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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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What are Startup Cities?

What are Startup Cities? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Today's pace of innovation in law and governance is slow because we do not allow for entrepreneurial innovation in it. Think of it this way: we set up a legal and political system so that markets work and entrepreneurs can solve tons of problems. Entrepreneurs everywhere work in parallel. They try different things from the ground up.  Markets are problem-solving machines, bringing good ideas to life. Millions of people all search through trial-and-error for a solution to a customer's problem. We accept this as natural in most areas of our lives.

But we don't accept this in the most important area: the way we structure communities themselves. We marvel at the problem-solving ability of entrepreneurs. But we’re also always complaining about corruption or poverty in our legal and political systems.

We don’t have progress in law and governance because we don’t allow startup entrepreneurship to bring new solutions to citizens.
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Resilience Through Placemaking

Resilience Through Placemaking | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

A common thread found in Resilience theory is that of community strength. A community’s ability to survive and even thrive during tough times is largely decided both in the way that community builds itself around its physical places and also in the way people work and band together to create those spaces.

The art of place-making is arguably the best demonstration of community resilience at work. By definition placemaking involves the residents of a community – it’s not the product of an architect’s pen but rather the result of a community-designer-builder collaboration over time.

ddrrnt's insight:

"Placemaking co-evolves with imagination, inspiration, interaction, individual agency, inference, information, insights, interdependence, infrastructure and intangible assets." @JohnKellden - http://goo.gl/rzodgK

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This Futuristic Indoor Garden Is Also A Groovy Fish Tank

This Futuristic Indoor Garden Is Also A Groovy Fish Tank | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Attention city-dwellers: Grow your own herbs vegetables and flowers with this novel aquaponic gardening system.

 

The Aqualibrium Garden is a series of stackable chambers that functions as both garden and aquarium. Once the crates snap together, they create an aquaponic system for growing edibles at home. Aquaponics is a symbiotic system where water circulates from the fish tank below and up into the soil of the garden. The fish, snails, or crawfish supply nutrients (read: poop) that fertilize the soil and aid in plant growth. The plants, which are warmed by a built-in LED grow light, subsequently filter the water, returning fresh H2O back to the fish tank. (And if the idea of keeping both fish and plants alive seems daunting, there is a hydroponic option allowing gardeners to simply add nutrients to the water.)

 

“People in urban environments typically don’t have the necessary environment for growing their own food,” says Joshua Rittenberg, CEO of Aqualibrium. “Right now, there is no product on the market that allows for substantial food production using either aquaponics or hydroponics that is designed for urban living and is cost-effective.”

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Shareable: Adding Whimsy to Public Spaces Creates Collective Experiences

Shareable: Adding Whimsy to Public Spaces Creates Collective Experiences | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

... in a bid to improve public health by encouraging more people to use the stairs instead of the escalator, The Fun Theory (a Volkswagen initiative) transformed a set of Stockholm subway stairs into piano keys — each step a person took played a note. As a result, 66 percent more people took the stairs than the escalator.


By Kelly McCartney

17 Dec 2012


ddrrnt's insight:

Visit Sharable to read more examples of how public spaces can generate fun, community, and shared experiences among a city's citizens.

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New York's real-world 'Sim City'

New York's real-world 'Sim City' | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Betaville is a multi-person open source platform which allows participants to build on empty spaces in New York City, like a real-life version of the popular game Sim City.

Players can walk around New York's streets - or fly over them - and stop at empty spaces which are shown by inverted yellow pyramids hovering over the vacant spot.

Users can also see the energy usage of some of the buildings in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as whether there is the capability of heating these using alternative fuels.

Betaville allows players to re-imagine the glamorous New York skyline
As one person designs a building on a spot, others can not only see the proposal but can also modify it. And this isn't just a fantasy world of wacky ideas; Betaville's developers are hoping to turn these designs into real buildings in the city.

Nastaran Tavakoli-Far
BBC World Service
02 Oct 2012
ddrrnt's insight:

Will future citizens be empowered with gaming technology to steer the sustainable development of their cities?

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World's first 'biocellar' to be built in Cleveland's Hough neighborhood

World's first 'biocellar' to be built in Cleveland's Hough neighborhood | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Permaculture designer Jean Loria and community activist Mansfield Frazier hope to break ground in the spring on a greenhouse that will be built using the basement of an abandoned house.


"We've got this problem with too many empty houses," Loria said last week as she walked outside the three-story house that's in such bad shape it has become a safety threat to the Hough neighborhood. "We just keep tearing everything down and filling these basements in.


