Archive for the ‘cities’ Category

Urban Acupuncture

“City is not a problem, city is a solution” – Jaime Lerner

TED.com: “For many city governments seeking visible improvements in their congested streets, the pace of change is measured in months and years. For Jaime Lerner, it’s measured in hours. As mayor of Curitiba, he transformed a gridlocked commercial artery into a spacious pedestrian mall over a long weekend, before skeptical merchants had time to finish reading their Monday papers.

Since then he’s become a hero not only to his fellow Brazilians, but also to the growing ranks of municipal planners seeking greener, more sustainable cities. His dictum that “creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget” has inspired a number of his unique solutions to urban problems, including sheltered boarding tubes to improve speed of bus transit; a garbage-for-food program allowing Curitibans to exchange bags of trash for bags of groceries; and trimming parkland grasses with herds of sheep.

In addition to serving three terms as mayor of Curitiba, Lerner has twice been elected governor of Parana State in Brazil. His revolutionary career in urban planning and architecture has not only improved cities worldwide, but has also brought him international renown. Among his many awards are the United Nations Environmental Award (1990), the Child and Peace Award from UNICEF (1996), and the 2001 World Technology Award for Transportation.”

Watch here Lerner’s speech on TED.com (English)

Lerner’s homepage (Portuguese)

Article in the NY Times

Biography on Wikipedia

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Cityshrinker.

through wooster collective.

enjoi. marten

Wooster is ” A street in the Soho section of New York City” and collective is ” Of, relating to, characteristic of, or made by a number of people acting as a group: a collective decision.”

together this makes Wooster Collective: “The Wooster Collective was founded in 2001. This site is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world.”

and they show a lot of street art.

inspiration abound. marten

interesting documentary on one of those other arab emirates states – Ras al-Khaimah – that took a good look at her sisters, put a cross on the map and decided that’s where a new city would be built. By OMA, with some help of Snohetta.

the Sand Castle

through archinect, with the follow-up discussion right here.

enjoi. marten

okay, so in the UK apparently you are allowed to request a tape of public cctv systems (all written down in the Data Protection Act), if you can proof you are on there. you are even allowed to publish these images as long as you black everybody out except yourself. (help me here, what’s the band that made the video with everybody without a mouth, eyes etc. it’s not manic street preachers… but who is it then?!) a faceless future, basically, where everybody will be anonymous until you are a suspect. it is still innocent until proven guilty, but the line between random person and suspect is theoretically only a black circle away.

anyway, manu luksch discovered some poetry in this fact of instant anonymity and decided to turn it into a movie. in a faceless world, one day our protagonist wakes up with a face. startled with this fact, she goes out and tries to find out what this whole face thing is about.

cctv as a mean for producing art. who would have thought that? especially since, according to this article, there are certain neighbourhoods in london that do have a large number of cameras but little crime, making people propose to replace a lot of shitty cameras with a few that actually makes somebody recognizable instead of the stereotype suspect, an african-american male, 5 foot 10, grey sweater, baggy pants with a new york yankees cap that could also be a la dodgers one since they all look alike anyway nowadays.

trailer. i haven’t found a full version yet, but perhaps i can acquire one for xploretv.

enjoi. marten

for Marten: CCTV

The New York Times reporting on CCTV systems in London and New York
Where Little Is Left Outside the Camera’s Eye (July 8, 2007)
New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown (July 9, 2007)

(registration is compulsory, but free)

ciao edwin

Lecture about Open Source Architecture;

“I wish to develop a community that actively embraces innovative and sustainable design to improve living conditions for all.”

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/54

Thursday 4 October, Explore Lab

Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness.

Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.

But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.

The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today’s suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia ?

sorry the docu is in dutch and spanish…
In mei was er er een hele toffe documentaire op tegenlicht, ik vond het erg inspirerend…
grtjs, margreet

venezuela

In Carácas: De Informele Stad portretteert Rob Schröder een stad die in veel opzichten exemplarisch is voor de exploderende urbanisatie op continenten als Afrika en Zuid-Amerika. Met de jonge, activistische architecten Alfredo Brillembourg en Hubert Klumpner, trok Schröder dit voorjaar door de barrios van Carácas, de sloppenwijken waar Commandante Chávez zijn machtsbasis heeft.

de informele stad

archinect features an interesting interview with Nils Norman, a London-based (graphic) artist, who has now crossed the boundaries of his art and entered the realm of architecture and urbanism.

a few excerpts from the interview:

“I’ve tried to construct an interdisciplinary practice whereby I could do more fanciful Utopian proposals in a gallery or museum, but also push the working boundaries of these institutions with real projects.”

“I always wonder why architects see themselves in this old-school “genius creator” kind of role, much more than most of the artists I know do.”

“Why should all these public spaces be privatized? Was anyone asked if they wanted another ridiculous mall in their neighborhood?”

enjoi. marten