Home Archive

3.25.13 | development, politics, research
On Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Tunis for the World Social Forum (WSF). They plan to discuss ...
3.20.13 | riots, planning, infrastructure
Paris is on the verge of a massive transportation upgrade, largely for the benefit of its long-neglected suburbs. The Boulevard ...
3.16.13 | photography, housing, neighborhoods
Photographer and filmmaker Eve Morgenstern has been travelling throughout the United States documenting abandoned homes ...
3.11.13 | reuse, art, protest
The Casablanca art world has been up in arms since the Feb. 15 print edition of Al Ittihad announced that the city government ...
3.6.13 | art, technology, culture
Although the Bay Bridge opened six months before the Golden Gate Bridge, it is widely considered the lesser of the two. The ...
3.4.13 | geography, democracy, quotes
"The central message that emerges from urban political ecology is a decidedly political one. To the extent that cities are produced ...
3.2.13 | community, development, design
Locally owned shops were once cornerstones for products, services, employment and social networks in urban neighborhoods ...
2.25.13 | governance, placemaking, transit
The city of Pontevedra in northwest Spain has become a leader in walker-friendly urban policy over the past 15 years. In light of its ...
2.21.13 | policy, slums
The city of Chandigarh was conceived by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India, as capital of ...
2.17.13 | development, employment, politics
Alcorcón, a quiet suburb of Madrid, is poised to begin transforming into "EuroVegas" by the end of the year. The controversial project ...
2.15.13 | links
Ali Madad's latest collection of links, on "dissatisfaction city," Warsaw's "new old town," smart citizens, smart parking and ...
2.14.13 | transit, planning, employment
As Morocco's largest city and business center, Casablanca suffers from infernal traffic congestion, related air pollution and ...
2.13.13 | economics, credit, business
"Underbanked" is a bit a of buzzword in the financial services industry, but it rarely finds its way into popular culture. Different ...
2.12.13 | history, public space
In the early 1990s, Alberto Boido started taking pictures of graffiti in the streets of Milan. He now returns, twenty years later, to ...
2.10.13 | debt, community, recovery
As Hurricane Sandy moved up the East Coast, Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered an evacuation of all New York City flood zones ...
2.8.13 | industry, environment, public health
For those who see America as a land of justice for all, I recommend visiting the Delray neighborhood in Detroit. Its boarded-up ...
2.7.13 | planning, slums, inequality
The city of Brasilia took shape on a relatively isolated plot of open land in 1956, becoming the capital of Brazil in 1960. The city was ...
2.4.13 | reuse, community, development
"Esto no es un solar" (this is not a lot) is a participatory design project reanimating abandoned lots in Zaragoza, Spain ...
2.3.13 | typography, design
In part five of our series on urban typography, we turn our attention to the universal problem of complicated parking signs. With their ...
2.2.13 | housing, neighborhoods, photography
Over the past three years, photographer and filmmaker Eve Morgenstern has been working for the U.S. Federal Reserve to document ...
2.1.13 | real estate, inequality, architecture
Of all the factors that contribute to urban livability — including public health, education and infrastructure — policy is often focused ...
1.31.13 | culture, film
New American Noise is a collection of short films that document emerging music scenes in six cities — from bounce beats for ...
1.30.13 | design, housing, books
Despite a lifelong commitment to modernist architecture, Edward Durell Stone is often associated with the movement away ...
1.29.13 | governance, quote
"One vast reservoir of common wealth is the metropolis itself. The formation of modern cities, as urban and architectural historians explain ...
1.28.13 | retrofit, planning, green space
I'm sure you don't have to be reminded that your time as mayor of the greatest city in the world is coming to an end. You've formed your ...
1.27.13 | creativity, technology, quote
"The cities, bound together by railroads and waterways, are organisms which have lived through centuries. Dig beneath them and ...
1.25.13 | development, sustainability, technology
Hammarby Sjöstad is a large residential development in Stockholm with an innovative urban design and sustainability program ...
1.23.13 | activism, research, d.i.y.
Partizaning, an artist-activist collective based in Russia, recently teamed up with the Strelka Institute of Design to organize a series ...
1.20.13 | globalization, links
Links from Ali Madad on "Decasia," the economic future of British cities, the next chapter of Paju Bookcity, wicked pictures ...
1.19.13 | creativity, development, public space
El Raval, a neighborhood in Barcelona's central Ciutat Vella district, has a long history of immigration, deindustrialization ...
1.18.13 | democracy, autonomy
It is common in Greece to refer to the city of Heraklion as chaotic, perhaps due to its crowded streets and uncontrolled expansion ...
1.17.13 | housing, politics, activism
As Spain's unemployment rate climbs above 25 percent and its social welfare system is meticulously dismantled, around 500 ...
1.14.13 | poverty, inequality, geography
Buenos Aires is one of the largest and wealthiest cities in Latin America. Before Argentina's reduction of the public sector in the ...
1.13.13 | research, community, public space
Petr Ivanov is carrying out ambitious research in his Moscow neighborhood. He and a group of young volunteers have combined Web ...
1.12.13 | art, public space, events
The Street Museum of Art has curated an outdoor exhibit called "Beyond Banksy: Not Another Gift Shop" in London's Shoreditch ...
1.11.13 | cartography, quote
On Jan. 9, Google celebrated the 150th anniversary of the London Underground with a doodle spin-off of the system's legendary ...
1.10.13 | transit, planning, housing
The transit blogosphere has been ablaze all week over the opening of Beijing's four new subway lines, giving China the longest ...
1.9.13 | public space, photography
Many things catch my attention when I visit a city: people, buildings, monuments, gardens and parks, grand boulevards and small ...
1.8.13 | housing, public space, research
Quilian Riano is the founding principal of DSGN AGNC (Design Agency), a research and design practice that operates through critical ...
1.7.13 | technology, exploring
When I was younger, I spent many hours browsing through my grandparents' encyclopedia to discover things I didn't know existed ...
1.6.13 | ecology, politics, quotes
"The enormous financial gains that are being made by those fortunate enough to benefit from neo-liberal economic policies come with ...
1.5.13 | slums, employment, books
Last month, Katherine Boo won the National Book Award for "Behind the Beautiful Forevers," a chronicle of life in an Indian slum ...
1.4.13 | gender, violence, public space
Women and men throughout India have been taking to the streets to express outrage at the savage gang rape and torture of a ...
1.3.13 | economics, sustainability, policy
From the torn-up boardwalk of Atlantic City to New York's water-logged subway system, cities are paying the price of Hurricane Sandy ...
1.2.13 | design, housing, architecture
In evaluating the progress and potential of the Baan Mankong (Collective Housing) Programme in Bangkok, a clear theme has emerged ...
1.1.13 | cycling, community, agriculture
It's the time of year again when we take stock of the old and pledge to be better in the new. Since our goal at Polis is to foster dialogue and ...
12.31.12 | neighborhoods, real estate
Since the late 19th century, the word "tenderloin" has been used to describe a "district of a city largely devoted to vice." Apparently, the ...
12.30.12 | culture, public space
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a defiant synthesis of aesthetics and ethics has developed around the practice of Pixação. With roots in hip-hop ...
12.29.12 | food, agriculture
Urban farming has existed in one form or another since cities first came into existence. More recently, people have been ...
12.28.12 | artists, politics, interventions
Radya is a Russian street artist known for work that makes strong political statements with striking ingenuity. He and his collaborators ...
12.27.12 | culture, education
Building upon the widespread influence of music, innovative programs around the world are empowering youth to work together, stay ...
12.26.12 | research, technology, quote
"The tradition of craft in archaeology has been brutally squandered; as the de-skilling and devaluation of archaeologists continues ...
