244 posts tagged with urban.
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What to Do About Suburbs?

As suburbs become home to more poor people, immigrants, minorities, senior citizens and households with no children and we face what may be the end of suburbia, planners are wondering what do we do with suburbs? [more inside]
posted by lunit on Jul 7, 2010 - 127 comments

Kitsch stitch

Urban knitting, guerilla knitting, textile street art, yarn bombing. Whatever you choose to call it, this artform takes everyday objects of the city — such as trees, lampposts, street signs, bike racks — and wraps them up in colorful knit cozies. You'll find these wonderful oddities all over the world, from Manhattan to Sydney to Edinburgh to Philadelphia to Oakland to Chicago to Bisbane and back to Manhattan again. People have written books about it. It has inspired an Irish cellphone commercial. Metafilter's own ErikaB made a tree sweater that was featured on Metafilter and on the front cover of Seattle's The Stranger. Magda Sayeg's blog Knitta Please is a showcase for some of her delightful projects, including a Smart car, coffee shop sign, and crutches. (Also, previously.) [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 25, 2010 - 37 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

Rosa Lee's Story

In 1994, Leon Dash, while still at the Washington Post, wrote a Pulitzer winning series of articles about a woman named Rosa Lee Cunningham. [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 27, 2010 - 12 comments

The State of Metropolitan America

The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program (led by Bruce Katz) has just released its The State of Metropolitan America report (full pdf). The report builds on eight years of the Census Bureau’s American Community Surveys; and includes a spiffy State of Metropolitan America Indicator Map of changes in population indicators at state, metropolitan, and suburban levels.160;160; Some interesting findings:
  • America's suburbs are now more likely to be home to minorities, the poor and a rapidly growing older population as many younger, educated whites move to cities for jobs and shorter commutes.
  • Two-thirds of primary cities in large metropolitan areas grew from 2000 to 2008
  • For the first time in several decades, the population is growing at a faster rate than households, due to delays in marriage, divorce and births as well as longer life spans. People living alone and nonmarried couple families are among the fastest-growing in suburbs.
[more inside]
posted by stratastar on May 8, 2010 - 12 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

Whence Nutrition

Where does the food in your bodega — or the corner grocer, the local minimart — come from? [...] How come it's easier to find fresh fruits and vegetables in Brooklyn Heights than in the South Bronx? What's the connection between the incidence of diabetes and the food market supply chain?
The Center for Urban Pedagogy and Designer Observer's 30-minute video Bodega Down Bronx looks into the urban grocery gap, and is freely available to stream. [more inside]
posted by spiderskull on Jan 8, 2010 - 17 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

Window Farmers

Window Farms is a DIY urban agriculture project started in New York. It's not just about changing the way we think about plants in urban contexts — it's also about creating a kind of "open-source" approach to solving eco-urban challenges. (Treehugger has some more context.)

The folks behind Window Farms are now trying to take it to the next level using everyone's favorite new funding platform, Kickstarter. (Including a cute intro video which is worth checking out.)

And if window farming ain't your thing, maybe one of their other DIY projects is more up your alley...
posted by chasing on Dec 5, 2009 - 14 comments

CityCenter, Las Vegas

Tomorrow in Las Vegas, a mixed hotel/condominium called Vdara will open for business on the spot once occupied by the unlamented Boardwalk Hotel and Casino. It is the first stage of the CityCenter complex, the largest privately financed development in the United States, which has already cost $8.5 billion and six lives. Even before the recent debt-restructuring woes of 50% stakeholder Dubai World, there was concern over CityCenter's impact on the struggling local economy. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 30, 2009 - 54 comments

One powerful man's nothing is a hundred men's lives.

Lexington’s Mayor, Jim Newberry, bristled at critical questions about The Dame block, “Nothing of consequence ever happened on that block.” Richie Wireman begs to differ. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on Nov 20, 2009 - 8 comments

Lithographs from the Touchstone Studio

Envisioning Chinese Society in the Late Nineteenth Century: Words and Images from the Dianshizhai Pictorial Very nice online presentation of translated content from the famed nineteenth century Shanghai pictorial journal (China's first); Dianshizhai (点石斋画报) was modelled on Britain's Punch and produced as a supplement for Shen Bao subscribers. Flash is used so elements in the cartoons can be clicked for further information: a young woman repels a thief with martial derring-do; a customer bilks on the bill in a street eatery in Hangzhou; small-town society and politics with the muddle-headed magistrate; a non-performing temple bell offers a chance for sceptical commentary on religion; the gentlemanly pastime of cricket-fighting.
posted by Abiezer on Nov 17, 2009 - 4 comments

