STUDIO 630

Studio630 is the research blog of Kyle Rogler. This blog posts articles of work in architecture, urban design, technology, culture, and programming that currently influence me. Currently stationed at BNIM Architects.
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Posts tagged "cities"

A fascinating new study has revealed what many Planetizen readers already know: cities aren’t meant to be experienced from behind the wheel of a car. Researchers at the University of Surrey found that drivers perceive exactly the same things more negatively than those who walk, bike, or take transit, confirming the anecdotal experience of literally every person that’s ever tried to find parking in an urban downtown.

Pacific Standard Magazine has a great write-up describing the results of the study, in which participants were asked to judge the traits of people they saw from a car, transit, bicyclist, or pedestrian perspective:

"The researchers found that participants who saw the video from the perspective of a car rated the actors higher on negative characteristics (threatening, unpleasant) than participants in the other three conditions. Participants who saw the video from the perspective of the pedestrian rated the actors higher on positive characteristics (considerate, well-educated) than those in the car condition."

These findings have a few interesting implications…

These studies, taken together, indicate that cities working to emphasize walkable, transit-oriented communities are laying a strong foundation for continued growth. Improvements that focus on how people interact with cities at a human level, rather than the driving experience, are likely to be the changes that produce the most positive experiences for visitors and new residents. And the more alternatives residents and visitors have for getting around without a car, the fewer negative impressions they’re likely to form of the city.

planetizen: 30.12.13.
Why Your Big Move to the Big City May Be Your Last. psmag, 19.12.13.
Hoody, goody or buddy? How travel mode affects social perceptions in urban neighbourhoods. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour Volume 21, November 2013, Pages 219–230

via citymaus:


The Atlantic Cities:
“Are Global Cities Really Doomed to Become ‘Citadels’ for the Rich?
Emily Badger. June 18, 2013
Simon Kuper sketched a dismal picture in the Financial Times over the weekend of the end-game for what he’s calling the “great global cities” – places like New York, Paris, London, Singapore, Hong Kong – where the fortunes of a few have become entirely detached from the sputtering economy most of the world has experienced over the last several years. Elsewhere, manufacturing jobs have dwindled, agricultural work has disappeared, and wages have stagnated. Meanwhile, in the great global cities, increasingly only the very rich can afford to live.
These once-poor and crime-riddled cities have become highly desirable over the last decade. However, Kuper writes:

There’s an iron law of 21st-century life: when something is desirable, the ‘one per cent’ grabs it. The great cities are becoming elite citadels. This is terrifying for everyone else.

More specifically, he argues that places like New York and Paris are turning into “vast gated communities where the one per cent reproduces itself.” He identifies the means as something worse than gentrification:

Now comes plutocratisation: the middle classes and small companies are falling victim to class-cleansing. Global cities are becoming patrician ghettos.

This is a real fear. But Kuper treats the near future of wealthy city-citadels as a foregone conclusion, never contemplating that perhaps things don’t have to turn out this way. Great cities don’t naturally evolve to serve only the super-rich as if through some organic process. They come to exclude people by decision and design. Yes, the more desirable a place becomes, the more expensive it is to live there. But cities also become unaffordable when zoning regulation limits the supply of new housing, or caps the height of new construction. Cities become out of reach when no policies are in place to maintain affordable or mixed-income housing.”
Photo: Top image of Hong Kong: Lee Yiu Tung/Shutterstock.com
via massurban:

The Atlantic Cities:

Are Global Cities Really Doomed to Become ‘Citadels’ for the Rich?

Emily Badger. June 18, 2013

Simon Kuper sketched a dismal picture in the Financial Times over the weekend of the end-game for what he’s calling the “great global cities” – places like New York, Paris, London, Singapore, Hong Kong – where the fortunes of a few have become entirely detached from the sputtering economy most of the world has experienced over the last several years. Elsewhere, manufacturing jobs have dwindled, agricultural work has disappeared, and wages have stagnated. Meanwhile, in the great global cities, increasingly only the very rich can afford to live.

These once-poor and crime-riddled cities have become highly desirable over the last decade. However, Kuper writes:

There’s an iron law of 21st-century life: when something is desirable, the ‘one per cent’ grabs it. The great cities are becoming elite citadels. This is terrifying for everyone else.