12.25.12 | links
Links from Ali Madad on strong towns, prototyping innovation, a laconic history of the world, augmented reality playgrounds ...
12.24.12 | knowledge, quote
"We should get used to the fact that all knowledge must be seen in context: not only when looking at its origin, but even when ...
12.23.12 | design, entrepreneurship, slums
People living in extreme poverty tend to be innovative and provident by necessity, finding ways to survive with available resources ...
12.22.12 | planning, geography, housing
Mexico City is a giant laboratory of urban morphology. Its 20 million residents live in neighborhoods based on a wide ...
12.21.12 | architecture, public health
As part of the Polis "Three Questions" series, we interviewed Michael Murphy, executive director and co-founder of MASS Design Group ...
12.20.12 | development, real estate, manchester
The Number One First Street building in Manchester, England, sits forlornly in a landscape of parking lots, wedged between two ...
12.19.12 | employment, innovation, governance
Providence is not a large town. You can walk from end to end in an hour (even though most people choose to drive) and it's common to see ...
12.18.12 | architecture, preservation
Emily Goldman is a preservationist and doctoral student in historic preservation at Cornell University. After completing her ...
12.17.12 | storytelling, geography, video
New media artist Yuichiro Tamura's "Nightless" is a short film that takes place in Google Street View. The story is told through images, first ...
12.16.12 | technology, development
Amenities are easily taken for granted if they're a common presence: temperature control, motorized transport, running water ...
12.15.12 | links
Links from Ali Madad on digital memories, a lost map on the tramway in Istanbul, how not to rank U.S. cities, laser-cut street maps, the broken ...
12.14.12 | development, informal settlements
One of the principal challenges of global urbanization is the improvement of living conditions in slums, or communities with ...
12.13.12 | demographics, justice, politics
A few weeks back, I posted an article to Facebook about conflicts between the small, uber-wealthy city of Piedmont, Calif., and the much larger ...
12.12.12 | transit, infrastructure, policy
High-speed rail is generally regarded as the pinnacle of attractive and green transportation. But all too often, it makes train travel more ...
12.11.12 | power, science, quote
"The methods of modern science then serve to simplify and reframe reality in standard categories. ... Those who manipulate these ...
12.10.12 | writing, urbanism, middle east
In the walls and ramparts surrounding nineteenth-century Beirut were seven fortified gates, or portals. The number was ...
12.9.12 | community, radio, d.i.y.
San Agustín Radio, also known as Radio Perola, is a community station where people meet, listen, cry, learn, share jokes and hold discussions ...
12.8.12 | design, culture
Boom and Leisure is a design events platform that collaborates with forward-thinking organizations to spread the word about ...
12.7.12 | public space, culture, housing
On any given day in Berkeley, Calif., you may encounter art on wheels. These transportation tableaus include trucks, vans, shuttles and ...
12.6.12 | horticulture, entrepreneurship
As a recent transplant to the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm still amazed by how many community garden projects exist in the city ...
12.5.12 | disaster, infrastructure, governance
Eric Darton has spent his life chronicling the history and culture of his birthplace, New York City. He is the author of "Divided We Stand ...
12.4.12 | networks, quote
"I propose to construct a normative ideal of city life as an alternative to both the ideal of community and the liberal individualism it ...
12.3.12 | community, development, protest
On Oct. 25, University College London (U.C.L.) announced that it had gained permission to proceed with a £1 billion plan to build ...
12.2.12 | architecture, theory, quote
"The house does not simply precede what it domesticates. The house itself is an effect of suppression. The classical figure of the ...
12.1.12 | development, preservation
Bustling. Vibrant. Dynamic. These are just a few adjectives that describe Hanoi’s "36 Streets" — or Ancient Quarter — an area that has existed ...
11.30.12 | links
New links from Ali Madad on urban typography, the VICE Guide to Syria, Charles Mary Kubricht's adaptation proposal, assessing ...
11.29.12 | architecture, history, culture
In the foreword to his 1929 book, "The City of To-Morrow and its Planning," architect Le Corbusier recalls a conversation with the editor of New ...
11.28.12 | marketing, quote
"Anyone claiming to be an expert is selling something. I brandish my ignorance like a crucifix at vampires." Aaron Brady, from ...
11.27.12 | poverty, aid, innovation
The Millennium Alliance promises to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in India, but it is unclear whether its driving force is ...
11.26.12 | planning, quote
"In science, almost all experiments happen in controlled laboratory settings, so that if an experiment fails — as they often do — no one ...
11.25.12 | inequality, geography
Manila is one of the most dense and rapidly growing cities in the world. The metropolitan area hosts over 11 million people in 16 ...
11.24.12 | d.i.y., slums, caracas
Teolinda Bolívar, a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of Venezuela, has been working in the neighborhoods of ...
11.23.12 | politics, spain, history
In my mind, archives used to evoke images of tweed jackets and aging papers in sterile government rooms. But as I'm now engaging ...
11.22.12 | photography, moscow
Igor Moukhin is an ingenious photographer of life in cities, especially the parts that don't appear in branding campaigns. His work reveals the ...
11.21.12 | neighborhoods, diversity, housing
Every few months, the gravity of New York City sucks me in and pounds my feet madly to the pavement until I escape, exhausted, on an ...
11.20.12 | streets, photography
As part of the Polis collection of featured styles, we present a photo by Yeow of a group walking through Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. The ...
11.19.12 | sanitation, activism
Did you know that 660 million Indians have no access to sanitary facilities for relieving themselves? A staggering 2.5 billion people ...
11.18.12 | development, quote
"[D]oing may be directed so as to take up into its own content all which thought suggests, and so as to result in securely tested knowledge ...
11.17.12 | music, place, quote
"You can still feel Detroit techno as soon as you are in the vicinity. Detroit techno is part of Detroit's nature. It's part of the Motor City ...
11.16.12 | housing, development, participation
For years, architects and urban planners have worked on ideas to reduce poverty. These ideas are presented to a client — usually a local ...
11.15.12 | art, comics, mapping
In a previous post, I wrote about how graphic representation can mobilize a polemic on urbanism based on alternative visions of the ...
11.14.12 | transit, housing, policy
Denver hasn't featured very prominently on Polis over the years — a fact that would surprise few people in Denver. The city is not particularly ...
11.13.12 | development, geography, policy
More than half the world's urban population lives in small cities and towns. Most are in developing countries where local governments are weak ...
11.12.12 | film, journalism, architecture
As part of the Polis "Three Questions" series, we present an interview with Cassim Shepard, editor of Urban Omnibus, Adjunct Assistant ...
11.11.12 | society, class, empowerment
For at least 170 years, a simple and incendiary argument has been present around the margins of public discourse — an argument with the ...
11.10.12 | links
Links from Ali Madad on the Bassin de l’Arsenal, designers of the signs that guide us, children in the city of play, the arrest of Trenton Oldfield ...
11.9.12 | style, celebrity
A new addition to the Polis "featured styles" collection, this post revolves around celebrities in cities. The urban environment interacts with ...
11.8.12 | neighborhoods, photography
A week and a half after Sandy, The Rockaways still lacked power and services. The peninsula, just south of John F. Kennedy Airport on the ...
11.7.12 | real estate, urban fabric
Having recently moved to Manchester, the paradigmatic post-industrial city in northwest England, I've been wandering around to get a ...
11.6.12 | technology, governance, interview
Ben Berkowitz is co-founder of SeeClickFix, a website and software application that allows users to upload pictures of infrastructure ...
11.5.12 | culture, exhibition
Bay Area graffiti artist Jurne has been creating large public art throughout North America and Europe since the late 1990s. "Portrait of ...
