Category urban voids

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 […]

Space-Time Vertigo of Human Designed Geology

Continuing (part 2) with some excerpts and post-script thoughts from Navigating Bigness: Redefining Corporate Landscape: “I’m standing behind a chain-link fence, and through a pre-cut hole in the fence I’m staring into a stepped canyon created by copper mining. The canyon has been made by blasting the solid earth into bits and then hauling it […]

Cultural Subnatures

(Loosely) continuing the discussion of David Gissen’s new book, Subnature: Gissen implies that subnatures are culturally defined, as they are  “forms of nature deemed primitive (mud and dankness), filthy (smoke, dust, and exhaust), fearsome (gas or debris), or uncontrollable (weeds, insects, and pigeons)”. In general, Gissen is encouraging more creative mixing of cultural programs and […]

Subnature: Two Acres of Urban Prairie

“Subnatures are primarily experienced as aspects of the seemingly subhuman conditions of contemporary urbanization and its subcultural peripheries…Subnatures are those forms of nature deemed primitive (mud and dankness), filthy (smoke, dust, and exhaust), fearsome (gas or debris), or uncontrollable (weeds, insects, and pigeons). “Weeds are those plants that get in the way of the programs, […]

Vacancy in Youngstown

As a counterpoint to F.A.D.’s previous post on Portland’s planned expansion… To assess the degree of urban shrinkage in Youngstown Ohio, The Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative just completed a city-wide vacancy survey of  all 62,000 parcels in the city: Legend:  magenta = vacant lots, blue-to-cyan = vacant structures.  (click image for larger view) “…43.7 percent […]

SE 10th and Belmont

This urban field has been vacant for nearly 10 years.  At the corner of SE 10th and Belmont, it’s near the core of the city, occupying two contiguous city blocks  for a total of two acres.  Having passed by it numerous times, I’ve been fascinated by the activity that goes on within the fenced boundary […]