warrenellis + cities   62

City without people to be built for testing new tech
"By building this proving ground, the Center for Innovation Testing and Evaluation (CITE) hopes to provide data that proves the safety of this sort of tech, or at least details a roadmap for improvements still needed before a launch at scale for futuristic tech proponents such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos."
cities  future 
may 2015 by warrenellis
Our town: Extreme cold. Pollution. So why do locals love the Arctic city of Norilsk? - The Calvert Journal
"In the middle of the last century, Norilsk was known as the “City of Brawn”. You couldn’t go there unless you were specially invited, like the gritty and fearless workers hailed as “builders of Communism”. Besides space, the Extreme North represented the last unexplored zone for Soviet-era Russians. Visiting it became a dream for many children in the 1960s — including the two people who would become my parents. But it wasn’t just romantic notions that brought Russians to the sub-Arctic."
february 2015 by warrenellis
transmediale | unMonastery
"Ancient Greek mystery cults and technology will be paralleled to contemporary religious and industrial practice. The long lineage of Gods and mortals from antiquity to present will be explored, tracing chthonic and often mirroring personas such as Plouto (Underworld) and Ploutos (Wealth) or Demeter (de-meter / mother earth) and her daughter Persephone (pherein-phonon / to bring death). Participants will explore (hands-on) some of the benefits and ill effects of confrontations between inactivity/radioactivity, mortality/divinity, remedy/poison.

"Tales of toxicity will be interwoven with mythology and possible ancient anti-solutions which are now being used to combat the toxicity and will influence our future civilizations."
occult  myth  hauntology  future  cities 
january 2015 by warrenellis
New, privatized African city heralds climate apartheid | Environment | The Guardian
"Nigeria's Eko Atlantic augurs how the super-rich will exploit the crisis of climate change to increase inequality and seal themselves off from its impacts"
cities  doom  eco 
january 2015 by warrenellis
The truth about smart cities: ‘In the end, they will destroy democracy' | Cities | The Guardian
“The smart city was the wrong idea pitched in the wrong way to the wrong people,” suggested Dan Hill, of urban innovators the Future Cities Catapult. “It never answered the question: ‘How is it tangibly, materially going to affect the way people live, work, and play?’”
december 2014 by warrenellis
McKenzie Wark | Digital Labor and the Anthropocene «DIS Magazine
"There is of course an under-developed world, sometimes in intimate proximity to the over-developed one. You can find it even here in New York City. One can critique the orientalism of the fact that Willets Point, Queens is known among New Yorkers as ‘little Calcutta’, but it really is a place without paved roads, running water, and with mostly off the books, illegal or precarious jobs."
december 2014 by warrenellis
BLDGBLOG: Just-in-Case Informatics
a company called Orbital Insight is now tracking "the shadows cast by half-finished Chinese buildings" as a possible indicator for where the country's economy might be headed.
architecture  cities  future  money 
november 2014 by warrenellis
She Tweeted Against the Mexican Cartels. They Tweeted Her Murder. - The Daily Beast
"Reynosa, a border city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas located a short drive from McAllen, Texas. Tamaulipas is notorious as a state caught in the iron grip of organized crime. Extortion, kidnappings, shootouts, arson, bodies excavated from arid pits, all of this happens in Tamaulipas, practically on a daily basis, but hardly any of it gets reported because of a media blackout the cartels decreed four years ago that is as strictly enforced as martial law after a coup."
cities  crime 
october 2014 by warrenellis
Route Master: A Biography of the London Map | Speedbird
"I very much doubt that there is a city on the face of this Earth better mapped, over a longer period of time — nor more potently associated with the image of the map, as cultural and practical artifact — than London."
cities  maps  history 
september 2014 by warrenellis
Survive the Future: A Lesson on Megastructures with Glen Small | The Nomadic Journal
"A megastructure is a combination of a lot of parts fitting together to do a complicated job on a large scale. The Earth is a gigantic megastructure—all the elements coming together to allow the Earth to function: sun, water, fire, air, deserts, jungles, mountains, plants, animals, humans, etc. Our present cities, like Los Angeles, are megastructures—an overlay of roads, sewers, water, electricity, drainage, waste removal, transportation, habitat, security, offices, manufacturing, schools parks, communities, rivers, lakes."
september 2014 by warrenellis
Skyscraper Wallpapers + Subtraction.com
"Once a month starting back in January, the site I Like Architecture has been publishing these beautifully stylized portraits of famous contemporary skyscrapers from around the world, lovingly crafted by French illustrator Romain Trystram. Their exaggerated color palettes and simplified details emphasize the sci-fi, “architecture of the absurd” quality of building trends."
art  cities 
august 2014 by warrenellis
The Mudang's Dance - Issue #1 - Compass Cultura
"In Korea’s case, the spaceship launched in 1963 and it flew much faster, and arrived (in economic terms, at least — the only terms apparently relevant to Park) sometime around 1995 or 1996, disgorging most of the same passengers who’d first boarded it (plus their kids) into an alien world. In less time than it took Americans to go from the first muscle car to the Prius and the Humvee, Koreans went from ox-and-plow to bullet train; from mountaintop signal fires to cell phones and free webmail."
august 2014 by warrenellis
BBC News - Mong La: Myanmar's lawless region where anything goes
"Special Region Number Four - also known as Mong La - is one such strip of land on the border between China and Myanmar.