City of Bikes

Car-free cities: an idea with legs
Car-free neighbourhoods are no unrealistic utopiathey exist all over Europe.
posted by kliuless on Nov 4, 2009 - 101 comments

Street Lit

"It's urban, it's real, but is this literature? Controversy rages over a new genre whose sales are headed off the charts"
[more inside]
posted by trojanhorse on Oct 25, 2009 - 157 comments

Gardens By The Bay

The Gardens will put in place a pervasive garden ambience and quality living environment from which Singapore's downtown will rise, and steer Singapore to the forefront of the world's leading global cities. (via)
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 5, 2009 - 11 comments

We live in the city of dreams, We drive on the highway of fire

David Byrne has just published a new book about bicycles called Bicycle Diaries. A long time rider, Byrne muses on how the world looks and works from the vantage point of a cyclist. It's getting pretty good reviews. To launch the book, Byrne is touring the US and arranging public forums. Each event features a civic leader, an urban theorist, a bicycle advocate, and Byrne himself speaking about bikes in cities. Here’s a schedule of the upcoming events. He’s also designed some bike racks for his hometown of New York City. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 27, 2009 - 28 comments

The Loss of Human Scale: Old Hong Kong vs New Hong Kong

For the last two years, Flickr user HK Man has been collecting old photos of Hong Kong, finding the exact spots at which they were taken, and taking them again. The result, from his first photo of Victoria Harbor to a more recent one of Nathan Road, comprises a chronicle of Hong Kong's unrestrained vertical development over the past few decades. In a similar vein, Gwulo is a community site for "for everyone that is interested in old Hong Kong" and includes photos, mysteries, and discussions -- such as this one about old Kai Tak Airport. [more inside]
posted by milquetoast on Aug 30, 2009 - 28 comments

Detroit schools urban exploration & reclamation.

Urban exploration has been featured here once or twice before, but Jim Griffioen's site photo-documenting his discoveries in and around Detroit deserves a look. Griffioen was recently interviewed [direct mp3 link] on the American Public Media radio program The Story. [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 25, 2009 - 14 comments

Robert Moses is rolling in his grave!

Seoul, Portland and San Francisco: 4 cases for destroying highways to save the city.
posted by geoff. on Jul 8, 2009 - 79 comments

Making Policy Public

Urban Omnibus is an online project of the Architectural League that explores the relationship between design and New York City's physical environment. They are featuring Making Policy Public, a program of The Center for Urban Pedagogy, through their articles about Vendor Power and Predatory Equity. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 31, 2009 - 3 comments

"This Place Matters"

National Trust Releases 2009 List of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple. Additional detail and sites from past years here.
posted by Miko on Apr 28, 2009 - 18 comments

Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video

"The Cleveland Tourism Board gave me 14 million dollars about 8 months ago to make a promotional video to bring people to Cleveland. As usual, I waited till the last minute and I ended up having to shoot and edit it in about an hour yesterday afternoon. I probably should have invested more time."
posted by dhammond on Apr 16, 2009 - 50 comments

When terrorists attack Office Depot, we'll be ready!

Urban Camouflage deals with the question how to camouflage oneself and one’s identity in the urban space. Our costumes are inspired by the «ghillie suits», the military camouflage suit. It was an adventure to wear the suit in the stores because of the conflicts with the employees, the reaction of the customers and also to see the pretty well camouflage effect in a real situation.
posted by educatedslacker on Mar 5, 2009 - 48 comments

School of Hard Knocks.