"This is an example of where the problem is the solution," added Loria, head of Upstream Permaculture. "It's architecture plus biology. I'm very excited about it. I'm expecting to be eating gourmet mushrooms from it by summer."


The idea may seem farfetched, but no more so than the vineyard her partner, Mansfield Frazier, envisioned years ago on the three-quarter-acre corner lot next door. Frazier -- a community activist, writer, doer -- heads the nonprofit Neighborhood Solutions Inc.


See the videos...

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Can cities help you forget your troubles? C’mon, get happy!

Can cities help you forget your troubles? C’mon, get happy! | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

We’re starting to get our arms around some of the bigger public health issues connecting society with the built environment, particularly on the obesity, diabetes and depression fronts.


Now, we’re starting to get our arms around some of the bigger public health issues connecting society with the built environment, particularly on the obesity, diabetes and depression fronts. Proponents of gross national happiness to augment gross national product would like to see our society focused on conserving instead of consuming and connectivity instead of distrust. (...)


And it’s interesting how some things go full circle, with a healthy society making for a healthy economy. ‎60% of East Coast developers say, “to stay competitive, they are shifting away from bigger traditional home designs to conservative pedestrian-oriented mixed-use neighbourhoods.” People get more enduring happiness from experiences in their neighbourhood than possessions in their home. (...)


“A good city is like a good party – people stay much longer than really necessary because they are enjoying themselves,” per Jan Gehl, author of a City for People, and leader of Copenhagen’s transformation to a bikeable, walkable city. Gehl encourages urban design from the perspective of the five senses, taken at walking speed. This eye-level approach does much to address the needs — and the happiness — of the individual.

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Investigation into Copenhagen's Play Yards

Investigation into Copenhagen's Play Yards | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

How does Denmark’s capital city meet its children’s need for outdoor play – and what can other nations learn from its approach? For a well-researched, gloriously detailed, beautifully presented answer, look no further than a new report from Australian architect Tanya Vincent.


Her report is one of the most useful of its kind that I have ever read. It is full of insights into the design, management and ethos of the settings. It is also hard-hitting, making some powerful points about the nature of childhood in Australia and the urgent need for better places for children to play. All in just over 40 pages, plus an appendix with superbly designed spreads giving site-by-site descriptions. There is even a site map for the Copenhagen projects.

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Smart Tech For Scaled-Up Urban Agriculture | Earthtechling

Smart Tech For Scaled-Up Urban Agriculture | Earthtechling | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

High-yield greenhouse tech developed by the Swedish government has found a home in Plantagon's large-scale, vertical greenhouses designed for cities.


It has been estimated that by 2050, as much as 80 percent of the earth’s population will reside in cities. Considering that, by conservative estimates, the total population will total 2 billion, this question is, how are we going to feed our cities in an ecologically friendly way?  (...)


When plants reach the bottom of the greenhouse, they are harvested via a harvesting machine. After the harvest, the trays and pots are disinfected, and the pots are separated and replanted with another seed for the next round in the cultivation loop. (...)


The idea is that such large-scale greenhouses can work symbiotically with the built environment of the city, including its industrial buildings. Greenhouses can make use of the surplus heat produced by such buildings to become more energy efficient, suck up carbon dioxide from the air, and make use of food waste for fertilizer. (...)



via | Earthtechling

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Why this bus has a garden on top of it

Why this bus has a garden on top of it | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Buses have made strides in recent years to be more eco-friendly. So far it's been things like becoming more fuel friendly, but in the future we could see buses go a step further, taking unused spaces on their roofs and turning them into beautiful, rolling gardens.


The project is called "Bus Roots" and it was conceived by New York City designer Marco Antonio Castro Cosio for his graduate thesis at New York University. He calls it "nomadic urban agriculture," and a prototype has already hit the streets courtesy of the BioBus, a mobile science lab that has traveled between New York and Ohio.


via @DVICE

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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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More Vertical Garden Concepts Designed by SOA

More Vertical Garden Concepts Designed by SOA | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Check out some of these concept designs of vertical urban gardens by SOA architects.  

 


Via Rick Passo
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Toponomic Urbanism |  Bumbogo, Designing A Uniquely Rwandan Urban Morphology

Toponomic Urbanism |  Bumbogo, Designing A Uniquely Rwandan Urban Morphology | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The global South and particularly the African continent, is facing an incredible challenge in the form of urban growth. As much as this presents its own slew of challenges, therein also lies opportunity for design innovation and the development of an urban morphology that no doubt should be practical, but vitally embraces cultural and context sensitivity.

