“City Smell” Mappers Want Urban Planners to Use Their Noses

The Urban Sustainability Laboratory

Jenn Stanley
Next City
June 8, 2015

This “smell map” of London shows emission odors in red and natural scents in green. (Credit: Daniele Quercia, Rossano Schifanella, Luca Maria Aiello, and Kate McLean)

There are many ways to map a city: a basic street map, a neighborhood breakdown, by demographics. Now, thanks to researchers from the academic and technology worlds (Yahoo), we have something a bit different: the smell map.

The authors of “Smelly Maps: The Digital Life of Urban Smellscapes” used their own noses, crowdsourcing and social media to create odor-centric maps of cities.

According to the Washington Post:

Smell is hard to record, analyze and depict visually. So to make these maps, the researchers first created what they call a “smell dictionary” with the help of volunteers around the world. They asked dozens of residents in seven cities in Europe and the U.S. — Amsterdam, Pamplona, Glasgow, Edinburgh…

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Barrio Rising: Urban Popular Politics & the Making of Modern Venezuela

Deterritorial Investigations

“In the mid-1950s, Venezuela’s military government razed a massive slum settlement in the heart of Carácas and replaced it with what was at the time one of Latin America’s largest public housing projects. When the dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez was overthrown on January 23, 1958, however, thousands of people rushed to occupy the uninhabited portions of the project, taking it over and renaming the resulting neighborhood for the date of the fall of the regime: the 23 de Enero. The neighborhood that emerged stood at the geographic and in some cases political center of Venezuela’s transition to democracy over the decades that followed. This unruly, often contradictory transition is detailed by Alejandro Velasco, Assistant Professor at the Gallatin School at New York University. The book traces how the residents of the 23 de Enero came to fashion an expansive understanding of democracy–both radical and electoral–from the late 1950s to the…

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