Will that Starbucks last? - Dream City Everyone knows that cities like New York, Boston and Chicago have flipped the script over the past couple of decades, turning richer and whiter as their surrounding suburbs grow more diverse. Today, you’re more likely to hear Farsi and Thai spoken in the sprawling cul-de-sacs outside of Atlanta than you are in many parts of the Starbucks-soaked city center itself. Exactly how this happened, however, doesn’t get as much ink. We just assume that a lot of the kids who watched “Friends” in the ’90s decided they’d like to engage in witty repartee at Central Perk. But that’s just a small slice of what caused the massive shift that Alan Ehrenhalt details in his new book, released this week, “The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City.” The revitalization of cities seemed to come out of nowhere, but you write that it was actually the result of deliberate efforts and policies. The suburbs themselves break down into different factions, too. I think it’s a little too simple.
Au Portugal, la ville intelligente c'est pour maintenant La ville «intelligente et douée de sensation» est pour bientôt. D’ici 2015, la PlanIT Valley, une cité de 150.000 habitants devrait sortir de terre au Portugal. Sa particularité? Près de 100 millions de capteurs seront disséminés dans toutes ses infrastructures, permettant de moduler presque tous les aspects de la vie de ses habitants, explique le site d’information Salon. Le projet, chiffré à 25 milliards d’euros, prévoit de relier chaque capteur en réseau à un ordinateur central dénommé UOS et construit en partenariat avec CISCO, contrôlant la ville avec le minimum d’interventions humaines possible. Les promoteurs expliquent que cette technologie sera mise au service de l'écologie. Concrètement, l’UOS gérera de façon automatique la plupart de la PanIT Valley. L’omniprésence des capteurs dans la vie des habitants pose cependant des problèmes éthiques.
A plea for beauty: a manifesto for a new urbanism - Society and Culture AEI’s new Society and Culture Outlook will examine important ideas in areas such as architecture, art, literature, music, and philosophy that are outside today’s front-page news. Subscribe to this series A plea for beauty: a manifesto for a new urbanism Download PDF Our culture is a culture of cities, and without cities we could not conceivably have enjoyed the enormous scientific, economic, and political advances of the Enlightenment. Key points in this Outlook: The decline of American cities, which saps the nation’s social, cultural, economic, and political vitality, is due largely to the ugliness of their centers.Neither market solutions nor centralized master planning can save our cities.Urban renewal depends on attracting the middle class with the kind of beauty that flourishes in cities and obeying aesthetic side constraints that create a sense of settlement. When it comes to the difficult problems faced by our ever-growing societies, conservatives tend to favor market solutions.
Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk? Wikimedia Commons Photo Reading Tom Vanderbilt’s series on the crisis in American walking, I noticed something about the cities with the highest “walk scores.” They’re all liberal. New York, San Francisco, and Boston, the top three major cities on Walkscore.com, are three of the most liberal cities in the country. In fact, the top 19 are all in states that voted for Obama in 2008. You might think it’s a simple matter of size: Big cities lean liberal and also tend to be more walkable. Substituting density for size gets us closer: Houston, Phoenix, and Dallas are notorious for sprawl, while New York, San Francisco, and Boston are tightly packed, partly because they are older cities whose downtown cores developed in the pre-car era. That still leaves the question of why urban density should go hand-in-hand with liberal politics, however. My guess is that it’s mostly 4), with some of the other three thrown in, depending on the situation.
Living PlanIT - Cisco Collaborates with Living PlanIT to Develop a Sustainable, Intelligent and Connected Community in Portugal Paredes, Portugal – June 28, 2010 Cisco today announced the signing of a strategic Letter of Intent ("LOI") with Living PlanIT, the leading urban technology company that enables intelligent sustainable urban development and operations. The LOI sees the expanded collaboration of two visionary companies with complementary skills, capabilities, technologies, and solutions to create smart, sustainable communities of the future. The strategic collaboration builds on a shared vision of sustainable urbanization, Cisco® Smart+Connected Communities architectures, and Living PlanIT's technology and is to be applied and advanced in the development and operations of PlanIT Valley, which is a next generation intelligent sustainable community in the Municipality of Paredes in northern Portugal, and a Portuguese Project of National Importance ("PIN"). Highlights / Key Facts Executive quotes: RSS Feed for Cisco: About Cisco Systems About Living PlanIT
Burying Bits of the City: Hong Kong Underground Several months ago we looked at a network of artificial caves being built beneath Singapore that will, upon completion, extend the city's energy infrastructure under the Pacific seabed; and, back in 2010, we took a very brief look at huge excavations underneath Chicago, courtesy of a feature article in Tunnel Business Magazine. Now, according to the South China Morning Post, civil engineers in Hong Kong are exploring the possibility of developing large-scale underground spaces—artificial caves—for incorporation into the city's existing infrastructure. In the full text of the article, available online courtesy of Karst Worlds, we read that the Hong Kong government "is moving towards burying bits of the city—the unsightly ones—in underground caverns, freeing up more land for housing and economic development." [Image: From the Enhanced Use of Underground Space in Hong Kong]. [Image: From the Enhanced Use of Underground Space in Hong Kong; view bigger].