 

Rwanda, like much of the developing world faces the reality that its growing populace requires adequate housing, infrastructure, services and employment opportunities. Unique among these nations, it is densely populated without being highly urbanised. However, the demographic pressure of growing urbanisation is a source of justifiable concern for all levels of Rwandan government.

 

Africa needs to develop its own urbanity, based on each component of its culture; one that is turned towards the future and responds to people’s needs without denying its African roots - Guilliame Sardin

 

via  Another Africa

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The Los Angeles Urban Laboratory of The Future

The Los Angeles Urban Laboratory of The Future | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Los Angeles, larger than any other American city except New York, is a gargantuan urban complex living ‘on the edge’ and the city most urgently in need of a massive urban planning overhaul.

 

Los Angeles is considered by many planners as the city with the most to gain from an extensive overhauling.  Starting at the top of the transit priorities, the city should find a way to fast-track its rail-based transit by creating lines using driverless, five-minute frequency trains (like Copenhagen), where density warrants, and building an extensive BRT-only lane network on 2nd priority routes.  In Downtown and other special zones, Copenhagen-style bike infrastructure can contribute to traffic-thinning, as well as selective freeway removal, congestion pricing, and infill development.  Finally, extensive urban farming, which can be partly accommodated by repurposing the medians of the many wide and light-traffic streets throughout the city,  would reduce the emission footprint of the city by reducing the transportation of goods from hundreds of miles away.

 

 

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A Vertical Forest Is Growing in the Middle of One of Europe’s Dirtiest Cities

A Vertical Forest Is Growing in the Middle of One of Europe’s Dirtiest Cities | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Denizens of Milan, Italy will have a brand new 2.5 acre forest smack in the middle of their city by the end of 2013. You might think that’s a city with its priorities straight. But this particular forest didn’t require the sacrifice of precious commercial real estate—because it’s of the vertical variety.

 

Brainchild of Italian architecture firm, Stefano Boeri Architetti, the Bosco Verticale (literally, “vertical forest” in English) is two residential apartment buildings peppered with cantilevered terraces. Each terrace is specially designed and engineered to support a small community of trees, shrubs, and other greenery.

 

When complete, Bosco Verticale will house 730 trees from three to six meters (10 to 20 feet) in height and irrigated primarily by the buildings’ grey water—runoff from baths, sinks, washing machines, and dishwashers. 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 plants will keep the trees company. A true forest.

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Participatory Trends: We Communicate, Connect and Share

Participatory Trends: We Communicate, Connect and Share | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

It’s not only a concept used in the digital realm though, as this methodology is used extensively in in realms such as urban planningand landscape architecture. Participatory design is a concept predestinated to integrate all kinds of stakeholders throughout the design process; it is an opportunity for users, clients, urbanists and designers alike to share their thoughts and worries. As this concept spreads into other areas of creative production, what role the designer plays come more and more into question. Deanna Herst, a researcher from TU Delft discusses this in an article published in OpenDesign Now:

“Participatory design has changed the role of the designer: from an author of finished products, like books or furniture, into a developer of frameworks or structures of ‘open works’, like Wikipedia. [...] Within the context of participatory design, the concept of ‘user follows form’ appears to have been supplanted by the opposite approach: ‘form follows user’.”

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Community Lantern Timelapse

The Klong Toey Community Lantern — a community space in the oldest and largest of Bangkok’s slums — was built very quickly. Not quite as quickly as shown in this three-minute timelapse video, but construction for the project took just three weeks thanks to the help of the community.

But while construction went fast, Norwegian architects Yashar Hanstad and Andreas Gjertsen — of the firm TYIN tegnestue Architects – took six months to design the space. They conducted interviews with Klong Toey residents and held public workshops to find out exactly what the 140,000 person community — which struggles with rampant unemployment, drug use and substandard housing — needed. The goal was to create a safe oasis for community members of all ages to play and congregate.
ddrrnt's insight:

Nurture the Slums : Evidence-based hope


An example of what is possible.  Highlights via TED blog ... learn more


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Urban Air | Stephen Glassman

Urban Air | Stephen Glassman | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Urban Air | Stephen Glassman


Imagine being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The car’s not moving, you’re channel surfing, nothing but ads or news on the radio… Nothing but billboards with advertising — digital and print — on the skyline. But wait… What’s that up ahead? A billboard that looks like a small forest of living bamboo surrounded by a cloud of mist? That will be Urban Air, coming to a Los Angeles freeway near you if artist and creator Stephen Glassman has his way.


Urban Air from Zack Bennett on Vimeo.


