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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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Urban Prototyping and the dawn of DIY urbanism

Urban Prototyping and the dawn of DIY urbanism | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Can the technologists, artists, or tinkerers who live next door change how your city works?


The Urban Prototyping Festival (or “UP Fest”) started with a call for citizen-sourced prototypes for addressing a specific urban need or problem and offer a solution that integrates both physical and digital elements. The projects were to utilize existing infrastructure — fences, fire hydrants, et cetera — and be replicable in any city, with a prototype budget of $1,000 or less.


Nearly 100 teams submitted prototypes and a panel of judges selected 18 of these, providing the teams stipends for materials and giving them a platform for sharing their ideas at UP Fest. (...)


A few notable prototypes:

DIY Traffic Controller, developed by Theodore Ullrich, an industrial designer from Tomorrow Lab and his partner Aurash Khawarzad, is comprised of off-the-shelf roadway sensors linked to software that tracks the speed and volume of vehicles – either cars or bikes – moving over the sensors. 


the P-Planter, a hack of the traditional Port-a-Potty but one that could address the need for more public urination facilities while also solving the stink issue and adding more plant life to city streets. UP Fest participants made use of the P-Planter urinal at the event (thanks to disposable pee funnels, both male and females could use the outhouse). The urine is routed through a biofilter before being mixed with water and made available to the adjacent plants (large bamboo stalks, in the prototype). Sensors measure the amount of urine entering the urinal and monitor ammonia levels.


the Fruit Fence, converts the ubiquitous chain link fence into an urban plant nursery. Planter bags made of recycled Tyvec building material could be slung over or hung from fencing and used to grow, say, strawberry plants or lemon tree starters. Sensors in the bags alert passersby that the plant needs water or fertilizer, or these signals can be sent to community members via text message.


SmartPlanet

By Mary Catherine O'Connor

25 Oct 2012


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How to Make a Soda Can Solar Heater

How to Make a Soda Can Solar Heater | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
We're finally cooling off after a brutal Summer here in St. Louis. While I'm thoroughly enjoying the temperatures in the 60s and 70s, they're a good reminder that Winter will be here soon, and that we'll be paying to heat the home.

Via Flora Moon
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Shareable: How to Be an Urban Change Agent, Shareable Style

Shareable: How to Be an Urban Change Agent, Shareable Style | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

There's a movement – or two, or many – under foot. It goes by myriad names and comes in an array colors. The common thread, though, involves citizens stepping up to better their surroundings, to create safer, more livable, and more environmentally sound urban environments. According to the folks at Pattern Cities, some popular monikers include “guerilla urbanism,” “pop-up urbanism,” "new urbanism," “changescaping,” or “D.I.Y. urbanism.” They, however, prefer the “tactical urbanism” approach which is defined with five specific criteria:

 

A deliberate, phased approach to instigating change;

 

The offering of local solutions for local planning challenges;

 

Short-term commitment and realistic expectations;

 

Low-risks, with a possibly a high reward; and

 

The development of social capital between citizens and the building of organizational capacity between public-private institutions, non-profits, and their constituents.

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DIY Urbanism Makes Creative Use of Public Spaces - Governing

DIY Urbanism Makes Creative Use of Public Spaces - Governing | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Unlike government’s top-down approach to planning, DIY urbanism (also called “tactical urbanism”) is usually bottom-up with an emphasis on creative uses for public spaces. It also tends to be inexpensive. Converting parking spaces into miniature parks doesn’t cost much. The same goes for urban farms in abandoned lots, Dumpster pools or mini golf courses built from scratch. There’s even a trend toward building little libraries in cities. When the Occupy Movement moved into New York City’s Zuccotti Park in 2011, one of the temporary structures the protesters set up was a library. Since then, little libraries have popped up in phone booths, mailboxes, public parks and train stations, according to Shannon Mattern, a faculty member in the School of Media Studies at the New School in New York City.


The enthusiasm for DIY urbanism has led to its inevitable mainstreaming. The idea of parklets [Read "Parklets: The Next Big Tiny Idea in Urban Planning"] has gained traction and has been embraced by a number of city governments. There’s the grand example of New York City’s Department of Transportation turning a portion of Times Square into a pedestrian park. And San Francisco, home to some of the most vibrant forms of DIY urbanism, has launched a website that guides residents through all the bureaucratic processes necessary to create bike corrals, guerrilla gardens, art installations, sidewalk fixtures, permits for car-free events and, of course, parklets.


Via Manu Fernandez
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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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Eyes (and Hands) On The Street: Tactical Urbanism and Community Engagement

Eyes (and Hands) On The Street: Tactical Urbanism and Community Engagement | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

On Monday, San Francisco rolled out a website meant to help residents unravel the bureaucracy surrounding the city’s urban planning and improvement projects. Is this true DIY Urbanism?

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