Water security is under threat in many urban centres, writes GWP Senior Network François Brikké in this blog, which was originally published as a guest blog for The African Water Facility (AWF).
Water security is under threat in many urban centres. The very nature of urbanization contributes to water stress: rapid population growth, poor or no waste water management and pollution, competing demands from various sectors of activity, and more frequent water related disasters induced by climate change. Urban growth in Africa is one of the highest in the world, and the urban population is expected to be around 60 % by 2050. It poses not only a major challenge to existing and potentially future urban centres and existing planning and management of water systems has proven to be insufficient.
There is a need for a paradigm shift in the way we plan and manage water resources at urban level…
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A friend sent me from HuffPost this image of a new “building” in Paris by starchitect Renzo Piano (what a name!), sure that it would raise my dander sky high. But while the structure certainly confirms the stupidity of modern architecture, as if any such confirmation were needed by now, it has gracefully penned itself in the center of the block, and cannot be seen much by passersby. It does not disrupt the street, and yet through the front portico you can get a hint of its monstrosity yearning to escape – maybe generating a sigh of relief or two, perhaps even some pity. I’d say that if all modernism were equally constrained, or equally modest in its aspiration to destroy beautiful city settings, then modernism would not have raised the worldwide uproar it has. (Huh? … Only kidding.)
A post by De otro tiempo on a now defunct space. In Spanish, although others posts in the blog are also in English. From the post: “Se trata de un edificio situado en un entorno privilegiado que por desgracia ya no existe. Como su nombre indica, su última función fue la de guardería, que fue desempeñada hasta hace unos años. La guardería ocupaba la Continue reading
On Monday, June 9th, FABnyc will celebrate the successful installation and opening of five visual art projects through their FABLES public art program with the artists, partners, and public. After an open call for work, FABLES presents five artists/teams who created public art works that explore the Lower East Side’s living cultural heritage, rich historical legacies, and current issues in public storytelling through visual art.
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The making of bricks and roof tiles, in what in Bolivia is known as tejerías (or in Spain as tejeras), is still an important part of the economic life of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Like pottery (alfarería: from the arabic word fahhâr, mud) and other related techniques, the tejería (teja: from the Latin word tegula, itself a diminutive based in the Latin root tegere, to cover) is an ancient industrial technology. The Europeans introduced the tejería technology to the Andes and the Amazon, where it combined with established native pottery traditions and diverse ceramic techniques. Pre-Columbian Andean buildings were roofed with woven reeds covered with plaster, and still today many peasant homes do not use roof tiles. Nevertheless tejas are an essential component of urban Hispanic Colonial architecture and a symbol of status. The urban landscape of Latin American cities would be inconceivable without this construction material.
According to historian of local traditions Carlos Cirbián (El Deber, September 2013), in the Colonial Period the tejerías were located in the city district known as “El Tao” (a deformation of the Chiquitano word tauch, meaning mud, or clay). A pond, fed by the waters coming from the tejerías, was part of this neighborhood until at least the end of the Nineteenth Century. At the beginning of the Nineteenth century it was inhabited by descendants of African slaves, who probably also worked in the brick-and-tile site. By the middle of the Twentieth Century the tejerías and the pond disappeared, replaced by a square, as part of the modern urban reform plan being implemented by Continue reading
UCS 009 Klausen on Urban Geocaching in Copenhagen (8 June 2014)
Conversational interview inspired by scholar Maja Klausen’s article “Re-enchanting the city: Hybrid space, affect and playful performance in geocaching, a location-based mobile game,” published in the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (1.2, 2014). Based on ethnographic research conducted with geocaching players in Copenhagen, Denmark, topics range from a basic introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of geocaching, from the notion of the “magic circle” of play and the reinterpretation of urban spaces as enacted by players in specific urban sites. [LINK TO ORIGINAL PUBLISHER]