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Axios Cities - August 21, 2019 - Axios
Enter tech: A slew of startups see a golden opportunity to restore order to the curb with maps, data, sensors and apps.

CurbFlow has entered a 3-month pilot project with Washington, D.C.'s Department of Transportation to monitor curbside parking.
Passport, a curbside payment software platform, has pilots in Charlotte, Detroit and Omaha to analyze scooter usage patterns to determine how to charge for curb space.
Inrix, an analytics firm, partnered with nonprofit Open Transport Partnership’s SharedStreets to create a standard for street-level data, including curbs.

Be smart: As a public right of way, curbs are becoming a kind of network interface for new technology and transportation options.

Cities need to know how much of this prime infrastructure they actually have and how it's used in real time. Most cities don't have that information, because they've never actually needed it.

For example: Coord, a New York-based startup that spun out of Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, wants to make curbs more productive — i.e., serving the most people per unit of time per length of curb. To do that, it's providing a digital database of curbs to cities.

"We're seeing a lot of cities reallocate curb space away from parking into, for example, docks for bikes. That's an easy example of improving curb productivity by serving a lot more people in that space with those bikes than you would be with just the single parked car."
smartcities  via:shannon_mattern 
august 2019 by copystar
Imagine! You Have Nothing to Lose: Collaboration and Play in Urban Development - Katarzyna Balug, Maria Vidart-Delgado, 2015
A community-driven, collaborative approach to urban development is central to the work of the Rebuild Foundation (RF). This group of artists has spent several years forging community ties while purchasing decrepit buildings in St Louis, gradually transforming them into creative incubators with residents. In winter 2012 Social Agency Lab, a collective of urban experts, gathered to work with youths that regularly partake in RF activities. The goal was to collaboratively develop an entry for Pruitt-Igoe Now, a competition to re-imagine the urban scar left by the demolition of the public housing project. In this article, we investigate the potentialities of play in forging a common language among diverse actors. We propose that this common language enables an agonistic model of the public that privileges dissent and instability over consensus. We argue that play enables diverse groups to collaboratively imagine and perform different possibilities of urban living beyond neat, authoritative urban visions.
july 2019 by copystar
Chicago Finds a Way to Improve Public Housing: Libraries - The New York Times
I recently visited three sites that the Chicago Housing Authority has just or nearly completed. These small, community-enhancing, public-private ventures, built swiftly and well, are the opposite of Cabrini-Green and Robert Taylor. With a few dozen apartments each, they’re costlier per unit than the typical public housing developments, and they’re not going to make a big dent in a city with a dwindling population but a growing gap between the number of affordable apartments and the demand for them.

That said, they’re instructive. As Cabrini-Green and other isolated, troubled old mega-sites proved, bigger isn’t necessarily better. These are integrated works of bespoke architecture, their exceptional design central to their social and civic agenda.

And they share another distinctive feature, too: each project includes a new branch library (“co-location” is the term of art). The libraries are devised as outward-facing hubs for the surrounding neighborhoods, already attracting a mix of toddlers, retirees, after-school teens, job-seekers, not to mention the traditional readers, nappers and borrowers of DVDs.

Co-location is of course not a new idea. Other cities today link subsidized housing developments with libraries, New York included, but Chicago’s outgoing mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has made a point of touting the concept, and seeing it through in ways other mayors haven’t.
via:shannon_mattern  UofWinds 
may 2019 by copystar
About - Digital/Debt/Empire
Throughout the history of racial capitalism, debt has been a key weapon of colonialism and imperialism. Examples include the ruinous debt forced on Haiti by the defeated empires of Europe as revenge for their revolution against slavery, the debt bondage that cheapened migrant Asian labour in the 19th century, and a long 20th century defined by the sabotage of decolonization through mechanisms of odious national debts imposed on countries of the the Global South. And whether it was the accounting techniques that enabled and insured the transatlantic slave trade, the use of telegraphs to manage global supply chains or the punitive power of global bond markets, the latest forms of technology have often been marshalled to deepen the connection between finance and empire.

In today’s digital age this tendency not only continues, it intensifies. The subprime mortgage meltdown which ignited the 2008 financial crisis revealed the deepening reliance of contemporary debt and financial power structures on the extraction of wealth from racialized communities. It also showed that such racialized debt regimes are evermore intensively digitized. Although perhaps not immediately obvious, examples abound: racially-encoded algorithms that determine credit-worthiness; the high-frequency trading robots that buy and sell predatory debts (such as those of Puerto Rico) thousands of time each second in search of speculative gain; the foisting of new “FinTech” and crypto-currency solutions on poor and racialized people as quick technological “fixes” to deep problems of inequality and oppression; the buy-now-pay-later startup platforms marketed and regulated to “at risk” young people as budgeting tools, in place of meaningful social care and investment in communities; the necropolitical forms of “risk management” that help the global extractive industry and its ongoing destruction of Indigenous lands and human rights.

And yet, at the same time social movements are also seizing on new digital technologies to understand and confront a world defined increasingly by unpayable and punitive debts. For instance: Citizens collaborate on auditing their municipalities’ debt agreements with global banks; debtors assemble their own databases to connect horizontally and discover their shared persecutors; hackers and pranksters attack the ledgers of empire; artists reinvent the line between financial credit and social debts, revealing the hidden sources of solidarity; anonymous and massive data leaks allow tax fairness advocates to expose the hoards of digital cash stashed away in tax havens by the global elite; and everywhere grassroots movements struggle to reinvent the economy, moving away from the debt-driven ecological suicide pact of racial capitalism towards a richer network of social bonds between people and the planet.
may 2019 by copystar
Carnegie Library - Apple Store - Apple
Inspired by the rich history of Carnegie Library, we are reimagining Apple Carnegie Library as a brand-new space to learn. Where everyone is welcome to come and discover all kinds of creativity, connect with new ideas, and share their stories... Why spend two years and probably more than $30 million renovating the 116-year-old Carnegie Library into an Apple Store?

“Probably one of the least-done things in an Apple Store is to buy something,” Cook said recently by phone. Instead, he said, people come to explore new products, of course, but also get training and services for iPhones or iPads they already own.

“We should probably come up with a name other than ‘store,’ ” he said, “because it’s more of a place for the community to use in a much broader way.”
may 2019 by copystar
Maps are a serious fake news threat, and bots may be making them now
A new analysis of “viral maps” published in Cartography and Geographic Information Science examines the more than 500 maps that sprang from Silver’s original one, using Google’s Cloud Vision image analysis platform. The study also points out maps that were created with the pure purpose of misinforming. One egregious example, which claimed to represent an electoral map if only taxpayers voted, was simply a retitled map of something else entirely.
According to Anthony Robinson, an assistant professor of geography at Penn State University who conducted the study, maps are a particularly ripe format for spreading misinformation on the internet because we’re so used to trusting them as fact....

Where there’s misinformation, there’s usually bots involved. Robinson thinks that right now, maps like the one claiming to show what it might look like if only taxpayers voted are likely being disseminated and amplified using bots....

But it may be only a matter of time before bots begin to generate maps automatically. The technology exists: Robinson points to the increasing prevalence of auto-generated video called deepfakes...

While Robinson thinks media literacy is a laudable goal, he doesn’t believe it’s practical. Instead, he’s hoping to use machine learning image detection algorithms like those from Google Cloud Vision to trace the provenance of maps and how they spread online. Because algorithms have the capability to find both exact and partial images matches, they could potentially show users the lineage of a map’s journey through cyberspace.
mapping  cartography  misinformation  epistemology  bots  via:shannon_mattern 
september 2018 by copystar

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