Thursday, January 31, 2008

Learning from Copenhagen

Since 1962, the city of Copenhagen has worked to improve the social life of the city. Now, after more than 40 years, the results of their planning process are clear--the city grows more vibrant, engaging and delightful each year.
Architect Jan Gehl, who has worked as a theorist, researcher, planner, designer and activist for decades, recently coauthored the book New City Spaces. The book details the kinds of urban designs that support public engagement, meaning, and stimulating experiences.

These lessons might be productively applied to the design of web sites--design patterns that support a rich set of social activities, points of contact, and range of intimate and intense relationships are the kinds of web sites that attract and retain attention.

Web 2.0 and the City

The factors and forces that combine information technology and urban form are infinitely complex--representing these connections requires a deep analytical approach and a keen sense of humor. This image is appropriately complex and funny, a picture made up of a thousand words.

This Youtube clip, of 5000 Web apps in 333 seconds, provides a quick overview of the contemporary zeitgeist.

Finally, on yet another riff on the iconic London tube map, this iA trend map shows the relationships among Web infrastructure, commerce, and social networking sites using the pathways of the Tokyo subway.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Did Someone Say Participate?

Markus Miessen & Shumon Basar have edited a new book aimed at mapping interdisciplinary spatial practices,

What was once seen as the defensive preserve of architects – mapping, making, or manipulating spaces – has become a new “culture of space” produced and shaped by an ever increasing number of disciplines. Did Someone Say Participate? showcases a range of forward-thinking practitioners and theorists who actively trespass – or “participate” – in neighbouring or alien knowledge-spaces. They share an essential interest: the understanding, production and altering of spatial conditions as a pre-requisite of identifying the broader reaches of political reality.

Virtual Istanbul

Creating a virtual city in Second Life is becoming increasingly popular, but advanced forms of information technology can serve to support urban areas in the real world. As part of TeraGrid, a National Science Foundation-funded research program, researchers at Purdue created an animated model of a future city. This model is useful,

A second, satellite city would provide immediate refuge to inhabitants of the old city in the event of a catastrophic earthquake and soften such an event's effects on the nation's economy.

Dubai Clones Lyon?

Not content with the largest museums,islands,office towers and malls, Saeed al-Gandhi, a Dubai businessman is planning to replicate Lyon. Naming rights for stadiums have long been one method of transforming symbolic ownership into a revenue stream. In this deal the city of Lyon has signed a £350m agreement allowing Dubai to reproduce an area of about 700 acres, roughly the size of the Latin Quarter of Paris, that will contain squares, restaurants, cafes and museums.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Using Twitter to Help Communities

Drawing upon his experience in the San Diego fires of 2007, Nate Ritter has authored a blog post about Using Twitter to Help Communities.