It Comes Undone-Think About It
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Rescooped by Eli Levine from Complexity & Systems!

Flow, Conflux | Smart Cities

Flow, Conflux | Smart Cities | It Comes Undone-Think About It |

“The city is not only a community, it is a conflux. ….The real city, as a center of industry, is a conflux of streams of traffic; as a center of culture, it is conflux of streams of thought.” So wrote Benton MacKaye in 1928 in his book The New Exploration: A Philosophy of Regional Planning. When I sent a copy of my own recent book The New Science of Cities to my erstwhile colleague and old friend Lionel March, he quickly scowered it and said: “I see in your Preamble that you cite Castells’ ‘space of flows’ and that your approach makes much of flows and networks. I immediately turned to your bibliography to search for the name Benton MacKaye. It is not there! The author of The New Exploration (1928) is my hero of metropolitan/regional development. I’m sure you know of him”.

Via Bernard Ryefield
Eli Levine's insight:

Location, location, location.


The natural geography has to fit with the demands of the population and the society.  It's not something that someone on high chooses, but rather one where things grow up naturally according to the relative advantages and disadvantages of the area.  Then you build and with building in these geographically advantageous (or, sometimes, just convenient) areas you reinforce their advantages as centers of commerce, trade and "flows" as Batty would put it.


It makes sense to have it be on the regional, national and/or international scale, such that we, as humans, take advantage of the most strategic places and the most strategic resources that are available.  With this comes the flourishing of new life, happiness and possible/hopefully sustainable prosperity for the present and for the future well being of our civilizations.


The climate is changing and that's going to force a lot of changes on our part.  If we can survive the environmental tumult, and the economic and social tumult that it is going to cause, we could potentially, get off on a better footing than before, in spite of the losses which we incur as a result of the present silliness of our political, social and economic "leadership".


Good stuff!


Think about it.

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Rescooped by Eli Levine from The urban.NET!

4 New Ways Of Thinking That Should Shape The Next Century Of Cities | #Collaborative #urban #data

4 New Ways Of Thinking That Should Shape The Next Century Of Cities | #Collaborative #urban #data | It Comes Undone-Think About It |
In order to thrive over the next century cities will have to change. Here's how.


Last week, the Ditchley Foundation in Oxford, England, hosted over 30 academics, practitioners, government, and non-governmental organization leaders from five continents to contemplate the rapid urbanization of the globe and address challenges and opportunities across multiple geographies, economies, and political landscapes.


Visit the link to find specific insights and processes that could significantly shape how we think about global cities over the next century.

Via Lauren Moss, Claude Emond, luiy
Eli Levine's insight:

Fascinating, and intuitive.


A nation is just a network of cities, connected economically, socially and culturally.  A region of the world is just a network of interlaced economic forces that can either be for the benefit (the EU or ECOWAS) or the detriment (NAFTA) of the people who live in the territories under the given region.  The same could be said about strategic partnerships (NATO or the AU).


Combine it all together, and you've got the planet.


"The control of a large force is the same principle as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up their numbers."       -Sun Tzu


What works on the city level may be applicable to the nation, the region and the world as a whole.


Think about it.

Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:27 PM

The Internet, big data, and social media should result in more responsive planning, better service delivery, and broader citizen engagement. Technology should redefine transportation to seamlessly marry centrally scheduled buses and trains with more spontaneous options such as car and bike sharing, as well as the informal systems of cabs, motorcycles, and rickshaws that dominate in many developing countries. Ubiquitous, open public, and private data should make human health and well-being as easily and regularly measured as GDP.

luiy's curator insight, March 6, 2014 8:32 AM



We still seem to be looking at our 21st-century cities largely through a 20th-century lens. This is limiting the alchemy, not catalyzing it. Urban planning remains largely focused just on the physical environment, not on socio-economic results. Community is moving towards becoming a question of 'geographic cohesion,' not geographic place in a traditional sense. There was great conversation about not trying to retrofit old models of working, but rather adapting the way people and cities work with newly available channels and technologies.