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traditional urbanism

A Traditional City Primer [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 30, 2014 - 22 comments

Playgrounds as nightmare fuel

Creepy masterpieces of sculpture and landscaping masquerading as children's playgrounds. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 12, 2014 - 21 comments

The Ghetto Is Public Policy

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in The Atlantic:The Effects of Housing Segregation on Black Wealth. As the wealth gap widens between whites and blacks in America, and after reading this list and this list, he concludes The Ghetto Is Public Policy. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 12, 2014 - 31 comments

Living in a Fool’s Paradise

San Francisco must change. "...the current state of permitting regulations for building and the glacial pace of infrastructure projects in San Francisco benefit very few people and risk turning it into a caricature of its former self for tourists and residents rich enough to live in a fantasy, not a living city. If there was ever a time when San Francisco needed to embrace a dynamic, expansive policy for building housing, offices and transportation, it is now." (Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)
posted by ambrosia on Jul 6, 2014 - 72 comments

Fresh Air or Times Square?

Where do the smartest people move? A new report finds that higher intelligence is linked with rural-to-city migration, and with city-to-suburb movement.
posted by pearlybob on Jul 3, 2014 - 14 comments

“young men’s compromised legal status transforms the basic institutions"

How Poor Young Black Men Run From The Police [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 26, 2014 - 21 comments

GooBing Detroit

GooBing Detroit: chronological photosets of houses and streets in Detroit from 2009 to 2013, made with the aid of Google Street View and Bing StreetSide. [more inside]
posted by Pruitt-Igoe on May 28, 2014 - 30 comments

Deluxe Apartment In The Sky

The Tower of David skyscraper in Caracas was abandoned in 1994, and remained vacant until 2007 when squatters moved in. There is now a vibrant community living within its walls.
posted by reenum on Apr 26, 2014 - 42 comments

In Situ

BXL swings in the cracks is a "Collective who up-cycles waste (scrap wood, discarded domestic furniture, ...) into parasite interventions with the aim to vitalize public spaces." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 4, 2014 - 1 comment

Building Goes Up, Building Goes Down

Watch NYC Gentrify Through Google Street View GIFs
posted by The Whelk on Feb 21, 2014 - 135 comments

Con Men! Artistocrats! Nancy Boys! Radiothearpy and More!

The Trickster Prince is academic and historian Matt Houlbrook's blog about the ephemera and little-known stories of the English inter-war period (and before) with a focus on class-jumping, queer narratives, "faking it", and urban society in the 20s and 30s.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 5, 2014 - 13 comments

"The neighborhood has all gone t' hell"

Visiting the Big Apple? "Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop, and if polite enough to stop, won't know. No New Yorker knows anything about New York." And another kind reminder: "Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable, notwithstanding and nevertheless. They are also smart." Advice from Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book, published in 1920. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 29, 2014 - 51 comments

Exploring the Architecture of Doom and Urban Failure

Architecture of Doom is a Tumblr that collects images of "bleak/ gloomy/ forbidding/ desolate/ unfortunate and totalitarian architecture" from sources like Fuck Yeah Brutalism and Failed Architecture. The latter bills itself as a "research platform that aims to open up new perspectives on urban failure – from what it’s perceived to be, what’s actually happening and how it’s represented to the public" and offers some interesting essays and case studies – for example: Hotel Jugoslavija: Spacio-temporal Mosaics of Memorabilia, Function Follows Form: How Berlin Turns Horror Into Beauty, and The Poetry of Decay.
posted by milquetoast on Jan 28, 2014 - 34 comments

Beat This: producers making a beat, from nothing to done, in 10 minutes

Don't Watch That TV is a rabbit hole of fun and weird videos, mostly focused on urban/ dance/ electronic music, sorted into 20 different "channels" or programs. To make this timesink more manageable, I'd like to bring your attention to their Beat This channel, wherein producers are challenged to create a new beat, from scratch, in 10 minutes. The first mix is from a young producer who goes by Swindle, and he pulls off a pretty nice track in the time allotted, joking he should do all his tracks in ten minutes. But if that doesn't catch your fancy, and all those producers names don't mean anything to you, may I present Kieren Hebden, aka Four Tet, making a beat with nothing but MJ's Thriller album as the source material, sampling and distorting it into something weird and new. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 17, 2014 - 8 comments