More specifically, he argues that places like New York and Paris are turning into “vast gated communities where the one per cent reproduces itself.” He identifies the means as something worse than gentrification:

Now comes plutocratisation: the middle classes and small companies are falling victim to class-cleansing. Global cities are becoming patrician ghettos.

This is a real fear. But Kuper treats the near future of wealthy city-citadels as a foregone conclusion, never contemplating that perhaps things don’t have to turn out this way. Great cities don’t naturally evolve to serve only the super-rich as if through some organic process. They come to exclude people by decision and design. Yes, the more desirable a place becomes, the more expensive it is to live there. But cities also become unaffordable when zoning regulation limits the supply of new housing, or caps the height of new construction. Cities become out of reach when no policies are in place to maintain affordable or mixed-income housing.”

Photo: Top image of Hong Kong: Lee Yiu Tung/Shutterstock.com

via massurban:

(via humanscalecities)

EUROPAN 12: THE ADAPTABLE CITY 
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MiLES – MADE IN LOWER EAST SIDE 
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TEMPORIUSO 
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Week picks series features every Friday some initiatives and projects I found or want to highlight on this blog. It will help me to track new findings from community groups, startups or local governments working and delivering solutions relevant to the issues of this blog. I often bookmark them or save them on Tumblr while I wait to use them. Maybe this a good way.

The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from that of what kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies and aesthetic values we desire. The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.

David Harvey. The Right to the City (2008)

(via stoweboyd)

The Neighborhood Visualizer Maps The Resource Intensity Of Your City

How much material did it take to build your house? How much energy did it use? This new interactive map tells you exactly how much you and your neighbors are using.

 

‘Combating the Obesogenic Environment: How Neighbourhood Design Affects Walkability’

Several studies have reported that the increase in mean BMI and the decline in physical activity fuelling the worldwide obesity epidemic have obviously been caused by the changes in the direct environment. Sufficient evidence exists to reveal urban design as a powerful tool for improving human condition. There is a general consensus that any future research will inevitably strengthen these conclusions and obviate the fact that health-promoting environments will ultimately emerge at the forefront of planning. It is argued that health and well-being is not just within the standard remit of the healthcare sector and does contain overlap with other public and private organisation that have the potential to play a major role in influencing the nation’s health.

So why do we persist with the shift from compact to dispersed neighbourhoods?

via urban—design & urbanresolve

The Atlantic Cities:

Communities Aren’t Just Places, They’re Social Networks.

Richard Florida. Oct 25, 2012.

Cities are obviously more than just the sum of their physical assets — roads and bridges, offices, factories, shopping centers, and homes — working more like living organisms than jumbles of concrete. Their inner workings even transcend their ability to cluster and concentrate people and economic activity. As sociologist Zachary Neal of Michigan State University argues in his new book, The Connected City, cities are made up of human social networks. Neal took time to discuss his book and research with Atlantic Cities, explaining how cities work as living organisms and why what happens in Las Vegas cannot stay in Las Vegas.

RF: In the book, you write that “communities are networks, not places.” Tell us about why and how networks matter to cities?

ZN: We often think of communities in place–based terms, like Jane Jacobs’ beloved Greenwich Village. But, whether or not a place like Greenwich Village is really a community has more to do with the residents’ relationships with one another — their social networks – than with where they happen to live or work. The danger of thinking about communities as places is that it can lead us to find communities where they don’t exist.  A neighborhood where the residents never interact is merely a place, but hardly a community. This can lead us to overlook communities that are not rooted in particular places, like a book club with a constantly changing venue.

Communities aren’t disappearing, but to find them we need to stop looking in places, and start looking in social networks.”

Image: easyshutter /Shutterstock

via massurban




“The Obama administration, the Republicans conclude damningly, is “replacing civil engineering with social engineering as it pursues an exclusively urban vision of dense housing and government transit.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/opinion/sunday/republicans-to-cities-drop-dead.html

via urbanrelationsinfo:

(via alexinsd)

Infographic: Ingenious Maps Of Humanity’s Real Footprint

Atlanta looks like a dragon sigil. London resembles a sloppy Rorschach test. Tokyo could be a giant fish mouth engulfing the sea. These are what some of the world’s biggest metropolises actually look like. They’re mapped, not based upon political boundaries, but by human populations—charting where the people have actually settled within the city limits.

