robertogreco + washingtondc   50

San Francisco; or, How to Destroy a City | Public Books
"As New York City and Greater Washington, DC, prepared for the arrival of Amazon’s new secondary headquarters, Torontonians opened a section of their waterfront to Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, which plans to prototype a new neighborhood “from the internet up.” Fervent resistance arose in all three locations, particularly as citizens and even some elected officials discovered that many of the terms of these public-private partnerships were hashed out in closed-door deals, secreted by nondisclosure agreements. Critics raised questions about the generous tax incentives and other subsidies granted to these multibillion-dollar corporations, their plans for data privacy and digital governance, what kind of jobs they’d create and housing they’d provide, and how their arrival could impact local infrastructures, economies, and cultures. While such questioning led Amazon to cancel their plans for Long Island City in mid-February, other initiatives press forward. What does it mean when Silicon Valley—a geographic region that’s become shorthand for an integrated ideology and management style usually equated with libertarian techno-utopianism—serves as landlord, utility provider, urban developer, (unelected) city official, and employer, all rolled into one?1

We can look to Alphabet’s and Amazon’s home cities for clues. Both the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle have been dramatically remade by their local tech powerhouses: Amazon and Microsoft in Seattle; and Google, Facebook, and Apple (along with countless other firms) around the Bay. As Jennifer Light, Louise Mozingo, Margaret O’Mara, and Fred Turner have demonstrated, technology companies have been reprogramming urban and suburban landscapes for decades.2 And “company towns” have long sprung up around mills, mines, and factories.3 But over the past few years, as development has boomed and income inequality has dramatically increased in the Bay Area, we’ve witnessed the arrival of several new books reflecting on the region’s transformation.

These titles, while focusing on the Bay, offer lessons to New York, DC, Toronto, and the countless other cities around the globe hoping to spur growth and economic development by hosting and ingesting tech—by fostering the growth of technology companies, boosting STEM education, and integrating new sensors and screens into their streetscapes and city halls. For years, other municipalities, fashioning themselves as “the Silicon Valley of [elsewhere],” have sought to reverse-engineer the Bay’s blueprint for success. As we’ll see, that blueprint, drafted to optimize the habits and habitats of a privileged few, commonly elides the material needs of marginalized populations and fragile ecosystems. It prioritizes efficiency and growth over the maintenance of community and the messiness of public life. Yet perhaps we can still redraw those plans, modeling cities that aren’t only made by powerbrokers, and that thrive when they prioritize the stewardship of civic resources over the relentless pursuit of innovation and growth."



"We must also recognize the ferment and diversity inherent in Bay Area urban historiography, even in the chronicles of its large-scale development projects. Isenberg reminds us that even within the institutions and companies responsible for redevelopment, which are often vilified for exacerbating urban ills, we find pockets of heterogeneity and progressivism. Isenberg seeks to supplement the dominant East Coast narratives, which tend to frame urban renewal as a battle between development and preservation.

In surveying a variety of Bay Area projects, from Ghirardelli Square to The Sea Ranch to the Transamerica Pyramid, Isenberg shifts our attention from star architects and planners to less prominent, but no less important, contributors in allied design fields: architectural illustration, model-making, publicity, journalism, property management, retail planning, the arts, and activism. “People who are elsewhere peripheral and invisible in the history of urban design are,” in her book, “networked through the center”; they play critical roles in shaping not only the urban landscape, but also the discourses and processes through which that landscape takes shape.

For instance, debates over public art in Ghirardelli Square—particularly Ruth Asawa’s mermaid sculpture, which featured breastfeeding lesbian mermaids—“provoked debates about gender, sexuality, and the role of urban open space in San Francisco.” Property manager Caree Rose, who worked alongside her husband, Stuart, coordinated with designers to master-plan the Square, acknowledging that retail, restaurants, and parking are also vital ingredients of successful public space. Publicist Marion Conrad and graphic designer Bobbie Stauffacher were key members of many San Francisco design teams, including that for The Sea Ranch community, in Sonoma County. Illustrators and model-makers, many of them women, created objects that mediated design concepts for clients and typically sat at the center of public debates.

These creative collaborators “had the capacity to swing urban design decisions, structure competition for land, and generally set in motion the fate of neighborhoods.” We see the rhetorical power of diverse visualization strategies reflected across these four books, too: Solnit’s offers dozens of photographs, by Susan Schwartzenberg—of renovations, construction sites, protests, dot-com workplaces, SRO hotels, artists’ studios—while Walker’s dense text is supplemented with charts, graphs, and clinical maps. McClelland’s book, with its relatively large typeface and extra-wide leading, makes space for his interviewees’ words to resonate, while Isenberg generously illustrates her pages with archival photos, plans, and design renderings, many reproduced in evocative technicolor.

By decentering the star designer and master planner, Isenberg reframes urban (re)development as a collaborative enterprise involving participants with diverse identities, skills, and values. And in elevating the work of “allied” practitioners, Isenberg also aims to shift the focus from design to land: public awareness of land ownership and commitment to responsible public land stewardship. She introduces us to several mid-century alternative publications—weekly newspapers, Black periodicals, activists’ manuals, and books that never made it to the best-seller list … or never even made it to press—that advocated for a focus on land ownership and politics. Yet the discursive power of Jacobs and Caro, which framed the debate in terms of urban development vs. preservation, pushed these other texts off the shelf—and, along with them, the “moral questions of land stewardship” they highlighted.

These alternative tales and supporting casts serve as reminders that the modern city need not succumb to Haussmannization or Moses-ification or, now, Googlization. Mid-century urban development wasn’t necessarily the monolithic, patriarchal, hegemonic force we imagined it to be—a realization that should steel us to expect more and better of our contemporary city-building projects. Today, New York, Washington, DC, and Toronto—and other cities around the world—are being reshaped not only by architects, planners, and municipal administrators, but also by technologists, programmers, data scientists, “user experience” experts and logistics engineers. These are urbanism’s new “allied” professions, and their work deals not only with land and buildings, but also, increasingly, with data and algorithms.

Some critics have argued that the real reason behind Amazon’s nationwide HQ2 search was to gather data from hundreds of cities—both quantitative and qualitative data that “could guide it in its expansion of the physical footprint, in the kinds of services it rolls out next, and in future negotiations and lobbying with states and municipalities.”5 This “trove of information” could ultimately be much more valuable than all those tax incentives and grants. If this is the future of urban development, our city officials and citizens must attend to the ownership and stewardship not only of their public land, but also of their public data. The mismanagement of either could—to paraphrase our four books’ titles—elongate the dark shadows cast by growing inequality, abet the siege of exploitation and displacement, “hollow out” our already homogenizing neighborhoods, and expedite the departure of an already “gone” city.

As Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti muses in his “Pictures of the Gone World 11,” which inspired Walker’s title: “The world is a beautiful place / to be born into / if you don’t mind some people dying / all the time / or maybe only starving / some of the time / which isn’t half so bad / if it isn’t you.” This is precisely the sort of solipsism and stratification that tech-libertarianism and capitalist development promotes—and that responsible planning, design, and public stewardship must prevent."
cities  shannonmattern  2019  sanfrancisco  siliconvalley  nyc  washingtondc  seattle  amazon  google  apple  facebook  technology  inequality  governance  libertarianism  urban  urbanism  microsoft  jenniferlight  louisemozingo  margareto'mara  fredturner  efficiency  growth  marginalization  publicgood  civics  innovation  rebeccasolnit  gentrification  privatization  homogenization  susanschwartzenberg  carymcclelland  economics  policy  politics  richardwalker  bayarea  lisonisenberg  janejacobs  robertmoses  diversity  society  inclusivity  inclusion  exclusion  counterculture  cybercultue  culture  progressive  progressivism  wealth  corporatism  labor  alexkaufman  imperialism  colonization  californianideology  california  neoliberalism  privacy  technosolutionism  urbanization  socialjustice  environment  history  historiography  redevelopment  urbanplanning  design  activism  landscape  ruthasawa  gender  sexuality  openspace  publicspace  searanch  toronto  larenceferlinghetti  susanschartzenberg  bobbiestauffacher  careerose  stuartrose  ghirardellisqure  marionconrad  illustration  a 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Black Twitter: American Twitter gets its new terms from Black Twitter — Quartz
"African American English may be America’s greatest source of linguistic creativity.

