Intervention – “Future Shock” by Andy Merrifield

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Cairo’s Metropolitan Landscape: Segregation Extreme

Cairo from Below القاهرة من الأساس

The following is an excerpt from Abdelbaseer Mohamed’s “Cairo’s Metropolitan Landscape: Segregation Extreme” article. Follow the link below the text for the full article.

The urban growth patterns of the Cairo metropolitan area reveal a fragmented city of heterogeneous parts. As an urbanist and Cairo native I tend to see the city as a series of small islands isolated from one another by strong physical barriers. Walls, highways, flyovers, military sites, abandoned waterfronts, parking lots and vacant lands all contribute to a city that is characterised by a fundamental lack of cohesion. What is more, there is no public realm that accommodates different communities. Rather, each social group is confined to a separate enclave.

Spatial accessibility map for the urban agglomeration within the Ring RD. Red means integrated and accessible, while blue is segregated. Spatial accessibility map for the urban agglomeration within the Ring RD. Red means integrated and accessible, while blue is segregated.

A long History of Urban Segregation

Urban segregation has been a continual feature of Cairo’s history…

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Toward a Simple and Universal Law of Pedestrian Behavior

The Urban Sustainability Laboratory

City Lab
Eric Jaffe March 3, 2015

Our sidewalk interactions are “fundamentally anticipatory in nature,” according to scientists.

Toward a Simple and Universal Law of Pedestrian Behavior

Big city sidewalks can feel like an inexplicable dance of elbows and shopping bags and baby strollers and pigeons and texting. But agroup of crowd scientists has whittled the chaos to its core and found that, far from unpredictable, foot traffic follows a mathematical formula elegant for its simplicity. From Shibuya Crossing to Times Square we’re all performing invisible calculus: computing other people’s speeds and trajectories and adjusting our own accordingly.

Or something like that. In a recently published paper, to be presented this week at a conference, a research team led by computer scientistIoannis Karamouzas of the University of Minnesota propose “a simple and universal law governing pedestrian behavior.” The law suggests our sidewalk interactions are “fundamentally anticipatory in nature”—meaning all those fellow walkers that seem oblivious…

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Methodological cityism and urban political ecology

David Wachsmuth

Trantor 2 Planetary urbanization à la Asimov?

Although it’s been in early access for more than a year, the print version of my article with Hillary Angelo, “Urbanizing Urban Political Ecology: A Critique of Methodological Cityism” has just been released in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

Here’s the abstract:

Urban political ecology (UPE), an offshoot of political ecology that emerged in the late 1990s, has had two major impacts on critical urban studies: it has introduced critical political ecology to urban settings, and it has provided a framework for retheorizing the city as a product of metabolic processes of socionatural transformation. However, there was another goal in early UPE programmatic statements that has largely fallen by the wayside: to mobilize a Lefebvrian theoretical framework to trouble traditional distinctions between urban/rural and society/nature by exploring urbanization as a global process. Instead of following this potentially fruitful path, UPE has…

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Map of notable squatted social centers and houses in Europe

Squatted houses in the European Union.

 Link to zoomable Map of Squatted social centers.

This map comes courtesy of the  Squatting Europe Kollective, an international interdisciplinary research collective that seeks to “produce reliable and fine-grained knowledge” on squatting throughout the European Union. Their work–including the recent volumes Squatting in Europe: Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles (Minor Compositions: 2013) and The Squatters’ Movement in Europe: Commons and Autonomy as Alternatives to Capitalism (Pluto: 2014)–offer useful resources for scholars and activists “seeking to understand the issues associated with squats and social centres across the European Union.” The link contains a map that can users can use to search major cities or zoom in on specific locations.

Urban Artboard : Urban Voids

Gordon's Urban Morphology

Urban Voids

(Urban Voids, New York, New York. 2014. Image by Greg Gordon)

Along the streets of The Lower East Side sit vacant lots ready for the developers shovel. Sometimes empty for years, these spaces exist in between the rich historical fabric of the storied New York neighborhood. Once the sites of tenements, housing countless immigrant families and dreams for a better life, these voids now stand as a testament to a form of Urban Impermanence.

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