209 posts tagged with cities.
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Welcome to San Francisco. Now what the hell are you doing here?

San Francisco can become a world capital. First it needs to get over itself.
posted by MattMangels on Dec 5, 2012 - 227 comments

Helmets make a basically safe activity seem really dangerous

Back in New York I strapped on my helmet for a weekend bike ride in Central Park. But I’m not sure I’ll do the same two years from now if I’m commuting to work on a mature Citi Bike system. (SLNYT)
posted by Obscure Reference on Sep 30, 2012 - 229 comments

Unlivable cities

China's megalopolises are "awful places to live" claims an article in Foreign Policy by Isaac Stone Fish. [more inside]
posted by airing nerdy laundry on Aug 30, 2012 - 70 comments

"Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men."

It's Not Just NYC: Across America, Only Black and Brown People Get Arrested for Pot - "New York City (previously), the pot-bust capital of the Western world, is notorious for the racial skewing (previously) of its marijuana arrests. Over the last 15 years, more than 85 percent of the half-million-plus people charged with misdemeanor possession there have been black or Latino. But the racial ratios of reefer roundups are equally extreme—if not worse—in scores of other U.S. cities." Same (trailer) as it (PDF) ever was? (video)
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 24, 2012 - 60 comments

Resurget cineribus

Historic Detroit - some urban architectural history in a nice online format. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jul 11, 2012 - 6 comments

I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Flee Her: On Leaving New York

Cord Jefferson on loving and then leaving New York City.
posted by reenum on Jul 8, 2012 - 107 comments

The Merchants of Nairobi

Trading Places - photographer Steve Bloom's latest book focuses on the business people, shops, and signs of Nairobi. Take a panoramic walk down Kitengela Road in what is arguably the largest panoramic stitched together from hundreds of photos. In another clip, Bloom talks about his experiences taking the photos. (Via About:Blank)
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 27, 2012 - 3 comments

American lights go out

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 - 115 comments

Building resilient cities and towns with fiscal conservatism

"...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 - 46 comments

Obama's Friendly FIRE

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 - 41 comments

The Geographic Flow of Music

In The Geographic Flow of Music (arxiv), 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 - 13 comments

America's Pedestrian Problem

Tom Vanderbilt on walking in America, in four parts: The Crisis in American Walking, Sidewalk Science, What's Your Walk Score?, and Learning to Walk. (Previously on jaywalking and on cities for people.)
posted by parudox on Apr 13, 2012 - 92 comments

Breaking: Portland’s not that cool, L.A. not that superficial.

Stereotypes? Fuhgeddaboutit!
"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 - 85 comments

Tomorrowland

Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan, is brash and grandiose—and wildly attractive to young strivers seeking success. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 14, 2012 - 23 comments

Are Cities a Political Liability?

Obama to Cities: Drop Dead—the Life and Death of a Great American Urban Policy
posted by beisny on Feb 15, 2012 - 69 comments

On a roll . . .

How the Dutch got their cycle paths (Youtube). How Paris decided to become a bicycle friendly city. How Copenhagen became a cycling city (PDF). How San Francisco became a cycling city. How London tried (and failed) to become a cycling city. How Sevilla, Spain is becoming a world-class bicycling city (more: Seville's lesson and Seville's remarkable transformation). How Ciclovia came to Bogotá (Streetfilms). How Portland plans to become the first world-class bike city in America; how expanding Portland's inexpensive bicycle network led to an exponentially expanding amount of bicycling (Streetfilms). How Janette Sadik-Khan is transforming New York City streets (Streetfilms). [more inside]
posted by flug on Jan 5, 2012 - 33 comments

Detecting alien life by looking for cities at night

Detecting alien life by looking for cities at night (a world tour). [via]
posted by stbalbach on Nov 7, 2011 - 24 comments

A city of justice, a city of love, a city of peace

The Architecture of the Comic Book City
posted by Artw on Oct 14, 2011 - 28 comments

The Atlantic Cities

The Atlantic Cities is a new site launched today by the Atlantic. It's about cities.
posted by parudox on Sep 15, 2011 - 23 comments

The Mathematical Theory of Cities.

"Every week for the forseeable future, . . ., more than a million people are being added to our cities." Geoffrey West applies the paradigms of physics to cities, businesses, biological and social sciences. Extra. Previously.
posted by Obscure Reference on Jul 31, 2011 - 20 comments

Empire of Evolution

Evolution Right Under Our Noses. "A small but growing number of field biologists study urban evolution — the biological changes that cities bring to the wildlife that inhabits them." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 26, 2011 - 42 comments

Cities for People

Danish architect Jan Gehl on making cities safe for people, the art and science of designing good cities for walking, and how to plan good cities for bicycling.
posted by parudox on Jun 27, 2011 - 39 comments

Megacities on the move

Forum for the Future, a UK-based non-profit, has produced a series of short videos depicting possible future scenarios for sustainable urban mobility. Titled "Megacities on the move," the series explores "how we will live and travel in the cities of 2040". The four scenarios are (links to Vimeo): Planned-opolis , Communi-city, Renew-abad, and Sprawl-ville. [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on Jun 26, 2011 - 23 comments

