“They took off in airplane so they could organize the new optics of the big city. Typically on a big model, you push around with the optics until bingo you had something that looks like some wonderful composition. Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, is a great example. From the air it’s very interesting. It’s interesting for a bird or eagle. From the helicopter view, it has got wonderful districts with sharp and precise government buildings and residential buildings. However, nobody spent three minutes to think about what Brasilia would look like at the eye level. That was typical — planners were to look after the plan, the architects were to look after the buildings. With modernism, they were free of the context of the city. They placed it on open lands surrounded by grass. Nobody was responsible for looking after the people who were to move in these new structures…
You would think that the landscape architects were the ones. At least they were down at eye level and were moving around. But as far as I’m concerned, some landscape architects have done great jobs for people, but most of the work is not great, just silly benches. They’re more occupied with plans and form. There’s a general pursuit of form in the area of architecture and also in the profession of landscape architecture. So, what really happened was that the eye level stuff were handled by the traffic engineers. They are the ones who mostly shaped our environments in our cities…
…I sum up that in 50 years nobody has systematically looked after a good urban habitat for Homo sapiens.”
Jan Gehl on cities, Brasilia and the perils of designing in plan.
Interview with ASLA: http://www.asla.org/ContentDetail.aspx?id=31346
Convocatoria abierta de la primera Revista Científica La Ciudad Viva, bajo la temática: “DERECHO A LA VIVIENDA, DERECHO A LA CIUDAD: Vivienda y Parque público; Rehabilitación energética y Reactivación urbana.” Dicha Convocatoria finaliza el próximo 20 de Junio
Open call until 20th June
Downtown is for People by Jane Jacobs - This classic 1958 article about the follies of large-scale urban planning reads like it was written yesterday.
A Physicist Solves the City by Jonah Lehrer - “We spend all this time thinking about cities in terms of their local details, their restaurants and museums and weather. I had this hunch that there was something more, that every city was also shaped by a set of hidden laws.”
Designs For Working by Malcolm Gladwell - A manifesto for the perfect workspace that has as much to say about urban geography as it does about laying out an office.
Long Live the Industrial City by Tom Vanderbilt - Why manufacturing remains central to the creative life of the city, even in the age of international outsourcing.
The City Solution by Robert Kunzig - Why cities are the best cure for our planet’s growing pains.
American Murder Mystery by Hanna Rosin - Why is crime rising in so many American cities? The answer implicates one of the most celebrated antipoverty programs of recent decades.
The Social Life of Small Urban Places by William H. Whyte - Okay, Okay, it’s a film… but a really good one.
by Leigh Gallagher
August’s Global Theme is “Urbanism”
Last month, 55 CreativeMornings chapters came together for a global conversation around the topic of “Space.” This August, we’re excited to announce our next theme: “Urbanism.” The theme was chosen by our Stockholm organizer Richard Feigin and skilled Stockholm-based illustrator Marcus Gunnar Pettersson created our monthly illustration.
Speakers are delving into all aspects of urbanism and how we interact with our built environment: such as George and Sarah Aye of Greater Good Studio, who use design to solve social problems (Chicago), to Adam Gebrián, well-known “architect who never built anything” (Prague). From collecting a city’s stories to building collaborative ecosystems, talks from this month will make you think hard about the city you inhabit and the role you play.
To find an August event near you, check out creativemornings.com, or follow your local chapter on Twitter. As always, tickets are free and available starting the Monday before the talk.
We’ll see you there!
Living Activism at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space in NYC’s East Village http://bit.ly/1agEiMu
The Spontaneous City (book review)
Brickstarter the book contains 80 dense pages filled with the research presented here, refined and reformatted, as well as entirely new essays and illustrations. This book is a primer for people working on problems at the intersection of crowdfunding/sourcing, social media, urban planning and decision-making. So in other words, it’s about contemporary cities and how we might create new platforms to enable more effective debate about the future of our shared spaces.