Interview with Benjamin H Bratton by The Guardian

The Guardian has published an Interview with Benjamin H Bratton, director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics, Calit2 and University of California, San Diego as part of their Activate New York event to be held in late April. Bratton gives interesting insights into design, technology and urbanism including

……..Only if we assume that architects and designers are responsible for the architecture and design of cities. They are and they aren’t. Cities as almost living things unto themselves, which we can certainly effect in particular ways, but which evolve according patterns in migratory networks, logistical networks, financial networks, informational networks, and so on.

Read the full interview at The Guardian: Interview with Benjamin H Bratton

Kaid Benfield @ the Atlantic: What Does a ‘Sustainable Community’ Actually Look Like?

Kaid Benfield recently wrote What Does a ‘Sustainable Community’ Actually Look Like? for the  Atlantic. Benfield uses a narrative to create Sustainaville – a sustainable community. He goes on to ‘journey’ into downtown Sustainaville and along the way gives examples of what creates a sustainable community. Although he brushes lightly on each aspect of a sustainable and admits at the end that there is more than what he has described its an interesting way of educating about ‘What Does a ‘Sustainable Community’ Actually Look Like?”

Developers breaking ground on Sustainable Communities in UK

Green dream lives on: A savvy breed of developers are breaking ground on sustainable communities in the Independent newspaper

There are about 10 communities around the country, loosely following principles known in the construction industry as New Urbanism……… No one is yet suggesting this new wave of sustainable communities will pass the test of time as Bath has – but they at least appear to be riding the downturn.

The article lists 8 projects in design planning stage along with the following built projects
Up and running

* Hockerton Housing Project, Nottinghamshire
* Greenwich Millennium Village (which involves Countryside Properties and Taylor Wimpey)
* BedZed, Hackbridge, east London

Adam Greenfield – On Public Objects: Connected Things And Civic Responsibilities In The Networked City.

Adam Greenfield at Cognitive Cities Conference from Cognitive Cities on Vimeo.

Urbanized: A Documentary Film needs funding

Gary Hustwit, Director of Helvetica and Objectified is looking for financial backing for his new film Urbanized.

We’ve already spent over a year and some substantial production costs making Urbanized, with over 100 people involved in the film thus far. We’re knee-deep in the editing process now with Helvetica editor Shelby Siegel, but we still have several more filming trips to make this spring, and then we tackle post-production tasks like sound editing, color correction, and other tech work before completing the film this summer.

Urbanized is a totally independent project: we don’t get government funding or grants. And while we’ve been honored to have PBS and the BBC broadcast our films, they don’t produce them or help us make them, they license broadcast rights to the films after we finish them. So Urbanized is being funded mainly by revenue from my previous two films.

You can pledge money at Kickstarter. Depending on the amount you pledge you will receive a t-shirt, DVD or Box Set of his three films.

Planners: Break the mould and make Kolkata futuristic

At the symposium for the 2035 Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) perspective plan, an agenda was set for a more holistic development plan, decision makers and planning professionals from Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata urged KMDA to look at the planning process afresh and take a bold approach even if it didn’t fit into the eco-political context of the day. At the end of the daylong deliberation, KMDA chief executive Vivek Bharadwaj was convinced that economy, ecology and governance needed to be embraced for Kolkata to emerge as a metropolis with global aspirations.

Read more: Break the mould and make Kolkata futuristic: Planners – The Times of India

‘Urban’ doesn’t have to mean more dense: Beyond DC

I just read J. Daniel Malouff  post about  how people can still live in higher density but aren’t getting the benefits of urban living at his blog Beyond DC .  I know this type of community is not just limited to Washington DC or the USA it’s happening all across the world where communities are living in higher density but are lacking the transport and services needed to make urban living actually livable. As Malouff states

….suburban apartments are simply preposterous. If you’re going to be building at that density anyway, then for goodness sake use an urban layout.

Read more at Beyond DC – ‘Urban’ doesn’t have to mean more dense

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