Via Anne Caspari
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Keeping Singapore Green with Data and Design | Sustainable Cities Collective

Keeping Singapore Green with Data and Design | Sustainable Cities Collective | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

What would happen if data, not politics or purely commercial development, drove the design of our cities and towns? Singapore is a marvel of efficiency, the result of a dedication to data-driven life design and urban planning. The (ART+DATA) Institute is examining how the philosophy of data-influenced design can be applied to the organization of living, with Singapore as the prime example.


It is not simply a matter of city planning in the traditional sense. The very rhythm of Singapore is based on a marvelously efficient data collection process, which feeds the continuous refinement of urban planning. The Singaporean approach to analytical design contains important lessons, as statistics from the United Nations suggest 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. This kind of growth will put immense pressure on urban infrastructures, many of which are already archaic and crumbling.


The cultures of the Southeast Asian region have historically fueled many of the world’s innovations. Many of these advances are the result of the complex interactions between cultures and technology. As we move more deeply into the 21st century, the technology law of accelerating returns is more evident in Asia than in Europe or America. The rate of change in the way people live is increasing at an exponential rate each year in Asia.


Singapore pioneered the City Biodiversity Index, a statistical calculation used for optimizing the ratio of green space to buildings and population density. As a testament to the poetry of this analytical model, 28 other major cities around the world have adopted it.

London was among the first to adopt the The City Biodiversity Index, which helped improve the impression of this oldest of Northern European cities as experienced by attendees of the 2012 Olympics. My travels to London this summer revealed a city with a renewed and quantifiable emphasis on livable urban space.

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Communities Aren't Just Places, They're Social Networks

Communities Aren't Just Places, They're Social Networks | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

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.


Does the design of streets, for example, influence who our friends are?


What are the key factors that shape the networks of a connected city?


To what degree do influential people matter to the connected city? 


Via David Hodgson
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Terreform ONE Proposes Covering NYC With Vertical Gardens & Urban Farms to Become Self-Sufficient

Terreform ONE Proposes Covering NYC With Vertical Gardens & Urban Farms to Become Self-Sufficient | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In response to global urban population, Terreform, Inc.* has come up with an innovative way for New York City to deal with the issues that arise from this world wide problem. The plan, called New York City Steady State (NYCSS), calls for a system that would render New York entirely self-sufficient, reducing its ecological and carbon footprint exponentially. The new green plan is based on intensive data collected by NYCSS about the city’s supply and demand, and would rely heavy on urban farming.


via Inhabitat

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Local African Pottery Serves An Ingenious Architectural Function

Local African Pottery Serves An Ingenious Architectural Function | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The African-born, German-educated architect Diébédo Francis Kéré earned a slew of international awards for a school he designed in Burkina Faso that used mud bricks and corrugated iron to create natural convection cooling.


Now, Kéré has raised the innovation bar by using local pottery to create light and ventilation in a library adjacent to the school. Kéré, the son of the village chief in the desperately poor village of Gando, had previously marshaled the tribe’s men to fashion some 2,000 clay bricks a day to build the school. More recently, he turned to the local women for help, urging them to bring the clay pots they traditionally make for cooking and carrying water to the schoolyard, where his workmen cut them to be open both at the bottom and top. They were then cast into the library’s concrete ceiling, creating holes to the open air.


Kéré then constructed a corrugated iron roof above the concrete ceiling, which heats up in the sun, drawing air from inside the library up through the clay pot holes to cool the room below.


The result is an elliptical, airy space, lit with dappled light, that’s a welcome refuge from the region’s blistering 104-degree heat.

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8 Homes With Living Roofs - Forbes

8 Homes With Living Roofs - Forbes | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Forbes shares 20 gorgeous photos of meadow, lawn and garden rooftops while extolling the environmental and social virtues of green roofs.


Via Renew Cities
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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.


Via Ana Valdés
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SolarKiosk | Simple Community Ethiopia

SolarKiosk | Simple Community Ethiopia | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

SolarKiosk, a modular business unit for Africa and off-grid areas anywhere in the world, recently opened its first kiosk near Lake Langano, Ethiopia. Following a period of design and planning, a privately financed company was formed to prepare the product for serial production by building prototypes and running pilots in several countries. The first prototype of the SolarKiosk was built in November 2011 and displayed in various locations, including the 2012 TedXBerlin conference. In March of this year, a subsidiary, Solarkiosk Solutions PLC, was incorporated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to run a pilot program. Construction of the first prototypes in Ethiopia began in April. Today, the kiosk is up and running in a new community.

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