urban_planning   1241

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Playing the Metropolis of Tomorrow
We use video games as an alternative model of computation to speak about
real conditions, and allow people to inhabit these worlds through playable interfaces.
video_games  urban_planning  simulation 
4 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
How Land Registry data reveals London’s secret tunnels – Who owns England?
The existence of a secret network of Cold War-era tunnels beneath central London can be confirmed by recently-released Land Registry data, Who Owns England can reveal.
articles  london  History  urban_planning 
4 weeks ago by gmisra
Microscopic Colonialism - e-flux Architecture - e-flux
In the 1920s, sanitary discourses entered urban planning in a more radical form, as the principle of spatial segregation took hold. In European cities this was manifested in the zoning legislations that sought to keep apart the different urban functions (housing, industry, leisure) on sanitary grounds. At the same time, in the colonies, the separation of Europeans and non-Europeans was justified with the need to shield the former from diseases (such as malaria) supposedly harbored by the latter.27 Using medical knowledge to grant racial theories a new level of pseudoscientific legitimacy, colonial administrators formalized and enforced residential segregation. In Douala, the larger city of the German Kamerun, the chief physician went even further, arguing that the African part of the city had to be separated from the European one by a “neutral zone”—a strip of vacant land one kilometer wide that would minimize the possibilities of contagion. The concept of the neutral zone was subsequently taken up by colonial planners all around Africa, and by architects too.28
In October 1928 Auguste Tilkens, governor general of the Belgian Congo, wrote to the Ministre des colonies in Brussels, relating his visit to Léopoldville which he had undertaken to study the implementation of a zone neutre. In the lette
urban_planning  public_health 
5 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Desperately Seeking Cities | Online Only | n+1
The value of the Amazon contest is that it has laid bare a fundamental contradiction of contemporary urban life. Amazon appealed to cities—cannily, it must be said—to narrate themselves: what makes them unique, such that Amazon should locate there? The result was that all cities ended up putting forward the same, boring virtues and “legacy assets”: some parks, some universities, some available land, some tax breaks, some restaurants. Each city, it turned out, was indistinguishable from every other city: “thirty-six hours . . . in the same beer garden, museum, music venue, and ‘High Line’-type urban park.” By the same token, all cities were forced to realize their basic inadequacy: that ultimately, all their tireless work to cultivate their urbanity amounted to nothing if they did not have Amazon....

The most serious academic riposte to the urbanist ideology has been Michael Storper’s Keys to the City (2013), which demonstrates comprehensively what one might always have guessed, and what the Amazon contest has proven: the location of businesses, rather than the walkability, density, and diversity of a city, determines its economic health. A statistically insignificant portion of the country will up and move to Dallas because they are fiending for breakfast tacos that they can sort of walk to, near a private-public partnership-funded park that caps a freeway where they can sort of enjoy them. Most people, however, move to a place in search of jobs, not “urbanism.” ...

Among the calls most prominent—a takeover of the local party structure, an end to mass incarceration, a guarantee of healthcare, reinvestment in schools—there is still the unfinished work of planning. Left untouched, cities will rely on Amazon to do it for them.
media_city  amazon  placemaking  branding  urban_planning  smart_cities 
8 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Sean Wilsey reviews ‘Rats’ by Robert Sullivan · LRB 17 March 2005
Rats: A Year with New York’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan
Granta, 242 pp, £12.99, January 2005, ISBN 1 86207 761 4
articles  urban_planning  animals 
8 weeks ago by gmisra
A Storm Forces Houston, the Limitless City, to Consider Its Limits - The New York Times
On how unchecked growth has exacerbated the flooding in Houston, mainly by eliminating open areas and green spaces that could have absorbed some of the rain.
weather  climate  flooding  urban_planning  cities  development  power_in_city 
september 2017 by johnmfrench

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