Healthy cities: public health and urban planning

A new Report on the State of Health + Urbanism (pdf) from MIT looks at the relationship between urban planning and public health, with some surprising findings. The cities covered are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 31, 2013 - 52 comments

The King Stay the King

The Wire Poster Project features posters for each of the epigrams preceding each episode. Benefits go the Baltimore Urban Debate League.
posted by juiceCake on Oct 25, 2013 - 23 comments

Ripe For The Picking

Ask A Native New Yorker: How Guilty Should I Feel About Being A Horrible Gentrifier? Passionate response from a Bushwick native.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 27, 2013 - 205 comments

880,000

There are too many bicycles in Amsterdam.
posted by four panels on Jun 21, 2013 - 109 comments

Time Travel to 1930's Paris

Paris Apartment opened for the first time in 70 years Including intriguing links to a scandalous Belle Époque art wold romance and a $3 million dollar painting. Subject of this AskMe last year but includes additional photos. [more inside]
posted by DarthDuckie on Jun 16, 2013 - 23 comments

Spoke Stack

Mechanised Japanese Underground Bicycle Parking Pictures and video of space-saving bicycle parking in Japan.
posted by hawthorne on Jun 14, 2013 - 26 comments

Color Footage Of NYC In 1939

An amateur film shot in 1939 by French tourist Jean Vivier documents a trip to New York City, in color.
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2013 - 44 comments

How to feed 10,000 people on 3 urban acres

Will Allen's Growing Power operates urban farms. His first Milwaukee farm is three urban acres where he grows enough food to feed 10,000 people. An interview by the Splendid Table's Lynne Rossetto Kasper in support of his new book. Previously.
posted by shothotbot on May 6, 2013 - 39 comments

"I couldn't afford for Carpentersville to become Detroit"

Tom Roeser was unhappy about the decline of his town, Carpentersville, IL. So he decided to do something about it. Roeser bought some foreclosed properties, renovated them, and then rented them out for below market value.
posted by reenum on Apr 2, 2013 - 56 comments

Eye candy, if you insist on calling it that

The 10 Most Overlooked Women in Architecture History (PHOTOS)
posted by infini on Mar 29, 2013 - 16 comments

Suburbia was our manufactured manifest destiny

The Top Ten Influences on the American Metropolis of the Past 50 Years [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Mar 13, 2013 - 126 comments

The trolleybus era

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 - 16 comments

Down but not out.

After Forbes magazine declared Dayton, OH, one of America's " fastest dying cities," a group of local media makers created Reinvention Stories. The interactive film/multimedia experience rolls out this month in three acts.
posted by Miko on Mar 4, 2013 - 26 comments

"Can we really expect that such a government is interested"

A Contagion Of Violence
In exploring the occurrence of violence, researchers have recognized the tendency for violent acts to cluster, to spread from place to place, and to mutate from one type to another – similar to the infectious disease model, in which an agent or vector initiates a specific biological pathway leading to symptoms of disease and infectivity.
Is It Time To Treat Violence Like A Contagious Disease? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 1, 2013 - 31 comments

Get a Bird's-Eye View of America's Housing Patterns

See the big picture of how suburban developments are changing the country's landscape, with aerial photos and an architect's commentary
posted by blue_beetle on Jan 25, 2013 - 94 comments

Why We Abandoned the Public Realm, and Why We Need It Again

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Great Public Spaces
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 23, 2013 - 35 comments

Whenever there's trouble, they're there on the double.

"On a good day, the street maintenance team tasked by the New York City Department of Transportation with roadway repair might fill 4,000 potholes in eight hours. In an average week, they could resurface 100,000 square yards of road. After Hurricane Sandy, their crews removed 2,500 tons of debris. And every day, on a Tumblr called The Daily Pothole, New Yorkers can take a peek inside the workings of a city system few have likely thought about." Storyboard: A Day with New York City’s Pothole Repair Crew. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 2, 2013 - 8 comments

Lewis Cass Technical High School, Then and Now

Detroit's Lewis Cass Technical High School, Then and Now. Period photos superimposed over the historic building's abandoned interiors, presented by detroiturbex.com.
posted by milquetoast on Dec 10, 2012 - 19 comments

On your feet, pirate

The Urban Etiquette Handbook
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 6, 2012 - 170 comments

"Don't call it a comeback/I've been here for years."

