Scott Nazarian Illustration by Ailadi Cortelletti, visual designer II at frog For many people, the draw of cities is their pulse and flow, the veer and crush of humans, our shared machines, the vertical, the symmetrical, the seemingly impossible.
Where the Swedish home-furnishings behemoth once placed a couch in a living room, they now want to place you and 6,000 neighbours into a neglected corner of your city, design an entire urban world around you, and Ikea-ize your lives.
Nothing has challenged our notions about what it means to "know" or "meet" someone more than the various ways we interact online. With geolocation services like Foursquare and augmented reality applications on the horizon, what it means to be a stranger or a friend is only getting more complex. We asked Kio Stark, a professor at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program to share her syllabus on Stranger Studies here.
The students at ITP spend two years learning how to make and break all kinds of technology, and as Stark puts it, her classes "are about shaping a deeper, more rigorous understanding of the people my students are making things for." So, this syllabus focuses more on people and how they interact in cities -- the context for technology -- than gadgets or software themselves.
Hub Culture is one of the most interesting under-the-radar communities out there. Established by Stan Stalnaker, it’s part social network, part co-working space, part digital currency eco-system. By researching the opinions of the HubCulture community, Stan has updated his list of the most influential hubs of new ideas and inspiration. With kind permission, here’s the top 20 list
Prototyping and “showing” new behaviors, expertise, and relationships is essential to best meeting the substantial needs of society today. As we all know, many systems and organizations for solving our cities’ most pressing problems are broken, and by extension our understanding of how to solve them and who participates is also often broken. As such, we need more places and generative opportunities, like LEGO rooms, to fundamentally rethink how people might engage with one another to make our cities great.
Hong Kong is the star of the first of a series of short films commission by Louis Vuitton that seeks to represent cities in relation to gender. "When Hong Kong is a Woman," a two-minute work by Jean-Claude Thibaut, a director who has shot ads for the likes of Dior and Porsche, can be seen on Vuitton's online magazine New, Now and its YouTube channel. It portrays eight attractive Hong Kong women in romantic settings across
The New York City Municipal Archives just released a database of over 870,000 photos from its collection of more than 2.2 million images of New York throughout the 20th century. Their subjects include daily life, construction, crime, city business, aerial photographs, and more. I spent hours lost in these amazing photos, and gathered this group together to give you just a glimpse of what's been made available from this remarkable collection. [53 photos]
Think of the future city as an increasingly sophisticated living organism. Information flows through its veins. In its simplest form, the Connected City is just a new urban system where everything and everyone is able to communicate in real time, people to people, people to object, and object to object. The subway is connected to the grid in a new way; I am connected to the subway, to my son's school, to my friends, to city government. The real question is how does that impact my life and our lives as citizens? This has yet to be determined. We are planning a session with frog during the New Cities Summit in May called 'Navigating the Meta City' that will explore some of these themes.
On the other hand, cities are increasingly behaving like companies, becoming intimately involved in their citizens’ quality of life, and, in an increasingly mobile world, competing for “customers.” Despite registration systems such as those in Russia and China that restrict movement, people can come and go from cities much more freely than they can cross national borders. Meanwhile, cities can be both more flexible and more arbitrary, and compete on terms not available to legislatively restricted national governments.
Paul Romer, a former Stanford University economist best known for his Charter City initiative, has a scheme for building new cities from scratch—and using competition to spread the benefits to old cities over time. As he points out, if you want a new business model, you don’t fix an old company; you start a new one. In the same way, if you want a new kind of city, it is easier to build a new one than to change an old one.
Two cities on the list gained markedly in rank among young movers: Denver, which moved from twelfth to first, and Washington D.C., which improved from 44th to sixth. At the other end of the spectrum were metro areas that were bleeding young people at the middle of the decade, as the promise of jobs and affordable housing lured them east from coastal California and south from the Northeast megalopolis. Now, these areas, including metro New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston have shown sharp declines in their young adult losses. Some potential migrants are holding tight, waiting for the next boom to come, but others may just choose to remain in these metros that have long held appeal to young people, Brookings contended.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) created a fascinating infographic showing the world’s urban growth from 1950 to its growth projection for 2050. Here’s how urban our world is expected to look in 2050
"First, to increase technological innovation, we need to make the core products of the industrial age—housing, cars, energy—cheaper if we want to fuel demand for the new technologies and industries of the future, from health care and biotechnology to new information, educational, and entertainment industries. By increasing the demand, we’ll create a new market for innovative products and services. Cities can lead this charge by fostering the sectors and industries that are creating sustainable products for the future
Second, to develop new systems and methods of innovation, we have to build a new infrastructure that adapts to the new realities of collaboration and creativity. We need new infrastructure that can dramatically speed the movement of goods, people, and ideas. Cities need to lead the charge in advocating for more high-speed rail and a deeper, better digital backbone."
and the 4T rule is still more than accurate :
" 4-T’s—technology, talent, tolerance, and territory assets. Even ten years after writing The Rise of the Creative Class, I still believe that the 4-T’s provide the best blueprint for how cites can compete and prosper in the creative age."