249 posts tagged with urban.
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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

"Nasty, brutish and short" indeed

Urban Scout. Sincere crusader for sustainable living or poseur hipster douchebag? [last link is google video]
posted by dersins on Sep 1, 2007 - 214 comments

More abandoned places, because they're creepy and beautiful

Illicit Ohio has a wide range of photos and essays of abandoned places in Ohio, from the Cincinnati subway system (yes, there really is was one, and it's been discussed here before), to various and sundry prisons, government installations, hotels, hosiptals, houses and more. And don't miss the old vs. new galleries, either.
posted by dersins on Aug 29, 2007 - 20 comments

"The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects." Baudelaire

WebUrbanist: Collective Bloggings about Urban Cultures and Alternative Arts
posted by bijou on Aug 17, 2007 - 8 comments

People who walk faster live longer

Why New Yorkers Last Longer. Interestingly, urban theorists believe it is not just the tightly packed nature of the city but also its social and economic density that has life-giving properties. When you’re jammed, sardinelike, up against your neighbors, it’s not hard to find a community of people who support you—friends or ethnic peers—and this strongly correlates with better health and a longer life. [New York Magazine article]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 15, 2007 - 75 comments

Associative Design

Associative Design - a study of new neighborhood models. requires QuickTime
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 10, 2007 - 10 comments

Walk Score

Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.
posted by chunking express on Jul 23, 2007 - 71 comments

The wages of sin... are fabulous!

High salaries and rising property values in Sodom and Gommorah? There Goes the Neighborhood: How and Why Bohemians, Artists and Gays Effect Regional Housing Values.
posted by orthogonality on Jun 23, 2007 - 38 comments

Iran Graffiti and Urban Art Report

Iran Graffiti and Urban Art Report
posted by carsonb on Jun 15, 2007 - 9 comments

Helvetica: The Apotheosis of the Invisible Art

In 1957, Swiss typographer Max Miedinger invented "the official typeface of the 20th century" -- Helvetica [previously discussed here, via Arts and Letters Daily].
posted by digaman on Apr 21, 2007 - 44 comments

heroic urban portraits inspired by Maoist propaganda

Kehinde Wiley : painter and sculptor . "The subjects, anonymous men in T-shirts and jeans that Wiley approaches on the street, are given the mantle of authority and grandiosity bestowed on figures such as Napoleon in Jacques-Louis David's famous depiction with a rearing steed or the holiness of saints." (via)
posted by desjardins on Mar 7, 2007 - 7 comments

Living off the grid, right in the middle of it.

The Dervaes Institute is an 'off the grid' homestead in Pasadena, CA and supports 4 adults full time. It also produces 3 tons of produce annually. It's all run from solar panels and biodiesel. Over 350 different plants and a handful of farm animals thrive on a 1/5 acre lot, not too far from the middle of Los Angeles. An 'urban homestead' indeed!
posted by drstein on Jan 26, 2007 - 10 comments

beautiful ruins

Photography of the unexpected and neglected architecture. Romain Meffre and Yves Marchand travel the world photographing "singular and surprising buildings of all domains," mostly 19th and 20th century urban and industrial architecture. Don't miss the photos of Detroit (under Projects), or more of Marchand's stunning work at his personal site.
posted by melissa may on Jan 15, 2007 - 24 comments


What's behind Niagara Falls? Some dudes investigate.
posted by davebush on Jan 14, 2007 - 71 comments

Nature gone Wild

Birds that rap and cows with accents. The big picture is urban adaptation, which is pretty cool. (...and the egg wins.)
posted by ewkpates on Dec 28, 2006 - 17 comments

It was Twentyfive years ago...

City in Flames Twenty Five years ago the City of Lynn Massachusetts experienced its second great fire. Devastating several downtown industrial buildings dating to the rise of the Shoe industry. All of which were undergoing redevelopment. While nowhere near as big as the Great Boston Fire of 1872, or the various Chelsea fires, the tragedy of the story is the empty wasteland that still sits after all these years. Today the Boston Globe dug up several articles from their pre Web vaults. The Lynn Museum has an exhibit, and the Lynn Library will have a slideshow.
posted by Gungho on Nov 28, 2006 - 9 comments

Crossroads game: running from a voodoo spirit

Running from a voodoo spirit. The urban game Crossroads is one of the featured games from last weeks Come Out and Play (yes, another FPP!) Posting because this game is still running this weekend.

Using GPS cell phones, players are trying to take over intersections in lower manhattan, like playing Go. But the Baron Samedi is in the grid with them, and one thing I know is that you don't want him to touch you... which is weird because he doesn't actually exist. You end up getting chased down Hudson street by something invisible. Feels like the future.

