Today I gave a presentation called “Mobile Planning: There’s an App For That” for the American Planning Association’s Chapters and Divisions Webcast series. More than 400 planners across the US participated. This is part of my annual update of the latest apps that support planning. In the coming days a video version of the presentation will be available at

Each year I provide an update on mobile applications. Some of you may have read my previous report last fall on Planetizen.For 2013, there is a lot to share. The growth in mobile apps is amazing and increasingly they are supporting the things we do as planners. If you have apps that should be added to my growing list for 2013, please let me know.

The most basic of apps is those that share information. This is a simple way for planners to share information with users…

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Inaugural post from Stephen Vilaseca’s new blog: Investigating Art & Politics in Urban Space…

Dr. Stephen Luis Vilaseca

The Italian workers’ rejection of rigid, authoritarian hierarchy, and impersonal, rationalized routines, and call for more flexible, cooperative social production forced capital into a paradigm shift. The industrial factory gave way to networked organization and production. The technological innovation of the personal computer, however, gave capital the means with which to extract surplus value, not from labor materialized in a product, but from labor based upon language. In other words, the new social laborer ushered in a new era of capitalist development known as post-Fordism and cognitive capitalism in which the very faculty of language is exploited for economic gain.

The theoretical basis for autonomist Marxism’s privileging of communication in contemporary configurations of capital is Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. In this text, the autonomist’s category of social labor in the form of Antonio Negri’s “socialized worker” (Books for Burning xl) and Maurizio Lazzarato’s “immaterial laborer” (“Immaterial Labor”) finds its…

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Conference: British Interwar Architecture June 2013 (deadline Feb. 4)





 As interest in the full range of architecture in the interwar years grows, now is a good time to examine the various manifestations of modernism and non-modernism in the period. This symposium, to be held at St John’s College, Oxford, will pick up on the richness and variety of architectural output that engaged with the International Style whilst not ideologically part of it, and that which sought to ignore it all together.

This symposium aims to bring non-Modernist, but not necessarily non-moderne, monuments, to the foreground. The symposium aims to encourage terms like the neo-Georgian, Tudoresque, streamline moderne, twentieth century gothic revivalism, and vernacular to be discussed and to engage with each other on the same platform.

The recourse to discussion of style, and the evolution of style, needs to be problematised. The narrative of architectural history has tended towards the development of style rather than the examination of architectural ideas across a number of simultaneously existing stylistic options. Were there formal or theoretical interests that transcended stylistic concerns during the interwar period?

We are seeking papers on this material, including but not limited to the following broad areas, from architectural historians and scholars of related fields:

Public and commercial architecture

  • Domestic architecture
  • International practice and influence (how foreign practice influenced British architects and vice-versa, British architectural output throughout the Empire etc)
  • Architectural theory and methodology (how does work on this period bring into focus broader theoretical and methodological questions)
  • ‘Afterlives’: any aspect of a building’s life after its completion (architectural, textual, or visual reformulations or appropriations)
  • Cross-disciplinary, cross-media approaches and responses to interwar architecture (e.g. filmic responses to interwar architecture, papers from non-architectural historians etc.)

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on interwar architecture from academics and graduate students working in architectural history. Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words by February 4th, 2013 to


David Lewis

Neal Shasore

History of Art Department/St John’s College

Oxford University­

All that is Solid for Glenn Rikowski





by Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray

Preface by Eric Hazan



The classic history of the Paris Commune, part of Verso’s highly praised and affordable World History Series.

In 1871, the working class of Paris, incensed by their lack of political power and tired of being exploited, seized control of the capital. This book is the outstanding history of the Commune, the heroic battles fought in its defence, and the bloody massacre that ended the uprising. Its author,LISSAGARAY, was a young journalist who not only saw the events recounted here first-hand, but fought for the Commune on the barricades. He spent the next twenty-five years researching and writing this history, which refutes the slanders levelled at the Communards by the ruling classes and is a vivid and valuable study…

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The 5th Nordic Geographers’ Meeting University of Iceland, Reykjavík, June 11-14 2013

Public Art and Accountability: Whose Art for Whose City?


Dr. Martin Zebracki
Cultural Geography Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Dr. Joni Palmer
Geography Department, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

Session abstract:

Art in public space is a burgeoning phenomenon in Western cities, and matters from geographical levels of the body to international developments. Public art comprises permanent or temporary artworks, either physical or immaterial, on sites that have open public access and are located outside museums and galleries. This session invites scholars from across all disciplines, who are engaged with multidisciplinary articulations of social and cultural theory, to critically analyse the socio-spatial contexts, experiences and affects of public art.