"This is the safest place these kids have," Mr. McMonigle explains. "No matter how crazy it gets here, no matter how bad the school is, it’s still better than what’s waiting for them out there when they leave. The irony is that after all the bitching and the moaning about how they don’t want to be here, at the end of the day you can’t get them to go home!" School of Hard Knocks is a heartbreaking 7-part series of articles about kids with behavioral problems in a Philadelpha high school. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] [via mefi projects]
posted by dersins on Jan 21, 2009 - 33 comments

Picture London without Londoners

Abandoned London is a Flickr set by photographer IanVisits of London on Christmas morning when the city is (almost) denuded of people. Very disorienting if you've been to London (or any major city, really). I got this via William Gibson's blog and I'll let him describe it in his inimitable way: "Christmas, particularly in the early morning, has always seemed so much more liminal to me than New Year's eve. Spectral, deeply in-between [...] something about the way in which traffic, pedestrian and vehicular, controls one's depth of field, fragmenting and animating the experience."
posted by Kattullus on Dec 31, 2008 - 20 comments

Causing false public alarm

As those of you on the wrong email lists can probably guess, Snopes is overflowing with gang initiation rumors. What you may not know is that the New Jersey police recently arrested someone spreading those stories for "causing false public alarm." [more inside]
posted by tkolar on Dec 7, 2008 - 23 comments

Meet you at the Circl-Serv!

"The plans for Victory City have evolved over a period of 38 years, nurtured by the vision and dedication of Victory City's inventor, Orville Simpson II [no relation]. Mr. Simpson conceived of the general idea of Victory City in 1936, when he was only 13 years old. Afraid of being ridiculed, Mr. Simpson kept his ideas about designing and building the City of the Future to himself … a secret vision he held in his mind... It wasn't until 1960 — after he had embarked on a lucrative career in real estate investing and apartment building management — that Mr. Simpson decided to make his ideas about Victory City known to the general public."
posted by Miko on Dec 7, 2008 - 35 comments

Till human voices wake us

Alone Together. In American lore, the small town is the archetypal community, a state of grace from which city dwellers have fallen.

Yet the picture of cities—and New York in particular—that has been emerging from the work of social scientists is that the people living in them are actually less lonely. Rather than driving people apart, large population centers pull them together, and as a rule tend to possess greater community virtues than smaller ones.
posted by plexi on Nov 25, 2008 - 90 comments

Holmes' and Watson's World

One minute and four seconds in London, 1904. Birkbeck College professor Ian Christie rediscovered this footage in an archive in Canberra, shot for a travelogue by film pioneer Charles Urban.
posted by digaman on Oct 24, 2008 - 67 comments

Let's Eat!

Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power, an urban farm in Milwaukee, has won a MacArthur Genius grant. Growing Power uses aquaculture, vermiculture, and sustainable agriculture to raise food in an urban environment. Chefs of the region have taken notice, but that's not Growing Power's main purpose. Congratulations to only the second farmer to win a Genius Grant. [more inside]
posted by Eekacat on Sep 25, 2008 - 14 comments

Things to do with skips

New uses for skips. Skip recipes. Find a skip. Public domain occupation with skips. Guerrilla art skips. Skipcar. [Via]
posted by parudox on Aug 10, 2008 - 11 comments

The Colors of Decay

Keith Thorne has stunningly colored pictures of decaying urban spaces on his Flickr stream, including some taken at an abandoned German military hospital that once treated Adolf Hitler. A few pictures feature himself. Via.
posted by Hollow on Aug 4, 2008 - 26 comments

The Changing Face of the Inner City

Are you a young middle-class creative type (probably white) who has chosen to live in an urban neighborhood that your parents would have shunned? Have the families that formerly lived in your neighborhood (probably not white) been pushed out by soaring rents and real-estate prices to the city fringes or suburbs? The New Republic on demographic inversion.
posted by digaman on Aug 2, 2008 - 64 comments

Yes, I'll take the full insurance coverages please.

Rental Car Rally. (From the guys who brought Street Wars to NYC). That is all.
posted by allkindsoftime on Jul 8, 2008 - 29 comments

Get yer urban exploration/dead mall fix right here

"Q: What the hell is this site about? This is a site about urban exploration in the Ozarks." Abandoned water slides, underground tunnels, abandoned buildings and half-demolished malls throughout Missouri were all once fair game for this blog, and remain fair game for those who post in Underground Ozarks' forums.
posted by limeonaire on Jun 16, 2008 - 25 comments

Urban pranks

From the Improv Everywhere people comes the Urban Prankster blog to keep track of delightful shenanigans around the world.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jun 11, 2008 - 21 comments

"Everyone can be constructive even in tiny ways"

Humble abode: Loftcube // Rucksack House // Micro-Compact Home // Superadobe // Zigzag Cabin // Tree Sphere // Mirador // La Petite Maison du Weekend _ all via.
posted by nthdegx on Jun 4, 2008 - 17 comments

Skyscrapers or Souks?