A new study, led by Jack Grieve, a professor of corpus linguistics at the University of Birmingham in the UK, analyzed nearly 1 billion tweets to find out how new terms emerge on the platform. By looking at words that go from total obscurity to mainstream usage on Twitter in a short period of time, the research can begin to answer questions like: Is one part of the country more linguistically creative than the others? And do new words spread from a geographical origin outward, or does the internet allow them to emerge everywhere, simultaneously?

To some extent, the answer to both questions is “yes,” as I have written previously. But the study points out the particular importance of one community on Twitter in particular, concluding, “African American English is the main source of lexical innovation on American Twitter.”

To get to that result, the authors extracted billions of words from tweets by users in the United States. They then identified the words that were very uncommon around October 2013, but had become widely used by November 2014. After getting rid of proper nouns and variations of the same term, they settled on 54 “emerging words,” including famo, tfw, yaas, and rekt.

Identifying those terms allowed the researchers to analyze out how new words spread. That pointed to five “common regional patterns” of lexical creation: the West Coast, centered around California; the Deep South, around Atlanta; the Northwest and New York; the Mid-Atlantic and DC; and the Gulf Coast, centered on New Orleans.

Of those five, the Deep South is exceptional in the way it brings about new terms. Usually, a term starts in a densely populated urban area, then spreads to urban areas in other parts of the country. In the case of the West Coast, for example, terms tend to start in Los Angeles and San Francisco, then make their way to Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

That doesn’t happen as much in the Deep South. There, the spread of creative new words appears to be driven more by culture than population density. Atlanta, the authors point out, is small relative to urban powerhouses like LA and New York. And terms that originate in the South do not spread by jumping to other cities; instead, they spread via areas with large black populations.

The map below shows the different regions the study uncovered; each county in the US is colored based on the pattern of spread it is most closely associated with. As you can see, the West Coast map shows several red hotspots well beyond California, popping up as far away as Seattle, Florida, and the Northeast. Several other maps look like that, too—the Northeast pattern has green splotches in Louisiana, the South, and Southern California; the Mid-Atlantic map shows deep purple in Chicago, Texas, and elsewhere. The Deep South, on the other hand, spreads straight out from the area around Atlanta, with only a very faint blue on top of San Francisco.

[maps]

That alone wouldn’t be enough to say that African American English is the “main source” of new terms on American Twitter. But the paper adds that three of the five patterns above seem to be “primarily associated with African American English.” That is to say, these patterns reflect the distribution of the black population in the US. Often, the study finds, the percentage of a county that is black appears to be more important than just the number of people living there in fueling linguistic creativity. In Georgia and North Carolina, for example, linguistically innovative areas “are not necessarily more populous but do generally contain higher percentages of African Americans.” This, they conclude, shows “the inordinate influence of African American English on Twitter.”

Many of the Black Twitter terms identified in the study will be familiar to any frequent Twitter user. Among the ones most associated with the Deep South region are famo (family and friends), fleek (on point), and baeless (single). But the fastest-emerging terms come from other places and cultures, too. Waifu, for example, a Japanese borrowing of the English word “wife,” is associated with the West Coast and anime."
blacktwitter  language  english  communication  invention  culture  2018  2013  nikhilsonnad  jackgrieve  linguistics  deepsouth  sandiego  portland  oregon  seattle  lasvegas  phoenix  westcoast  losangeles  sanfrancisco  california  atlanta  nyc  washingtondc  nola  neworleans  chicago 
september 2018 by robertogreco
CHECK IT
"At first glance, they seem unlikely gang-bangers. Some of the boys wear lipstick and mascara, some stilettos. They carry Louis Vuitton bags, but they also carry knives, brass knuckles and mace. As vulnerable gay and transgender youth, they’ve been shot, stabbed, and raped.

Once victims, they’ve now turned the tables, beating people into comas and stabbing enemies with ice picks. Started in 2009 by a group of bullied 9th graders, today these 14-22 year old gang members all have rap sheets riddled with assault, armed robbery and drug dealing charges.

Led by an ex-convict named Mo, Check It members are now creating their own clothing label, putting on fashion shows and working stints as runway models. But breaking the cycle of poverty and violence they’ve grown up in is a daunting task.

Life for the Check It can be brutal, but it’s also full of hope and an indomitable resilience. At its heart, CHECK IT explores the undying friendship that exists between these kids – an unbreakable bond that is tested every day as they fight to stand up for who they are in a community relentlessly trying to beat them down. "

[See also:
"Louis C.K. Releases LGBT Gang Documentary ‘Check It’"
https://variety.com/2017/film/news/louis-c-k-releases-check-it-documentary-black-gay-gang-1202485039/

[Louis CK Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auaKQx0pVE0 ]
film  documentary  washingtondc  towatch  ganges  transgender  gay  lgbtq  2016 
july 2017 by robertogreco
How Gentrifying Neighborhoods Fall Short on Diversity - CityLab
"We have been so segregated in the United States and that now that whites are attracted and willing to move into what was formerly a low-income African-American neighborhood does symbolize some progress, in terms of race relations in the United States. That we have mixed-income, mixed-race neighborhoods, I think, is a very positive thing.

But that diversity not necessarily benefiting the former residents. Most of the mechanisms by which low-income people would benefit from this change are related to social interaction—that low-, middle-, and upper-income people would start to talk to one another. They would problem solve with one another. They would all get involved civically together to bolster their political power. But what we're really seeing is a micro-level segregation. You see diversity along race, class, sexual orientation overall, but when you get into the civic institutions—the churches, the recreation centers, the restaurants, the clubs, the coffee shops—most of them are segregated. So you're not getting a meaningful interaction across race, class, and difference. If we think that mixed-income, mixed-race communities are the panacea for poverty, they're not.

During my research, for example, I had a lot of people tell me that they were pleased with the redevelopment because they felt it was associated with reductions in crime. They felt that it would be safer for their kids and their families. But then I would say, “What else is happening in this neighborhood?” “Oh well, the amenities are coming in that we can't utilize or don't want to utilize them.” “We're losing our political power, because most of the civic associations used to be African-American, and then flipped.” So there's a political loss that's also occurring.

And then also you've got some people in this community that I say in the book are “living The Wire”—looking for iconic ghetto stereotypes. Some newcomers thought it was hip and cool, that it actually brought them more credibility because they were living in a neighborhood that was edgy and rough. Crime and blackness is associated in the minds of some newcomers—and that’s really problematic. Low-income residents, on the other hand, think crime is detrimental to their kids’ opportunities and to their health.

Sociologist Robert Sampson writes a lot about collective efficacy: that controlling crime brings people together across difference, as a community. But in a place where crime is perceived differently by a long term and newcomer populations, that’s not going to happen.

So, for newcomers, the diversity is an aesthetic or a superficial feature. It attracts them to the neighborhood, at times, because they have stereotypical ideas about the culture of that neighborhood. And once they start living there, they often don’t engage with neighbors—especially across racial and class lines—in a meaningful way. At the same time, you note in your book, that older residents are also suspicious of newcomers. What’s the reason that different groups are reluctant to talk to each other?

We just have to look at race relations in America to understand that there tends to be a mistrust of people who are different, regardless of whether you're living miles and miles away, or whether you're living next door to them.