The Growth Ponzi Scheme

The Growth Ponzi Scheme, a series of five blog posts on the financial underpinnings (or lack thereof) of the American post-war development pattern. 1: The Mechanisms of Growth - Trading near-term cash for long-term obligations. 2: Case studies that show how our places do not create, but destroy, our wealth. 3: The Ponzi scheme revealed - How new development is used to pay for old development. 4: How we've sustained the unsustainable by going "all in" on the suburban pattern of development. 5: Responses that are rational and responses that are irrational.
posted by parudox on Jun 23, 2011 - 84 comments

A place on earth

Safe Ground is an organization of Sacramento's homeless population to claim a secure location in order to live decently. While resistance to tent cities (previously, 2, 3) has largely been due to political expediency (criminalizing homelessness is easier than ending it), a spot on Oprah brought media attention to the plight of the homeless and made it more difficult for police to bully them from place to place with the threat of jail. In response to this, Costa Mantis(of He Knows You're Alone fame [uncredited on the wiki]) started filming the personal stories of the homeless along the American River in Sacramento. This led to Searching for Safe Ground, a miniseries concerning the struggle of Sacramento's homeless for a place to exist. Incidentally, a federal jury ruled tonight that the city of Sacramento has been violating homeless people's constitutional rights by moving them from public property and confiscating their property. Stay tuned.
posted by Wyatt on May 24, 2011 - 15 comments

Moving Beyond the Automobile

Moving Beyond the Automobile is a series of ten short videos by Streetfilms that highlights new directions in urban transportation. It shows how cities in the U.S. are encouraging a shift away from car dependency and making it easier and more pleasant to get around by other means. [more inside]
posted by parudox on Apr 26, 2011 - 36 comments

China's Ghost Cities

China's Ghost Cities (via)
posted by nam3d on Mar 30, 2011 - 48 comments

I Need the Darkness Someone Please Cut the Lights

At 830 pm local time on March 26 the world celebrated Earth Hour 2011 by turning off the lights.
posted by Glibpaxman on Mar 28, 2011 - 97 comments

Slow Sculpture

Unsolving the city: BLDG BLOG interviews China Miéville
posted by Artw on Mar 3, 2011 - 30 comments

Mega-City One

China is planning to merge the nine cities around the Pearl River Delta, producing the worlds largest city.
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2011 - 51 comments

We used to get 김치 on the corner....

In the 1960's, 70's and 80's, urban decay and high crime rates caused retail chain supermarkets to flee New York City. (google books link) Korean immigrants filled the gap with corner grocery stores. For nearly two decades they were ubiquitous -- symbols of the group's ongoing quest to achieve the American Dream. But 30 years later, Where Did The Korean Greengrocers Go? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 18, 2011 - 19 comments

Smartest Cities?

The Daily Beast attempts to identify America's Smartest Cities. Rather more seriously, Nature ponders the Best Cities for Science worldwide, as part of its special on Science and the City. (The podcast segment on cities is a nice overview.)
posted by philipy on Oct 25, 2010 - 33 comments

A Great Celebration and Conversation

Worldchanging Bright Green Future City - Alex Steffen sits down with the mayors of Portland and Seattle to talk about which is better the 'future city' and the confluence of urbanization, social justice and environmental change, not to mention political pushback amid high unemployment and cultural inertia.
posted by kliuless on Oct 25, 2010 - 10 comments

How white is your hood?

How segregated is your city? Eric Fischer maps the top 40 US cities by race, using 2000 census data. Each color-coded dot represents 25 people: Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, and Orange is Hispanic. The maps are oddly pretty, and revealing. Compare, for example, Detroit and San Antonio. via [more inside]
posted by CunningLinguist on Sep 20, 2010 - 174 comments

travel to cities in Europe

europe-cities is a beautifully organized, practical site for information about traveling to cities in Europe. All the information is in one place: info about specific cities, cuisine, history, overview information, weather, a variety of cultural interests from English Christmas Markets to Hungarian culture. And, best of all, finding the cheapest/best places to stay. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 28, 2010 - 16 comments

Global Cities

Beyond City Limits: The age of nations is over. The new urban age has begun. "The 21st century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India, but by the city. In an age that appears increasingly unmanageable, cities rather than states are becoming the islands of governance on which the future world order will be built. This new world is not -- and will not be -- one global village, so much as a network of different ones."
posted by homunculus on Aug 20, 2010 - 31 comments

I will not be just a tourist in the world of images...

Locals vs. Tourists: Eric Fischer maps Flickr pictures taken by city locals (in blue) against those taken by tourists (in red).
posted by karminai on Aug 3, 2010 - 40 comments

The High Cost of Free Parking

"Eighty-seven percent of all trips are made by personal vehicle and 99 percent of those trips arrive at a free parking space." But that free parking comes at a high cost according to Donald Shoup's research. He advocates for charging the right price for on-street parking and for removing off-street parking requirements. Shoup's ideas are coming to the streets in San Francisco's new demand-responsive parking system. Loyal Shoupistas work to spread and implement his ideas.
posted by parudox on Jul 13, 2010 - 192 comments

You're gonna go up the street 12 pixels, hang a left, then straight 44 pixels to 77th street...

