Friday, September 6, 2013

Poor Placemaking in 5 Easy Steps

…cautionary tales #citymooc, planners, wannabe placemakers &altria…late night speedblogging made easy via inbox & newsletters…never mind, still good reads
Top stories from Sustainable #Cities Collective on September 6, 2013
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By Jim Russell - The latest exodus from the Emerald Isle has reached hyperbolic speed. Ireland's rate of emigration is continuing to increase and at one stage one person was leaving the country to live abroad every six minutes - the highest number since modern records began in the late 1980s.  » Continue...
By This Big City - Osaka is flat, well-signposted, and chock full of destinations to whizz around at high-speed. It's also relatively cycle-friendly, something that will come as a bit of a culture shock to British and American tourists used to navigating roads stuffed with particularly homicidal drivers.  » Continue...
By The Dirt ASLA - With the success of High Line Park in New York, every city is looking at their old railroad tracks as untapped assets instead of eyesores ready for the scrap heap. Queens seeks to turn a stretch of abandoned Long Island track into a foundation for a new park called the QueensWay.  » Continue...
By Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman - Walking the streets of any city one can find a myriad of terrible places simply because of the design itself. And make no mistake, they are designed, they're just designed poorly. When discussing urban design, thankfully, the tone increasingly is that of good design.  » Continue...
By Hassan Arif - The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech and the march on Washington for social justice sheds light on Dr. King's mission, on the progress that has been made since his 1963 speech and on the long way still to go.  » Continue...
By Global Site Plans - The Grid - After months of community outreach, a public design forum and study of area traffic, a pilot project in downtown Oakland implements an alternative use of public space that could have a permanent effect on local businesses, downtown circulation and neighborhood vibrancy.  » Continue...

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 Poor Placemaking in Five Easy Steps

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Other worlds are possible

…according to science fiction authors roundtable. Interviewer Leigh Phillips joins authors Gwyneth Jones, Marge Piercy, Ken MacLeod and Kim Stanley Robinson to discuss the role of science fiction in extending the radical horizons of our imaginations

Other worlds are possible: science fiction authors roundtable | Red Pepper

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Travel…learning through motion, intention & serendipity

…Sean Michael is a favorite blogger, mooc-met and sharing an interest in citylit, representations of city spaces ~ real, imagined, visual, written ~ whom I do not visit often enough.
Today’s post is about travel, motion, and all that, and how learning and understanding emerge from both experience and structured thought. There are some quotes scattered throughout that relate to travel from writers who have articulated their thoughts on travel well. 

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life. – Jack Kerouac
Before launching into this, I wanted to briefly say that travel is different for everyone, yet it holds such a grip on our collective imagination. It is everyone’s ‘dream’ even when it really isn’t. I know people that find travel to be more fatiguing than enriching, more hassle than its worth. As a society, we should be alright with this. It needn’t be everyone’s dream, but knowing the journey from the destination (and the importance of the former over the latter) should be an organizing philosophy for all. 
Travel and emergence: learning through motion, intention, and serendipity | Michael Sean Gallagher

Peep at These Fantastic Vintage #City Panoramas

…including #ABQ in 1915perfect for a #City MOOC project on American cities, urban history, visual representations or historical images of the city…just plain fun to look at too. The G+ community does not seem to be doing much planning, just throwing down links, playing the dozens with URLs. 

Haines Photo Co., 1915, "Panorama of Albuquerque, N. Mex.,"
courtesy Library of Congress (PAN US GEOG - New Mexico no. 2).
Britain's Daily Mail introduces us to a fantastic digital archive of vintage city panoramas housed at the Library of Congress. About a quarter of the roughly four thousand images in the collection are devoted to cityscapes — incredibly wide sweeps of downtown areas trapped in time circa one hundred years ago. Good luck getting anything done this next hour
Peep at These Fantastic Vintage City Panoramas - Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sustainable #Cities Collective Weekly…#CityMOOC reading

…too pedestrian for flânerie fodder. Plus, place along the way is a blog looking for a place in the network. Space, places, kinds of space and place making might suit…and of course the City MOOC

Sustainable Cities Collective newsletter
Top stories from Sustainable Cities Collective on June 21, 2013
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Monday, June 3, 2013