I would also say that the current climate in gentrified spaces is one where newcomers typically come in, and instead of politically integrating, they do a political takeover. They start to take over the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) in D.C. They take over the city council seats. And then, they start instituting policies that relate more to their tastes and preferences and their idea of what they want the community to look like. They advocate for things like the bike lanes, coffee shops, and dog parks.

There's a great example in the book where the first off-leash dog park was developed in the Shaw-U Street area. It was advocated for by a civic association that was dominated by white newcomers and they got less than half a million dollars for it. I spent time doing my ethnography at this park, and I noticed that African-Americans, who had dogs, that were living around this park, didn’t enter it. I asked them, “You've got a dog, why don’t you use this space?” “Oh, no, no, no. We're not going to use that because that space is not for us.” I said, “why isn't it for you?” “It was put in place by a white-led civic association. They got the money and that's their space.” This person felt like they weren't included in the political process. Other residents mentioned how, for years before newcomer whites came in, they had been advocating for improvements in that park—and nothing occurred. So there was a lot of resentment by longterm residents."
diversity  gentrification  2017  tanvimisra  politics  money  cities  neighborhoods  race  class  robertsampson  derekhyra  harlem  bronzeville  nyc  washingtondc  baltimore  urban  ubanism 
may 2017 by robertogreco
School For Tomorrow
"To effectively and efficiently prepare every student to thrive in college, the workplace, and life in the decades ahead."



"Research and educa­tional philos­ophy over the last half-​​century inform our under­standing of psychology, neural devel­op­ment, and the learning process. We use the most up-​​to-​​date research and best prac­tices from the field of educa­tion and beyond to ensure that our students master every­thing they need to succeed throughout their lives.

How we do it
Our Curriculum is:

• Integrated
We intertwine content, academic skills, and socio-emotional skills into each course, unit and lesson.

• Transdisciplinary
We integrate the natural and social sciences with the humanities to create a fuller, deeper understanding of the world.

• Targeted
We ensure that our course material and assessment methods are clearly linked to the academic and socio-emotional benchmarks of our SFT Outcome Curriculum Guide.

Our Classrooms are filled with:

Role Model Faculty

• Teachers model our core academic and soci0-emotional skills in their interactions with students, colleagues, and parents.

• Customization
Students co-create plans that include goals and pacing that makes sense for them and allows for meaningful tracking of accomplishments.

• Innovative ways to teach and learn
Classes use projects connected to real world problems to engage students in critical and creative thinking and innovative problem solving.

• Mentoring
Each student is assigned a faculty member who serves as his or her advisor and advocate. The teacher is the main conduit of information between the school and the parent and is the “expert” on the student’s growth.

All of this takes place within the context of:

• A Respectful and Caring School Community
We foster a culture that reflects the values and the skills we desire to impart to our students. We value each of our faculty members, parents, and students as human beings, and while we may not always agree, we treat each other with respect.

• Interaction with the Surrounding Community
We do not want to engender an “SFT bubble,” instead we want to share our knowledge, gifts, and talents with the world around us. As such, we incorporate community service and outreach into our learning and into our daily lives.

This yields a school that develops:

• Academic Skills and Abilities
Problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, conceptual linkages, writing, speaking, organization, numerical literacy

• Socio-emotional Skills and Abilities
Compassion, Confidence, Empathy, Growth mindset, Openmindedness, Kindness, Resilience, Respect for self and others, Social conscience

And, ultimately, allows us to fulfill our mission:

To efficiently and effectively prepare every student to thrive in college, the workplace, and life in the decades ahead."



"Inno­v­a­tive educa­tors concerned with improving student learning and achieve­ment are seeking ways to create rigorous, rele­vant, and engaging curriculum. One highly successful method is inte­grated curriculum. In its simplest concep­tion, inte­grated curriculum is about making connec­tions. SFT uses the trans­dis­ci­pli­nary approach of inte­grated curriculum.

The trans­dis­ci­pli­nary approach has many bene­fits and advan­tages over single-​​discipline learning. Among other things, it:

• Increases students’ moti­va­tion and engage­ment by providing impor­tant context, meaning, and value to their learning;
• Advances crit­ical thinking and cogni­tive development;
• Helps students to uncover precon­cep­tions or recog­nize bias;
• Helps students tolerate and embrace ambiguity;
• Teaches students to apply knowl­edge or skills learned in one context to other contexts in and out of school; and
• Makes the learning process more efficient.

All SFT students take TDP, a discussion-based transdisciplinary seminar with a focus on writing and presentational skills. This two hour course is the cornerstone of our curriculum. While each TDP is loosely focused on a particular topic, all TDPs integrate essential skills and content from, first, English Literature and Language and Social Sciences, and second, from Mathematics, Arts, and Natural Sciences.

Students round out their schedule with our rigorous, lab-based three-year Integrated Science (combination of chemistry, biology, physics, and earth/space science) sequence, individualized instruction in math to include Algebra II and Statistics (with encouragement to continue), foreign language, in-depth academic electives from any discipline, arts electives, and movement electives."
schools  education  schoolfortomorrow  reston  virginia  rockville  maryland  dc  washingtondc  privateschools  curriculum  mentoring  lcproject  openstudioproject  socialemotional  community  socialemotionallearning 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Library as Infrastructure
"For millennia libraries have acquired resources, organized them, preserved them and made them accessible (or not) to patrons. But the forms of those resources have changed — from scrolls and codices; to LPs and LaserDiscs; to e-books, electronic databases and open data sets. Libraries have had at least to comprehend, if not become a key node within, evolving systems of media production and distribution. Consider the medieval scriptoria where manuscripts were produced; the evolution of the publishing industry and book trade after Gutenberg; the rise of information technology and its webs of wires, protocols and regulations. 1 At every stage, the contexts — spatial, political, economic, cultural — in which libraries function have shifted; so they are continuously reinventing themselves and the means by which they provide those vital information services.

Libraries have also assumed a host of ever-changing social and symbolic functions. They have been expected to symbolize the eminence of a ruler or state, to integrally link “knowledge” and “power” — and, more recently, to serve as “community centers,” “public squares” or “think tanks.” Even those seemingly modern metaphors have deep histories. The ancient Library of Alexandria was a prototypical think tank, 2 and the early Carnegie buildings of the 1880s were community centers with swimming pools and public baths, bowling alleys, billiard rooms, even rifle ranges, as well as book stacks. 3 As the Carnegie funding program expanded internationally — to more than 2,500 libraries worldwide — secretary James Bertram standardized the design in his 1911 pamphlet “Notes on the Erection of Library Buildings,” which offered grantees a choice of six models, believed to be the work of architect Edward Tilton. Notably, they all included a lecture room.

In short, the library has always been a place where informational and social infrastructures intersect within a physical infrastructure that (ideally) supports that program.

Now we are seeing the rise of a new metaphor: the library as “platform” — a buzzy word that refers to a base upon which developers create new applications, technologies and processes. In an influential 2012 article in Library Journal, David Weinberger proposed that we think of libraries as “open platforms” — not only for the creation of software, but also for the development of knowledge and community. 4 Weinberger argued that libraries should open up their entire collections, all their metadata, and any technologies they’ve created, and allow anyone to build new products and services on top of that foundation. The platform model, he wrote, “focuses our attention away from the provisioning of resources to the foment” — the “messy, rich networks of people and ideas” — that “those resources engender.” Thus the ancient Library of Alexandria, part of a larger museum with botanical gardens, laboratories, living quarters and dining halls, was a platform not only for the translation and copying of myriad texts and the compilation of a magnificent collection, but also for the launch of works by Euclid, Archimedes, Eratosthenes and their peers."



"Partly because of their skill in reaching populations that others miss, libraries have recently reported record circulation and visitation, despite severe budget cuts, decreased hours and the threatened closure or sale of “underperforming” branches. 9 Meanwhile the Pew Research Center has released a series of studies about the materials and services Americans want their libraries to provide. Among the findings: 90 percent of respondents say the closure of their local public library would have an impact on their community, and 63 percent describe that impact as “major.”"



