Parisians claim that in Paris, one is never more than 400 yards away from a Metro station. In Los Angeles, I am equally certain that one is always within 400 yards of a palm tree.
Scores of streets are lined with them; they are ubiquitous in domestic and public gardens; they rise from hilltops; they tower above cemeteries; they front museums, movie studios, hotels, hospitals, municipal buildings, modest apartments, and lavish villas; they are clustered around swimming pools; they dominate the skyline — they are everywhere, and have never been more popular. The city’s 200-year love affair with palms has never ceased, and rather than waning, the affair is waxing. From the first palms planted by Spanish padres to the city of Beverly Hills, which recently, in an act of cosmetic alteration, created a palm-lined, palm-bisected thoroughfare on upscale Rodeo Drive, the palm has been the tree of choice for Angelenos. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle
on Jul 28, 2014 -
Judgmental maps of cities/areas
including Los Angeles (featuring “botoxed cougars in luxury condos”), Northern Virginia (including “closeted Hispanic husbands”), Richmond, VA (where one finds the “scary Walmart”), Memphis (where there are “people proud, yet ashamed, to be from Memphis"), Chattanooga (see “rich white people & gnomes”), Nashville (one part is “gentrified to a great level of inconvenience”), Phoenix, San Antonio, and “Canada, prolly.”
posted by goofyfoot
on Mar 5, 2014 -
for planners, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, transportation engineers, and those who love them.
posted by parudox
on Feb 14, 2014 -
In 1999, officials in Vienna, Austria, asked residents of the city's ninth district how often and why they used public transportation. "Most of the men filled out the questionnaire in less than five minutes," says Ursula Bauer, one of the city administrators tasked with carrying out the survey. "But the women couldn't stop writing.
posted by cthuljew
on Sep 21, 2013 -
British market-research firm Ipsos Mori has released the results of "The largest ever global study of the best city to do business in, live in, and visit." Interactive data here
, more info here
posted by Navelgazer
on Sep 8, 2013 -
IS ☻ JAPAN COOL?!
The International Olympic Committee votes in 15 days
on whether Tokyo
will host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and major efforts are underway to cajole the committee. Promotional videos
have been released, royalty
, major sports figures
, and robotic cats
have been dragged out. A few nasty remarks
have been flung, which were subsequently dismissed
. Meanwhile, activists, petitioners
, protesters, and economic instability are potentially hurting the Olympic bids in Madrid
, and Tokyo
, Turkey has experienced a major doping scandal
, and radiation continues to leak
. And what would the Olympics be without a logo design failure
posted by markkraft
on Aug 26, 2013 -
More than just pictures of electric Brill, Flyer and Pullman buses, trolleybuses.net
has some great old street-level shots of many cities in North America.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe
on Mar 5, 2013 -
With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.
December 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Invisible Cities
-- the sublime metaphysical travelogue by author-journalist Italo Calvino
. In a series of pensive dialogues with jaded emperor Kublai Khan
, the explorer Marco Polo
describes a meandering litany of visionary and impossible places, dozens of surreal, fantastical cities
, each poetically reifying ideas vital to language, philosophy, and the human spirit. This gracefully written love letter to urban life has inspired countless tributes
, but it's just the most accessible of Calvino's fascinating literary catalogue. Look inside for a closer look at his most remarkable works, links to English translations of his magical prose, and collections of artistic interpretations from around the web -- including this treasure trove of essays, excerpts, articles, and recommended reading
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 30, 2012 -
American cities going dark.
Detroit is the poster child, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are already broken, but under a new plan half the city is going permanently dark in an effort to get citizens to move. “You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population,” said Chris Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer. “We’re not going to light distressed areas". Other U.S. cities have gone partially dark to save money, among them Colorado Springs; Santa Rosa, California; and Rockford, Illinois. Bonus: 360-degree photo tour of abandoned rail station in Detroit.
posted by stbalbach
on May 25, 2012 -
"...Charles Marohn and his colleagues at the Minnesota-based nonprofit Strong Towns have made a very compelling case that suburban sprawl is basically a Ponzi scheme, in which municipalities expand infrastructure hoping to attract new taxpayers that can pay off the mounting costs associated with the last infrastructure expansion, over and over." Building resilient cities and towns with fiscal conservatism
. [more inside]
posted by invitapriore
on May 8, 2012 -
In 2008 the late Robert Fitch
, author of "The Assassination of New York
", was asked to foretell an Obama presidency
before the Harlem Tenants Association:
If we examine more carefully the interests that Obama represents; if we look at
his core financial supporters; as well as his inmost circle of advisors, we’ll see that they represent the primary activists in the demolition movement and the primary real estate beneficiaries of this transformation of public housing projects into condos and townhouses: the profitable creep of the Central Business District and elite residential neighborhoods southward; and the shifting of the pile of human misery about three miles further into the South Side and the south suburbs... Obama’s political base comes primarily from Chicago FIRE—the finance, insurance and real estate industry. And the wealthiest families—the Pritzkers, the Crowns and the Levins.
posted by ennui.bz
on May 8, 2012 -
In The Geographic Flow of Music
), researchers Conrad Lee and Pádraig Cunningham propose a method to use data from the last.fm API
to track the world's listening habits by location and time, showing where shifts in musical tastes have originated and subsequently migrated. Results show music trends originating in smaller cities and flowing outward in unexpected ways, contradicting some assumptions in social science about larger cities being more efficient engines of (cultural) invention.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Apr 26, 2012 -
"No one likes a stereotype, unless it’s about someone else — then it’s hilarious. Los Angeles? Celebrity-obsessed lipo-junkies. Portland? Hipster snobs. Boston? Sports fanatics who think that a win for the Sox somehow makes them winners, too. There’s nothing really wrong with these stereotypes — in fact, they give each city a unique cultural identity. How true they are is another matter." [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Apr 8, 2012 -