What does the future hold for our cities?
Discover the latest breakthroughs in technology that are going to disrupt and inspire change for the cities of the future.
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GOLDEN GATE PARK: San Francisco’s spectacular park covers 1,017 acres (412 ha) — 20 percent larger than Central Park in New York. With 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate is one of the country’s most-visited city urban parks.
Named after the nearby Golden Gate strait, the park resulted from the work of field engineer William Hammond Hall, who prepared a survey and topographic map of the site in 1870 and became its commissioner in 1871. Hall and his assistant, John McLaren, who later became the park commissioner in 1887, developed the plan and plantings.
The first stage of the park’s development centered on planting trees in order to stabilize the sand dunes that covered three-quarters of the park’s area. Then, plantings of Eucalyptus globulus, Monterey pine, and Monterey cypress and other species covered the land. The park quickly became a major attractive for residents and visitors alike!
Our Approach – Life and Form
Hand Drawn Map of London. Amazing work by Jenni Sparks!
Metro Atlanta: poster child for carbon emissions
This marks at least the third time I’ve posted a variation of this Metro Atlanta vs Barcelona graphic. It’s getting annoying to see it so often in the media, but it looks like this is the new normal for Atlanta. We used to be the “poster child for sprawl,” which was a more general condemnation of our metro’s sprawling, car-centric development pattern.
But now writers are getting more specific and cutting us to the core with the details: sprawling Metro Atlanta is now the poster child for carbon emissions per capita (among other things such as suburban poverty and low transit mobility for seniors), due entirely to our inefficient, low-density built environment.
The Washington Post has a new story on our carbon problem, focusing on the tons of emissions from transportation:
As you can see in the graphic from the World Resources Institute…the literal footprint of a city and the carbon footprint of its transportation — are intimately linked.
The more spread-out an urban area, the more likely its residents are to run even the most routine errands by car, producing vehicle emissions. The more compact it is, the less distance residents need to travel every day, and the easier — and cheaper — it is to build public transit.
This is big news currently because of studies from the Global Carbon Project which show that, worldwide, emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped more than ever in 2013. And just this week, about 300,000 people convened to protest climate change and carbon emissions in New York City, where a UN summit on climate change is taking place.
The world is eager to point out and shame the worst offenders of carbon pollution — a situation that puts car-crazy Metro Atlanta , apparently, in the spotlight.
What happens when you spend billions to build a renewable-energy powered, entrepreneur-fueled city in the middle of the Arabian desert? As this video shows, you can build it, but no one comes.
(…) the idea of the smart city continues to be a highly ideological concept, hiding certain issues and problems from view, while assuming that IT can automatically make cities more economically prosperous and equal, more efficiently governed and less environmentally wasteful (…).HOLLANDS, Robert (2014) “Critical interventions into the corporate smart city”, en Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society Advance
Becoming a smarter city implies giving priority to investments in technology while technology-poor affordable housing or sewage systems are arguably more urgent in many of the world’s cities. Priority-making is of course not an apolitical matter, but the very core of municipal politics.SÖDERSTRÖM, Ola, Till PAASCHE & Francisco KLAUSER (2014) “Smart cities as corporate storytelling”, en City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 18:3, 307-320
(…) under the heading smart city discourse, urban issues run the risk of shifting more and more towards the field of post-politics: the smart city may increasingly become a generic and easily agreed target, without proper critical discussions and without ‘politics’, intended as the clash and debate between different ideas and positions.VANOLO, Alberto (2014) “Smartmentality: The Smart City as Disciplinary Strategy”, en Urban Studies 51(5) 2013:1-16)
Flaws of the Smart City is a critical kit to explore the dark faces of the so-called Smart Cities. As any hardware or software piece, the connected cities embed flaws. This kit aims to fix these weak spots or to exploit them to set chaos.