"Again, we need to look to the infrastructural ecology — the larger network of public services and knowledge institutions of which each library is a part. How might towns, cities and regions assess what their various public (and private) institutions are uniquely qualified and sufficiently resourced to do, and then deploy those resources most effectively? Should we regard the library as the territory of the civic mind and ask other social services to attend to the civic body? The assignment of social responsibility isn’t so black and white — nor are the boundaries between mind and body, cognition and affect — but libraries do need to collaborate with other institutions to determine how they leverage the resources of the infrastructural ecology to serve their publics, with each institution and organization contributing what it’s best equipped to contribute — and each operating with a clear sense of its mission and obligation."



"Libraries need to stay focused on their long-term cultural goals — which should hold true regardless of what Google decides to do tomorrow — and on their place within the larger infrastructural ecology. They also need to consider how their various infrastructural identities map onto each other, or don’t. Can an institution whose technical and physical infrastructure is governed by the pursuit of innovation also fulfill its obligations as a social infrastructure serving the disenfranchised? What ethics are embodied in the single-minded pursuit of “the latest” technologies, or the equation of learning with entrepreneurialism?

As Zadie Smith argued beautifully in the New York Review of Books, we risk losing the library’s role as a “different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.” Barbara Fister, a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, offered an equally eloquent plea for the library as a space of exception:
Libraries are not, or at least should not be, engines of productivity. If anything, they should slow people down and seduce them with the unexpected, the irrelevant, the odd and the unexplainable. Productivity is a destructive way to justify the individual’s value in a system that is naturally communal, not an individualistic or entrepreneurial zero-sum game to be won by the most industrious.


Libraries, she argued, “will always be at a disadvantage” to Google and Amazon because they value privacy; they refuse to exploit users’ private data to improve the search experience. Yet libraries’ failure to compete in efficiency is what affords them the opportunity to offer a “different kind of social reality.” I’d venture that there is room for entrepreneurial learning in the library, but there also has to be room for that alternate reality where knowledge needn’t have monetary value, where learning isn’t driven by a profit motive. We can accommodate both spaces for entrepreneurship and spaces of exception, provided the institution has a strong epistemic framing that encompasses both. This means that the library needs to know how to read itself as a social-technical-intellectual infrastructure."



"In libraries like BiblioTech — and the Digital Public Library of America — the collection itself is off-site. Do patrons wonder where, exactly, all those books and periodicals and cloud-based materials live? What’s under, or floating above, the “platform”? Do they think about the algorithms that lead them to particular library materials, and the conduits and protocols through which they access them? Do they consider what it means to supplant bookstacks with server stacks — whose metal racks we can’t kick, lights we can’t adjust, knobs we can’t fiddle with? Do they think about the librarians negotiating access licenses and adding metadata to “digital assets,” or the engineers maintaining the servers? With the increasing recession of these technical infrastructures — and the human labor that supports them — further off-site, behind the interface, deeper inside the black box, how can we understand the ways in which those structures structure our intellect and sociality?

We need to develop — both among library patrons and librarians themselves — new critical capacities to understand the distributed physical, technical and social architectures that scaffold our institutions of knowledge and program our values. And we must consider where those infrastructures intersect — where they should be, and perhaps aren’t, mutually reinforcing one another. When do our social obligations compromise our intellectual aspirations, or vice versa? And when do those social or intellectual aspirations for the library exceed — or fail to fully exploit — the capacities of our architectural and technological infrastructures? Ultimately, we need to ensure that we have a strong epistemological framework — a narrative that explains how the library promotes learning and stewards knowledge — so that everything hangs together, so there’s some institutional coherence. We need to sync the library’s intersecting infrastructures so that they work together to support our shared intellectual and ethical goals."
shannonmattern  2014  libraries  infrastructure  access  accessibility  services  government  civics  librarians  information  ethics  community  makerspaces  privacy  safety  learning  openstudioproject  education  lcproject  zadiesmith  barbarafister  seattle  nyc  pittsburgh  culture  google  neoliberalism  knowledge  diversity  inequality  coworking  brooklyn  nypl  washingtondc  architecture  design  hackerlabs  hackerspaces  annebalsamo  technology  chicago  ncsu  books  mexicocity  mexicodf  davidadjaye  social  socialinfrastructure  ala  intellectualfreedom  freedom  democracy  publicgood  public  lifelonglearning  saltlakecity  marellusturner  partnerships  toyoito  refuge  cities  ericklinenberg  economics  amazon  disparity  mediaproduction  readwrite  melvildewey  df 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Liberalism and Gentrification | Jacobin
"Gentrification isn’t a cultural phenomenon — it’s a class offensive by powerful capitalists."



"Tying up your assets, your middle-class future, in home values does something to people. It alters their interests. It sutures a professional class, of liberal and even progressive beliefs, to the rapacious capitalist expansion into the city. The people who move to gentrifying areas tend to have liberal, tolerant, cosmopolitan sympathies. But they are aligned materially with reactionary and oppressive city restructuring, pushing them into antagonism with established residents, who do nothing for property values. Behind every Jane Jacobs comes Rudy Giuliani with his nightstick."



"The liberal discourse on gentrification has absolutely nothing to say about finance or prison, the two most salient institutions in urban life. Instead, it does what liberal discourse so often does: it buries the structural forces at work and choreographs a dance about individual choice to perform on the grave. We get tiny dramas over church parking lots and bike lanes and whether 7-11 will be able to serve chicken wings. Gentrification becomes a culture war, a battle over consumer choices: gourmet cupcake shop or fried chicken joint? Can we all live side by side, eating gourmet pickles with our fried fish sandwiches? Will blacks and whites hang out in the same bars? wonders Racialicious.

The problems of gentrification always boil down to those of mutual tolerance (and so, poor black people often become “racists” intolerant of yuppies); the solutions, therefore, reside in personal conduct and ethical choices. In “How To Be A Good Gentrifier,” Elahe Izadi offers such helpful pointers as saying hello to your neighbors and not crossing the street to avoid them. After all, if you’re going to participate in the expulsion of poor people from their communities, you might as well be civil."



"Marx called the violent expropriation of the poor from their lands “primitive accumulation.” The term conjures a one-time sin, in the distant past — Adam Smith called it “originary accumulation.” However, primitive accumulation accompanies capitalist development every step of the way, wherever valuable land meets valueless humanity.

In the early days of America, before Washington existed, nothing short of genocide would suffice. Today’s colonization requires little more than a low-interest mortgage and 911 on speed dial. In the face of this slow destruction of the urban poor, liberals have only one question: can’t we have fried chicken and cupcakes, too?"
capitalism  gentrification  ideology  homeownership  policy  politics  race  racism  2014  gavinmueller  brokenwindows  rudygiuliani  janejacobs  economics  money  sharonzukin  class  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  carollloyd  sanfrancisco  washingtondc  nyc  richardflorida  creativeclass  frantzfanon  primitiveaccumulation  colonization  housing 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Cities of Learning
"Our world is increasingly complex and connected. Learning must be powerful and relevant to prepare youth for the demands and possibilities of our times. Cities of Learning are rising to that challenge, creating cross-sector partnerships to provide the rich and varied out-of-school learning opportunities all youth need to thrive.

Each City of Learning is an organic movement, powered by the energy and vision of its community leaders. Is your hometown ready to become a City of Learning? Click the link below to learn more about how to transform your community into a citywide campus for learning."



"Each City of Learning creates a citywide network of free or low-cost learning opportunities at parks, museums, libraries, and other local institutions, as well as opportunities to learn online. Participants earn digital badges for the new knowledge and skills they acquire.

Cities of Learning are anchored in the principles of Connected Learning, an interest-driven approach designed to make learning relevant for our times. Youth from all backgrounds can explore new interests, develop creative and intellectual competencies, and begin to see how they can apply their talents in the real world.

