Murray Bookchin – The Idea of Citizenship (excerpt)

Originally posted on Greek Left Review:

Excerpts from Murray Bookchin’s book From Urbanization to Cities (p. 62-81, New York: Cassel)

published at


The Greeks may have been the first people to give us a clear image of the citizen in any politically intelligible sense of the term. Tribal people form social groups – families, clans, personal and community alliances, sororal and fraternal clubs, vocational and totemic societies, and the like. They may assemble regularly to examine and decide communal affairs – certainly a nascent form of politics – but the issues that confront them rarely deal with ways and means of governing themselves. Custom plays a paramount role in establishing their norms for community management; discourse beyond direct argumentation, occupies a place secondary to the enormous authority of precedence and long-established administrative procedures. Nor is this approach to be disdained as trivial or ”primitive”. Group safety and stability require that the community preserve the old, well-tested…

View original 1,883 more words

Françoise-Hélène Jourda: A Socially, Ecologically Responsible Architect. (1955-2015).

Originally posted on die architektin:

Françoise-Hélène Jourda was a militant architect. She was one of the first to call for the integration of ecology  in architecture, also one claiming that architects have a social responsibility to stand for.

At a time when architecture is a lackey-service to real-estate companies and in the verge of becoming a secondary discipline in the face of world urbanization, Jourda’s call seemed all the most necessary. Jourda pleaded  for a more economical building process, reducing the use of resources and of energy.

” Françoise-Hélène Jourda’s leitmotiv for more than twenty years has been an environmental approach in the broadest sense of the term, and she has been constructing buildings without respecting conventions and stylistic preconceptions. “I am now a very happy woman”, she said as the Chairwoman of architecture and sustainable development at Vienna Technical University, “The subjects that I have been fighting for have finally become respectable”.  Françoise-Hélène Jourda…

View original 284 more words

June 6th. International Art-Intervention. Writing WallPeople

Originally posted on Urban speeches:


What is Wallpeople?

Wallpeople is a collaborative art project based in Barcelona that invites people to create and be part of a unique moment in a specific urban space. The objective is to compose a unique work and made by all.

One of our purposes is to return art to the streets and reclaim the public space as a means of expression and citizen interaction. Its philosophy advocates free creativity and uses Internet and its digital tools to offer their experiences in real life, and somehow raise a reflection on how we create and communicate today.

Wallpeople is a collective experiment and we are always open to the incorporation of new countries. This year it celebrates its more global edition, with 40 participating cities worldwide. We don’t know yet when will be the next, but for sure there will be more new countries and surprises

Writing Wallpeople 2015. June…

View original 600 more words

Streetlife symposium – University of Kent, 15 Sept 2015

Originally posted on Progressive Geographies:

Posted on behalf of Phil Hubbard – Streetlife symposium, University of Kent, 15 Sept 201

streetlife-symposium-webThe street is a social space like no other. It has always been a key laboratory for studies of social life, from the roots of contemporary urban sociology in the pioneering ethnographies of the Chicago School through to the diverse range of contemporary studies which consider the performative, affective and non-representational nature of social practice through in situ examination of street etiquette and encounter. Yet, the street remains only loosely defined in many studies, and sometimes disappears from view when social action is privileged over material context. Streetlife: the shifting sociologies of the street, a one-day interdisciplinary symposium, sponsored by The Sociological Review and organised by Prof Phil Hubbard andDr Dawn Lyon (School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research, University of Kent) will address the ways in which the street matters in contemporary sociology and geography. It will critically…

View original 152 more words

The escalator: a short history

Originally posted on Living in a Barrel:

Escalator_Maastunnel Maastunnel Escalators, Rotterdam. Photo: RM

How did a fairground attraction become an important tool of urban renewal?

The first escalator was installed in 1897 at Coney Island, New York, as a fairground attraction. It’s inventor, Charles Seeberger worked at elevator manufacturer Otis, thet produced the first commercial escalator for the World Expo of 1900 in Paris. The first escalator In the Netherlands appeared in 1926, in the new building of the department store De Bijenkorf in The Hague. It was a real sensation, initially still seen more as an attraction rather than as means of transport. For months, here were long lines in the store, with people waiting to take a ride on the escalator.

the first escalator Left: the first escalator at Coney Island. Right; “Stand right, walk left”


Escalators are designed to bring at the same time a large number of people from one floor to another. The capacity goes up…

View original 743 more words

J.G. Ballard: Chronopolis – Time Cities and the Lost Future

Originally posted on dark ecologies:


Continuing from where I left off J.G. Ballard: Chrontopia and Post-Consumerist Society.

Ballard in his short story Chronopolis will envision a world where Time as Clock-time has been outlawed. In this short story he takes us through the history of one particular Time-City, Chronopolis where every facet of peoples existence was ruled by time and its measurements. We first meet Conrad Newman in the free worlds beyond the great and ruinous Time City, who is awaiting trial for his criminal heresies: he has brought the great central clock, the symbol of absolute regulatory control back online.

We discover from a friend of his Stacey that

‘Thirty million people once lived in this city,’ Stacey remarked. ‘Now the population is little more than two, and still declining. Those of us left hang on in what were once the distal suburbs, so that the city today is effectively an enormous ring, five miles…

View original 2,154 more words