11.4.12 | land use, policy, democracy
On Nov. 1, Planners Network U.K. (PNUK) released a draft of what they hope will become a manifesto for progressive urban planning in ...
11.3.12 | elections, geography, mobilization
Hurricane Sandy did not wound Harrisburg like it did Manhattan or the Jersey Shore. With the record rainfall steadily approaching a halt ...
11.2.12 | art, design, events
Archstoyanie is a creative festival that takes place each year in the village of Nicola-Lenivets (Nicola-Lazybones) on Russia's Ugra River. It ...
11.1.12 | governance, quote
"In rejecting the need of mediators and the dominant paradigm which holds that the people cannot govern themselves or change and rebel ...
10.31.12 | public space, community, design
Macarao is a district along the periphery of Caracas, home to over 50,000 people within roughly 10 square kilometers. Dramatic ...
10.30.12 | resilience, photography
In parts of Manhattan lucky enough to avoid flooding and power outages during Superstorm Sandy, things started getting back to normal ...
10.29.12 | urbanization, quote
"The degree to which the contemporary world may be said to be 'urban' is not fully or accurately measured by the proportion of the total ...
10.28.12 | society, photography
Stores across New York City were packed Sunday as residents stocked up on water, batteries and canned goods to weather Hurricane Sandy ...
10.27.12 | homelessness, architecture
Nested within San Francisco's affluent Hayes Valley neighborhood, Richardson Apartments is an unconventional affordable housing initiative ...
10.26.12 | planning, development, books
Nine months after the Egyptian revolution last year, the Stockholm-based Färgfabriken Center for Contemporary Art and Architecture ...
10.25.12 | cities, transit, sprawl
In writing about cities, I often recall a course I took with Nathaniel Baum-Snow (thanks!), which drew upon "Lectures in Urban Economics" by ...
10.24.12 | politics, quote
"Just as economic pressure from the base ... is able to modify the production of surplus value, so pressure grounded in spatial practice is alone ...
10.23.12 | planning, development, housing
To many Casablanca is a city of myth, spies and dark cafes. For the Moroccan government it is the future financial and business hub of North ...
10.22.12 | architecture, mapping, data
"New York City is being optimised to run like a motherboard ... It’s being smoothed into the performance characteristics of a microchip ...
10.21.12 | photography, public space
During the rush-hour crush, New York's subway stations are as lonely as they are crowded. I recently caught some quiet moments in the ...
10.20.12 | design, research, politics
Ground Up is a new interdisciplinary journal on landscape issues, run by landscape architecture students in the College of Environmental ...
10.19.12 | cartography, technology
Last week, we wrote about the finale event of stillspotting nyc, a two-year project that explored noise and silence in the city through a series ...
10.16.12 | landscape, inequality, planning
Uneven development, as described by Neil Smith, takes a dynamic form in Bangkok. Thailand's capital is a mix of affluent ...
10.15.12 | culture, sound, events
When David van der Leer moved to New York, he was shocked by how loud it was. A search for stillness inspired him, in his role as an ...
10.14.12 | placemaking, livability
Philips is interested in what makes your city livable and lovable. Is it the street life, the open space, the weather? No matter what it is, they ...
10.13.12 | health, housing, politics
Building on previous research exploring design for social sustainability, the British developer Berkeley Group recently commissioned ...
10.12.12 | public space, research, cartography
As part of the Polis "Three Questions" series, in which we present the same three questions to a range of people doing impressive work ...
10.11.12 | energy, climate, data
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings account for approximately 40 percent of worldwide energy use and are ...
10.10.12 | art, public space, reuse
About a month ago, I noticed curious activities in an abandoned lot in my new neighborhood in West Oakland. From behind the graffitied ...
10.9.12 | politics, culture
A new book, "Architecture & Design versus Consumerism: How Design Activism Confronts Growth," explores the "meaning gap" between ...
10.8.12 | art, public space, events
Last weekend, local magazines invited Londoners to have free "fun in the shadow of demolition." The fun was part of Elefest, a creative festival ...
10.7.12 | transit, infrastructure, podcast
California's High Speed Rail is one of the nation's most important — and controversial — urban projects in recent memory. Some hail it as a ...
10.6.12 | geography, history, quote
"In this empire, the art of cartography was taken to such a peak of perfection that the map of a single province took up an entire province ...
10.5.12 | governance, quote
"Surreptitiously, reliance on institutional process has replaced dependence on personal good will. The world has lost its humane dimension ...
10.4.12 | links
New collection of links from Ali Madad on Tokyo Jungle and the urban-based animal-survival genre, living and working in cities, Amitai ...
10.3.12 | globalization, culture, history
Dakar sits in a crosswind, both literally and figuratively. Senegal's capital has neither geographical isolation to shelter it, nor size ...
10.2.12 | innovation, events
Cities around the world are constantly sparking new questions: How can we ensure adequate housing for all? How can we live more ...
10.1.12 | planning, ecology, housing
Since 1985, the United Nations has designated the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of ...
9.30.12 | film, architecture, events
What if we had to move away from Earth? When conflicts and climate change grow unmanageable perhaps we can go to Mars? But could we ...
9.29.12 | geography, development, nature
If we were to gather the people throughout history who have changed the way cities are perceived today, Neil Smith would be there ...
9.28.12 | environment, policy, reuse
Nutsford Vale is a 33-acre community woodland in Gorton, a densely populated low-income area located three miles from the center of ...
9.27.12 | photography, sprawl
Last week, I attended a gallery opening for an exhibit tracing the history of American landscape photography at the Rhode Island School of ...
9.26.12 | research, activism, community
Over the past two months, Partizaning — an art-based urban activist group — collaborated on 8 public workshops with experts from diverse ...
9.25.12 | art, public space
An ethereal image of a man appeared on a wall on the corner of the street, face blurred and floating off the ground. Like a spectral ...
9.24.12 | gender, society, employment
About a month ago, there was a flurry of articles about plans for a women-only city in Saudi Arabia. The Guardian was among the first to ...
9.23.12 | architecture, planning
Peeking at the work of Léon Krier is like jumping into a rabbit hole that leads to a surreal city of magical proportions, strange juxtapositions ...
9.22.12 | development, informality
Wedged between the Seine River and the Canal Saint-Denis is a spit of land where different visions of contemporary Paris come together ...
9.21.12 | links
Links from Ali Madad on chance alignments, vintage makeovers, political stances in architecture and design, #13O #globalNOISE ...
9.20.12 | housing, architecture, planning
The Vår Frälsares church tower stretches up, surrounded only by sky, creating a sense of calmness in a residential neighborhood in ...
9.19.12 | inequality, geography, development
Of the 20 wealthiest neighborhoods in India, as many as 18 are in Mumbai. On the other hand, according to the 2010 census, 62 percent ...
9.18.12 | activism, politics
Sarah McDaniel Dyer touched a lighter's flame to a piece of paper, a referral to a specialist who could treat the rare genetic disorder ...
9.17.12 | environment, landscape
We're putting on a conference about dredge. Dredging is the mechanized uplift of soil, silt, sand and sediment from rivers and coastal ...
9.16.12 | photography, technology
In describing the triumphs and travails of cities and urban culture, we often turn to photography. This is even more so with the democratization ...
9.15.12 | governance, housing, agriculture
It is unusual to come across a town website with menu items like "struggles (successes)," "social democracy" and "utopia." But there aren’t ...
9.14.12 | liberation, quote
"Narration (with the teacher as narrator) leads the students to memorize mechanically the narrated content. Worse yet, it turns them ...
9.13.12 | politics, democracy, activism
If some American city built a modern castle complex, accessible only by drawbridge, this city could serve as host to all its nation’s political ...