Jay Walljasper covers Detroit: Not Your Father's Motor City, The Surprise Behind Detroit's Emerging Comeback, Young People’s Fascination With Motor City is Only Part of Detroit Revitalization, A Food Commons Grows In Detroit. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 27, 2012 - 31 comments

The New Recreation Frontier?

Lets Swim To Work! "Centuries of boat traffic, heavy industry, sewage runoff and toxic dumping have ingrained in us the idea that urban waterways are not places for people. Even as cities have rushed to the water’s edge over the past couple of decades, building elaborate waterfront parks and esplanades, few have taken the next logical step: encouraging residents to dive in." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 23, 2012 - 42 comments

Indonesian Street Art

The Indonesian Street Art Database (ISAD) is an artist-run project that aims to archive street art in Indonesia as a documentation of the country’s urban culture. Art Radar delves into the ISAD archives to explore the breadth of street art in Indonesia and the concerns of the country’s urban artists.
posted by infini on Nov 3, 2012 - 2 comments

Inspiring and amazing urban farming geek, Eric Maundu

Eric Maundu - who comes from Kenya, now lives in West Oakland and is trained in industrial robotics- transforms unused spaces into productive, small aquaponic farms. He has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his gardens smart. He explores new frontiers of computer-controlled gardening. More information about this story. His company, Kijani Grows. Via faircompanies.com.
posted by nickyskye on Oct 24, 2012 - 21 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE FUTURE

The mash-up clip music group Electic Method re-mix and paste together sounds from Sci-Fi movies to create THE FUTURE
posted by The Whelk on Oct 8, 2012 - 5 comments

Penciled in for 2025: the Medium Line

Could the Low Line be joining New York's popular High Line park?
posted by shothotbot on Sep 14, 2012 - 41 comments

Finally, an alternative to Big Pedal.

Presenting the FLIZ velocipede, for anyone who's wondering what you get when you cross a German hipster and a wheeled banana.
posted by jimmythefish on Aug 28, 2012 - 40 comments

urban skiing

Urban skiing, courtesy of Finnish crew Nipwitz. Like skate videos with snow, ambient soundtrack, and a pinch of travelogue. Here is Murmanst Oblast and Sarajevo.
posted by oneirodynia on Jul 27, 2012 - 13 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

Dallas' Best Kept Secret?

Proving that Dallas is slightly more than concrete, SUVs and bad air quality, the Great Trinity Forest is home to birds, deer, bobcats, badgers, alligators and even a seven foot nine inch, 200 pound alligator gar named Garzilla as documented in the excellent blog Dallas Trinity Trails. [more inside]
posted by punkfloyd on Jul 5, 2012 - 14 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

The App of Life

"Thanks largely to smartphones, this is probably the best time ever to live in a packed city... Steve Jobs was a lifelong suburbanite, but it turns out he perfected the city." [google cache for those getting a log-in page.]
posted by nickrussell on Jun 17, 2012 - 87 comments

Greenbacks

Last week, I wrote about how urban trees—or the lack thereof—can reveal income inequality. After writing that article, I was curious, could I actually see income inequality from space? It turned out to be easier than I expected.
posted by infini on Jun 1, 2012 - 43 comments

Juxtaposition - Two New Short Films

Gymnast: In Motion — The elegant movements and athletic prowess of five twirling trampolinists are captured in photographer Steve Harries’ new short film. Performing up to 7.5 meters in the air—shot from a tall camera tower beneath a rig suspending the set, mirrors and lights from the ceiling—bodies were broken up into fragmented forms and motions by a bank of six mirrors. Contrast that with No Church in the Wild, the Jay Z & Kanye West collaboration filmed by Romain Gavras. A message of hope to anyone who feels society needs to change direction, or a furious extended urban battle scene?
posted by netbros on May 30, 2012 - 9 comments

Public Finance, Prop 13, TFAs, and CRAs! OH MY!

Out of Cash - The End of the Nation’s Largest Redevelopment Program (and a major source of California’s local funding sources). [more inside]
posted by stratastar on May 15, 2012 - 13 comments

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