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Karen Washington: It’s Not a Food Desert, It’s Food Apartheid - Guernica
The community activist pushes the food justice movement beyond raised beds, food pantries, new supermarkets, and white leadership.
articles  food  urban_planning 
5 weeks ago by gmisra
What's Behind the Backlash Over Sidewalk Labs' Smart City? - CityLab
But there has been no guarantee about who would own the data at the core of its proposal—much of which would ostensibly be gathered in public space. Also unresolved is the question of whether this data could be sold. With little transparency about what that means from the company or its partner, some Torontonians are wondering what Waterfront Toronto—and by extension, the public—is giving away.

After all, Sidewalk Labs is a sister company of Google, the world’s largest search engine and digital advertising company. Monetizing the data that users hand over is the business model that has propelled Google to its status as an IT giant, capable of tracking and guiding society’s desires, decisions, and movements—highly valuable capabilities marketers want, too.

But in Quayside’s case, it’s not clear how, or who, would pay for Sidewalk Labs’ ambitious building plans. Some observers surmise that selling data is likely part of the financing mix.
google  sidewalk_labs  toronto  urban_planning  smart_cities 
5 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Model Conflicts - e-flux Architecture - e-flux
Solving the interconnected issues of unaffordable housing and inadequate public services, and the resulting lack of socio-economic opportunity, would require an approach far more coordinated and comprehensive, and likely much more complicated, contentious, and conflict-ridden than housing production alone.

Indeed, previous policy makers have proposed just that. In January 1966, US President Lyndon B. Johnson launched a program that would become known as Model Cities, and housing was only one part of its tool kit. Model Cities was driven by the urgency to address the racialized disparity between the poverty of the nation’s older cities and the prosperity of its newer suburbs—a tension that was becoming increasingly apparent in the repeated rebellions taking hold of what was then referred to as “the ghetto” since 1964.5 The program aimed to show that by coordinating federal programs for social, economic, and physical renewal in close cooperation with residents, clearly defined target areas—low-income and generally majority-minority neighborhoods—could be “turned around” within five years....

in early 1968, New York City’s central Model Cities Committee commissioned documentary filmmaker Gordon Hyatt to document the community participation processes and shed light on the program’s goals and methods. It is unclear who the intended audience of this production would be, but very likely the idea was to have a tool to easily communicate the basic goals, structure, and results of Model Cities to the general public. The production, later titled Between the Word and the Deed, involved five cameramen filming over a period of two years. The sixty-minute film was delivered precisely at the moment when the program was reorganized and key staff replaced; the original enthusiasm for the program had already waned, and the film was never shown publicly....

the Model Cities program was originally called, was conceived as a corrective to two existing federal urban programs. The first was urban renewal, a federal land write-down program on the books since 1949, which had subsidized cities’ slum clearance and rebuilding efforts, and had rarely benefitted the poor who were displaced through such clearance. The second was the Community Action Program (CAP), which since 1964 had channeled federal money directly to community groups to use toward social services and local programs. Coordinated by the federal Office of Economic Opportunity, mayors disliked CAP since the funding bypassed elected officials....

Model Cities was a small, brief, and too-quickly discredited program. It was conceptually on the cutting edge in recognizing that we cannot build our way out of socio-economic inequality, but instead need coordinated and comprehensive approaches to solving structural problems. The program provoked conflict and confusion through its unclear mandate for “widespread citizen participation,” and yet its very openness is what led to productive debate and the development of experimental approaches. This openness was quickly curtailed and restructured into more conventional power hierarchies, and in the process of centralizing, the program’s comprehensive aspect was sacrificed for the politically expedient delivery of housing. Model Cities thus leaves us with a cautionary tale: we cannot promote socio-economic change through housing alone, as tempting as it may be to succumb to the clarity of residential unit counts. Rather, we need to embrace what Model Cities celebrated as a “comprehensive” approach, with its inevitable messiness and harder-to-measure outcomes.
urban_planning  model_cities  housing  public_process  public_design 
9 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Machines in the Valley
This project explores the post-World War II development of environmental politics in Silicon Valley. Machines in the Valley seeks to investigate, represent, and analyze the social, political, and environmental changes to document Silicon Valley’s consequence for California and American history.

Silicon Valley represented a new vision for the American West’s political economy, an economic and political project marrying pastoral idealism with high tech urbanism. The urban form of the valley sought to overcome the urban industrial model of the Northeast and Midwest that had dominated the industrial centers of the U.S. As the Rust Belt decayed, discourse about what to do with this flagging industrial economy emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. A moment of possibility emerged for Silicon Valley. But as developers, planners, and business leaders tried to implement their vision, it ran into conflict with the suruban vision of open spaces, access to leisure, and freedom from pollution that white collar workers had come to expect. An environmental politic formed concurrently with the growth regime in Santa Clara County, and these two visions for the landscape came into contact with one another.

Between 1945 and 1990, the Santa Clara Valley experienced profound environmental change during an unprecedented wave of urban and industrial growth. With those changes came conflict over landscape change. Answering that question means extending historian Kenneth Jackson’s observation that “the space around us—the physical organization of neighborhoods, roads, yards, houses, and apartments—sets up living patterns that condition our behavior.” In Silicon Valley, the attitudes, ideas, and values that people impart on to nature—biological and idealized—reveals how ideas about nature played out in postindustrial American society. By examining the ways that people created place, the politics they engaged in to protect that place, and examining the physical changes to the landscape that resulted, my research argues for the importance of understanding how space creates politics. The story revolves around whose space Silicon Valley would become: A postindustrial trend-setter? A fertile and beautiful agricultural producer? A countryside paradise? A metropolitan leader?
media_city  landscape  urban_planning  silicon_valley  environment 
9 weeks ago by shannon_mattern

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