9.12.12 | community, environment
A recent visit to the Berkeley Recycling Center sparked reflections on the tensions between the idea and practice of sustainability. The center ...
9.11.12 | architecture, reuse
"Deep in the West, where the sun is gathering dust," bellows Herbert Grönemeyer in an ode to his home town, Bochum, "things are better ...
9.10.12 | photography, art, exhibition
After a 40-year delay, Louis I. Kahn's design for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is finally being realized. In the Fall of 2011 ...
9.9.12 | inequality, housing, geography
São Paulo, South America's largest city and most prominent economic hub, is known for its extreme social disparities. When approaching ...
9.8.12 | exclusion, sharing
As I think about how to pay off my education loans, I can't help but wonder if they were really worth taking on. Not that I think I shouldn't ...
9.7.12 | resilience, video
Ruth Green is the daughter of a preacher and a one-time homeowner. She never expected to be homeless at age 54. This is the story of her ...
9.6.12 | research, development, housing
One of the fundamental issues in American urbanism is the changing geography of poverty. American cities are famous around the ...
9.5.12 | public space, neighborhoods
This summer, the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen introduced the brilliant idea of guided tours, enhancing their exhibitions ...
9.4.12 | innovation, efficiency, environment
Business and government leaders in a growing number of cities are recognizing that investment in smarter, greener technologies can help ...
9.3.12 | planning, development, history
In 2007, the "Grand Park" residential complex was completed along the border of the now-defunct Frunze Central Aerodrome in Moscow ...
9.2.12 | links
Links from Ali Madad on violence in Baltimore, installations by Hong Seon Jang, the game of urban renewal, ecstasies of parking, revisiting ...
9.1.12 | planning, modernity, quote
"There are two ways one can read dust: the generic and the specific. In the first, dust is the stuff of history, marking a present ...
8.31.12 | history, public space
While wandering along Barcelona’s streets earlier this year, I stumbled upon the Barcelona Photographic Archive exposition on ...
8.30.12 | public space, art, communication
If you wander around Providence and pay close attention to tarnished street signs, dusty corners and dilapidated doors, you can occasionally ...
8.29.12 | governance, theory, quote
"A democracy of the multitude is imaginable and possible only because we all share and participate in the common. By "the common" we mean ...
8.28.12 | heritage, activism, governance
Recent visits to the George Eastman House and the Susan B. Anthony House left me troubled. The museums were far from disappointing ...
8.27.12 | housing, design, history
In 1932, Frank Lloyd Wright introduced a utopian vision of a democratic society in a manifesto titled "The Disappearing City." The ...
8.26.12 | geography, art
Location-based technology is not known for its accuracy. At times we can be logged as being in a different place than our actual location ...
8.25.12 | housing, planning
Although Nairobi is one of the most dynamic business and institutional centers in sub-Saharan Africa, it is also home to more than 200 ...
8.24.12 | entrepreneurship, technology
Cities across the United States are becoming hotbeds for mobile-food entrepreneurs benefiting from an online social networking ...
8.23.12 | transit, infrastructure
On Monday I traveled 1000 km (a megameter?) round-trip for a meeting. It could not have been a simpler and more relaxing experience ...
8.22.12 | critical practice, events
The second annual Urbanism Week at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture will take place this Sept. 24-28. Last year more than 200 students ...
8.21.12 | segregation, democracy, citizenship
"Among the conditions necessary for democracy is that people acknowledge those from different social groups as cocitizens, i.e., as people ...
8.20.12 | installations, events
This summer, the sounds of Swedish music festival Way Out West brought record numbers of visitors to Gothenburg's Slottskogen park ...
8.19.12 | links
Links from Ali Madad on unlivable cities, objects of derision, the new great divide in the Middle East, numbers by Robert Indiana and what ...
8.18.12 | gardening, community, d.i.y.
"How We Can Eat Our Landscapes," a TED Talk by Pam Warhurst of Incredible Edible Todmorden, illuminates the process behind a ...
8.17.12 | public space, politics, providence
Ask anyone where the center of Providence is and they’ll point you to Kennedy Plaza. Geographically it is a natural center, located in a river valley ...
8.16.12 | activism, practice, quote
“Our cities have become key arenas in a primarily market-driven globalization process, a process that primarily unfolds in ...
8.15.12 | poverty, policy, planning
In 2007, Spain had 551 houses for every 1000 inhabitants, more than France (508) and Germany (485), according to data published ...
8.14.12 | art, technology, events
Amidst the sprawl and scenery along the Bronx River, there is a collection of visual narratives on the past, present and future of the area. For ...
8.13.12 | public space, design, community
In Africa's rapidly growing cities, the pace of development has left few safe play areas for children. The Mmofra foundation works to ...
8.12.12 | architecture, environment
A visit to the landscape architecture studio at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design reveals a wall filled with pedagogical graffiti ...
8.11.12 | art, history
Seward is a town of close to 3,000 people on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. Formally established in 1903, it has remained due to its location ...
8.10.12 | architecture, technology, quote
In a recent post covering open-source architecture I expressed my enthusiasm for a future generation of D.I.Y. computer-savvy ...
8.9.12 | inequality, activism
Refreshed by a much-needed hiatus, I had every intention of coming back to Polis with stories of bizarre postmodern French housing projects ...
8.8.12 | environment, climate, data
Summertime in the northern hemisphere has prompted a resurgence of media coverage on climate change, with particularly frightening ...
8.7.12 | conflict, resilience
The mayor of Mogadishu, Mohammed Nor, known as Tarzan for the way he used to flee the police as a street orphan, likes to use the phrase ...
8.6.12 | density, planning
Is it possible to develop a conveniently walkable city of single-unit homes with private yards? I can think of neighborhoods like this, but if ...
8.5.12 | transit, infrastructure
The Yard," a strangely captivating photo-essay by Marcin Wichary, offers a behind-the-scenes (and at times behind-the-wheel) glimpse of ...
8.4.12 | architecture, planning
Open-source design — whether for entire cities, particular neighborhoods or individual houses — is becoming increasingly popular and feasible ...
8.3.12 | farming, reuse, innovation
If you drink a mojito in Havana, there's a chance that the mint it contains came from the Alamar nursery on the outskirts of the city. The ...
8.2.12 | links
A new collection of links from Ali Madad on Occupy's first anniversary, perilous propagation, Japanese gas-tank art, saving Aleppo, and a ...
8.1.12 | art, chicago
Last week, after four months living in the Bay Area, I returned to the apartment in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood that I called home ...
7.31.12 | mapping, development, cities
Last Sunday I woke up in Boston with a marvelously unusual prospect: a day with nothing to do. I decided to hit the pavement ...
7.30.12 | architecture, innovation
"Imagine if we could make designing and printing your house as easily as shopping on amazon — and put it into the public domain ...
7.29.12 | art, politics, geography
Neil Griess is an artist living and working in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of ...
7.28.12 | suburbs, infrastructure, quote
“The city in waiting is the domain of multiple speeds: la ville a vitesses multiples. Yet the time space compressions of the inner city ...
7.27.12 | architecture, history
Countless books and exhibitions address early Soviet architecture, but the residential buildings most often included don't adequately ...
7.26.12 | architecture, activism, detroit
The Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) is not content with the status quo when it comes to built environment professionals ...
7.25.12 | religion, conflict, heritage
Those familiar with the great historic cities of Israel may know of Safed, a lovely mountaintop town overlooking the Sea of Galilee. It is ...
7.24.12 | cartography, history
"You can start looking at what's on the map, what is not on the map. What is missing? How is it packaged? How is it framed? How is it meant ...
7.23.12 | development, governance, policy
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the foundation of international human rights law, inspiring a rich body of legally binding. Since ...
