a hundred “walking men” are displayed life-size on banners that line the sidewalk.
“It’s important to me that they are on human scale because they really represent us,” said Ms. Barkai.
Only rarely are the icons depicted as women, she noted. Of the hundreds of images in her collection, Ms. Barkai has only “about six or seven women, mostly from European countries.” — blogs.wsj.com
When companies go bankrupt, the medicine can be harsh for staff members and the local tax base, yet the effects are temporary. A bankrupt city can’t fire citizens who pay taxes but already receive worse than subsistence services like one-hour police response times.
Large cities don’t disappear or die, they just waste into chronic basket cases, like Camden, New Jersey; Gary, Indiana; and East St. Louis, Illinois. — bloomberg.com
"Thanks to Data Driven Detroit, there is now an interactive map of the city's demo activity, covering both planned demolitions and those that have taken place since 2010." — Curbed: Detroit
The schadenfreude of Detroit is now interactive! Come one and all to experience the most fascinating cartographic advancement since the invention of Google street view. It is not altogether the best month for Detroit with the recent claim of bankruptcy now making its way through the courts...
Bruce Katz, vice president of the Brookings Institution, says that many American cities show promising signs of renewal. He's written a book with Brookings Fellow Jennifer Bradley called The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy. The book argues that metro areas — or, cities and suburbs together — are powerful economic engines with considerable political influence... — npr.org
“Urban Innovation” are two words I hear in tandem a lot these days, along with “civic hackathon” and “crowdsourced urbanism.” Contrary to what you might think, these buzzwords have not been coined by urbanists attempting to appear more innovative. They’ve been coined by tech innovators attempting to be more urbanist. — nextcity.org
“Ultimately people can’t get around conveniently because they are far away from everything.” And it is this observation that for me epitomizes the problem of the driverless car — it’s the worst kind of solutionism. By becoming so enamored with how technology might transform the car, we’ve neglected to adequately explore how getting rid of cars might transform how and where we live. We’d do well to heed Gorz’s exhortation to “never make transportation an issue by itself.” — opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com
It's a given that America continues to be a car-obsessed society despite the more painstaking reality of driving a car in many major cities of today. In The New York Times, editor Allison Arieff of SPUR points out that the U.S. is still fixated on selling, using and enhancing the car when...
In a letter accompanying Thursday's filing, Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder...said...residents needed a clear exit from the "cycle of ever decreasing services".
"The only way to do those things is to radically restructure the city" — BBC News
Pan and several colleagues argue that the underlying force that drives super-linear productivity in cities is the density with which we're able to form social ties. The larger your city, in other words, the more people you’re likely to come into contact with.
"If you think about productivity, it’s all about ideas, information flows, how easily you can access ideas and opportunities," Pan says. "We believe that the interaction mechanism is what drives the productivity of the city." — theatlanticcities.com
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