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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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Five steps for a high well-being society

Five steps for a high well-being society | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
It’s now eight years since David Cameron first declared that “it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB - general well-being” and in that time the UK has become a global leader by measuring national well-being – but we have yet to make the leap from measurement to action.

. . . 

A new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Wellbeing Economics, for which NEF acts as the secretariat, explodes both of these myths. The group, which includes parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, argues that well-being matters more, not less, in difficult economic times:  we care about recessions because we care about unemployment, and we care about unemployment because we care about people’s well-being. And they show that well-being offers a real alternative to business-as-usual policy making, from the way we run the economy to the way we run our schools.

 

The report is based on a nine-month inquiry which explored well-being in relation to four diverse policy areas. In each of these, the evidence threw up both some distinctive policy priorities and some fresh approaches to old problems. The report makes five key recommendations for building a high well-being society:

 

1) Focus on stable jobs, not growth

2) Promote shorter, more flexible working hours

3) More green spaces in our cities

4) Mindfulness training for doctors and teachers

5) Invest in arts and culture


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Abandoned Walmart is Now America’s Largest Library | WebUrbanist

Abandoned Walmart is Now America’s Largest Library | WebUrbanist | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

There are thousands of abandoned big box stores sitting empty all over America, including hundreds of former Walmart stores. With each store taking up enough space for 2.5 football fields, Walmart’s use of more than 698 million square feet of land in the U.S. is one of its biggest environmental impacts. But at least one of those buildings has been transformed into something arguably much more useful: the nation’s largest library.

 

A sprawling abandoned Walmart in McAllen, Texas has been transformed into the nation's largest public library, with self-check-out kiosks and an art gallery.

 

 

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HDNet - "Art From The Ashes: Detroit's Heidelberg Project"

The Heidelberg Project is a living outdoor art installation in the heart of urban Detroit. Artist Tyree Guyton created a massive art installation spanning two city blocks where deteriorating homes are reinvigorated with paint and repurposed materials. In the video above, you’ll see some of the somewhat wild colors (from pastels to brilliant primary colors), patterns (polkadots), and materials (stuffed animals).


Much like Jimmy Boggs’ mantra to “make a way out of no way,” Guyton says the philosophy of his 25-year project is “to take nothing, and to take that nothing and create something very beautiful, very whimsical to the point that it makes people think.”


onBeing.org

Susan Leem

02 Feb 2012


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SUSTAINABLE SEATTLE: Art, Farming and Sustainability: The Alaskan Way Hanging Gardens

SUSTAINABLE SEATTLE: Art, Farming and Sustainability: The Alaskan Way Hanging Gardens | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

"Sungold tomatoes, amaranth, salad burnet, broccoli and eggplant... did my tummy just grumble? No, this isn't a farmer’s market shopping list. These are just some of the vegetables found in plastic semitransparent milk jugs, attached together with twine, hanging five feet above a concrete sidewalk to a row of trees at the Seattle Waterfront, between Alaskan Way and Wall Street to be exact."


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City and Mind

City and Mind | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Lewis Mumford tells us, “The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap. But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind”... but.... 


Via Anne Caspari
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The Creativity Crisis

The Creativity Crisis | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

From fourth grade on, creativity no longer occurs in a vacuum; researching and studying become an integral part of coming up with useful solutions. But this transition isn’t easy. As school stuffs more complex information into their heads, kids get overloaded, and creativity suffers. When creative children have a supportive teacher—someone tolerant of unconventional answers, occasional disruptions, or detours of curiosity—they tend to excel.


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A Child Was Here!

A Child Was Here! | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Do you remember how time disappears when you get lost in your work? Watch children on a playground – digging, building, drawing in the dirt. They are lost in the moment, following their imagination, building a creative base for their tomorrows.


The little stick in just the right place today becomes the I-beam exactly placed in the future. The trail scratched into the sand promises a future road builder. Words carved into the soil with a stick hints of a philosopher (in this case, a researcher). The hand builds the brain through engagement with the world.


There is so much power in a spot of dirt, sand, rocks, or debris for a child. It is as large a space for their minds as the world is to ours. How free they are to explore, manipulate, design, and build impacts their developing brain. It is their moment, their learning, their tomorrow they are building.


Give them space to become who they are!


via @counterpane

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Want Kids to Be More Altruistic? Give Them Arts Education

Want Kids to Be More Altruistic? Give Them Arts Education | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Earlier this year Secretary of Education Arne Duncan voiced his support for dance, music, theater, and visual arts programs, calling them "essential to preparing our nation's young people for a global economy fueled by innovation and creativity." A new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago points to an equally important reason we need to make sure every school has a robust arts program: People who engage in the arts or watch others do so are more likely to be civically engaged, socially tolerant, and altruistic.