7.22.12 | marketing, public space
If you peer over the wall as you exit the BART train car at the West Oakland elevated station in Oakland, California, you'd notice a ...
7.21.12 | cemeteries, place, history
In the boisterous metropolis, spaces for stillness and reflection are highly sought-after gems. In nineteenth-century New York, one particular ...
7.20.12 | collaboration, events, culture
My recent trip to New York City coincided with the first ever visit of a Catalonian human tower building team to the U.S. Hailing from the ...
7.19.12 | revitalization, development
When I tell people that I am moving to Las Vegas for the next two years, reactions are entertaining to say the least. They range from attempts ...
7.18.12 | politics, posters
Has the thought of taking art from a public event ever crossed your mind? During a recent exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum ...
7.17.12 | art, events, culture
Photographer Hank O’Neal, aka XCIA, has been documenting New York City street art for 40 years. Also an author, music producer and ...
7.16.12 | public space, imagineering
In 1927, the Times reported that more than three thousand people had spent the night sleeping on the sand at Coney Island in order to escape ...
7.15.12 | governance, culture, quote
"Early in 1922, concertgoers in Moscow were notified of a concert to be performed 'without a conductor.' When they arrived at the Hall of ...
7.14.12 | architecture, history, real estate
Elena Ovsyannikova of MosKonstruct shares a fascinating and very troubling story about the only building designed by El Lissitzky in ...
7.13.12 | planning, quote
"The hallmark of declining cities is that they have too much housing and infrastructure relative to the strength of their economies. With all that ...
7.12.12 | poverty, informal settlements
In a recent post, Min Li Chan referred to Tim De Chant's blog Per Square Mile, which depicts income inequality from space. This is a very ...
7.11.12 | entrepreneurship, innovation
Urban imagination in the Americas revolves around two paradigms: the growing city and the declining city. The growing city symbolizes ...
7.10.12 | art, public space, heritage
When we speak of urban heritage, the goal is often preservation — to keep what is already there. But an art initiative in Brussels has ...
7.9.12 | design, community engagement
It is my hope that we are only in the infancy of the "social design" movement — a time when genuine social engagement remains a ...
7.8.12 | quote, architecture
"The idea of a city made of monuments takes us to the figure of Palladio. In that day and age, with a class of monied bourgeois beginning to ...
7.7.12 | culture, sound
stillspotting nyc is a two-year multidisciplinary project that takes the Guggenheim Museum’s Architecture and Urban Studies programming ...
7.6.12 | sustainability, policy
What makes a city a leader in sustainable development? Cities such as Portland, Ore. and San Francisco, Calif. are repeatedly ...
7.5.12 | development, business, casinos
The longstanding rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona has found a new outlet in recent months. Each is vying to become home to the ...
7.4.12 | housing, architecture, policy
In the early 1950s a group of architects found inspiration in Casablanca's slums, transforming an area at the city’s margins into a sandbox ...
7.3.12 | planning, aid, governance
Does it make sense to teach about sidewalk design in a war-torn city? Last May I returned to Kabul for the first time in four years ...
7.2.12 | culture, public space
Italian street artists Sten and Lex have been experimenting and expanding the stencil-poster technique, which the pair lovingly ...
7.1.12 | transit, automobiles, cycling
There’s a dirty little secret about driving: Nobody likes it. Most people are not able to admit it, for they are unaware that congestion, the ...
6.30.12 | links
Links from Ali Madad on Dalí in New York, data visualization of drone strikes, the psychoanalysis of ruins, urban economics and 'Unclear ...
6.29.12 | design, planning, streets
"[T]he built environment should provide its users with an essentially democratic setting, enriching their opportunities by maximising ...
6.28.12 | art, foreclosure
Last holiday season, while awaiting my flight in a Cincinnati airport, I saw a soldier in line to get a seating assignment. There was nothing ...
6.27.12 | architecture, planning
After spending the past 7 months studying urban housing, I've drafted the following list of design variables that shape perceptions of place ...
6.26.12 | cities, geography, research
In a recent conversation on Polis, urban geographer Matthew Gandy touched on the multiple registers of urban governance ...
6.25.12 | environment, development, politics
Last week, presidents, parliamentarians, mayors, U.N. representatives and civil society leaders gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to debate ...
6.24.12 | trees, inequality
Tim De Chant, in his blog Per Square Mile, considers income inequality from space by contrasting Google Earth images of ...
6.23.12 | placemaking, development, quote
The photo above is of Praça Cantão in Communidade da Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro. The buildings were repainted by artists Jeroen ...
6.22.12 | links
New links from Ali Madad, including Conflict Kitchen, the return of Occupy, yuppies on bikeshares, defense against facial recognition ...
6.21.12 | design, innovation, collaboration
Pop Up Rockwell is a green street-improvement project based on rapid design prototyping. For a week in April, an underused stretch of ...
6.20.12 | architecture, development, process
For architects, employing an ethic of care involves reflexive practice with value placed on process, empathy and everyday life. This post ...
6.19.12 | streets, quote
In a book called "Dharavi: Documenting Informalities" a group of artists from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm document ...
6.18.12 | parks, public space, activism
Hong Kong is one of the highest-density cities in the world. In between high-rise buildings, public space is limited and strictly regulated. In city ...
6.17.12 | horticulture, maps
The Cassano d'Adda Garden Map is exactly what it sounds like. I recreated the small municipality of Cassano d'Adda, part of the mosaic of ...
6.16.12 | public health, environment, density
As the world's urban population grows rapidly, there is a risk of weakening our healthy ties to non-urban nature. This has a particularly ...
6.15.12 | education, cities
From July 4-12, Interactive City will hold a summer school at the Strelka Institute titled "Interactive Moscow: Spatial Theories ...
6.14.12 | suburbs, cities, place
In a recent piece for The Atlantic Cities, Emily Badger contemplates whether her hometown, Alexandria, Va., really counts as a suburb. Her ...
6.13.12 | public space, activism
At least 2,000 residents of Brussels took to the streets last Sunday to demand more room for pedestrians and cyclists in the city center ...
6.12.12 | citizenship, migration, public space
One of the latest arrivals in Routledge's Advances in Ethnography series is "City, Street and Citizen: The Measure of the Ordinary ...
6.11.12 | architecture, practice, feminism
Self-care is a sign of knowing oneself. Caring for others, therefore, means getting close to them, knowing and understanding them. Caring ...
6.10.12 | art, dance, exhibition
Berlin continues to expand its influence in the global arts community, increasingly establishing itself as the creative capital of Europe. There ...
6.9.12 | culture, design, festival
In the 1960s and early 1970s, Stockholm musicians and artists organized many popular festivals in Gärdet, a large field in the city ...
6.8.12 | horticulture, design
Having always lived in cities, and moving frequently, gardening never quite seemed possible. But I've been struck by the ...
6.7.12 | photography, community
When Spain’s 15-M movement took over plazas in hundreds of cities across the country in May 2011, mainstream media coverage was mixed ...
6.6.12 | public space, video
Our shadow is always with us, but how often do we pay attention to it? Joe Pease's short film "Peter Brings the Shadow to Life" turns our ...
6.5.12 | olympics, architecture, transit
As the London Olympics draw nearer — and raise controversy on issues ranging from transit to securitization — Munich is celebrating 40 ...
6.4.12 | politics, history, public space
Twenty-three years ago today — on June 4, 1989 — hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators were assaulted in and around ...
6.3.12 | featured place, parks
People who say they hate Boston probably haven't been to Castle Island. Getting there is hard: You can either drive, bike, take the ...
6.2.12 | quote, hip hop
"Chill and relax, I'm back in effect. Yes I'm Erick Sermon, with a brand new cassette. Yes I'm spoiled rich like top soil, still loyal, still the ...
