A text I was commissioned last year by Barcelona Province government has been made public. It was part of a broader project in which I helped a task force of municipalities interested in understanding the possibilities and threads of transitional activation projects in unused or abandoned spaces in cities. This has not been my main interest in the last few months, but it always appears as new public speaking events or short projects. In fact, soon I will be able to share a new project at the end of the year but, in the meantime, here is this publication.
Cities at Night was launched by some Spanish astrophysicists who started following an astronaut’s Twitter account. “For us his nighttime pictures were like fire for a firefighter—it’s pretty, but you must control it,” says Alejandro Sanchez from Complutense University of Madrid. “We want to make the nighttime images useful for citizens, journalists, and scientists. And make this beauty accessible—but also make people think about if all this waste of energy is really needed.”
Birloki system is an urban space activator, an interactive outdoor piece of furniture, a smart adaptive interface between the city and the citizen. We developed the first of a family of elements that are alive in the city. They do not remain static, they interact, they can be customizable, they can be removed and changed, they breath with the rhythm of the city.
CITIES OF THE GLOBAL SOUTH: India, China, Nigeria to lead the coming global urbanization surge
The coming decades will be marked by a dramatic rise in urbanization — with India, China and Nigeria leading the charge. That’s one of several predictions in the 2014 World Urbanization Prospects report, released July 10 by the United Nations. Those countries are poised for the largest urban growth between now and 2050. India could add 404 million urbanites, followed by China (292 million) and Nigeria (212 million).
The coming population boom will have profound consequences for cities, particularly developing ones. Rapid or unplanned growth coupled with inadequate planning can result in sprawl, pollution and environmental harm, the report warns.
Despite swift urbanization, Asia and Africa are home to 90 percent of the planet’s rural population, now at 3.4 billion. As cities expand, that number may slide to 3.1 billion by 2050. An estimated 54 percent of humanity lives in urban areas today. The figure could rise to 66 percent by 2050 as cities add 2.5 billion residents. Megacities, with populations of 10 million or more, may increase from 28 in 2014 to 41 by 2030.
As mentioned before, here are some brief notes on bottom line of the PhD project I am writing. It is a mix of ideas and feeling I am encountering throughout the process and not a formal review, indeed. Even though, I hope these paragraphs still make sense and gives you a clearer perception (or helps me make the project understandable at this stage). It´s been a silent work for months and now that I am beginning to see the light, I find myself more comfortable sharing how it is progressing, but not to a point I start sharing chapter drafts. In this sense, as these last weeks have meant a rush in the writing process, I find the text still too raw and I need to go into details to clear up the mess, but not enough mess not to share these schematic indications of how the text is moving forward.
- The myth of operative efficiency
- The myth of sustainability
- The myth of simplification
- The myth of data neutrality
- The myth of depolitization
- The myth of technological sufficiency
- The myth of the intrinsic desirability
- The myth of system integration
Here is a brief list of books and articles I have been dealing with to complete the first stage of the PhD project on the technological imaginary in the discursive regime of the smart city. I am more than happy that these last few weeks have meant a substantial progress and the core framework is ready to go for deeper details. I will share here the basic structure I am working with, as an improved version of the six concepts underlying the smart cty discourse that served as a first step some months ago. Now this conceptual dissection is getting more solid with a better structured analysis on the implictions of this imaginary. In the meantime, this is a selected compilation of some of the readings that have been more helpful so far.
Human data shows how we move in cities.
Human helps people move almost twice as much in six weeks. Every day, people track millions of activities with our app. We visualized 7.5 Million miles of activity in major cities all across the globe to get an insight into Human activity. Walking, running, cycling, and motorized transportation data tell us different stories.
Some notes about my PhD project.
Amazing! Visualizing what is the fastest mode of transport in different cities? by @youarehereMIT