Each City of Learning is supported by a local coalition of partners. Nationally, the Cities of Learning movement receives support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Digital Youth Network and the Badge Alliance."
cityasclassroom  explodingschool  education  urban  urbanism  learning  youth  lcproject  openstudioproject  thechildinthecity  losangeles  columbus  dallas  pittsburgh  washingtondc 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The Revolution at Your Community Library | New Republic
"Now that a digital copy of the Library of Congress’s entire book collection could fit in a single shoebox, the future of the contemporary library is up for grabs. The New York Public Library’s proposed reconfiguration of its Manhattan headquarters is only the most recent high-visibility entrant in a debate that has been ongoing since the mid-1990s, manifested in the press and in a series of large urban central library projects in Berlin, Singapore, Seattle, and elsewhere. What should a contemporary library be? 1 Seattle is one oft-cited exemplar: there Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture jettisoned the reading rooms, study carrels, and hushed whispers of the traditional library in favor of a dramatic multi-story “living room” where patrons could, according to the architects, “eat, yell, or play chess.” But to find architects, librarians, and municipalities who have re-conceptualized the contemporary public library with a more nuanced and promising vision, we must turn our attentions away from noisy Seattle and other large projects toward the modest community library.

Around the globe, a handful of innovative architects are forging a new building type with a deceptively familiar name. These libraries offer something found nowhere else in the contemporary city: heavily used, not-for-profit communal spaces that facilitate many and various kinds of informal social interactions and private uses. Ranging in size from five thousand square feet, a smallish McMansion in Westchester, to thirty thousand square feet, the size of Derek Jeter’s home near Tampa, some of these community libraries are neighborhood branches of an urban library system, and others stand alone. These buildings look nothing like one another, yet they all offer exemplary moments of architectural innovation. Collectively, they make the case that excellent design is no luxury, certainly not for the civic buildings and lives of people and their communities."



"No wonder that, around the world, the construction of new small community libraries has spurred an impressive efflorescence of architectural innovation. People have wearied of bowling alone. Individuals need places where they can engage with others like and unlike them, with whom they share an affiliation just by virtue of inhabiting a particular city, town, or neighborhood. Groups of people need places that can help constitute them into and symbolically represent their community. Everyone needs what the urban sociologist Ray Oldenberg calls third places—the first is home, the second is school or workplace.2 That is what these new community libraries provide.

THE FUTURE OF THE LIBRARY IS UP FOR GRABS.

This creates an engagingly complex architectural challenge, as the community library presents many competing mandates that are difficult to resolve in built form. To become a lively centrifugal social force that can buttress or, in more troubled areas, constitute a neighborhood’s sense of identity, it must project the impression that it is a civic icon and a public place. And yet it must also offer people opportunities to engage in solitary pursuits. Today’s community library might well be a place where one can eat and play chess, but it must not be a place to yell; it must still offer private moments in communal places, moments saturated in silence, light, the knowledge and the creativity of human expression. And all on a tight budget.

How to distill such competing if not colliding imperatives—public, private; iconic, domestic; distinctive, local—into a coherent design? Even though technically all that a community library actually needs is enclosed, climate-controlled loft spaces, in fact it needs more. Only good design can make a mute, inert edifice convey to people that it embraces all comers and embodies their community’s shared identity. Many of the new library designs are loft-like spaces writ monumental, but they are much more than warehouses for computers, books, and people. Monumentalizing domesticity by design, they take their cues from the needs of people in general and community library patrons in particular: the neighborhood’s scale, the proportions of the human body, people’s innate receptivity to natural light, their tactile sensitivity and associative responsiveness to materials."
2014  libraries  seattle  bellevue  washingtonstate  oma  remkoolhaas  joshuaprince-ramus  washingtondc  community  architecture  norway  samfrancisco  louiskahn  mvrdv  rotterdam  nyc  nypubliclibrary  davidadjaye  thirdplaces  thumbisland  nypl  dc 
march 2014 by robertogreco
polis: Happy Fifty Years, Gentrification!
"A National Public Radio (NPR) journalist tweets that "yuppies can stop feeling guilty" because —based on a cursory glance — gentrification also benefits longtime residents. NPR ran her story with a URL extension that gives away the slant: "long-a-dirty-word-gentrification-may-be-losing-its-stigma." Another reporter — looking at the same neighborhood as NPR — asks rhetorically, "is bemoaning the gentrification of Washington, DC, a genre past its prime?" (File this one under: Writing by the Victims of Moaning About Gentrification.)"



"But gentrification, as a word, is incapable of projecting the benign "balm" that some in the media and academia make it out to be. Does anyone identify as gentry? Hardly anybody (though some people do, certainly). But do any of the gentrification-friendly journalists self-identify as gentry? The gentry are generally understood to be an over-advantaged lot. In the history of literature and art, the gentry hoard property and privilege as much as they can, yet they obsess over their manners and style in order to disguise their rapacity. These are the basic reasons why gentrification carries with it the power of biting satire. Glass (a Marxist) was well aware of this. It's precisely because no one likes to reveal themselves as such shameless climbers that periodic efforts emerge to revise the definition of the word and deaden its force. In reality, using the word without its satirical edge is a surefire recipe for sounding like a member of the gentry oneself.

Indeed, urban dwellers (or their scribes) are free to identify as the entitled members of a rigid caste system if they like, but that doesn't mean they can salvage the term gentrification for the better. One can't have it both ways. Either there is gentrification or there isn't. Period. And recalling Barton, I'd venture to say that the locals experiencing it have a better sense of what's going on. To give it any positive spin implies denial of the stratifying wave the process begets. In short, gentrification doesn't just happen."



"Here is another way to look at it: for these studies and articles to be on the mark, their authors must unfortunately be using gentrification wrong. If everyone's lot is improving, then we're not speaking of gentrification, or are we? Perhaps this is the case and the word has been poorly chosen. But NPR's Laura Sullivan and the scholars she cites do stress gentrification time and time again. They seem to celebrate what they see changing. She writes, "every other shop is a new restaurant, high-end salon or bar. The neighborhood is gentrifying." Whether this cohort realizes it or not, it takes gentrification to usher in the gentry, and vice versa. And even if some legacy residents stick it out, that is not evidence of gentrification's benevolent gifts trickling down to these folks."



"The core problem with these stories reflects a turning away from what gentrification precisely means, perhaps out of fear that one is, or could be, complicit in the process. And yet, at the same time, the classist anxieties over gentrification's Other — Brown's "slumification" comment, for example — show how phobias of the poor and colored rank higher than a concern over one's own role in the process. This hardly makes for good research or journalism.

I, for one, would be thrilled to read that gentrification is not happening — that we all misidentified one of the most significant urban restructuring processes of the past half-century. But if gentrification is taking place — and it certainly is (and has) — someone must be practicing it. Moreover, even among studies that acknowledge the detrimental effects of gentrification, there is a pattern of focusing on the seemingly independent decisions made by individual homebuyers (and, sometimes, renters). These housing consumers are in a putative "market" devoid of actual power brokers. Realtor groups, homeowners associations, business improvement districts, employers, public and private police forces, government policymakers, planning consultants, politicians, marketing agencies, banking and insurance firms, and the news media all cooperate, in different ways, to gentrify.