Part of an exhibition called the Good Life that closes this weekend.
posted by cloudscratcher on Sep 29, 2006 - 8 comments

Cyberpunk Street Games

"The streets of 2030's New York remain the only venues not under the thumb of the monolithic corporations. Manhattan’s three major hacker gangs have developed black-market technology that enables them to jack into the phone network though the payphone nodes, and redirect the payment deposited into that phone into their own coffers." The premise of a new cyberpunk novel? Nope. A new street game you can play with your friends.
posted by maniactown on Sep 24, 2006 - 16 comments

Exploring the City

The Conflux Festival brings together mapmakers, urban adventurers, and performers to "investigate the physical and psychological landscapes of cities," NYC in this case. Tunnels and shortcuts, turning city sound samples into music, guerilla radio on unused FM frequencies, and a nighttime game of pursuit. My personal favorite is tide-propelled commuting on the Tide and Current Taxi. Via Flavorpill.
posted by salvia on Sep 14, 2006 - 7 comments

Urban Forest Project

Design Times Square: The Urban Forest Project "brings 185 banners created by the world’s most celebrated designers, artists, photographers and illustrators to New York’s Times Square. Each banner uses the form of the tree, or a metaphor for the tree, to make a powerful visual statement. Together they create a forest of thought-provoking images at one of the world’s busiest, most energetic, and emphatically urban intersections." Including work by Milton Glaser, the Walker Art Center, and many, many others. Via Speak Up.
posted by tpl1212 on Aug 29, 2006 - 9 comments

Sewers of Canada

Sewers of Canada Many pictures of Great Canadian Drains.
posted by GuyZero on Aug 28, 2006 - 13 comments

Queen Street: Thematic Preview

Queen Street: Thematic Preview - "Queen Street is one of Toronto's oldest, longest, and most varied routes. It began in 1793 as a line on a map, running dead straight for ten miles, in modern measure some 16 kilometres. It is the spine, the high street, the main street of many distinct, and quite different, neighbourhoods. The street's fine grain is a cavalcade of urban variety, where the grain is broken by parks, institutions, industry. Queen Street is a promenade of public life, one you can stroll for 16 kilometres. I have, all of it, often camera in hand: I wanted others to see it, to know something of its life. And its gifts — meant to be shared. Here I'll share with you some of what I have seen along, and just off, Queen Street."
posted by heatherann on Aug 3, 2006 - 5 comments

Photography of Japan's Underground

Joe Nishizawa's new photojournalism book, Deep Inside, is a visual exploration of the amazing, highly mechanized world under Japan's urban areas. This brief interview with the author is accompanied by several interesting photos.
posted by jonson on Jul 24, 2006 - 18 comments

Signs of life in the sidewalk cracks

The Urban Pantheist is the livejournal of Jef Taylor, where he works out articles for his two zines: The Urban Pantheist: Loving Nature while Living in the City and Urban Nature Walk. The LJ became a bit more as he embarked on a project called 365 Urban Species, where he'll post a current photo and short article about a different living thing found in the city each day.
posted by FunkyHelix on Jul 16, 2006 - 10 comments

Disused architecture

Abandonded buildings: photos of.
posted by econous on Jul 7, 2006 - 20 comments

Urban Etiquette

Urban Etiquette : Confused about when to answer your cellphone? Not sure when to take off your iPod? Baffled as to what to say to that guy you saw in that movie with that chick when you see him on the street? Worry no more. In too much of a hurry to read this long article from New York Magazine? This short guide has you covered. Here are a few more New York specific examples. When all else fails, ask Mr. Social Grace. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon on Jun 22, 2006 - 52 comments

Society stripped away

Naked in the Naked City. Artist Miru Kim takes curiously compelling nude photos of herself in gritty and deserted urban settings like sewers, subway stations, railroad tracks, tunnels, abandoned factories and asylums. (via)
posted by CunningLinguist on Jun 18, 2006 - 98 comments

NYC street furniture update

New York City has been trying to revamp its street furniture for nearly a decade and last Fall, deals were struck between a British architecture firm and a Spanish outdoor firm in a 1 billion dollar deal. Recently the designs for public toilets, bus stop shelters, and (my favorite) a modernized clean newsstand were released.
posted by mathowie on May 18, 2006 - 66 comments


FOVICKS - Friends Of Vast Industrial Concrete Kafkaesque Structures - a photo essay on the concrete geometries of the Los Angeles River flood control channels. [via inhabitat]
posted by carter on Mar 31, 2006 - 24 comments

Wilshire Boulevard

Curating the City A Flash exhibition exploring the past and present urban landscape of Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. A modest topic explored in depth - which is perhaps what makes it so fascinating. The site includes a pdf guidebook, in case you want to check out the bricks-and-mortar version.
posted by carter on Mar 27, 2006 - 8 comments


Farmadeliphication (fahr'muh'deli'fi'kay'shun), n. 1. The process of turning all of Philadelphia's vacant and abandoned lots into urban farms. n. 2. An entry in the UrbanVoids international design competition to redo Philadelphia's inner city.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 7, 2006 - 19 comments

Slow Life

Slow Life is a Japanese movement that eschews the fast-paced consumption of modern urban life for the slower pace of farming and small villages. It emphasizes self-reliance, sustainability, and the appreciation of leisure. From some perspectives, it can be seen as a reaction to hazards in the modern world or as a peer to Shinto and modern schools of thought.
posted by mikeh on Feb 27, 2006 - 21 comments


Gunkanjima or Battleship Island is 480 x 160 meters and was home to more than 5000 people. Abandoned for more than 40 years it is a microcosm of 20th century industrial development. A soundtrack to the photos. Or take the multimedia tour. Urban exploration.
posted by arse_hat on Feb 25, 2006 - 18 comments

Gymnastics, but entertaining.