8bit Cities: Amsterdam - Austin - Berlin - Detroit - London - New York - Paris - San Francisco - Seattle - Washington, D.C.
posted by BeerFilter on Jul 9, 2010 - 17 comments

Anywhere, TM

A new project called CitID is attempting to collect logos and/or typefaces representing every city in the world. So far, they have over 150 submissions, including Berlin, Kiev, Portland, Bogota, Tokyo, and Cape Town. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jun 14, 2010 - 25 comments

neocolonial OCP-like company towns: changing the rules (in a good way)

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty In the 1990s, Paul Romer revolutionized economics. In the Aughts, he became rich as a software entrepreneur. Now he's trying to help the poorest countries grow rich—by convincing them to establish foreign-run "charter cities" within their borders. Romer's idea is unconventional, even neo-colonial—the best analogy is Britain's historic lease of Hong Kong. And against all odds, he just might make it happen. (via cc) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 10, 2010 - 92 comments

Infographic: Food and Drink Spending by City

Infographic: Food spending in the biggest U.S. cities. Austin, TX is living large. Detroit, MI must be losing weight.
posted by jjray on May 13, 2010 - 34 comments

19 Cities in the World With 20 Million People in the 21st Century

19.20.21. is a planned five-year project to understand the effects of the rising global population of humanity becoming increasingly urbanized: 19 cities in the world with 20 million people in the 21st century. The Flash-based introduction includes historical trends and geographic factors.
posted by jjray on Apr 13, 2010 - 10 comments

Short urban exploration documentaries

Uneven Terrain is a series of short documentaries about urban exploration, about 10-15 minutes long each. There are six so far, about monumental ruins in New York, Centralia, the Pennsylvania town where an underground coalseam has been on fire since the 1960s, abandoned missile silos in the US and how they're being turned into homes, oil drilling in Los Angeles, the Teufelberg listening station and the abandoned bunkers under Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and pirate radio in London and on the old Redsand sea forts. Each short doc has a different presenter. All have accompanying photo galleries. [These are produced for the bootmaker Palladium, but it's pretty low-key]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 7, 2010 - 7 comments

John Strype's Survey of London (1720)

LONDON, the Metropolis and Glory of the Kingdom, was anciently the Seat of the British Empire; and since, stiled commonly, the Royal Chamber of our Kings. The Kings Chamber, the Heart of the Commonwealth, and a Short Draught of the whole Kingdom: As it was once described by Sir Edward Coke, sometime Recorder of this City. It may boast it self to be the largest in Extent, and the fairest built, the most Populous, and best inhabited (and that by a Civil, Rich and Sober People) of any in the World. And for a general Trade throughout the Universe, all other must give her the Precedence. [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Apr 3, 2010 - 6 comments

Place Hacking

Virtual hacking is cool but place hacking makes it core again, brachiating across scaffolding to get the shot on your Digital SLR that maximizes your flickr stats, raking in the google adsense cash and conforming to a zerowork ethos if we get pro at it. Sleep in ruins, sell your photos of disgusting shit to tourists. Rinse off in a petrol station sink and repeat. We are the nerds that finally walked away from their computers and we are behind that scaffolding covering the building you ignore everyday when you walk by it going to work, we just loved on that place like no one has in 20 years. We are psychotopological terrorists and we will shove that masterlock up your ass.
A "reformed archaeologist" talks about exploration of urban ruins. Modern urban ruins.
posted by Rumple on Jan 21, 2010 - 72 comments

OASIS

The New York City Open Accessible Space Information System Cooperative (OASIS) is an online, interactive mapping and data analysis application that gives an incredibly detailed view of New York City's open spaces and how they are used. The map enables overlays of information like: transit; parks, playgrounds and open space; zoning and landmarks; current and historical land use; social services; demographics; and environmental characteristics.(via The Ministry of Type, who like OASIS mainly for its pretty map possibilities.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 15, 2009 - 5 comments

The Walled Cities: Keeping Out The Joneses

The first human settlements... before the bronze age, before the iron age and even probably before the stone age, didn’t happen because people liked each other’s company. "As the old saying goes, there's safety in numbers... and fortifications. "If you have any doubt about how wood, stone and later even steel walls helped shape human civilization, all you need to do is take a close look at most of our cities, especially the older ones."
posted by Effigy2000 on Jul 18, 2009 - 38 comments

Bruxellisation

Top 10 comic book cities
posted by Artw on Jul 13, 2009 - 45 comments

The Squares of the City

Paul Romer: A Theory of History, with an Application - "His economic theory of history explains phenomena such as the constant improvement of the human standard of living by looking primarily at just two forms of innovative ideas: technology and rules." (previously, via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 3, 2009 - 11 comments

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