Public art is a geographical conversation piece that is not uncritical in the least. This session welcomes papers that may engage with one or more of the following critical questions, or related relevant matters. By whom and for whom and from which rationales is public art made in time and space? And what does this imply for urban identity and the image of urban visual culture more particularly? To what extent are public art’s publics involved in public-art practices, and to what extent do they critically engage with them? To what extent are socio-spatial inclusion and exclusion by way of public art intentional and immanent within institutional and policy contexts and related political power regimes? What are the socio-spatial lines of public art in times of recession and poverty? To what extent could a critique of a neoliberal impoverishment of the public artscape of cities and regions be developed? To what extent could polarising shifts in the development of the public artscape be discerned? For instance, to what degree are prestige artworks within the scope of city marketing privileged by urban planners as compared to art in neighbourhoods that is aimed at social cohesion and cultural empowerment? Does this lead to a problematic partitioning of social and symbolic spaces in urban culture? To what degree does the implementation of public art produce and reproduce and as such create, maintain and deepen dominant spaces of injustice? How can the balance be geographically redressed by public art itself? And how can public art, as such, contribute to sociocultural sustainability?

Suggested topics this session attempts to explore include, but are not restricted to, the following:

· Socio-spatial legitimisation of public art (cf. Selwood 1995; Sharp et al. 2005)
· Critical geographies of public art (cf. Senie and Webster 1998; Lees 2001)
· Genealogies, ontologies, ontogeneses and epistemologies of public art
· The dynamic interrelationships between different classes of public art, patrons, planners, creators, publics, place, space and time
· New genre public art (cf. Lacy 1995)
· Spatial politics of public art (cf. Deutsche 1996)
· The relationships between public art and the public sphere (cf. Mitchell 1992)
· Deconstruction of public-art claims (cf. Hall and Robertson 2001; ‘public artopia’ in Zebracki et al. 2010)
· Site-specificity of public art (cf. Kwon 2004)
· Relational aesthetics of public art (cf. Bourriaud 2002)
· Social negotiations of public art and its site (cf. Massey and Rose 2003)
· Engaging geographies of public art (cf. Zebracki 2012)
· The relationships between imagined and reified dimensions of public art
· Non-representational geographies and embodiment of public art (cf. Hawkins 2012)
· Symbiotic relationships between public art and queer spaces
· Spatial poetics of public art (cf. Bachelard 1994 [1958/1969])

· Public art as time-space/Time-space as public art
· Reflexive and performative methodologies of public-art research
· Public art as methodic device in geographical research

Full reference list:

If you are interested in participating in this session, please submit an abstract via the conference website by January 31 2013. Please feel free to ask Joni Palmer ( or Martin Zebracki ( any questions related to this session.

Dr. M.M. (Martin) Zebracki
Lecturer & Researcher in Cultural Geography, Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Academic Advisor, University College Utrecht

The Post Crash City: Cosmopolitanism, Univ. of York, March 14-15, 2013

The Post-Crash City: Cosmopolitanism

14-15 March 2013, Centre for URBan Research (CURB), University of York

Key speakers: Gareth Millington(author of Race, Culture and the Right to the City)  and Annette Spellerberg, Chair of Urban Sociology, University of Kaiserslautern, visiting fellow CURB.

Immigration and diversity lie at the heart of electoral contests globally in recent years. The liberal consensus around multi-culturalism saw its first signs of crisis around the Salman Rushdie affair and went into a sharp reverse after the events of 9/11 as national policy agendas, party leaders and the mainstream media took an increasingly hostile view of ‘cultural enemies within’. At the same time, the sense of economic crisis, for commentators like Slavoj Zizek and John Gray, has gripped mainstream political thinking, the value of national in-groups has been raised by the force of uncertainties themselves generated by financial uncertainty and declining public supports. What then is the place of notions of social diversity, diaspora and social hybridity in the wake of the economic crisis and rising levels of intolerance and suspicion of assertive cultural and religious difference? This two day conference will be held on the University of York campus, registration includes conference dinner with a strict limit on numbers to maximise participation and discussion. A book based on the conference series is planned for 2014, drawn from papers presented over the series.

Please send abstracts to or

Further details at: (more information to be added shortly).

A limited number of heavily discounted places are available for those in need, please contact for details.

Details of future post-crash city meetings on Economies in June (Key speaker: Jamie Peck) and Environments, December, can be found on our webpage.


The Time of the City

Along the walls of Seonreung Subway Station (선릉역) in Seoul, Tesco HomePlus (a popular shopping chain with corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom) has put up photographs of 500 commonly ordered products in a style similar to their display on the shelves of a physical HomePlus.  Subway passengers can scan accompanying QR codes with their smart phones; the products will be delivered to their homes that evening.

Yes, yes–this is certainly convenient and suggests the degree to which Seoul is well on its way to becoming a ubiquitous computing city (or u-city)–and well ahead of cities in the United States.  But this also offers a more complex view of the occasionally simplistic logic behind the u-city.