London

It’s the work of Antoine Paccoud for the LSE Cities Project, which is studying the 129 urban areas that represent 35% of the human population—or about 1.2 billion people worth of compressed landmass as of 2010.

“I was looking for a way to measure metropolitan density in a way that did not need to rely on heavy computations or sophisticated machinery: I simply traced over satellite imagery by hand in a systematic way,” he tells Co.Design. “The result is an intuitive and organic sense of the city, as I have connected contiguous settlements and given them a shape.”

The maps themselves began as Google Earth satellite photography. Paccoud highlighted the densest areas with black, the medium densities with grey, and surrounding periphery in white. The result is an instantaneous snapshot of the human footprint, a simplified visual compared to confusing topographical photos.

Tokyo

It’s also a scalable vector graphic, which “allows us to represent metropolitan regions of very different geographical areas at the same scale and thus to highlight the myriad forms urban living can take around the world,” Paccoud explains. Furthermore, with UN population information in hand, one can quickly assess just how dense these inky branches are in one city compared to another, and maybe even learn something from it all…

See the project here.

[Hat tip: Flowing Data]

Written by Mark Wilson

Four Concepts For The Future That Could Create A More Sustainable World

Earlier this year, Sony teamed up with the Forum of the Future to brainstorm four scenarios of what life will be like in 2025. Among them: a treadmill of “hyperinnovation” and declining carbon emissions; a scenario of damaging climate change and reactive technologies (like solar paint); a scenario where sustainability and strong community ties are emphasized; and a world where the sharing economy has taken off on a global scale.

Now Sony and a handful of partners have come up with four concepts—a platform, a product, a place, and a philosophy—that could exist within and take advantage of these visions of the future 15 years from now.

THE INTERNET OF THINGS ACADEMY

In the future, it’s possible that nearly everything will have an IP address—your clothes, your plants, and your refrigerator will all freely send and receive data. The proposed Internet of Things Academy will teach people to use the hardware and software behind this connected world, allowing them to do everything from creating experimental economic models to public health monitoring initiatives.

The concept of an Internet of Things—a system where the Internet is connected the physical world around us—has been around since the 1990s. We’re already seeing faint signals of its existence. In fact, a project that Co.Exist covered just the other day—the crowd-controlled ArduSat satellite—is a perfect example of what we could see more of in the future.

WANDULAR

This cloud-connected, modular device will stay with users for a lifetime, “generating a similar sort of affection and sense of personal connection as a favorite watch,” according to Sony’s brief. The device can be upgraded to include motion sensors, projectors, energy generation modules, and more—all generated by local 3-D printing to minimize environmental impact.

The device is durable enough that it ages well and so customizable that nearly everyone could fit it with a design they like. It’s the dream antidote to today’s throwaway electronics cycle, where devices are constantly tossed for the newest upgrade.

HYPERVILLAGE

The world is on track to have 75% of all humanity living in cities by 2050. What happens to the other 25%? Sony envisions the HyperVillage—a completely self-reliant but globally connected community “underpinned by the highest spec software and hardware.” These HyperVillages will use technology to monitor local resources (water, fisheries, etc.) and to share “maker” knowledge with the larger world. All power is generated from community-owned renewable energy hubs, and immersive technology allows rural denizens to virtually travel to urban spaces for big events.

We’re already seeing a resurgence in “maker” culture—just visit your local Maker Faire to see how popular it has become—and projects like Alchematter (a Wikipedia for people who make things) are making it increasingly easy for people to become self-reliant. At the same time, local, independent economies are taking off, with some neighborhoods even creating their own currencies.

THE SHIFT

The Shift is more of a question than anything else. Sony asks, “Is it time to re-focus society’s relationship with technology so that it genuinely meets human needs?” Digital technology has changed the way we live, but there’s still a long way to go for it to truly revolutionize our personal well-being and connection with nature (an example of the latter is Urban Edibles, a digital database of wild food sources in Portland, Oregon). Instead, we often allow these technologies to waste our time and distract us (the average user spends 2.5 hours on email every day), leaving little downtime to actually process what we experience.