6.1.12 | design, public space, theory
"Public Places - Urban Spaces" — a recently updated textbook on urban design and planning — includes a review of six place-making ...
5.31.12 | art, culture, theory
Peter Halley describes his geometric paintings of the past thirty years as "engaged in a play of relationships between 'prisons' and 'cells' ...
5.30.12 | planning, conservation, sprawl
"A metropolitan area can take care of a great many more people by only a very slight expansion of its radius. ... if there is to be ...
5.29.12 | ecology, wildlife
Urban migration isn't just for humans. It turns out that in London, foxes are also drawn to the density of urban life. With access to leftover ...
5.28.12 | activism, art
The Occupy movement in Moscow is a response to very different political conditions than those of Occupy movements in other parts of the world ...
5.27.12 | research, housing, politics
In light of the political gatherings taking place around central Moscow, it feels strange to write about research methods focused on parts of ...
5.26.12 | photography, streets
A rectangular cloth finds many uses in Indian cities. It becomes a woman's sari, a man's dhoti or lungi (sarong) or a turban. It is also used ...
5.25.12 | links
The latest collection of links from Ali Madad on making cities smarter than their bankers, the art of placemaking, musical trendsetting cities ...
5.24.12 | public space, history
During my visit to Havana a month ago, several taxi drivers eagerly pointed out the "Tribuna Anti-Imperialista" (Anti-Imperialist ...
5.23.12 | photography, events, public space
Photographer Mike Sinclair's scenes of fairs, rodeos and other attractions shift the viewer's gaze from the spectacle to everyday people in ...
5.22.12 | housing, architecture, sound
In the words of its most passionate biographer Peter Ackroyd, London is never silent. Even in its hushed hours, the city "teems" with the very ...
5.21.12 | art, redevelopment, miami
A walk through Wynwood, a neighborhood north of downtown Miami, brings an encounter with two-dimensional fangy creatures that ...
5.20.12 | street signs, culture
The next time you stop in front of a red light at a bustling intersection, consider the remarkable state of traffic signs. Ubiquitous across cities ...
5.19.12 | art, salvador
TarcioV is an artist based in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. He rarely discusses his life and work, but agreed to a brief interview as part of the ...
5.18.12 | sharing, music, antwerp
In recent years, the Internet and social networking sites have brought new meaning to the notion of sharing. Much is given away for ...
5.17.12 | development, innovation
Failure is a touchy subject when it comes to development aid. Donors are afraid of letting taxpayers and philanthropists know that ...
5.16.12 | technology, entrepreneurship
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv, and Jack Bennett, deputy manager of Skolkovo City, represent different strategies aimed at emulating the ...
5.15.12 | journalism, poverty
Last month, we invited you to share the "best" and "worst" examples of media coverage of cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America — the so ...
5.14.12 | geography, capital, revolution
Last Thursday, geographer and social theorist David Harvey discussed the "Urbanization of Class Struggle" at the London School of ...
5.13.12 | urban farming, london
Recently I've noticed that London embraces urban farming in a way I haven't seen in other cities. Last month, I attended the Oxford ...
5.12.12 | art, salvador
Art has accompanied Rebeca Silva through life since infancy. As a child she lived in Itabuna, a town in the interior of Bahia, Brazil. Her ...
5.11.12 | urbanization, diversity, amman
To the newcomer, Amman seems like the tranquil eye of a cyclone. In this hilly city of 2.8 million people, the king and his family smile ...
5.10.12 | community, film
Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Shannon Walsh has teamed up with South African director and writer Arya Laloo to coordinate her ...
5.9.12 | development, governance, research
The term "participation" is thrown around a lot in urban planning and international development circles. In the past decade, there has been a ...
5.8.12 | street art, video
In the stop-motion animation "Big Bang Big Boom," Italian street artist Blu marks, bends, and transforms large-scale wall paintings and found ...
5.7.12 | art, quote
In a 1977 interview published in the catalogue for the "In Matta-Clark" exhibition in Antwerp, Gordon Matta-Clark gave the following ...
5.6.12 | policy, development
In the 1960s and 1970s, a universalistic approach to social policy – under which the entire population is eligible for social benefits as a ...
5.5.12 | design, activism, prisons
Launched in 2004, the Prison Design Boycott is an initiative led by Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) ...
5.4.12 | public space, research
Determining and achieving optimal housing density has proven elusive despite the efforts of many illustrious urban theorists (including ...
5.3.12 | politics, events, paris
Ali Madad's latest collection of links, on music inspired by Mega-City One, the unfinished grid, "Witness to War in Lebanon," comparing ...
5.2.12 | politics, events, paris
Growing up in California, May Day was always a vestigial holiday of sorts. It was the height of the Reagan era, and what few media outlets that ...
5.1.12 | architecture, urbanism, quote
"If we extend Goethe's metaphor ["I call architecture frozen music"] beyond architecture, we might say that urbanism is 'frozen politics ...
4.30.12 | politics, media
Thousands of Malaysians took to the streets last weekend, calling for electoral reforms at Bersih 3.0 rallies in Kuala Lumpur and other cities ...
4.29.12 | graffiti, quito
Alex Ron, author of "Quito: Una Ciudad de Grafitis" and "Historias de Aerosol," collects graffiti messages to recreate the social ...
4.28.12 | art, architecture
Artist Giacomo Costa creates cityscapes that are as unconventional as the life he leads. Born in Florence in 1970, he studied violin intensively ...
4.27.12 | cities, parks
Many parks are designed to provide a sense of escape from the city through separation from the bustle of street life. On the other hand, parks ...
4.26.12 | planning, development
Located at the southern tip of Borneo in Indonesia, Banjarmasin is the self-proclaimed "City of 1000 Rivers." With a population of ...
4.25.12 | planning, infrastructure, transit
A city’s compactness is a compromise. On one side, a city can be spread-out — giving the advantages of cheap construction costs and ...
4.24.12 | art, streets
When an artwork is shown, it no longer belongs only to the artist. And when it is placed in public space, a co-authoring process unfolds and ...
4.23.12 | ecology, research
In "Ecology and Inclusion" I recently argued that ecology — as the study of relations between organisms and their environments — is ...
4.22.12 | infrastructure, transit, china
In the last decade, China's fast-paced urbanization and construction boom has made a visible impact on its urban and rural ...
4.21.12 | architecture, quote
“The architecture review has a basic form, one that is still valid despite changes in publishing — especially the parameters brought on by digital ...
4.20.12 | links
Assorted links from Ali Madad, featuring Alessandro Bavari, Google Maps loosing ground, alien anthropology, Galloping Gertie, the ...
4.19.12 | design, typography
New York is a city of opinionated typography — clear, bold, with a point of view. Amidst the vibrant urban cacophony, a keen eye scanning ...
4.18.12 | art, photography, exhibition
Perhaps it is no surprise that a city so fundamental to our collective urban imagination should be so rich in brilliant exposés of other ...
4.17.12 | architecture, art
Zhongdian, known as "Shangri-La," is a predominantly Tibetan county in China's northern Yunnan Province. The Tibetan ...
4.16.12 | development, governance, planning
Since 2008, Ecuador has adopted institutional reforms that challenge conventional definitions of human development. The process began with ...
4.15.12 | art, experimentation
"In the late 1970s, a group of people living in the east London borough of Hackney began building a structure on a derelict lot in their ...
4.14.12 | planning, sustainability
The U.K.-based Young Foundation recently published research highlighting the successes and failures of neighborhood developments ...
4.13.12 | cartography, demographics
Maps offer a compelling view of trends that influence the social life of cities. A set of carefully crafted maps by Pietro Calogero reveals a ...