So the constant focus on the homebuyer/renter as the sole gentrifier can have a detrimental effect on anti-gentrification efforts. The consumer doesn't act alone. The usual hero or villain central to gentrification narratives — the consumer (if such an abstraction has any meaning) — is more likely to be the last ingredient in the mix. Therefore, the concerted pressure of gentrification suggests that communities should not cede possession of the term itself."
javierarbona  2014  gentrification  cities  inequality  housing  urbanism  urban  language  economics  power  justindavidson  rosalyndeutsche  caragendelryan  ruthglass  neilsmith  robgodspeed  laurasullivan  danielhartley  jerrybrown  oakland  washingtondc  jonathanmahler  raniakhalek  dc 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Cristal Ball | EduShyster
"Reform hits the *g* spot
You know what tastes great when you’re done *crushing* the achievement gap? A Venti soy, half-caff, caramel macchiato with two shots of vanilla syrup. And by vanilla, I mean va*nil*la. It turns out that Reform, Inc. may finally have cracked the code for overcoming poverty without actually doing anything about poverty. It’s called *gentrification,* and it’s all the rage in reformy hot spots like Chicago, Washington, DC and New Orleans. 2014 prediction: the Fordham Institute opens up a satellite office in Cleveland because, well, Cleveland rocks."



"Fick val?
Reader: have you been longing to witness a decades-long experiment with school choice for yourself but lack the krona to get to Sweden? Great news! Now you can experience the wonders of choice-i-fi-cation, right here at home. Today’s destination: Minnesota, the first state to permit charter schools, where academies of excellence and innovation are popping up like ice fishing shanties atop one of the state’s 10,000 frozen lakes. The newest of these schools share a common trait with the snow that currently blankets the North Star State: whiteness. In the last five years, the number of mostly white suburban charters grew by 40%. In fact choosy Minnesota moms and dads now have a dazzling array of single race charters to choose from. 2014 prediction: this alarming trend will be completely ignored and, thanks to reform $$ falling like snowflakes, Minnesota will only charter harder."
education  commoncore  2014  schools  learning  policy  gentrification  sweden  minnesota  poverty  jenniferberkshire  edreform  reform  chicago  washingtondc  cleveland  neworleans  dc  nola  charterschools 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Floating Lab Collective |
"The Floating Lab Collective is a group of artists working collaboratively on social research through public and media art projects in Washington DC, as well as nationally and internationally. They experiment with the aesthetics of direct action in crafting responses to specific places, communities, issues and circumstances. FLC artists move across visual art, performance, new media, and publications to engage and integrate such social topics as housing, the environment, migration, labor and urban mobility. One of FLC’s most important tools is a converted taco truck– a Floating Museum– that circulates projects among different neighborhoods, communities and regions.

Floating Lab Collective was started in 2007 in partnership with Provisions Library, an arts and social change research and development center at George Mason University. To date, over 50 groundbreaking community projects have been produced in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, New York City, Mexico City, Detroit (MI), Louisville (KY), Medellin (Colombia) and Port of Spain (Trinidad). Through Provisions, FLC has been funded by The Creative Communities Initiative, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Virginia Museum, George Mason University and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities."
art  openstudioproject  lcproject  activism  place  community  floatinglabcollective  floatingmuseum  newmedia  glvo  performance  action  projectideas  washingtondc  baltimore  nyc  mexicocity  mexicodf  portofspain  medellin  louisville  detroit  socialchange  medellín  dc  colombia  df 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Youth Radio
"Youth Radio is an award-winning media production company that trains diverse young people in digital media and technology. Partnering with industry professionals, students learn to produce marketable media for massive audiences while bringing youth perspectives to issues of public concern.

Our mission is to launch young people on career and education pathways by engaging them in work-based learning opportunities, creative expression, professional development, and health and academic support services.

Founded in 1992 in Berkeley during a period of heightened youth violence and homicide, Youth Radio was established as an outlet for Bay Area youth to process their experiences and provide an alternative perspective to the prevailing media dialogue. In 2007, Youth Radio moved its headquarters to downtown Oakland, helping transform an under-invested part of the city into a world-class center of art, commerce, and culture.

Youth Radio operates bureaus in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington, DC."
oakland  youthradio  radio  youth  journalism  losangeles  washingtondc  atlanta  bayarea  media  mediaproduction  dc 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Pentagon to deploy huge blimps over Washington, DC for 360-degree surveillance — RT USA
"A pair of high-tech Army blimps is coming to the greater Washington, DC area, and soon they will be able to provide the military with surveillance powers that spans hundreds of millions of acres from North Carolina to Niagara Falls, Canada.

The airships are part of Raytheon’s Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, or JLENS, and when all is said and done they’ll offer the United States military what the defense contractor calls “an affordable elevated, persistent over-the-horizon sensor system” that relies on “a powerful integrated radar system to detect, track and target a variety of threats.”

Raytheon has just wrapped up a six-week testing period in the state of Utah and is now sending its JLENS fleet to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Once there, the Army intends to get some hands-on experience that will eventually culminate in launching the pair of airships over Washington, DC."
2013  blimps  airships  raytheon  surveillance  washingtondc  pentagon  dc 
july 2013 by robertogreco
ARTLAB+
"ARTLAB+ is a radically inclusive digital media studio for local teens. Our programs give youth access to professional technology and art, connecting them to artist mentors who build a community of young creators. We develop critical thinkers and engaged citizens who have the marketable technological skills needed to lead the next generation of innovators."
lcproject  artlab+  washingtondc  hirschhorn  media  openstudioproject  art  arts  technology  smithsonian  dc 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Nicholas de Monchaux: Local Code : Real Estates --------------------------------------------
[now here: http://demonchaux.com/Local-Code-San-Francisco ]

"Proposal Location : Major US Cities with city-owned abandoned lots, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC. Case study developed for San Francisco.

Local Code : Real Estates uses geospatial analysis to identify thousands of publicly owned abandoned sites in major US cities, imagining this distributed, vacant landscape as a new urban system. Using parametric design, a landscape proposal for each site is tailored to local conditions, optimizing thermal and hydrological performance to enhance the whole city’s ecology—and relieving burdens on existing infrastructure. Local Code’s quantifiable effects on energy usage and stormwater remediation eradicate the need for more expensive, yet invisible, sewer and electrical upgrades. In addition, the project uses citizen participation to conceive a new, more public infrastructure as well —a robust network of urban greenways with tangible benefits to the health and safety of every citizen."

[See also:
http://demonchaux.com/Local-Code-Los-Angeles
http://demonchaux.com/Local-Code-at-SFMOMA
http://demonchaux.com/Local-Code-Venice-Ecology-of-Strangers
http://demonchaux.com/Local-Code-at-the-Biennial-of-the-Americas ]
landscape  health  interstitialspaces  space  spacesbetweenplaces  digitalmapping  publicland  remnantparcels  mapping  maps  digitalhumanities  matta-clark  greenways  wastedspaces  urbanism  urban  sanfrancisco  washingtondc  chicago  localcode  abandonedlots  losangeles  nyc  cities  nicholasdemonchaux  dc  interstitial  gordonmatta-clark  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
The Real Estate Deal That Could Change the Future of Everything - Neighborhoods - The Atlantic Cities
"Why can’t you be an investor in one of our deals? You live nearby, you’re young, you get it. Why is it that you don’t have this option? That’s unnatural, almost."

"Most American cities as we know them today weren't built this way. Historically, hotels and restaurants and shops were built by local people investing in their own neighborhoods."

"The history of modern financial investment has been the story of people and their money moving farther apart into abstraction, to the point where most of us don't know where our investments (if we have any) have gone. But shorten the distance between those two points, and things start to change. Put your money into a building you can see in your neighborhood, and suddenly you might care more about the quality of the tenant, or the energy efficiency of the design, or the aesthetics of the architecture. This proposition is like "Broken Windows on steroids," Ben says."
local  benmiller  danmiller  westmillcapital  chrisleinberger  regulation  kickstarter  danielgorfine  realestatedevelopment  community  communities  investment  sec  willsharpe  erikbruner-yang  tokiunderground  maketto  washingtondc  hstreetcommunitydevelopment  crowdinvesting  crowdfunding  ericgarcetti  neighborhoods  cities  development  economics  economy  finance  realestate  dc  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Los Angeles | Submitted For Your Perusal
“Los Angeles is the cutting edge of the culture, despite the claims and pretensions of San Francisco and New York and Boston and Washington. It has all the verve and dynamism that I found in New York when I went there in 1950. Verve and dynamism that New York has lost, that Chicago wanted and for which substituted brutality and angst, that New Orleans is afraid to let loose. For me, L.A. is like a big, gauche baby with a shotgun in its mouth. It’ll do anything. And with more style, with more fire, with more Errol Flynn go-to-hell vivacity than any other city I’ve ever experienced.”