Star Garden [Image: Building the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor; ©ITER Organization]. An artificially excavated limestone pit in the south of France will soon host star-making technology, New Scientist reports. "If all goes well," the magazine explains, in a few year's time the pit will "rage with humanity's first self-sustaining fusion reaction, an artificial sun ten times hotter than the one that gives our planet life." Reaching that point, however, requires an ambitious reformatting of the entire site, seemingly the very limit of landscape architecture: a kind of concrete garden that produces stars. As the project now stands, construction involves inserting a supergrid of rebar into the quarried pit, securing the limestone walls with concrete foundation work, then pouring seismically-stabilized plinths that will support the so-called International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (or ITER) upon completion. More images are available at the ITER website.
Engaging Citizens Through Games: San Jose, CA Budget Prioritization Games Like many city, state and national governments, the City of San Jose, CA, is facing a significant 2011-2012 budget deficit. In this first of three posts on how Innovation Games® can be used in to engage citizens and improve democratic processes, I will outline the plans for a specially designed Buy a Feature game that The Innovation Games® Company will be producing for approximately 100 San Jose neighborhood community leaders on Jan 29, 2011. My hope is that community leaders, motivated citizens and public service employees will find inspiration and ideas that they can leverage to create effective and meaningful conversations about the issues that shape our lives. I’m not the right person to argue for or against the various reasons that our governments have incurred such big deficits. Which sounds easy. Balancing San Jose’s budget will be a tense, arduous task that will involve significant negotiations between often competing interests of many constituents. This is a great start.
"City Water for All" by Peter Brabeck-Letmathe Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space VEVEY, SWITZERLAND – How many people in the world’s towns and cities can drink the water in their tap without risking their health? The answer is probably impossible to determine. Indeed, the United Nations uses the term “improved” sources of water to describe what is supplied in many urban areas around the world. The 2012 update of the World Health Organization’s report Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation estimates that at least 96% of urban dwellers in emerging economies like China, India, Thailand, and Mexico have access to “improved” sources of water. Visit any major city in an emerging economy, from Mexico City to Mumbai, and you will be hard pressed to find anyone who believes that the water piped into their homes is fit to drink. It doesn’t have to be like this. With a low-key but firm management style, Chan began to turn things around. Today, the Authority says that there are no unauthorized connections in Phnom Penh.
Rapid Construction Techniques Transform Infrastructure Repair By Lori Moore , Gretchen Ertl and David Scull A Bridge in a Day: The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is learning the advantages of a technique known as “accelerated bridge construction” to move a span into place in a day. Instead, they did it over a weekend. By using “accelerated bridge construction” techniques, a collection of technologies and methods that can shave months if not years off the process of building and replacing critical infrastructure, Massachusetts is at the forefront of a national effort that is aimed at putting drivers first. “This will be the new normal,” said Victor M. Quick replacement of bridges, however, is anything but intuitive, he said. As the sun climbed into the sky on Sunday, the new River Street Bridge, 400 tons of steel and concrete, rode on a set of trailers and high supports that adjust to keep the span as level as a tray of drinks balanced on a waiter’s hand. “It’s awesome!” Prefabrication techniques allow Ms.
(1) Dificultés de circulation en zone urbaines les solutions existes "Intelligent Urban Design" by Esther Dyson Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space NEW YORK – Two months ago, I was introduced to a start-up called CityMart, a for-profit marketplace dedicated to helping vendors and city managers to find one another – and to spreading municipal innovations outside of their home turf. This month, in Thailand, I met Jonathan Hursh, who runs Compassion for Migrant Children (soon to be renamed), which focuses on migrant populations – adults and children with few resources and few rights – in the slums that surround almost every large city in the world. In mid-May, I'll be attending the New Cities Summit in Paris, a three-day forum focused on the future of cities. Cities matter, as they always have, but now more of the world is starting to take notice of their problems and possibilities. Most cities have grown through evolution, from unpremeditated beginnings. And, as we are seeing worldwide nowadays, national governments are difficult to overturn and also difficult to (re)build.