Heterotopia in Istanbul

…#cityspace, something for the #citymooc, a supplement & companion piece or exemplum to Foucault's essay, Of Other Spaces (1967), one of many…spaces in Borges, Eco, Calvino. It illustrates Foucault's "oppositions that we regard as simple givens: for example between private space and public space, between family space and social space, between cultural space and useful space…"

image-1The protests and occupations in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey began with but have now expanded far beyond the initial gathering in Taksim Gezi Park.
A Turkish colleague has been closely following these events and offers some useful links and insights:
In the second article, there are also useful links to find out about the kinds of demolishings, displacements, and dispossessions caused by the top-down urban transformation projects forcefully implemented since the mid-2000s. 
Heterotopia in Istanbul | occasional links & commentary

Friday, May 3, 2013

a secret New York subway station

CIty Hall, the secret New York subway station

…We don’t know how, but somehow, somewhere in New York’s subway system, a secret City Hall subway station lurks. With its tall ceilings and brass fixtures, it looks positively majestic and grand. The station has been closed to the public since 1945 as it was deemed too unsafe for use, but apparently, commuters in the know can see the station without getting off on the 6 Train.

NY Subway (6) NY Subway (8) NY Subway (7) NY Subway (5)

The post City Hall, the secret New York subway station appeared first on Lost At E Minor: For creative people.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spain’s “Move Your Money!” Campaign Advocates for Ethical Banking

The "Move your money!" logo. Taken from its <a href="">homepage</a>.…from the splendid Global Voices. Open a window on the world and cultivate a global perspective by following it if you are not already. 

PS great other language reading practice too when you
Various organizations have joined together to launch the “Move your money!“ [es] initiative in Spain, aiming to convince citizens to transition from traditional banks, which are in large part responsible for the current economic crisis, to emerging financial institutions commonly called “ethical banks.”
Read the rest of Spain’s “Move Your Money!” Campaign Advocates for Ethical Banking ~ Global Voices

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Edinburgh literature festival that could change history

Heart of Midlothian
Heart of Midlothian, title of a Sir Walter Scott historical
novel and  symbol for Edinburgh football team, Hearts
…books are places along the way too…either place in books OR places and books are doubly so…

The first festival of historical fiction could mean that the 'problematic' historical novel will soon be a thing of the past. The genre-defying historical novel can come in the form of a crime novel, a romance, a political thriller, a biography or a literary novel.

This weekend, the Summerhall arts venue in Edinburgh is hosting the first ever literary festival devoted to historical fiction. It's the brainchild of Iain Gale, the art critic and author of several works of military historical fiction in the vein of Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O'Brien, and Allan Massie....

The "historical novel" isn't really a genre – since every genre can be made historical. Steampunk is really just historical SF; and Adam Roberts has written superb works, such as Yellow Blue Tibia, featuring science fiction tropes in a historical setting. And steampunk begat flintlock fantasy: I'm rather fond of Naomi Novik's Temeraire series (Napoleonic sagas with dragons). Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series gives us historical horror. I have so far been unable, much to my chagrin, to obtain a copy of Peter H Cannon's 1994 intersection of PG Wodehouse and HP Lovecraft, Scream for Jeeves.

Even within literary fiction, the idea of the "historical novel" is problematic.
The Edinburgh literature festival that could change history | Stuart Kelly | Books | The Guardian

Thursday, March 21, 2013

latin america's economic spotlight

reposted from Book Forum's blog, Omivore, best & truly eclectic collections of briefly annotated links on the tubz…politics, religion, science, education, culture, literature, arts & more...for the omnivorous reader

Nancy Birdsall (CGD): A Note on the Middle Class in Latin America. Nora Lustig (Tulane), Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva (Colegio de Mexico), and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez (UNDP): Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Esteban Perez Caldentey, Daniel A. Titelman, and Pablo Carvallo (ECLAC): Weak Expansions: A Distinctive Feature of the Business Cycle in Latin America and the Caribbean. The magic number: South America's experience suggests a tantalizing possibility — that reaching $8,500 in income is the secret to sustainable growth. Think there's no alternative? Latin America has a few. Why is Mexico concerned about Latin America's economic spotlight shifting to Brazil? Colombian elites are celebrating economic and security gains, but not everyone is benefiting — just ask the Afro-Colombian minority.

latin america's economic spotlight - / omnivore

Friday, February 15, 2013

How Manhattan Got Its Street Grid

Measure of Manhattan, John Randel, Jr
Cartographer, Surveyor, Inventor
To accommodate a fast-growing New York City, John Randel, Jr., began to lay out the city’s streets in 1808—an impressive endeavor that holds lessons for today’s information infrastructure.

