Wednesday, August 29, 2007

jake longstreth

The images produced by photographer Jake Longstreth are far too bleak to be categorized as nostalgic, yet these images are important, as they illustrate landscapes that frame a great deal of contemporary social life (I hesitate to use the phrase "support social life"). jake longstreth

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Amsterdam Bicycles

Brian Wilson created a thoughtful comparison of the differences between the bike cultures of Amsterdam and San Francisco. His analysis is enhanced by 82 original photographs contained in his post and numerous comments from others that extend and deepen his thinking. His mini-ethnography is a testament to the kind of power that cheap, convenient digital technologies like photography and blogging have for making sense of social experience.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Agora is the title of artist Magdalena Abakanowicz's permanent exhibition in Grant Park in Chicago and a fitting title for the 100th post to this urban communication blog. The public reaction to this work is mixed, but the work does provoke interaction and reaction. One measure of this reaction is the 424 images of the exhibit that have been uploaded to Flickr.

GOOD Magazine: A Love Song to Public Transit

In yet another form of urban communication, Good Magazine asked a singer to write a song to celebrate the pleasures of the Portland transit system. The song is performed on Youtube.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Walk Score

Urban form can enhance communication and community by creating dense networks of interesting places. How walkable is your neighborhood? Walk Score uses Google maps and a database of community resources to boil the walkability of an address into a single number. The information is also presented in a clean, useful interface.

Cool Globes

The City of Chicago is using art to expand the public dialogue and imagination surrounding the issue of global warming:
The exhibit features over 100 sculpted globes, each five feet in diameter, displayed along Chicago’s lakefront from The Field Museum north and at Navy Pier. Artists from around the world, including Jim Dine, Yair Engel, Tom Van Sant and Juame Plensa, designed the globes, using a variety of materials to transform their plain white sphere to create awareness and provoke discussion about potential solutions to global warming.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Brutalized in Boston

Walt Lockley reinforces his passionate analysis of the Boston City Hall building's brutal consequences for public life with a set of appropriately harsh black and white photographs.