With a $35,000 grant from the Knight Prototype Fund, [MITs Elizabeth Christoforetti] and her team are working on a project called Placelet, which will track how pedestrians move through a particular space. They’re developing a network of sensors that will track the scale and speed of pedestrians [and vehicles] over long periods of time. The sensors, [currently being tested in downtown Boston], will also track the 'sensory experience' by recording the noise level and air quality of that space. — CityLab
More on Archinect:The Life of a New Architect: Elizabeth Christoforetti (Featured interview)MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bikeMIT's Newest Invention Fits All the Furniture You Need in One Closet-Sized BoxMIT develops self-assembling modular robots
It’s this inevitable dichotomy between data and real life that will likely define [Google's] Sidewalk Labs...There’s a naivety to their worldview that might help to get things done inside a company but could prove a hurdle to progress in the public realm. Yes, the region does need more housing, but the politics of how, where, and when that housing is built are far more nuanced than Google can apparently handle. — psmag.com
The cloud of speculation surrounding Google as of late only grows bigger with the tech giant's recent launch of its independent start-up, Sidewalk Labs. Charging further into Google's real-world endeavors, the "urban innovation company" vies "to improve city life for everyone through the...
In a study presented last weekend to the Gerontological Society of America, University of Kansas assistant professor Amber Watts examined 26 subjects with mild Alzheimer’s Disease and 30 healthy control subjects. She tracked health outcomes over two years, controlling for home price, income, gender, and education. [...]
"Our findings suggest that people with neighborhoods that require more mental complexity actually experience less decline in their mental functioning over time.” — usa.streetsblog.org
Ahead of a special Guardian Cities event, the renowned urban ‘rethinker’ says cities should be six or seven storeys high, Helsinki is on the verge of revolution, and that he’s sceptical of London’s cycle superhighway plans [...]
Practice partner Søholt puts forward one way of improving a city’s liveability: “Mix the city and assemble the people rather than dispersing them.” — theguardian.com
Cartoonist and journalist Eleri Mai Harris tells the story of Canberra's creation by architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin (who also happened to be married to one another, and worked with Frank Lloyd Wright).Read the piece in full, gorgeous watercolor on Medium: The Utopian...
Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University and an untiring defender of the suburbs, begins a recent column in the Washington Post with a valid question: “What is a city for?” He then proceeds to get that question completely wrong. But really, we should be thanking him. In his article, he neatly sums up many of the key myths emerging from the anti-urbanism set, making my job of debunking these myths a lot easier. — thisbigcity.net
Before the end of this year, the Federal Highway Administration will release its own guidance on designing protected bike lanes.
The agency’s positions on bicycling infrastructure has matured in recent years. Until recently, U.S. DOT’s policy was simple adherence to outdated and stodgy manuals like AASHTO’s Green Book and FHWA’s own Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) — neither of which included protected bike lanes. — usa.streetsblog.org
“The first thing is to find the identity of Seoul,” he says. “Seoul was created very differently from western cities, with special theories of feng shui and Confucianism, and we kept that for 600 years. We didn’t change anything – even under Japanese colonialism, that was kept. But since the 1960s, under American influence, it has changed very much.”
If Seung has his way, the days of skyscrapers springing up in central Seoul would come to an end. — ft.com
Architecture theorist Jacob Dreyer explains how the Stalinist model of urbanism – a centrally planned component within a national economic unity – is thriving in modern China — theguardian.com
“The cities we’re working on were neglected by Saddam Hussein, so they have little basic infrastructure,” says Elliot Hartley, 36, a director of Garsdale Design. But why can’t Iraqis redesign their own cities? “There has been a massive brain drain of professionals from Iraq over the years, and a lack of investment in local government planning departments, which means that the skills aren’t there – yet,” [...].
More improbably yet, only one member of the family firm [...] has set foot in Iraq. — theguardian.com
In the wake of economic reforms in the 1990s that helped set off the largest urban migration in history, China had the rare opportunity to embrace cutting-edge city-building approaches as it expanded its skyline. It could have avoided the mistakes that made Los Angeles into the land of gridlock, or bypassed the errors that turned the banlieues of Paris into what one American planner calls “festering urban sores”.
But China looked back instead of forward. — theguardian.com
current conventional wisdom embraces density, sky-high scrapers, vastly expanded mass transit and ever-smaller apartments. It reflects a desire to create an ideal locale for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers. [...]
Overlooked, or even disdained, is what most middle-class residents of the metropolis actually want: home ownership, rapid access to employment throughout the metropolitan area, good schools and “human scale” neighborhoods. — washingtonpost.com
I asked myself the question: so what struck me about the process of thinking across boundaries and reimagining planning in the issues that we have been discussing in our celebration of DPU [The Bartlett Development Planning Unit]’s 60th anniversary in this conference. At the risk of simplifying a complex and dynamic set of discussions, I want to make six points. — thisbigcity.net
Outline plans for the project were approved by the North Devon Council this week. The village will officially be known by the surprisingly prosaic name Southern Extension, and will include shops, a primary school, a sports pitch and woodlands. [...]
The project will include 75 affordable homes, and will be built over the next 10 to 15 years. Renderings show an extremely typical suburban town filled with identical houses and strolling pedestrians. — nextcity.org
Hirst is collaborating with the Architects Rundell Associates, who have yet to complete such a large scale project. Related news from the world's richest living artist:Artist Damien Hirst's eco-homes vision to regenerate town is unveiledDamien Hirst's London art space due to open next spring
The city needs places of solace, calm, order and beauty – even prettiness. But prettiness and concealment are anaesthetic. The urban mind needs its regular confrontations with tangle, too, a bracing shock that places the world in perspective and informs us, without either warmth or rancour, that our lives are enmeshed in a vital mechanism. The city is a machine for teaching people to be city-dwellers: one made up of crushing cogs and steel. — aeon.co
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