In the heart of Melbourne (Australia), there’s a vacant lot for creative people to use. It’s Testing Grounds by the duo These are THE PROJECTS we do together and everyone can contribute to fill the agenda of activities with ideas, projects and events.
Hosted by Scott Cain, Start-Up Director of the Future Cities Catapult, the session includes 5-minute ‘food for thought’ presentations from leading city experts:
Andrew Hudson-Smith, University College London - ‘Realtime Data, Augmented and Virtual Reality mixed with The Internet of Things: Towards the Smart Citizen and ultimately a Smart City’
Paula Hirst, Disruptive Urbanism - ‘Incentives for Collaboration’
Manu Fernandez, Human Scale City –‘Forget the Smart Cities of the Future: It is Happening Now’
Lean Doody, Arup – ‘ICT, Smart Cities & Citizen Behaviour ‘
Giganto is a hyper dimensional photography intervention project that uses the urban scene and the city’s architecture as a platform for photographic exhibition. Creating an odd dialog with the environment, they generated a reflection about the life in the city and its scary structures.
Melbourne was a different city in 1954 but still planners were thinking about the future of the metropolis.
This video shows how the Melburnians lived and worked nearly sixty years ago and planning faced many of the same challenges today.
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"Until now, it’s been difficult to measure how large this "civic tech" field is, and how fast it’s actually growing. Now the Knight Foundation has attempted to put together some early assessments. In a report released today, Sotsky and Mayur Patel identified and mapped 208 civic tech companies and organizations, in a sector that’s been annually growing by about 24 percent since 2008 in the launch of new start-ups.”
Read: The Rise of Civic Tech
As urban freeways age and deteriorate, cities increasingly consider removing them. In a 17-page brief on Re-Thinking the Urban Freeway, the Mayors Innovation Project reports that “the time is right” for cash-strapped American cities to consider permanent removal and conversion to boulevards and parks. Freeways often occupy valuable real estate without paying taxes and are costly to maintain. They lower property values and increase blight, the report says.
Although urban freeways were welcomed in the 1950s and 1960s as economic drivers, now they are under scrutiny for interrupting street patterns, making local businesses inaccessible, worsening pollution and demaging public health. Such diverse cities as Boston, Milwaukee, New York, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, and Seoul are among those to have demolished highways – and they have discovered that pollution diminished, local roads absorbed traffic, and real estate values soared.
Note the “before and after” photos of the San Francisco waterfront. On top, see how the hideous Embarcadero Freeway, built in 1959, long blocked bay views and devalued the downtown waterfront. In the bottom photograph, see how installation of the Embarcadero boulevard promoted pedestrian movement and commercial revitalization of the Ferry Building and adjacent areas, after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake prompted removal of the elevated freeway.
SAN FRANCISCO: The Ferry Building from Twin Peaks
Line of sight