:: The 4th Era ::
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:: The 4th Era ::
Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
Curated by Jim Lerman
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The Urban Observatory: A New Way To Compare Cities, From The Creator Of TED

The Urban Observatory: A New Way To Compare Cities, From The Creator Of TED | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
This giant installation and a website you can play with at home lets you compare the worlds urban centers side by side.

We live in a world of easily accessible maps; however, our map knowledge is limited by the fact that no two cities collect data the same way. Maps often aren’t drawn to the same scale, and until now, there hasn’t been a way to compare data on things like income, cost of living, water distribution, and power grids.

It’s a problem that has bugged Richard Saul Wurman, the creator of the TED conference (as well as an architect and graphic designer), for decades.

Wurman recently teamed up with Jon Kamen of Radical Media and Esri president Jack Dangermond to create an ambitious solution: the Urban Observatory, an immersive exhibit featuring standardized comparative data on over 16 cities. Zoom in on one city map and other cities will simultaneously zoom in at the same scale, making it possible to compare data on traffic density, vegetation, residential land use, and so on.

 

Find more details and information at the article link...


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Inside Arcology, the City of the Future (Infographic)

Inside Arcology, the City of the Future (Infographic) | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

For over a century, writers and architects have imagined the cities of the future.

 In the late 1960s, architect Paolo Soleri envisioned “arcology” - a word that combines “architecture” and “ecology," with a goal of building structures to house large populations in self-contained environments with a self-sustaining economy and agriculture. “In the three-dimensional city, man defines a human ecology. In it he is a country dweller and metropolitan man in one. By it the inner and the outer are at ‘skin’ distance. He has made the city in his own image. Arcology: the city in the image of man.” (Paolo Soleri)
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luiy's curator insight, July 8, 2013 7:42 AM
For over a century, writers and architects have imagined the cities of the future as giant structures that contain entire metropolises. To some, these buildings present the best means for cities to exist in harmony with nature, while others forsee grotesque monstrosities destructive to the human spirit. In the mid-20th century, engineer and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller imagined city-enclosing plastic domes and enormous housing projects resembling nuclear cooling towers. These ideas are impractical but they explore the limits of conventional architectural thinking.  Science fiction writers and artists often imagine future architecture that oppresses the human spirit. Megastructures such as the pyramid-like Tyrell Buildings of “Blade Runner” dominate a decrepit skyline. The decaying old city is simply covered with layers of newer, larger buildings in a process of “retrofitting.” Beginning in the late 1960s, architect Paolo Soleri envisioned a more humane approach. The word “arcology” is a combination of “architecture” and “ecology.” The goal is to build megastructures that would house a population of a million or more people, but in a self-contained environment with its own economy and agriculture. “In the three-dimensional city, man defines a human ecology. In it he is a country dweller and metropolitan man in one. By it the inner and the outer are at ‘skin’ distance. He has made the city in his own image. Arcology: the city in the image of man.” (Paolo Soleri) In 1996, a group of 75 Japanese corporations commissioned Soleri to design the one-kilometer-tall Hyper Bulding, a vertical city for 100,000 people. Existing in harmony with nature, the Hyper Building was designed to recycle waste, produce food in greenhouses, and use the sun’s light and heat for power and climate control.  The structure was designed for passive heating and cooling without the need for machinery. An economic recession put the brakes on the project and it was never built. Soleri’s arcology concept is being put to the test in the Arcosanti experimental community being built in Arizona. Construction began in 1970. When complete the town will house 5,000 people. Buildings are composed of locally produced concrete and are designed to capture sunlight and heat. To be built in the desert near Abu Dhabi, Masdar is a 2.3-square-mile (6 sq km) planned city of 40,000 residents. Buildings are designed to reduce reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning, and the city will run entirely on solar power and renewable energy. Begun in 2006, the project is planned for completion around 2020-2025.
Fàtima Galan's curator insight, July 9, 2013 5:44 AM

Amazing and beautiful analysis!! Believe it or not, the science fiction also has something to teach us about the city of tomorrow.