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
Smart city infrastructure can augment the ability of managers, planners, designers and engineers to define and implement a fundamentally better next generation of buildings, cities, regions — right? Maybe. For that to be a serious proposition, it’s going to have to be normal for planners and designers not only to collaborate productively with engineers, but to do so with the full and competent participation of the only people they mistrust more than each other ... customers. — Places Journal
"A city is not a BMW," writes Carl Skelton. "You can't drive it without knowing how it works." In a weighty think-piece on Places, he argues that the public needs new tools of citizenship to thrive in a "new soft world" increasingly shaped by smart meters, surveillance cameras, urban informatics...
We’re already building the metropolis of the future—green, wired, even helpful. Now critics are starting to ask whether we’ll really want to live there. — bostonglobe.com
Unconscious perception represents the automated processes the body goes through to take in the surrounding environment and its metaphysical status. While our five senses help us perceive the physical world, unconscious perception connects us to the realm of intuition.
To shed light on how we are influenced by this dimension of our minds, artist Dan Graham spoke about his practice, which challenges our perceptions of space through performance, installations, video, sculpture, and writing. — bmwguggenheimlab.org
Are cities becoming "greater" these days?
(Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, May 2013) — monu-magazine.com
Are cities becoming "greater" these days? When two years ago, in our 14th issue of MONU Magazine entitled "Editing Urbanism", we claimed that in the Western world, the need for new buildings and city districts was decreasing or even ceasing to exist altogether due to demographic changes and...
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