The answer to Sony’s question is, of course, a resounding yes.

By Ariel Schwartz

Via FastCoExist

Kent Larson: Brilliant designs to fit more people in every city

How can we fit more people into cities without overcrowding? Kent Larson shows off folding cars, quick-change apartments and other innovations that could make the city of the future work a lot like a small village of the past.

Kent Larson designs new technologies that solve the biggest questions facing our cities.

emergentfutures:

LEMONADE PRICES AT THIS VENDING MACHINE CHANGE BASED ON THE TEMPERATURE

Coca-cola’s drink dispensers stocked with Limon&Nada in Spain were equipped with thermometers and the product became cheaper as the weather got hotter.

Paul Higgins: Interesting - you would think that it would be the other way around - cheaper when demand was lower?



Full Story: PSFK

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Cities | Sustainable Cities Collective

  1. Be Proactive. There’s much any city can do today. Even without sufficient budget or authorization from ‘senior levels’ of government, every city has a full menu of things that can be carried out immediately, generating positive momentum and goodwill. Business rewards the active entrepreneur, and the public desperately wants active cities. The rewards are great. 
  2. Plan – Plan Right. All cities carry out master plans for their key services, long-term infrastructure needs, and land use planning. Before starting these plans, the end needs to be clear. They are guidance documents, aspirational, and ways to rally supporters and give fair hearing to opponents. But a plan, no matter how good, can never be seen as a finished product. Before starting the plan an agreement is needed that the city is moving forward on this issue: the plan is the vehicle to bring along as many supporters as possible and identify potential potholes and trouble en route. Like a city, good plans are living documents. 
  3. Put First Things First. How many cities have we visited where they are building a new grand City Hall, yet much of the garbage still isn’t being collected or the water isn’t flowing? A city’s priorities should be basic services, professionalism and quality of staff, clear metrics, a reliable ongoing base budget, and nurturing a respectful two-way conversation with its residents. All great buildings need a solid foundation. 

via smartercities:

In D.C., low-cost apartments disappearing at rapid rate


For a year, Julio Benitez, 61, has complained to his landlord about the unpatched walls, leaky bathtub and broken electrical outlets in his apartment. Down the hall, where Paul Fisette, 28, moved in a month ago, everything is new, from the paint to the appliances. When the garbage disposal broke recently, the landlord replaced it by 11 a.m. the next day.

Welcome to the New Hampshire, where the underprivileged and upscale exist under the same roof, part of a shift in the District’s housing stock that experts say is likely to change the face of the city for decades to come. Fueled by a strong job market for young professionals and a credit crunch that has made condominium conversion difficult, low-income apartment buildings are undergoing rapid makeovers to meet the demand for upscale housing.

As a result, low-cost rental housing is now disappearing at a faster rate than it was during the height of the housing boom, according to a new analysis of census data by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. Median rents soared by as much as 50 percent between 2000 and 2010, with much of that increase taking place during the downturn, the analysis found.

The residents of the New Hampshire, a 1920s vintage building by the Georgia Avenue-
Petworth Metro station, are intimately familiar with the forces reshaping the city. Their building and the adjacent Quincy were purchased in 2010 by Urban Investment Partners, which launched extensive renovations under an agreement worked out with the tenants.

To comply with the District’s housing laws, UIP promised to bring the buildings up to code and even upgrade them and let the residents who chose to stay keep their apartments rent controlled. Those who wished to leave could walk away with a buyout of $10,000. In exchange, the owner would be allowed to charge new tenants market-rate rents.

Such voluntary agreements are increasingly common, housing advocates say, because they allow building owners to raise rents without a prolonged fight while giving tenants a way to get their buildings fixed up, or, if they prefer, money to move out. Over the past several years, UIP has pioneered the use of voluntary agreements and is now one of the city’s most prolific users of them. The alternatives, such as petitioning the residents to raise the rent, very often trigger court battles, which cost money and goodwill.”

Via: The Washington Post & massurban:

Photo: Michael S. Williamson / THE WASHINGTON POST