January 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)
THE Q&A: AUSTIN WILLIAMS, URBANIST | More Intelligent Life
Yes! Thank you Austin Williams. Chalk me up as another human tired of misanthropy.
Q: In your book you argue that instead of worrying about the unsustainable growth of cities we should embrace urbanisation. Why?
A: People are not the problem, they are the solution, but sadly we seem to have conceded that humans are the cause of the planet’s imminent demise. Sustainability has become a cloak for this misanthropic attitude. It suggests that we are a drain on resources, a harmful influence.
Raising yourself above the immediate relationship with nature is a noble—and reasonably universal—one.
Embracing Impermanence: Why Some Architecture Should Be Temporary – NYTimes.com
Fascinating look at tactical urbanism.
City-making may have happened all at once at the desks of master planners like Daniel Burnham or Robert Moses, but that’s really not the way things happen today. No single master plan can anticipate the evolving and varied needs of an increasingly diverse population or achieve the resiliency, responsiveness and flexibility that shorter-term, experimental endeavors can. Which is not to say long-term planning doesn’t have its place. The two work well hand in hand. Mike Lydon, founding principal of The Street Plans Collaborative, argues for injecting spontaneity into urban development, and sees these temporary interventions (what he calls “tactical urbanism”) as short-term actions to effect long-term change.
“We’re seeing a lot of these things emerge for three reasons,” Lydon continues. “One, the economy. People have to be more creative about getting things done. Two, the Internet. Even four or five years ago we couldn’t share tactics and techniques via YouTube or Facebook. Something can happen randomly in Dallas and now we can hear about it right away. This is feeding into this idea of growth, of bi-coastal competition between New York and San Francisco, say, about who does the cooler, better things. And three, demographic shifts. Urban neighborhoods are gentrifying, changing. They’re bringing in people looking to improve neighborhoods themselves. People are smart and engaged and working a 40-hour week. But they have enough spare time to get involved and this seems like a natural step.”
How Art History Majors Power the U.S. Economy: Virginia Postrel – Bloomberg
As an art history major (all the way to PhD), I approve of this message… Virginia Postrel nails it:
The skills that still matter are the habits of mind I honed in the classroom: how to analyze texts carefully, how to craft and evaluate arguments, and how to apply microeconomic reasoning, along with basic literacy in accounting and statistics. My biggest regret isn’t that I didn’t learn Fortran, but that I didn’t study Dante.
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