Parkour is nothing new. It has been posted about before. However, what is new is this stunning example of the gymnastics in action. Watch, enjoy.
posted by TwelveTwo on Nov 28, 2005 - 54 comments

Transit in Detroit

Transit in Detroit details an urban planner's initiative to cut the costs of the city's traffic congestion-relieving highway expansion by proposing a transit system combining light rail and bus-rapid-transit. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Nov 25, 2005 - 15 comments

London Topological

London Topological and Britain of Drains. Cool urban exploration photos from underneath England by International Urban Glow.
posted by kirkaracha on Nov 14, 2005 - 6 comments

Maybe a graboid got him?

Ed Bacon, friend to skaters, died Friday. He presided over a successful urban renewal campaign (a rarity), yet leaves behind a complex legacy in the city he loved. [bugmenot]
posted by deafmute on Oct 16, 2005 - 18 comments

Can We Rebuild It? Yes, We Can!

David Brooks makes an interesting point. Rebuild New Orleans to ensure that the cycle of generational poverty is broken. Does this seem like social engineering? There is a precedent for this, though. Can it--should it?--be done on a citywide scale? Should the government meddle this much in the day-to-day lives of people?
posted by John of Michigan on Sep 13, 2005 - 30 comments

Giant Woman Licks Man

Post No Bills. At the intersection of life and advertising one may unexpectedly find art, or at least humor. Henry Ho shines a light on it. (42 pages. Or view all thumbnails together)
posted by taz on Jul 29, 2005 - 15 comments

Offensive or Funny

"New Mexico, Cleaner than Regular Mexico" This isn't the first time that Urban Outfitters has crossed the line of good taste. Two years ago, [Urban Outfitters] stopped selling a game called "Ghettopoly" after protests by black civil rights leaders. Last year, it halted sales of a T-shirt that read "Everyone Loves A Jewish Girl," surrounded by dollar signs, after the Anti-Defamation League objected. As could be expected, not everone finds this stuff funny.
posted by billysumday on Jul 22, 2005 - 46 comments

Philly in 3-D

Is a "virtual" Philly even better than the real thing? Well, GeoSim Systems thinks so. Except for the aroma of freshly-grilled cheesesteak, at least. Their "Virtual Philadelphia" is the most detailed urban imaging system I've seen yet, and you can read about the monumental process of turning photographic images (taken from both aircraft and street-level) into this incredible rendering in a February 17 NY Times article (reg req). And - as expected - Google wants to get in on the action and do the same thing in San Francisco. via BB
posted by luriete on Jun 10, 2005 - 29 comments

Russian urban exploration

Urban exploration in the Russian style.
posted by arse_hat on Jun 3, 2005 - 14 comments

No smoke, mirrors.

Sunlight is escaping many of our neighborhoods! The future home of Teardrop Park South, which will sit in building shadows almost year-round and seemed destined to be the darkest of ... no, wait ... Heliostats!
posted by R. Mutt on Jun 2, 2005 - 13 comments

Urban Exploration Commandos

Action Squad – Urban Adventurers
"In a nutshell, Action Squad explores. This generally occurs late at night, to aid in avoiding other people, particularly those with badges and funny blue uniforms. We climb buildings, sneak into factories, crawl through all kinds of tunnels, spelunk old brewery caves, poke around abandoned buildings, and run across the rooftops."
Missions of the Action Squad are fully documented with descriptions, photographs (historical & intraoperative) and sometimes maps but always with a sense of wonder at the urban flotsam they enjoy exploring.
This is my particular favourite but poke around, there's a fair bit in this gem of a site worth exploring from the armchair. [via]
posted by peacay on May 24, 2005 - 27 comments


Substrate: one of the more striking uses of Processing I've seen so far. And quite urban-like, no? via Computing for Emergent Architecture.
posted by signal on May 20, 2005 - 9 comments

Cleveland gets sold down the (burning) river

Cleveland bloggers are organizing against a giant suburban-style shopping plaza called Steelyard Commons (to be built on the site of the city's historic steel factories), which will include an immense Wal-Mart at its core. After City Council passed legislation in February to prevent Wal-Mart from adding a grocery store (causing the Bensonville bullies to "pull out" and scuttle the project), the developer was aided and abetted behind closed doors by Cleveland's mayor, Queen Jane. Despite the mayor's proclamation of "no public money" or tax abatements for the project, there's plenty of evidence to the contrary.
posted by bitter-girl.com on May 20, 2005 - 16 comments

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