Category urban voids

Staring at Goats

We are currently in day #2 of an experiment – a learning by doing that involves the importation of many horned, floppy eared, ruminant quadrupeds onto a vacant urban lot.  This experiment can be approached from various related perspectives: urban ecology, animal husbandry, biophilia, waste utilization, systems design and corporate landscape, urban agriculture, and for […]

Games and Spaces of Negotiation

[Counting on Change, by Roger Sherman  — Chapter 9 of The Infrastructural City Blogiscussion] [A learned coexistence: Curley’s Cafe, Shell’s Oil Rigs, and US bank together in Signal Hill, Los Angeles.  Source] “Emphasize change-based thinking. Embrace risk. Understand successional dynamics and settle upon an equilibrium enforced by each [urban] player’s self interest. Stage and creatively […]

1:1 Scale Mapping of Terrain Vague

In a previous post, we documented a failed installation on a vacant urban lot.  That botched attempt to implant a vegetated shape on the site was useful in revealing many processes occurring there.  Such processes are particularly evident in the programmatic vacuum of open or derilect urban lots.  During the interim period until these sites […]

‘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 […]

Fluid Topographies

The Infrastructural City: Reading Matthew Coolidge’s Margins in our Midst: Gravel (introduced by mammoth here) [Gravel barges, from Flickr user mistert2) Sites of resource extraction and mining are perhaps the best locations to demonstrate the networked ecology of urbanism.  The massive voids and distorted terrains created by the borrowing of material from one landscape for […]

Remediating Crude City

[The Infrastructural City blogiscussion – Chapter 3: Crude City] [Removal of a leaking storage tank from a Superfund site.  Image via Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection photostream] “But infrastructures, when outmoded, do not just disappear.  Forced underground, they undergo metamorphic transformations, the resulting strata propping up the world above” -Ruchala, Crude City In reading Frank […]

The Biggest of Bigness

“Fueled initially by the thought-less energy of the purely quantitative, Bigness has been, for nearly a century, a condition almost without thinkers, a revolution without program…Because there is no theory of Bigness, we don’t know what to do with it, we don’t know where to put it, we don’t know when to use it, we […]