When we look at cities and their built environments, we can identify what John Urry calls different “mobilities” that bring together people and objects in different spatio-temporal configurations: riding the subway versus driving an automobile versus walking down a wide boulevard versus sitting at a cafe (Urry 2007).  Each divulges a different temporal rhythm.  This is partly because of the temporal regimes that have been built into these systems–subway schedules, speed limits, the timing of traffic lights, etc.  And this is also partly due to the ways people have engaged these spaces through their own temporal practices (Lefebvre 2004).  Through these manifold technologies, we share temporalities with others–waking in the morning, the daily commute, breaking for lunch.  Commuting into Seoul from Ansan in Gyeonggi-do, you really get the sense of people marching lock-step in both time and space.  But the variations in those temporalities are the most noticeable.

In fact, it is at those precise places where different temporalities collide that have been the most interesting for urban dwellers: the entrance to a Seoul subway station where people wait for each other or sell gimbap.  A pojangmach’a (포장마차) (harder to find these days!) set up in alleys where people move by according to different temporal practices–walking from work, socializing, touring, going to class at a nearby language institute.  Vast urban markets like Namdaemun (남대문시장) where people alternately sit, scurry, stroll.  Isn’t at least part of the charm of these urban oases the confluence of difference?  And not only difference in the way that we usually think of it in anthropology, as differences in identity or social class, but differences in temporality–the difference between people caught in the rhythm of work versus those pursuing a variety of modern pleasures.

Of course, these same temporal differences can lead to all sorts of frustrations–when you climb into a car or taxi and find yourself jammed in on Jamsil Brigde (잠실대교), too annoyed to take in the view of Seoul’s skyline.  Or when waiting exceeds the 30-minute mark and turns to frustration.

Image from the Urban and Regional Innovation Group (

But what happens when we are in constant, real-time syncopation with the built environment around us?  As Seoul moves to ubiquitous computing, the frisson that comes from the confluence of different temporalities would seem to be threatened.  After all, the whole point of ubiquitous computing is the adoption of integrative, networked technologies that span these spatial and temporal differences, creating a vast syntagmatic exchange of information.  The dream, then, would be seamless networks that stitch together city services, transit, consumption, together with our home- and work-lives.

And yet, that may not be how ubiquitous computing develops into urban contexts at all.  When we look at the HomePlus installation at Seonreung Station, its success depends not on the homogenization of different temporalities, but on their exploitation.  It’s precisely because there are different mobilities in subway transit–descending into the tube, walking to the platform, waiting for the train, standing in the subway car–that there’s a temporal residue for HomePlus to exploit.  In other words, it’s the between-ness of the subway station that makes QR-code shopping at HomePlus an attractive option.

In the future, I would expect these temporal disjunctures to be fertile grounds for ubiquitous computing; and, perhaps, these may result in the concomitant multiplication of these temporal differences rather than their transcendence.  That is, the temporal dissonance between different formations suggests durational spaces for networked action.  With them, perhaps, an awareness of heterogeneous temporalities that may lead to new possibilities for human interaction in the interstices of the temporal formations we inhabit.


Lefebvre, Henri (2004).  Rhythmanalysis.  NY: Continuum.

Urry, John (2007).  Mobilities.  Malden, MA: Polity.

Constructed Environment Conference, 4-5 Oct. 2013, Lisbon, Portugal



Call for Papers – Submit a Proposal

Proposals for paper presentations, poster sessions, workshops, roundtables, or colloquia are invited for the Fourth International Conference on the Constructed Environment to be held 4-5 October 2013 at the Unversidade Nova de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal. We welcome proposals from a variety of disciplines and perspectives that will contribute to the conference discourse. We also encourage faculty and students to jointly submit proposals or panel discussions/colloquia.

The deadline for the current round of the call for papers is 31January 2013. Please visit our website for more information on submitting your proposal, future deadlines, and registering for the conference.

If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations include the option to submit a video presentation, and/or submission to the journal for peer review and possible publication, as well as subscriber access to the Constructed Environment Journal.

Lisbon & The Constructed Environment

Now in it’s fourth year, we look forward to hosting the conference in one of the oldest cities in the world and alongside the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. As a city with rich architectural history, Lisbon’s buildings and streets exhibit a range of styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Modern and Postmodern influences. Beyond its architecture, Lisbon is also known for its iconic yellow trams, Monsanto Forest Park (one of the largest urban parks in Europe), and its art filled Metro – incorporating thoughtful architecture, contemporary art, and a priority to passenger accessibility and well-being.


Call for Submissions – The International Journal of the Constructed Environment 

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment publishes open broad-ranging and interdisciplinary articles on human configurations of the environment and the interactions between the constructed, social and natural environments. The journal brings together researchers, teachers and practitioners. The resulting articles weave between the empirical and the theoretical, research and its application, the ideal and the pragmatic, and spaces which are in their orientations private, public, community or commercial.

Refereeing of submitted papers will commence shortly so start the submission process by submitting your proposal.

Call for Papers & Conference Information

Constructed Environment Conference
4-5 October 2013
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Submit a Proposal

Register for the Conference

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