Via David Hodgson
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DETROIT, JE T'AIME

An interactive documentary on Detroit's DIY culture, featuring inspiring stories & cool tips for you to create your own projects.
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Eco-Graffiti: 10 Guerilla Garden-Inspired Artists That Respect Mother Nature

Eco-Graffiti: 10 Guerilla Garden-Inspired Artists That Respect Mother Nature | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Make a statement about the environment and society without harming a hair on Mother Nature’s head. With eco-graffiti, you can express yourself without breaking the law!
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Where the heart is: Writers invite us into their idea of home

Where the heart is: Writers invite us into their idea of home | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Our homes do not have to offer us permanent occupancy or store our clothes to merit the name. Home can be an airport or a library, a garden or a hotel. Our love of home is in turn an acknowledgement of the degree to which our identity is not self-determined. We need a home in the psychological sense as much as we need one in the physical: to compensate for a vulnerability. We need a refuge to shore up our states of mind, because so much of the world is opposed to our allegiances. We need our rooms to align us to desirable versions of ourselves and to keep alive the important, evanescent sides of us.

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Forget New York City, This City is Where All the Artists Are Moving To

Forget New York City, This City is Where All the Artists Are Moving To | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Lisbon, Portugal: The city investing in art in the middle of a financial crisis.

. . . 

This creative renaissance, it turns out, is not spontaneous, but rather the product of opportunistic public policy. In times of crisis, most governments take the knife to spending aimed at promoting art, design or publishing. But continental Europe’s westernmost capital decided instead to concentrate scarce resources on its “creative economy.”

. . .

And Lisbon’s has perks that established creative hubs just can’t touch. Unlike Barcelona, tourists haven’t completely overrun it. The cost of living is laughably cheap compared to London: $1800 for a small apartment and a $5 for beer, while in Lisbon it’s $470 and $1.50 respectively. And Berlin’s dreary skies can’t begin to compete with Lisbon’s 200 days of sunshine every year.

 

 

ddrrnt's insight:

Wow. I'm especially keen to check out Lisbon soon.

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Powers of Ten: How the Eames’ Experimental Film Changed the Way We Look at Chicago—and the Universe.

Powers of Ten: How the Eames’ Experimental Film Changed the Way We Look at Chicago—and the Universe. | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Has Chicago, or any city, been captured as beautifully and precisely on film? Has a sequence spurred more awareness of the vastness of space than the now-classic Powers of Ten zoom? And would there even be a Google Earth to tinker with had this masterwork not poured from the minds of Charles and Ray Eames?


Via David McConville
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Tijuana Rebuilds on Its Art

Tijuana Rebuilds on Its Art | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

ANY city whose most widely known symbol is a painted donkey is used to being the butt of jokes. But Tijuana, often derided as a lowbrow center of debauchery and more recently as a hub of drug-related violence, is transforming itself through something that has quietly always been a strong suit: culture.


Sure, Tijuana’s seedy side still exists. But its faltering economy has slowly recovered, and the violence that plagued the city has sharply receded. In its place, a thriving cultural community that already encompassed a major Mexican institution, the Centro Cultural Tijuana, as well as music, dance and visual arts groups, has expanded. In this chaotic, messy, visceral place, the resurgence has been from the ground up, and art has landed in unexpected places.


“There is the feeling that the city has retaken itself,” said Teddy Cruz, an architect and professor at the University of California, San Diego, whose work has examined Tijuana. “There’s a kind of a vibrancy that is really unique in recent times. There’s something about the city taking back its spaces.”

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Restorative Justice | Mural Arts Program

Restorative Justice | Mural Arts Program | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Restorative Justice is a concept of justice that involves the victim, the offender, and the community in the healing process. Globally, restorative justice practices can be viewed as an alternative to incarceration and revenge, enabling all parties to communicate, attempt to understand what has happened to the community, and then proceed to healing and restoration. These tasks can be accomplished through various means, from traditional talking circles to formal victim/offender mediation conferences. This is a difficult process and requires thoughtfulness, awareness, and inner strength. Restorative justice practices help to unify communities affected by crime and to transform community members divided by the criminal justice system.


The Mural Arts Program incorporates the concepts of restorative justice through art instruction, mural making, and community service work within the criminal justice system. Current inmates, ex-offenders, and juvenile delinquents are given the opportunity to learn new skills and make a positive contribution to their communities to repair the prior harm they may have caused. In the Mural Arts Restorative Justice program there is a growing emphasis on re-entry, reclamation of civic spaces, and the use of art to give voice to people who have consistently felt disconnected from society.

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ARTFARMS: A New Approach to Urban Vacancy and “Zombie Cities”

ARTFARMS: A New Approach to Urban Vacancy and “Zombie Cities” | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Andrea Salvini is is a co-curator for Artfarms and a Brooklyn-based architect with a growing reputation for his work in sustainability.


Artfarms, a pilot project that came out of Terrains Vagues, an organization started in 2011 by architect David Lagé, focuses on design strategies for vacant urban places. It began with a simple observation: the East Side of Buffalo feeds a widespread negative perception that discourages urban redevelopment. Terrain Vague’s belief is that cultural concepts can succeed where conventional approaches have not.