A few years ago, researchers began looking for the earliest evidence of Manhattan’s iconic grid plan, which places streets and avenues along mostly horizontal and vertical directions (in contrast to the spoke-and-wheel layouts of cities such as London or Paris). In particular, they were hunting long-lost surveying marks left by a complicated young man named John Randel, Jr., whose maps helped establish the shape of New York City. The following excerpt (link below) is adapted from the book, The Measure of Manhattan: The Tumultuous Career and Surprising Legacy of John Randel, Jr., Cartographer, Surveyor, Inventor, by Marguerite Holloway (W. W. Norton, 2013). Copyright © Marguerite Holloway.

How Manhattan Got Its Street Grid [Excerpt]: Scientific American

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Prefab House Based On A Client’s Fond Memories Of Past Homes

“We tried to incorporate and promote the clients memories, desires, experiences, and fictions in the design process,” explain the architects at Spanish studio elii.

My earliest memories--and yours, I’d wager--are of spaces: kitchen windows, dining-room tables, and snowy backyards. Place and memory are closely tied in our densely packed brains, hence all of the recent fraternizing between neuroscientists and architects.

So space affects memory. But could memory also affect space? That was the question for elii, a Spanish architecture office that accepted an unusual commission for a home several years ago. Their client requested that the architects design her new home--on the outskirts of Madrid--based on happy memories.

Did A Prefab House Based On A Client’s Fond Memories Of Past Homes intrigue you? Now Read Full Story

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Psychoanalysis of Ruins

Dylan Trigg in 3:AM Magazine: Freudianism is an explicit and thematized archaeology - Ricoeur, Freud and Philosophy

Time Out of Joint
How does a ruin — be it the remains of an industrial factory or the relic of an ancient civilization — fit into the landscape of a city? Beyond its warped mass of broken materiality, a ruin is also a disordering of time. It maligns time, dissolving boundaries between past and present. The question is not where the ruin is located, but when? Not in the present, but neither in the past. Time out of joint, to invoke the spectre of Hamlet. 
More than this, the ruin undercuts our attachment to places.

3quarksdaily: The Psychoanalysis of Ruins 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Small Towns On The Big Screen

…re-curating the already well curated…from The Daily Dish by Andrew Sullivan @ The Daily Beast. I've always liked both the descriptive tag line, "biased and balanced," and the Orwell quote on the masthead, "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." Indeed it does. 

What are your candidates for best small towns on the big screen? The Milagro Beanfield War ~ for a regional spin? Others? 

Good depictions of small-town life are underrepresented in the arts, according to Terry Teachout:
"Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is usually Judas who writes the biography," said Oscar Wilde. I've noticed something similar when it comes to fictional treatments of small-town life in America, most of which are the work of bright, embittered émigrés who couldn't wait to grow up, move to the big city, and write novels, most of them
bad, about how much they hated their childhoods. ... 
For the most part, you have to look to films, not novels, to get a clear sense of small-town life, and it's surprising--or maybe not--how few of the ostensibly serious ones hit the mark at all squarely. By far the most convincing cinematic portrayal of a small town that I know is Kenneth Lonergan's You Can Count on Me, a modest little masterpiece that gets absolutely everything right. Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show comes close, but it's too harsh to be entirely persuasive, at least to me.
Small Towns On The Big Screen

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Laconic History of the World

…all the places along the way…concisely if somewhat short on particulars…

Laconic History of The World

"Martin Elmer's "Laconic History of the World" is a typographic map of the world that reduces each country to a single word. It was produced, Martin says, "by running all the various countries' 'History of _____' Wikipedia article through a word cloud, then writing out the most common word to fit into the country's boundary. The result is thousands of years of human history oversimplified into 100-some words." Martin has also created a graphic reader's companion that explains the results."
Laconic History of the World and comments above via Jonathon Crowe, who blogs/ has blogged non-fiction articles, maps, garter snakes, neat photos and other projects.