It has existed entirely outside central government control for more than 25 years."
cities  pol  war 
august 2014 by warrenellis
Escaping the Cities of Drowned Ghosts
"Here’s what you get when you combine the two. Most ’Ghost Cities’ (growth cities), are in areas positioned to become coastal."
august 2014 by warrenellis
Erbil Revealed - Archaeology Magazine
"How the first excavations in an ancient city are supporting its claim as the oldest continuously inhabited place in the world"
history  cities 
august 2014 by warrenellis
CABINET // Trap Streets
"Such interventions are known colloquially as “trap streets,” a collective term for cartographic fictions with the intent to deter copyists. And, as noted, they may not all be streets: any geographic alteration can be used, from the fabrication of a remote nonexistent town to the mislabeling of the elevation of a mountain range."
maps  cities 
january 2013 by warrenellis
Nan Madol Ruins | Atlas Obscura
"Nan Madol seems to have housed the ruling elite caste of Saudeleur dynasty. It was a political and ceremonial seat of power. As a means of control of their subjects Saudeleur dynasty had succeeded in uniting the clans of Pohnpei. The rulers forced local chieftains to leave their home villages and move to the city where their activities could be more closely observed."
history  cities  spirit-tracks 
december 2012 by warrenellis
Pruned: Graffiti as Tactical Urban Wireless Network
"A Utah-based startup company called Chamtech Operations is claiming that its Spray On Antenna Kit can turn any surface into a high-powered antenna."
comms  cities 
june 2012 by warrenellis
When a Parking Lot Is So Much More - NYTimes.com
"A better parking lot might be covered with solar canopies so that it could produce energy while lowering heat. Or perhaps it would be surfaced with a permeable material like porous asphalt and planted with trees in rows like an apple orchard, so that it could sequester carbon and clean contaminated runoff."
eco  architecture  cities 
march 2012 by warrenellis
Guernica / White on Noir
"...the town is a post-apocalyptic industrial hellhole. When you first get there you think, “This is the ugliest place I’ve ever seen. There’s nothing attractive about it, there’s nothing inviting, let’s just leave.” After two hours, you realize that every place you’re going is numbered, as if you’re inside the guts of a circuit board or you’re living in a combination lock. The two people I was traveling with would send me a text, “Oh we’re in Region 8” or “Come meet us at 8174.” After the first three or four hours we started looking around and saying “Oh my god, we’re in an Alphaville set...”"
cities  energy  war 
february 2012 by warrenellis
everyday structures
"Recommended reading: Alan Wiig’s “everyday structures”, a blog “explor[ing] the place of infrastructure in the urban landscape”, with a particular focus on “Hertzian space” and digital communications infrastructure"
january 2012 by warrenellis
parainfrastructures – mammoth // building nothing out of something
"Let us suppose for a moment that the “Parainfrastructures” which Quaderns #262 concerns itself with are a class of things, that object-parodying helium balloons hovering around Heathrow Airport to block its expansion, inflatable “instant cities” powered by air compressors, “geodesic domes, parachutes, spray-foam dwellings, zomes, space frames”, “indoor built and ephemeral complexes” colonizing the open floor plans of abandoned airports, and architectural systems of “air control” can be read as a category of architectural objects called “parainfrastructures”."
cities  architecture  taz 
october 2011 by warrenellis
polis: Night and Day
"The city of Paris has a deputy mayor of the night. It is hard to think of a bureaucratic job title with more global cool cachet, even if large parts of the job involve overseeing sanitation, street repairs and other decidedly unromantic and underappreciated nighttime activities which make cities functional places to exist."
pol  cities 
october 2011 by warrenellis
"“Shitscape” describes “the making of an entirely functioning landscape built from human excreta”. It proposes to accomplish this by recovering “the ‘soil’ from the settlements while extracting the beneficial flora from the forest and, in turn, utilize both as a generator for a new and evolving landscape”."
eco  cities 
october 2011 by warrenellis
Egyptian Dust: An Interview With Xenia Nikolskaya
"I know people who have penthouses, and they pay like 20 dollars for it per month. So that is a reason why half of these beautiful buildings are empty. The landlord can’t afford to renovate them because he doesn’t earn enough money. This makes the country look very weird. And that is why in some areas there is no development whatsoever."
