DeeAnn Marie

Posts tagged London

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Suddenly I understand: Paris cares about the young. It is young. It is as if Paris is a young heart with an old beat, an old step. There is trust in youth here, like London doesn’t have. London suspects its young. It cripples them. It tells them they cannot have color or digital museums or pop art glory in case they turn on us; riot. Camden is dying; Dalston hates everything. Never got love from a government man. London tolerates these things as if they are improper, refuses to invest in anything new. London is an old pompous heart, frowning at the children that try to frolic at its feet. Paris throws money at this, loves to play, make out, live, and we play only when we have to, have sex just to keep warm, and struggle to Nottingham for Gamecity like crotchety misers. The little lights of videogame culture we have are Wild Rumpus, Hide and Seek, Gamecamp, One Life Left, anything David Hayward can smuggle in, and they are stitched together with love and the hope that one day we will have space and investment for them. London, your soul is tarnished. Are you a place for life? Or for the preservation of a cultureless class whose credit cards invest in paintings produced in an era they will never let happen again? Where are the monoliths built to our artists?
Cara Ellison writes about Paris, London and videogames. This bit just leaped out at me, but the place she ends it in is much more complicated than that. 

(Source: kierongillen, via wilwheaton)

Filed under urbanism video games Cara Ellison Paris London

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The Endless City Doesn't Have to Be a Bad Thing

Showing an image of sprawled-out Mexico City,Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies, London School of Economics, told the crowd at the Innovative Metropolis conference hosted by the Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis that we are now living in the era of the “endless city.” These cities are endless because they are humungous and also joining up together into megapolises, region-cities. But within the endless city, there are differences. As an example, Burdett said the average commute in Mexico City is 4 hours each way, while it’s just 11 minutes in Hong Kong. In other words, some are strained to the max and not very efficient while others work pretty well.

I found the part about Sao Paulo to truly describe a dysfunctional city. Over 1,000 people commute by helicopter in Sao Paulo, which is the same number as do in New York City and Hong Kong.

Many growing cities are chewing up their ecological functions. “Sao Paulo’s extraordinary city center has only grown outwards, pushing the poor out of the city.” The result: the edges have now been decimated, with people living in shacks right up to the city’s water reservoirs. Parks have almost all been totally consumed. The same story could be told for many other developing world cities.

The article concludes by stating, “Well-connected density is more likely to occur through tighter urban redevelopment projects than through more amorphous sprawled shapes,” and that reducing distances between where people live and where people work is paramount in a city that works well.

The problem/opportunity in many cities, especially prairie cities is that there are no natural barriers that hem the city in. Higher density is confusing for folks who can travel 10 minutes to the edge of the town and watch their dog run away for three days (you know, the old saying). The flat plains do nothing to determine the limits of a city.

The point is the importance of density can be confusing for some people. It takes bold decisions by elected officials and city administration to plot a course for urban centres long-term. It also involves educating people on what a world class city can look-like and be, and also the pit-falls that other cities have experienced. No one should have to take a helicopter to get to their office in the same city, we can at least all agree on that.

Filed under Urban Planning London Olympics Mega-cities Sprawl Best Practices Politics & Legislation Saskatoon