Fantastic reference / resource for all urbanistas & architecture/built environment fans. From the Intro (article link repeats at bottom of entry):
If Modernism was the twentieth-century architectural trend that developed a new way of thinking, then Urbanism appears to be the twenty-first century architectural mindset. This trend is breeding urban explorers (urbex), the greening of major metropolitan areas, and a focus on merging habitats and commercial structures with politics, culture, history and the arts. Public discourse and scholarly research have found meeting grounds in this global landscape, and the results are evolving. But, this evolution has affected how individuals and partnerships present their materials on Weblogs and Photoblogs.To that end, we’re treating you to the top 100 bloggers who focus on everything from architectural news to urbanism and from the junction of design and technology to the landscape. While you won’t find blogs here that illustrate how to design a home or a business, you’ll discover plenty of dialogue, images, and ideas no matter if you’re an architect or a person who admires architecture. These blogs were chosen for frequently and recently updated blog entries, a focus on architecture, and for their attitudes and/or perspectives – no matter if they’re amateurs or professionals. Please note that the blog numbering is not meant to be a ranking, as each architecture topic is listed in alphabetical order with the listed blogs also listed in alphabetical order within that topic.
Very fun site — tons to explore, much to hear. I have one invite left…
Scale is neither flat nor in silos. Scale just is. And leaders have more power to scale good and bad effects, which makes a compelling argument for good leadership in sustainability. See Tom Friedman’s op-ed piece in the New York Times:
…the greenest thing you can do is this: Choose the right leaders. It is so much more important to change your leaders than change your light bulbs.
Why? Because leaders write the rules, set the standards and offer the tax incentives that drive market behavior across a whole city, state or country. Whatever any of us does individually matters a tiny bit. But when leaders change the rules, you get scale change across the whole marketplace. And the energy-climate challenge we face today is a huge scale problem. Without scale, all you have is a green hobby.
This is how scale change happens. When the Big Apple becomes the Green Apple, and 40 million tourists come through every year and take at least one hybrid cab ride, they’ll go back home and ask their leaders, “Why don’t we have hybrid cabs?”
So if you want to be a green college kid or a green adult, don’t fool yourself: You can change lights. You can change cars. But if you don’t change leaders, your actions are nothing more than an expression of, as Dick Cheney would say, “personal virtue.”
Don’t be scared by the German title in the link — it’s a video narrated in English, about an elevated train trestle in NYC…
A five minute video report (in English) about Edward Norton and the group “Friends of the High Line,” a 2-kilometre long elevated train trestle, abandoned for decades, which the “Friends,” via extensive community activism, managed to convert into “arguably the largest public greenspace in New York City in 100 years.” It’s due to open in 2008.
Via CEOs for Cities blog:
Originally published in the book “Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York,” coinciding with the exhibition “Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York,” at the Municipal Art Society, September 25th 2007 – January 5th 2008.:
…that creativity is revolutionizing the global economy. What Canadian cities have trouble with, however, is their tutelage to senior levels of government. Canadian cities are wholly the creatures of the Provinces and aside from property taxes can’t raise their own capital.
Read the following article by Lance Carlson, who proposes overcoming that hurdle through enlightened provincial leadership (article via the Edmonton Journal):
Creativity and innovation are the answer to many of the challenges we face and the key to unlocking our potential. We want creative and innovative people in our businesses and non-profit organizations; governments need to find innovative answers to pressing issues, and we are hopeful that our children will learn the art of being creative as they move through our education system.
Innovation, although often used interchangeably with creativity, is not the same thing. Creativity is a human trait, whereas innovation is an improvement in the way we do things. Alberta needs more of both.
Unfortunately, we often think that only “special” people are creative and innovative. In fact, the evidence surrounding creativity and innovation tells us that virtually everyone possesses these abilities.
To truly invest in creativity and innovation, we have to understand that our resources should leverage the very principles of creativity and innovation. There are three things that we can do to make this happen.
First, collaboration and interaction are needed for new ideas to be translated into original actions. The myth of the singular, brooding creative genius who works in isolation is indeed a legend, as most research tells us that profound innovations typically emerge from social interaction and collaboration. We must facilitate the ability of the population to interact and engage in alliances so that “experts” are in dialogue with the general public, and members of the public with one another.
…we should eradicate barriers to innovation by identifying government policies that may discourage entrepreneurial activity. This might mean the reconfiguration of silo-like government ministries and agencies that actually work against imaginative solutions. The bureaucracy should be redesigned around a provincial vision for innovation, creativity and imagination that rejects the traditional approach of assigning responsibilities to departments based on a conventional understanding of specific functions.
Lance Carlson, who gets it, is president of the Alberta College of Art and Design.
I spend too much time on a local forum, where I post many items, and I spend quite a bit of time on Facebook, to which I also post interesting items I come across. Between those two opportunities, plus the minimally paid work (writing) I do, I find that my poor blog is being neglected.
Well, here’s the deal: until I get around to writing longer posts here, I’m going to use my diigo account to blog the same items I post to my other digital playgrounds. That way, the old place will at least have some semblance of life!