4.12.12 | media, cities, events
In 2008, a major Mumbai newspaper published an article on the redevelopment of Dharavi, a vast informal settlement in the heart of the city ...
4.11.12 | streets, art, video
There is a hidden rhythm on the ground we walk on. With each step, a melody of patterns is slowly created. Framed within a center tile, Johan ...
4.10.12 | poverty, journalism
Poverty and inequality make for captivating drama. For centuries, novelists, academics, development professionals and others have ...
4.9.12 | architecture, technology, london
After a £500-million redevelopment, the new Western Concourse of London's King's Cross Station is now in use. The project, which ...
4.8.12 | development, nairobi, quote
"[P]eople are starving. They need food; they need medicine; they need education. They do not need a skyscraper to house the ruling party ...
4.7.12 | ecology, research
As the study of relations between organisms and their environments, ecology seems to address nearly anything and everything. It is often ...
4.6.12 | links
Ali Madad's latest collection of links, including Geoff Dyer’s Zona City transit line posters, revolutionary posters in Syria, Lester Beall and ...
4.5.12 | planning, mega-events, governance
The New York Times' Room for Debate series is often frustratingly pithy and incomplete when it comes to urban issues — witness their ...
4.4.12 | participation, development
Today, participatory democracy is an ingredient in most international development programs and projects. City governments around the world ...
4.3.12 | culture, ecology, governance
Matthew Gandy is an urbanist and academic who writes and teaches about cities, landscapes and nature. He directed the Urban Laboratory at ...
4.2.12 | photography, history, delhi
I walked through the bustling gullies of old Delhi, from Chandni Chowk to Jama Masjid and then to Ballimaran. This area was part of the walled ...
4.1.12 | planning, cartography, moscow
A group of students from the Moscow Architectural Institute recently completed an "inventory" of the Russian capital using public ...
3.31.12 | architecture, interaction
Recently, internationally acclaimed architect Joshua Prince-Ramus guest lectured on "slow architecture" at The NewSchool of ...
3.30.12 | art, public space, d.i.y.
Partizaning, a new social art strategy encouraging people to get involved in improving their cities by promoting art for social change, marks ...
3.29.12 | photography, housing
Livia Corona, a photographer from Ensenada in Baja California, spent four years exploring former Mexican President Vicente Fox's ...
3.28.12 | installation, event, stockholm
City dwelling is often conditioned by memories. Walking through a familiar city, we see things that newcomers don’t. Remembering ...
3.27.12 | design, research
During the first weeks of 2009, a new initiative started to take shape in the design office MAS Studio: an initiative to share the most ...
3.26.12 | housing, history
Jiang Jun, editor-in-chief of Urban China Magazine, gave a talk on Chinese housing at the SCOR Social Housing - Housing the Social ...
3.25.12 | links
Ali Madad shares links on financing suburban architecture, Lewis Mumford as art critic, data-driven journalism, a tour of Manhattan with ...
3.24.12 | architecture, landscape
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water (1935) is among the most renowned architectural icons of the 20th century. In this post I consider ...
3.23.12 | disaster, ecology, politics
I observed the one year anniversary of Japan’s devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident on March 11 in Semipalatinsk in ...
3.22.12 | housing, design
One would be hard-pressed to find a more jarring juxtaposition to the new exhibition "Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream ...
3.21.12 | photography, migration, istanbul
Born to a Dutch mother and Turkish father, photographer Ahmet Polat is a visual storyteller who documents the lives of Dutch-born ...
3.20.12 | gender, policy, quito
Since Nov. 25, 2011, coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Municipality of Quito in ...
3.19.12 | public space, seating
Wandering the streets of Hong Kong, you'd be hard-pressed to find public seating on the sidewalks, especially when you're meant to be ...
3.18.12 | planning, quote
"'India lives in its villages,' a saying attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, has long characterized the Indian mindset. That India also lives in its ...
3.17.12 | architecture, housing, montreal
In response to a post on the Cube Houses in Rotterdam a few months ago, a reader commented that they reminded her of ...
3.16.12 | development, barcelona
Like most post-industrial cities around the world, Barcelona has spent well over a decade planning how to reshape its industrial heartland. In ...
3.15.12 | cities, tokyo, video
Alex Lee's "Tokyo Slo-Mode" presents a striking urban aesthetic through the swaying movements of commuters and other inhabitants of the city ...
3.14.12 | art, boa mistura
Last January, five Spanish artists spent almost two weeks living with a family in Vila Brasilândia, a favela on the outskirts of São ...
3.13.12 | housing, art
The "Flock House" was conceived by Mary Mattingly, an artist that crosses boundaries between performance, sculpture, architecture ...
3.12.12 | business, development
While driving through Kenya's vibrant landscapes this winter, I was fascinated by the unexpected colors in the towns and villages ...
3.11.12 | photography, interview, san francisco
Jason Miller is a young photographer who practices his craft in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photography offers a visual catalogue ...
3.10.12 | links
The latest online discoveries from Ali Madad, including a 1937 map of segregated Durham, Filip Dujardin’s impossible architectural ...
3.9.12 | development, governance
In the informal settlements of Nairobi, basic infrastructure provision remains a major issue. Generally speaking, neither the government ...
3.8.12 | cities, remix
"Melancholy was the dominant note of his temperament, he thought, but it was melancholy tempered by recurrences of faith and ...
3.7.12 | architecture, preservation, quote
Last year, in a lecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture Studio confronted the effects ...
3.6.12 | governance, policy, nonprofit
Ever since I became interested in urban development in Brazil, I have used the Instituto Pólis as a comprehensive and reliable ...
3.5.12 | research, technology
The Internet is being used in exciting ways toward participatory research on cities. Beyond facilitating collaboration between academics ...
3.4.12 | architecture, housing, quote
In the fall of 2008, the Norwegian studio TYIN Tegnestue Architects traveled to Noh Bo — a small village on the Thai-Burmese border — to ...
3.3.12 | housing, research, bangalore
Bangalore, the "Silicon Valley of India," is located in southern India. One of India’s fastest growing cities, it is more than 10 times the size it was ...
3.2.12 | design, urban intervention
"WARNING: All the urban prescriptions that follow are for public use, able to be used in all their strategic and legal development by ...
3.1.12 | public space, architecture, politics
For more than 20 years, since Macedonia became independent from Yugoslavia and replaced a socialist system with a capitalist one, the ...
2.29.12 | design, ecology, quote
"The contemporary city is a complex field that changes and evolves in advance of the discipline. Landscape and ecology, understood as dynamic ...
2.28.12 | history, place
This is the site in the center of Moscow where Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently decided to build a park. Each dot represents a ...
2.27.12 | art, music
"Where I Am Now" is the debut LP of Chicago-based DJ and music producer Area (a.k.a. m50). A dark and driven blend of house and techno ...
2.26.12 | cities, theory, quote
"As a relational process of composition, assemblage signals the emergence, labour and sociomateriality of the city, and the ways ...
2.25.12 | politics, design, interview
What are the design lessons of the Occupy movement? In this interview, UC Berkeley Landscape Architecture students Robert ...
2.24.12 | links
Links from Ali Madad on an old theater over a Bodega, semeiotic Dubai, pierce and pop architecture, pay-phone libraries, and sensual ...
2.23.12 | architecture, planning, interview
John Lancaster is a veteran foreign correspondent and magazine journalist with deep experience in South Asia and the Middle East ...
2.22.12 | planning, spatial analysis, jeddah
Cities may be seen as systems that, at their best, foster symbiotic interactions and equitable transactions that efficiently distribute ...