—Harlan Ellison
nola  neworleans  chicago  dynamism  sanfrancisco  washingtondc  boston  nyc  harlanellison  losangeles  dc 
september 2012 by robertogreco
The Gastronauts
"The idea behind the club wasn’t to eat Fear Factor stuff, but to get people away from solely eating foods they were comfortable with; we figured having friends along would amortize the awkwardness. By way of background, Curtiss grew up in Austria/Germany/Italy, and Ben in Brazil/ Australia/Thailand, so we were both accustomed to nasty bits and odd foods. We had six folks along that first night, but soldiered on, hosting a dinner each month. We tried to keep it pretty quiet, taking in only friends and their friends, and shooing away media inquiries, but it grew and grew.

Today, our little club has expanded to roughly 1000 people, with a second chapter in Los Angeles. We receive international and domestic press requests on weekly basis, and new applications every day. Without exaggeration, we’re by far the biggest dining club of this sort in the world. Our monthly dinners have an average of 70+ people (and a long wait list) which allows us to create custom, adventurous menus with…"
comfortzone  gastronauts  foodies  adventure  restaurants  eating  washingtondc  losangeles  nyc  food  dc  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Website Tracks D.C. Homicides in Real Time - On The Media
"When Laura Amico launched the website Homicide Watch D.C., her intent was to create a comprehensive record of all the murders in the District. Little more than a year later, the site has become more than a somber document for posterity: it's a bona fide newsbreaker, often identifying victims before police do."
onthemedia  news  search  socialmedia  facebook  twitter  mapping  maps  crime  journalism  via:kissane  2011  homicidewatch  lauraamico  washingtondc  dc  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Embark | Mass Transit Made Simple
"We make mass transit simple. Embark provides an accurate, reliable, and interactive transit experience that helps you get where you want to go."
navigation  mapping  maps  longisland  newjersey  philadelphia  dc  washingtondc  sanfrancisco  london  chicago  boston  nyc  applications  trains  transportation  transport  guidebooks  iphone  android  ios  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Guiding Principles :: Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action
"For the future of our children, we demand:

Equitable funding for all public school communities

An end to high stakes testing used for the purpose of student, teacher, and school evaluation

Teacher, family and community leadership in forming public education policies

Curriculum developed for and by local school communities"

[Click through for sub-points under each of the above.]
education  2011  sosmarch  washingtondc  protest  dc  policy  politics  funding  teaching  learning  schools  publicschools  libraries  assessment  standardizedtesting  local  leadership  classsize  curriculum  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The National Mall: A Location-Aware App-Album | Underwire | Wired.com
"Two musicians from Washington, D.C., who go by the name Bluebrain have put together a location-aware album called The National Mall.

It comes in the form of an iPhone app, which you download to your handset and then open up while you’re standing in the National Mall — the green space between the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol building. As you move around the area, the music changes."

[See also: http://www.bluebra.in/ ]
music  dc  washingtondc  applications  ipos  soundscapes  musicforairports  brianeno  nationalmall  location  location-aware  sound  soundtracks  bluebrain  ryanholladay  2011  via:robinsloan  bluebrains  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
War Perspective: A Map of 65,649 Iraqi Civilian Deaths on Familiar Locations
"The goal of this project is to give you a better perspective on the toll that war has taken on the civilian population of Iraq. By clicking on one of the cities below, the map of a place you are familiar with will be overlaid with data representing civilian deaths in Iraq over a five year period."
maps  mapping  war  iraq  geography  death  cities  classideas  nyc  washingtondc  philadelphia  sanfrancisco  losangeles  chicago  via:javierarbona  dc  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Astana, Kazakhstan: the space station in the steppes | World news | The Observer
"Astana, it is the world's latest example of a rare but persistent type, the capital from zero. It is in a line that includes St Petersburg, Washington DC, Canberra, Ankara and Brasilia and like them it provokes a question: can a city, in all its teeming complexity, really be planned? Or does the attempt lead only to a synthetic simulacrum, a kind-of city that is not quite the real thing? To look at, Astana is so strange that it has one grasping for images. It's a space station, marooned in an ungraspable expanse of level steppe, its name (to English speakers) having the invented sound of a science fiction writer's creation. It's a city of fable or dream, as recounted by Marco Polo to Kublai Khan. Except it's not quite so magical: it's also like a battery-operated plastic toy, all whirring noises and flashing colours, of a kind sold by the city's street vendors."
via:preoccupations  2010  kazakhstan  astana  architecture  urban  utopia  cities  planning  corruption  plannedcities  design  brasilia  canberra  ankara  washingtondc  jgballard  sciencefiction  capitals  dc  brasília  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Urban Omnibus » Code for America ["We need to get in there and change the culture and the modes of communication first, and remake City Hall so it acts more like the citizens of the city it serves."]
"Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, a non-profit partially inspired by Teach for America that connects city governments and Web 2.0 talent. We caught up with Pahlka to get the backstory on the project, not just to hype the chance to become one of the fellows, but because the program offers profound lessons for how to reimagine how our city governments might work better. In architecture and urbanism, the words developer and designer refer to different professional roles than they do in technology. Nonetheless, perhaps designers of the physical world might benefit from a perspective in which certain networks, systems and spaces are virtual, but no less designed, and no less crucial to service delivery, citizenship and quality of life."
cities  government  citizenship  classideas  innovation  web  web2.0  urban  urbanism  technology  networks  networkedurbanism  systems  systemsthinking  qualityoflife  democracy  services  codeforamerica  collaboration  accessibility  demographics  boston  dc  seattle  boulder  philadelphia  needsassessment  municipalities  citizens  bureaucracy  government2.0  washingtondc  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Cars parked illegally in bike lanes - MyBikeLane.com
"MyBikelane is built on the notion that:
* Cyclists are sick of having to dodge cars and trucks using the bikelane illegally.
* These illegally parked cars force cyclists into traffic, making their commute more dangerous.
* Those cyclists have cameras or cell phones w/ cameras.
* Using the power of the community, we can hopefully make the problem more obvious and get the city to do something about it.
* This makes it safer to cycle for fun or to commute.

How MyBikelane works:
* You the cyclist see a car parked illegally.
* You snap a picture, taking care to capture the license plate of the vehicle and proof that the vehicle is parked illegally.
* You upload the photo, tell us when and where the incident occurred and the license plate info.
* We make the site available to media, city officials, and the web to show the problem."
activism  bikes  biking  cars  cities  bikelanes  transportation  community  collaboration  parking  traffic  conflict  googlemaps  nyc  dc  sandiego  losangeles  portland  sanfrancisco  washingtondc 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The Places I Have Come to Fear the Most « Snarkmarket
"I have a reflex­ive dis­like of sub­urbs. I grew up in Orlando, in one of its sub­urbs stacked on sub­urbs, all in dis­tant orbit around a tiny cen­ter of faux-urbanity we called down­town. (Which in turn hov­ered in dis­tant orbit around a giant cen­ter of faux-reality we called Dis­ney World.)

Orlando feels hor­ri­bly life­less to me. I often say that in Orlando, you have to drive 20 min­utes to get to the con­ve­nience store. I can’t think of a sin­gle good Mom-&-Pop shop around where I grew up. When I go back to visit, there are no places where my friends and I can sit idly and chat until the wee hours. For a while, we seri­ously took to fre­quent­ing the lob­bies of the nicer hotels...How could any­one choose a sub­urb over a city? I ask myself. Cities engen­der cre­ativ­ity and comity & effi­ciency. The Renais­sance could never have taken place in a sub­ur­ban­ized Europe.

