As protected bike lanes have spread, they’ve created an exciting new era for American traffic engineers, who are once again getting the chance to solve new and interesting problems on our streets.
But they’re also creating a new golden age for another important but unsung civil servant: the public outreach specialist.
Here’s the latest evidence, from Delaware: this week, a team of city workers in the university town of Newark are going to test a protected bike lane concept by installing it for exactly one hour and getting volunteers to try it out.
It’s a simple, practical idea. But if you’ve been watching closely, you’ll also recognize this as part of a big change that’s sweeping through the profession of transportation planning.
If you were into computer software, you might say we’re now in the age of the public beta.
Urban planning as we now know it emerged from a very different era, when renderings of our most important infrastructure projects looked more like this:
Cultivated by non-professionals, do-it-yourself (DIY) interventions in urban space are gaining serious credibility in the professional design fields. But as these professionals take up the flag of small-scale and social justice-inspired action in design handbooks and art exhibits, what happens to the struggles that informed the tactics? This article presents the DIY urban tactics of Food Not Bombs as a counter case study that problematizes the recent professional attention given to DIY, tactical or spontaneous urbanism. Forged in a struggle against the structural violence of capitalism, and based in the use of public space for community meals, Food Not Bombs challenges de-politicized notions of tactical or DIY urbanism.
A new project seeks to amplify the message of local struggles between citizens and urbanisation processes in Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The world seems to be flooded by an unending wave of indignation and political unrest. The media sphere extends beyond the printed press and television news, into our personalised social networks, …
From supper-clubs to homeless shelters, pop-up ventures have become commonplace in cities around the world. In times of crisis they may offer an economic lifeline – but what are the downsides of this short-termist strategy?
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