Artfarms is a collaboration with local artists and urban farmers, the latter group having transformed these once-residential, abandoned lots into small farms. Artfarms takes the farming concept a step further by using the farmers’ land for outdoor art installations, which will become part of the landscape both as a cultural layer and a destination within the neighborhood.


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Abd Al Malik, a Rapper, Pushes for a New French Identity of Inclusion

Abd Al Malik, a Rapper, Pushes for a New French Identity of Inclusion | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

IN his early life, before he left the violent projects of Strasbourg, before he was acclaimed as a rapper and a poet, Abd Al Malik was a confusion of identities — “schizophrenic,” he says. A Catholic altar boy turned Muslim proselyte, he was at once thug and scholar, dealing hashish and reading philosophy, picking pockets after Sunday Mass.

 

As a teenager, he lost friends to heroin, murder and suicide; rattled and angry, he sought explanations in “On the Shortness of Life,” by the Greek thinker Seneca. At 16, Mr. Malik says, he renounced crime, burned everything he had bought with “dirty money” and fell in with a rigid Muslim sect. Later he gravitated to Sufism, the mystical strain of Islam.

...

“There’s really a lag between how France sees itself and what France really is,” he said, speaking with the same precise syllables and crisp consonants that distinguish his music. “So long as we haven’t realized that diversity is part of French identity, at a certain point we’re telling ourselves that a Frenchman, after all, is a white man, Christian, who’s between 25 and 45. And everything that doesn’t fit that description is tossed aside.”

 

France is “not capable of recognizing, directly, her own children,” he said. “From my point of view, this is our country’s major problem.”

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How to Create Abundant Cities

How to Create Abundant Cities | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Is it enough for our lives, our economy, our cities to become “sustainable”? If being sustainable means no more than being able to maintain the status quo of strife and never having enough, of contests over who gets the most of the scarce resources available, then aiming for sustainability is not enough. We should instead aim for abundance.

 

What’s abundance? Abundance, by my definition, is the condition when all people, regardless of their backgrounds, now and in the future, are enabled to live life as art.

 

Art is self-expression to others – and just like a painting, a hand-made basket, a dance performance, a dinner, or a garden express something about their makers and take on added value when they are shared with others, so also life’s activities only become meaningful if they express something about the person’s self and values to others in that person’s life.

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Book Forest: Berlin Turns Fallen Tree Trunks Into a Free Book Exchange!

Book Forest: Berlin Turns Fallen Tree Trunks Into a Free Book Exchange! | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Forest Books by BauFachFrau is a book exchange kiosk in Berlin made from fallen trees.
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Creative City: Four Projects Bringing Arts and Culture to Dubai

Creative City: Four Projects Bringing Arts and Culture to Dubai | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

A cultural and creative resurgence in cities is needed to spark economic recovery and urban renewal. Dubai Media City is a freezone "designed to allow foreign companies to set up base without the need for a local Emirati partner in ownership."


Dubai’s emerging ‘grassroots’ creative and artistic scene is thought to be critical to forming a balance between corporate and community creativity.  Here are four projects that are having an effect:


1. The Pavilion Downtown Dubai - This area is said to be "tailored for micro-business ventures", offering free Wi-Fi coffee bars and communal workspaces, or more specifically "incubator spaces" which are "flexible, cheap workspaces for start-ups, artists, freelancer and young entrepreneurs."


2. #SoleOfTheCity - This initiative involved people taking photos of ‘their Dubai’ and tagging the images for social media, resulting in an exhibition at the Jam Jar gallery in June 2012. Small-scale creative initiatives like this are said to be "critical in fostering a ‘buzz’ within a city".


3. Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre - This rather "unassuming" center is lies underneath the the largest indoor ski slope on the planet and offers a "hive of activity, with large numbers of children and students filling the numerous art rooms." It is marketed as an “entertainment and educational centre”.


4. Al Serkal Avenue - Old industrial buildings are being turned into "Dubai’s bohemian quarter". A collection of galleries and communal coffee house is an attempt to "mix the innovate milieu of a production cluster, with the buzz of a consumption hot-spot."

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CITY2.0 - Recycled Amusement

CITY2.0  - Recycled Amusement | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

“I shifted from doing artwork to just hang on walls, having little influence on society, to doing art that solves community needs. It’s helped me realize my value to society.”

 

Ruganzu Bruno Tusingwire is a 29-year old eco-artist from Uganda as well as the founding curator of TEDxKampala. In addition to being the winner of the first City 2.0 Award, Tusingwire is a 2011 Young Achievers award winner and a lecturer in the Department of Art & Design at Kyambogo University. His big idea is to use waste materials to create a movable amusement park for children living in slums of Kampala.

 

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Globalization: preventing the sameness of the world

This video, animated by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell, features the words of Eugene Hütz–leader of the gypsy-punk-cabaret band Gogol Bordello—sharing his views on ‘globalization’ and putting forward an alternative vision of what he calls “multi-kontra culture.” This video with sound production and arrangement by Judith Sloan is the newest manifestation of Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan’s multi-media project, Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, which documents and portrays new immigrants and refugees in the United States.

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