Two visions of the ideal city rise in the Persian Gulf: "Waterfront City will probably be where a lot of Middle Eastern investors will put their money—and where international architectural stars will build their putative landmarks—but if little Masdar develops successfully, it may hold much more important lessons for us all."
posted by Non Prosequitur on Apr 27, 2008 - 23 comments

Chicken Flap.

Last summer, the Missoula MT city council deadlocked on the question of whether city folk should be allowed to keep "urban chickens". (Missoula, pop. 57,000 is what passes for urban in Big Sky Country.) Reporter Ann Medley made a wonderful video essay on the issue for New West. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Feb 16, 2008 - 24 comments

Tree lined Eco Boulevard

Madrid's "Air Tree" is a working experiment in combining public spaces with energy generation.
posted by Burhanistan on Jan 25, 2008 - 21 comments

Detroit Public Schools Book Depository

"This is a building where our deeply-troubled public school system once stored its supplies, and then one day apparently walked away from it all, allowing everything to go to waste...All that's left is an overwhelming sense of knowledge unlearned and untapped potential." (Via Making Light.)
posted by ottereroticist on Jan 22, 2008 - 57 comments

Urban Agriculture...it's in our backyard

City Farmer is a Vancouver-based organization that's been promoting urban agriculture since 1978. If you dig around their sprawling website, you can find everything from this feel-good news story, to a series of links leading to a nice deep free book. Alternatively, their new blog has cool pictures.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jan 20, 2008 - 4 comments

Urban[e] Renewal

Postcards from Our Awesome Future. [via] An art exhibition stemming from the minds of Packard Jennings (whose illustrations have appeared in Adbusters) and Steve Lambert (of Anti-Advertising Agency fame); using San Francisco's infrastructure as a model for improvement, the duo answered the siren call of Objectivism through an arcology devoid of “...budgets, beauracracy [sic], politics, or physics”. [more inside]
posted by Smart Dalek on Jan 8, 2008 - 11 comments

"The rendering is a means to an end; the end is architecture."

Hugh Ferriss: Delineator of Gotham. Through his charcoal renderings of dramatic, imaginary skyscrapers in early 1900s New York City, Ferriss influenced the aesthetics of numerous architects with his bold compositions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 6, 2008 - 12 comments

Train Runs Through Market

Train runs through bangkok market. (via)
posted by phrontist on Dec 1, 2007 - 35 comments

Urban Exploring

Urban Exploring. Recently: Sanatorio Popolare Cantonale di Piotta. Sinteranlage, Duisburg. Atomschutz Kurfürstendamm, Berlin (flash). (Previously.)
posted by Soup on Nov 28, 2007 - 4 comments

Defying Demographics

Defying Demographics: A look at University Park Campus School, a 7-12th grade school located in the poorest neighborhood in blue-collar Worcester, MA. Approximately 73% of students hover at or below the poverty line and 61% are minorities, yet over 80% go on to college and 99% pass the Massachusetts graduation exams. The partnership between Clark University and Worcester Public Schools has created an environment so successful that a number of cities are looking to emulate it. Have they discovered the key to closing the achievement gap?
posted by rollbiz on Nov 23, 2007 - 32 comments

John Stilgoe wants you to go outside and look at things a little differently.

John Stilgoe is a professor at Harvard who teaches his students how to, among other things, mindfully observe the urban and suburban environments they inhabit. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Oct 11, 2007 - 27 comments

#7: Ten percent of all city space shall be open land where you can "touch the dirt"

"First we kill the architects..." Photographer Danny Lyon [1, 2, 3, 4] offers ten suggestions for New York City. Suggestion #6: "Leave the World Trade Center excavation exactly as it is and use the space as a freshwater pond planted with pink, white, and yellow lilies..." His essay is only one of many from names you'll recognize in a book called Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York. An associated exhibition opened yesterday [museum, NYT review]. Is New York City moving in the right direction? Is your city? [via] [more inside]
posted by salvia on Sep 26, 2007 - 19 comments

São Paolo sewer openings

Sewer openings turned into street art by São Paolo duo 6emeia. [via FunForever]
posted by mediareport on Sep 18, 2007 - 17 comments

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