But I occa­sion­ally get jolted out of my city-worship when I encounter a bit of real­ity like..."
mattthompson  snarkmarket  cities  suburbs  2005  orlando  boston  washingtondc  schools  parenting  urban  sustainability  nyc  suburbia  vibrancy  efficiency  invention  renaissance  creativity  dc 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Government Offers Data to Miners - NYTimes.com
"Many local governments are figuring out how to use the Internet to make government data more accessible. The goal is to spawn useful Web sites and mobile applications — and perhaps even have people think differently about their city and its government."
us  government  sanfrancisco  data  nyc  transparency  development  opendata  cities  technology  software  crimespotting  washingtondc  dc  municipal  stamendesign 
december 2009 by robertogreco
david adjaye: washington projects
"david adjaye is making his mark on washington, as well as his winning proposal for the national museum
davidadjaye  architecture  design  washingtondc  dc 
october 2009 by robertogreco
These Things Are Related - Anil Dash
"technology adoption happens now because of culture and media, not simply for its own sake or because certain types of capital are available. It happens because a vision is ambitious enough to capture the attention of artist and writers and creators of all sorts, not just other technologists or people within the bubble of the existing tech community. And cities like Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C. and, particularly, New York City, have a decided advantage when it comes to connecting to those in the tech community to the rest of the world. We also have an unparalleled history of ambition (and, yes, ego) to match that potential. I hope entrepreneurs learn a lesson from the few underwhelming startups that are out there, and realize that the model of making incremental improvements on companies that already exist is a recipe where, even if you achieve your goals, you may not have achieved much of a success."
anildash  startups  entrepreneurship  trends  creativity  technology  culture  innovation  success  tcsnmy  cv  glvo  environment  siliconvalley  chicago  boston  washingtondc  nyc  cities  disruption  gamechanging  progress  small  change  reform  leapfrogging  intuit  mint  comparison  bayarea  dc 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Who Controls Data About Public Transportation? | Electronic Frontier Foundation
"How should city transit authorities treat independent software developers who make use of public schedule data? What approach results in the best experience for their passengers and customers? Two models appear to be emerging to answer this question. One, typified by NYC's MTA & DC's WMATA, sees schedule & related data as valuable intellectual property, to be zealously protected, licensed & monetized. So far, the results of this approach appear to have been bad press, irate passengers, wasted money & stymied innovation. The other model, typified by SF's SFMTA & Portland's TriMet, holds that encouraging independent developers to make free use of schedule information can both save the city money & foster innovative applications."
portland  oregon  sanfrancisco  nyc  washingtondc  transportation  opendata  government  transit  via:adamgreenfield  dc 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The Froomkin firing - Paul Krugman Blog - NYTimes.com
"Thus we still live in an era in which you have to have been wrong to be respectable. You’re not considered serious about national security unless you were for invading Iraq; you’re not considered a serious political analyst unless you spent the last 3 years of the Bush administration predicting a Republican comeback; you’re not considered a serious economic analyst unless you dismissed the idea that the Bush Boom, such as it was, rested on a housing bubble."
danfroomkin  politics  media  journalism  paulkrugman  washingtondc  dc  washingtonpost 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Are You Safe?
"Are You Safe lets you know how safe you are at all times based on your current location within the city.
safety  crime  washingtondc  fear  iphone  applications  location-aware  csiap  dc  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Slugging
"Slugging is a self-organized carpooling system in the Washington D.C. area that developed in the early 70s."
slugging  carpooling  washingtondc  bayarea  sanfrancisco  casualcarpooling  transportation  commuting  alternative  cars  kottke  carpool  dc 
february 2009 by robertogreco
School Without Walls
"School Without Walls is a community of self-directed learners that engages District of Columbia adolescents in a rigorous high school program woven with substantive experiences based on the philosophy that life-long learning occurs both inside and outside the classroom. School Without Walls offers students intellectual and personal challenges leading to independent, intellectual inquiry combining academic excellence and responsible citizenship."
washingtondc  schools  self-directed  self-directedlearning  education  tcsnmy  curriculum  learning  lcproject  progressive  dc 
january 2009 by robertogreco
TheWashCycle: The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist
"Cyclists in general know the law better than drivers...And better than the police even. So much of the myth stems not from willful disregard for the law by cyclists, but rampant ignorance of the law by drivers." "Now then, I'm not trying to claim that cyclists don't break the law. Let me state clearly and upfront, they do. What I'm saying is that there is nothing unique about the frequency with which cyclists as a class break the law when compared with drivers or pedestrians. And even if cyclists broke the law more flagrantly than others, this would not negate the need to share the road."
bikes  cars  mobility  politics  roads  safety  streets  urbanism  law  culture  washingtondc  dc  via:migurski 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Megan McArdle (July 08, 2008) - Drivers or bikers: who sucks more?
"Moreover, many drivers in DC seem to believe that it is against the law to be in a mode of transportation that goes more slowly than their own, and therefore complain about such "violations" as trying to merge into the exit lane of a traffic circle."
meganmcardle  bikes  cars  washingtondc  dc  cities  traffic  law 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Matthew Yglesias (July 09, 2008) - Get Your War On (Domestic Policy)
"Washington Post...deeming a few commonsense measures taken by the Fenty administration to serve interests of people live, work & pay taxes in DC a "war against workers who drive"...I'd like to offer some suggestions...to prosecute the war more vigorously
bikes  cars  transportation  dc  washingtondc  traffic  cities  planning  parking  urban  livibility 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Cities and Ambition
"Even when a city is still a live center of ambition, you won't know for sure whether its message will resonate with you till you hear it...You'll probably have to find the city where you feel at home to know what sort of ambition you have."
paulgraham  cities  living  life  lifestyle  happiness  sanfrancisco  siliconvalley  nyc  paris  entrepreneurship  employment  work  careers  demographics  economics  proximity  urban  geography  society  bayarea  boston  california  education  knowledge  universities  psychogeography  location  art  restaurants  technology  science  math  research  money  business  challenge  wealth  class  social  insiders  intelligence  culture  commentary  losangeles  washingtondc  berkeley  comparison  dc 
may 2008 by robertogreco
The Price of Capitalism
"Washington, D.C. debates whether preserving the views from the Mall is worth stifling development."
cities  washingtondc  dc  growth  capitalism  development  us  history  design  urban  planning 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Jelly! - Casual coworking is awesome. wiki - The password is "j311y" (J-...
"What’s Jelly? Jelly’s our attempt to formalize this weekly work-together. We invite you to come work at our home. You bring your laptop and some work, and we’ll provide wifi, a chair, and hopefully some smart people."
nyc  coworking  jelly  austin  dc  washingtondc  portland  cities  place  space  work  networks  collaboration  collaborative  crosspollination  entrepreneurship  business  productivity  socialnetworking  telecommuting  freelancing  networking  community  social 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Radar Online's Eyewitness: Punk Love
"Henry Rollins gives a guided tour of Washington DC’s punk underground"
photography  history  music  punk  80s  dc  culture  washingtondc 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: Thai X-ing
"Four chairs, one table, A+ decor, and the best Asian food in D.C. Nothing nearby comes close. Staff = 1, so you must call not only for reservations, but indeed hours in advance with an actual order so he can start making your food."
food  travel  washingtondc  dc 
february 2007 by robertogreco
Ethnic Goes Exurban
"Louis Armstrong once said "All music is folk music." Similarly, all cuisine is ethnic cuisine. My quarter-century sampling of dosas and other delicacies has become a case study in the demographics of our rapidly changing area."
food  culture  dc  us  immigration  economics  business  ethnicity  washingtondc 
september 2006 by robertogreco

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