september 2011 by warrenellis
After the Deluge: Alex Lukas at the Guerrero Gallery
"Rising from the muck, much like the urban wastelands of JG Ballard’s novels, Alex Lukas’ remnant landscapes present viewers with a future vision of our ruined present. These works on paper hover into one’s vision, offering fleeting memories of great cities, lost and then rediscovered. Cities or their fragments are inundated with water, scrub, marsh, and creeping vegetation. Older industrial ruins are covered with graffiti—signs of life without the existence of people or other animals. These scenes of a world, after an unnamed disaster, skirt the line between aestheticizing decay and asking revealing questions of meaning, memory, and mortality that arise when gazing at ruins."
cities  sf  art 
september 2011 by warrenellis
Sino Superfund
"Urbanization in China--explosive and seemingly boundless in potential--has in some cities reached a 'natural' obstacle. A vast ring of post-industrial sites surrounds cities like Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Although the factories have moved further afield, the remaining land and groundwater is often seriously contaminated."
cities  pol 
september 2011 by warrenellis
fecal politics
"According to the World Bank, in 2008 46 percent of Indian urbanites – or nine out of every ten living in a slum – lacked “improved sanitation facilities”, meaning that people living within them lack sewerage and public toilets3. Where community toilets do exist, poor maintenance and overuse often render them unsanitary before long. For example, a survey of 151 slum settlements in Mumbai conducted by Mahila Milan/NSDF found that there were 3,433 municipal toilet seats, 80 percent of which were not working, to serve one million people – a ratio of one toilet for every 1,488 people4. Likewise, a 1993 survey of half a million slum-dwellers in Kanpur found that 66 percent had no toilets. Lacking facilities, they shit in the open or in waterways."
pol  cities  eco  med 
september 2011 by warrenellis
Guernica / Anthony Cuthbertson: Radical Thinking to Recreate And Reimagine Our Cities
"His radical methods included a “vaccine against violence,” and firing all 3,200 of the notoriously corrupt traffic police and rehiring 400 of them as mime artists to manage the city’s traffic."
pol  cities 
september 2011 by warrenellis
Infrastructure and the State
"So, the Adaptive Journey service I describe isn’t possible at the moment, because you can’t get at the user data without breaking TfL’s terms and conditions. Nevertheless, the “We see you’re doing this, perhaps you’d find it better to do that” design pattern is a powerful one, if used properly." Yeah, crossref with @TowerBridge there, Ben. good read, though.
cities  design  net  pol 
june 2011 by warrenellis
Robot Flâneur
“Google Street View is both the view from the machine (from the car, the Ballardian view-of-our-times) and the view of the machine (the way the machine sees). Overlayed with data augmentation, from a non-human-natural perspective (the roof of the car), slightly lensed (fish-eyed), wholly networked.”
cities  digital  net  viewing  social 
june 2011 by warrenellis
'Designing the Post-Political City and the Insurgent Polis': A Recorded Presentation by Erik Swyngedouw
"Swyngedouw points to a climate of global consensus that has become pervasive over the past twenty years, effectively suppressing dissent and excluding most people from governance. He explains this consensus as limited to a select group (e.g., elite politicians, business leaders, NGOs, experts from a variety of fields) and perpetuated through "empty signifiers" like the sustainable/creative/world-class city. He argues that this consensus serves a "post-political" neoliberal order in which governments fail to address citizens' most basic needs in order to subsidize the financial sector and take on grandiose projects designed to attract global capital."
cities  pol  social  money 
june 2011 by warrenellis
Adaptive Journeys
"A way to make cities, and especially London, a tiny bit better."
june 2011 by warrenellis
Listen Closely: Broadcastr Brings You An Audio Guide To The Whole Wide World
"a new platform that allows anyone to record or upload audio, and then “pin” it to physical locations. Broadcastr then indexes and curates that audio for playback via Web or smartphone, where it can be filtered and shared in the usual ways."
cities  net  audio 
march 2011 by warrenellis
"Novelists have an endless drive to aestheticize and to complicate. I know there’s a very strong tradition—a tradition in which I write, myself—about the decoding of the city. Thomas de Quincey, Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Iain Sinclair—that type-thing. The idea that, if you draw the right lines across the city, you’ll find its Kabbalistic heart and so on. The thing about that is that it’s intoxicating — but it’s also bullshit. It’s bullshit and it’s paranoia..."
cities  writing  interviews 
march 2011 by warrenellis
Study reveals mercury levels in downtown Toronto
"Buildings are not only an intrinsic part of Toronto's landscape, they are also adding mercury to the city's air. As suggested by the findings of a Ryerson University study, it can lead to a negative long-term impact on our health..."
cities  med 
march 2011 by warrenellis
English Russia » Caves Just Under The Capital City – Syani Stone Mines
"Syani or Syanskie stone mines is a Moscow artificial cave system, where limestone was excavated for the city building."
cities  history 
february 2011 by warrenellis
Andrew Wonder and Steve Duncan exploring the NYC underground. Thanks to Siege for passing me the link.
video  cities 
january 2011 by warrenellis

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