Category politics and activism

Owning Space + POPS Urbanism

[DSGN AGNC's mappings of privately owned public space (POPS) in Manhattan: "What happens as more and more land in the city is owned by private entities?  Will we all be welcome?  To what extent will these spaces remain public?  What avenues will the public have through which to request changes?"] #whOWNSpace maps are featured in […]

Occupied in Portland

[Occupy Portland, seen on November 11th] Like other islands within the urban archipelago of the Occupied movement, Occupy Portland arrived at a critical juncture and was subsequently dismantled this past weekend.  The occupy movement has consistently demonstrated how quickly it learns and adapts.  Mistakes and improvisation seem integral to its shifting and malleable design.  And […]

Objects, Landscapes and Realities of Speculation

faslanyc has a great interview with object-oriented philosopher Levi Bryant.  The interview directs Bryant’s speculative realism into the particularities of engagement with, and definitions of landscape.  Two highlights we would like to quote here: On landscape analytics vs. activism: “I’m inclined to suggest that landscape thought can be divided into two domains:  landscape analytics and […]

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Urban Field Manuals

“In considering novel urbanisms, it is important not only to investigate new urban processes and kinds of organization, but also to re-evaluate the methodologies by which we intervene in urban systems and spaces.  The traditional tools of the urbanist are the capital project and the contract document; the capital project originates with a major initial […]

‘Dwarfing’ the Everglades’ Reclamation Efforts

[Image courtesy of TED] This week’s presidential speech on the gulf oil spill included the announcement of the administration’s Gulf Coast Restoration Plan.  Exactly what that plan will be in unknown and sparks a variety of provocative questions and surprising design possibilities.  As discussed in the New York Times and the Washington Post, the current […]

Walkmobile: Traffic Without the Vehicle

["The Austrian civil engineer Hermann Knoflacher developed the Gehzeug, or walkmobile, in 1975 to allow a pedestrian to approximate the amount of space taken by a motorist. It is ideal for protesting against the primacy given to automobiles in the city, or just taking a walk in traffic. Knoflacher’s experiment has been repeated in cities […]

‘User-Generated Urbanism’

[Civic Center Victory Garden, San Francisco.  In 2008, 10,000 square feet of turf were removed from San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza and replaced by a temporary food production garden.  Design by Rebar.  Image source] As recent discussions at Urban Tick have explored, Ecological Urbanism cannot lay claim to a single or unified approach to the […]

Terraforming and Superweeds

[Crop dusting, via Wikipedia] By governor proclamation, May 16-22 has been deemed weed awareness week in the state of Oregon.  The proclamation sets forth agendas and actions to increase public awareness of weed-related problems as framed in terms of economic implications.  A conservative estimate finds that the damage caused by noxious weeds in the state […]

The City Speaks: Living Walls Conference call for Artists, Designers and Speakers

“Our intentions are simply to broadcast to the attendees a wide spectrum of ideas about public space. We hope that everyone leaves the event looking at the city, its walls, and how we interact with space differently.” “…we will showcase the works of a selection of international artists who use city streets as an outlet […]

Appropriating the Medieval (#2) – SBInet Infrastructure Falters

Yesterday’s news reports announced that The Department of Homeland Security is halting construction and funding for the SBInet surveillance project along the U.S./Mexico border, thus diverting $50 million in funds to unspecified projects….“a likely death knell for a troubled five-year plan to drape a chain of tower-mounted sensors and other surveillance gear across most of […]

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