cities

Urban Giants

A short historical documentary about the intertwined telecom history of the Western Union and AT&T Long Lines buildings

The Internet Goes Local (Popular Science)

Locally operated service providers might not help Libya or Egypt at first, but they plant a crucial seed: training smart network engineers.

Here but Not Here

Architecture has yet to acknowledge the impact of social media on our experience of physical space. Our experience of the world around us has changed to a degree not seen since the arrival of trains and cars. But it’s not clear to me that the process of design has meaningfully acknowledged that.

Metaphor Remediation: A New Ecology for the City (Places Journal)

Confronting climate change and ecological collapse, environmentalists increasingly see urban areas as the most promising engines of sustainability. Two converging realizations — the efficiency of cities, and the global demographic trend towards urbanization — are inspiring a new generation to focus on urban and technology-based solutions to environmental problems.

The Bandwidth of Urban Experience (Wired UK)

When it comes to technology and cities, today’s thrilling development – “thrilling”, that is, if you like real cities and corporeal people – is that social networking is enhancing urban places.

The Big Apple Store (Metropolis)

New York tourism gets a 21st-century interface. (link) (Photo Albert Vecerka/Esto/courtesy NYC & Co) The challenge of being a tourist is getting a map of the city inside your head. This is easier in New York than in most places—thanks to the grid—but in January it became easier still, at least for visitors to the […]

Redesigning the Sky (WIRED)

Nearly all US flight delays can be traced to the snarl of jets over New York City. How do you squeeze more efficiency out of an archaic air traffic control system? Redesign the sky.

Infrastructure: Tracking the Future (Metropolis Mag)

The city begins crumbling as soon as it has been constructed. Beneath every new project lies the rubble of another. In the United States today, that’s an important insight. Infrastructure is being revealed, in the sense that it’s attracting more attention than it has in decades. But that attention is divided between repair and renewal, despair and hope.

In Praise of Slowness (Urban Omnibus)

The city is slow, and we write too fast. Hollywood marketers talk about “eventizing” a movie, and architecture marketers have caught on to the strategy as well.

James Corner: The Long View (Metropolis)

Corner has spent the last 25 years becoming that guy in a deliberate attempt to reinvent the field of landscape architecture by pushing aside its second-fiddle status and antiurban tendencies and claiming a more ambitious agenda: to design the postindustrial city.

Planning Rwanda (Metropolis)

Thirteen years after the genocide, the tiny African nation begins imagining its future.

Local Cities, Global Problems: Jane Jacobs in an Age of Global Change

Jacobs fought modernist urban planning’s “dishonest mask of pretended order,” and what concerns me today about cities is a corollary: Call it the dishonest mask of pretended localism.