UN-Habitat launches Global Report on Human Settlements 2013: Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility
In The Wilson Quarterly, Tom Vanderbilt takes a look at the role the neighborhood plays in contemporary cities. From the traditional function-based quartiers of a medieval French city to the invented “SoPaNoMaHos” of today’s realtors, Vanderbilt breaks the question down into a larger…
The walking man in Blois is the worst. Odense’s is inspired, but If you make this kind of thing and you leave out the former-GDR’s Ampelmännchen, you’re doing it wrong.
(I’m reading “Traffic” by Tom Vanderbilt right now. It’s pretty cool.)
Submission - Unofficial Map: Sydney Trains Aerial Image
Submitted by thatlattesipper.
Sydney Trains routes (complete with new “T-line” branding) for the north and west of the city overlaid on a Google Earth image.
If nothing else, this map reminds us of how staggeringly huge Greater Sydney really is. It’s 20 kilometres in a straight line from the dot representing Central Station at the lower left to Hornsby (just off the right of the map), and over 30km from Central to Prospect Reservoir, the large body of water just glimpsed at the centre top of the map. And this view doesn’t even show the entire southern half of the city (it’s another 20km from Central south to Waterfall) or Western Sydney from Prospect out to Emu Plains.
Some perspective: Greater Sydney has a population of around 4.6 million and an area of 12,100 square km (a population density of just 380 people per square km). The five boroughs of New York City have a population of 8.3 million in just 786 square km (or approximately 10,600 people per square km!)
Before I die, the book, by Candy Chang
Locations of Banksy’s street art installations in New York City
It is definitely a must-read book if you do not easily buy into the most established narrative of smart cities and feel the need to go beyond to explore what they really mean.
(…) All these examples illustrate what the renders can not: a growing number of people working in real places, with real problems, to build real solutions, with the technologies we have in our hands. The transformative power of this opportunity is still in its infancy. The way we engage citizens in the development of smart cities starts by acknowledging what is already going on. There is too much focus on yet-to-come promises based on infrastructures and solutions, oriented to solve only government efficiency needs.
However, the rules have changed in the digital era: thanks to open technologies, people can make real things together. But to do so in our cities, community engagement and strong physical connections are still relevant and the mix of digital knowledge and activism is needed more than ever, as is evidenced in the aforementioned examples. The good thing is that this is already happening, just not in the way mainstream visions predict.Smart cities of the future? It is already happening, but not in the way we are being told
Metrocable, architect Urban-Think Tank. Image Â© Omar Uran It begins with a fundamental premise: Buildings occupy only a fraction of land in cities.