2.21.12 | architecture, markets
The Marin County Civic Center in the city of San Rafael, Calif., is a striking sight. At once stunning and curious, it was the hyper-modern ...
2.20.12 | culture, inequality, salvador
It's Carnival time. This is when millions leave their worries behind and go with the flow of the world's largest collective parties. Brazil's ...
2.19.12 | art, pop-up, mumbai
During my first visit to Bombay Underground, a community library, bookshop and exhibition space in Mumbai's trendy Bandra ...
2.18.12 | urbanism, ecology, quote
"We need to view the fragility of the planet and its resources as an opportunity for speculative design innovations rather than as a form of ...
2.17.12 | photography, barcelona
An exhibition recently opened at the Barcelona Photographic Archive that uses photography as a tool to understand urban change through ...
2.16.12 | streets, podcast
"Love at (and for) the Food Truck" is a conversation with Tiffany Pham, third-generation owner of the Momogoose food truck ...
2.15.12 | architecture, development, event
The 2011 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture, which started in December, is in its final week at ...
2.14.12 | art, public space, event
Political events and public protests are often held in large communal spaces such as town squares and plazas. But what do these places hold and ...
2.13.12 | architecture, planning
On Feb. 9, the Architectural Association in London held a symposium on urban informality titled "Design as Political Engagement" ...
2.12.12 | crime, demographics, links
The latest assortment of featured links from Ali Madad, including "Raise the Crime Rate," "An Interview with Mike Gibbons on Public ...
2.11.12 | planning, research, interview
For many of us, it is difficult to imagine Afghanistan without thinking of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, ethnic divisions and ...
2.10.12 | politics, public space
My support for the Occupy movement has changed. I still find it inspiring that people around the world are prioritizing democracy ...
2.9.12 | technology, governance, interview
In a post on modeling open-source cities, Polis featured a video about "Crowdsourced Moscow 2012: A Public Space Game" by Andrei ...
2.8.12 | art, public space
"The Hundred Story House" is a new collaborative public art project by myself – Leon Reid IV – and Julia Marchesi. I met Julia ...
2.7.12 | water, sanitation, ecuador
Since November 2009, I have been involved in a United Nations international development cooperation program in Ecuador aimed at ...
2.6.12 | design, public space, phnom penh
City life, though chaotic, is often one replete with rules — whether explicit laws or implicit norms about where to walk, how to drive, and where ...
2.5.12 | art, politics, china
This week, the first solo show in Sweden of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei opened at the art center Magasin 3. The exhibition focused on ...
2.4.12 | housing, place
The Kubuswoningen, or cube houses, in Rotterdam were designed by Piet Blom in the mid-1980s. Their distinctive shape — a cube ...
2.3.12 | planning, participation, surakarta
In 2001, after four decades of authoritarian rule, Indonesia underwent one of the most ambitious decentralization programs attempted ...
2.2.12 | development, video
Sheela Patel and Jockin Arputham — two of the world's most respected voices on housing and urban poverty — recently addressed ...
2.1.12 | green space, research
Is it possible to assign a monetary value to public green space in cities? Alex Lo recently published an assessment of methods based on choice ...
1.31.12 | photography, artist
Marc Yankus's sleepy-eyed portraits of the city "as it sinks into slumber" or "rouses itself to face a new day" are beautiful images of an ...
1.30.12 | architecture, design, event
Zines were supposed to have been doomed by the Internet, with deathblows from blogs and a final thrashing from tweets and tumblrs ...
1.29.12 | links
Ali Madad's latest assortment of featured links, including "The Turgot Map of Paris," "Train to Always," "Homeless Signs," "Island of ...
1.28.12 | space, maps, quote
"How many maps, in the descriptive or geographical sense, might be needed to deal exhaustively with a given space, to code ...
1.27.12 | dance, film, wuppertal
In riveting scenes from Wim Wenders's 2012 Oscar-nominated 3-D dance film, "Pina," dancers for the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch ...
1.26.12 | housing, gentrification, são paulo
Brazil has become known for innovative urban initiatives, including the noted 2001 Statute of the City, which aimed to affirm the social ...
1.25.12 | architecture, quote
"I want projects in the Biennale to look seriously at the spaces made by buildings: the political, social, and public realms of which ...
1.24.12 | art, quito
Since my arrival in Quito two years ago, one of my most exciting discoveries has been Oswaldo Guayasamín. This iconic Latin American ...
1.23.12 | urbanism, design, africa
It has been nearly four months since we breathed a huge sigh of relief. After more than a year of meetings, informal conversations, exorbitant ...
1.22.12 | architecture, resilience, haiti
Last week marked the second anniversary of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The devastation — more than 315,000 people dead, 1.5 million ...
1.21.12 | architecture, peacebuilding
There is no question that architecture and planning have been crucial components of conflicts taking place in cities. But ...
1.20.12 | cartography, slums, links
Ali Madad presents his latest assortment of online serendipity, from visualizing slumlords to Libera's 'Lego' Concentration Camp ...
1.19.12 | ecology, development, place
There used to be direct physical and visual access to the Sasaki Garden in New York City's Washington Square Village, but New York ...
1.18.12 | water, quote
"In a dusty office of the municipal buildings in K-West ward in northwest Mumbai there is a detailed map of the Paris water supply ...
1.17.12 | art, event
Wandering through satellite images captured by Google Earth, artist Marco Cadioli uncovered manmade landscapes resembling ...
1.16.12 | tourism, kenya
On the red dirt roads of southern Kenya, a few hours from Malindi, kids chase and hail streams of Jeeps and Land Rovers hauling ...
1.15.12 | media, development
Last Wednesday, the Institute of Development Studies in the U.K. released a short film exploring how the British media depict ...
1.14.12 | politics, video
UC Berkeley sociologists Claude Fischer and Michael Burawoy went tête-à-tête in an incisive debate at the peak of the Occupy fervor last ...
1.13.12 | planning, public space
Rosalie Genevro's article "Starrett City: A Home of One’s Own — With Party Walls" traces the history of a beloved modernist housing ...
1.12.12 | technology, community
The American Internet is atwitter after Microsoft announced last week that it had patented a mobile application technology giving ...
1.11.12 | architecture, mapping, research
While we've previously mused on the agency of mapping in reconfiguring information vital to the production of the urban realm, the Mapping ...
1.10.12 | technology, development
Escalators are usually associated with the internal workings of multi-level buildings. On notable occasions, moving staircases appear ...
1.9.12 | housing, politics, spain
More than three years after the beginning of the global economic crisis, Spain continues to fall without a visible end. One of the most ...
1.8.12 | events, picks
With the new year under way, many events on architecture, planning and urbanism await. As traveling abroad takes a bit of planning ...
1.7.12 | travel, picks
Now that the holidays are over, you may be looking forward to your next vacation. Consider a trip to one of the "10 Best Ethical ...
1.6.12 | planning, podcast
The connections between faith and city planning are undeniable. Faith-based groups rebuild areas after disasters, they develop affordable ...
1.5.12 | housing, hanoi
Before Vietnam moved toward a market-driven economy in the mid-1980s, the state heavily regulated the housing sector and was the ...
1.4.12 | architecture, public space
In looking forward to the coming year in architecture, Polis chose the top 10 architectural projects of 2011. Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou ...
1.3.12 | hacking, prague, video
Billboards are ubiquitous sights in urban settings. As conduits for advertising, they are often viewed as eyesores and and ignored ...
1.2.12 | architecture, picks
In selecting our list of 10 featured works of architecture and landscape architecture in 2011, we've settled on works that highlight a ...
1.1.12 | art, cities, history
"This is the city and I am one of the citizens, whatever interests the rest interests me." With this quote, Belgian graphic artist Frans ...