- Today's Moment of Idealistic Naivete: Wikileaks: http://wp.me/pCprU-mB 9 years ago
- Ending the War on Drugs: http://wp.me/pCprU-mw 9 years ago
- Twilight Of The Suburbs, Now Home To One-Third Of America's Poor http://huff.to/bGZP7F 10 years ago
- U.S. Subways Harness Kinetic Power To Recycle Train Energy http://huff.to/bVsXvR 10 years ago
- America's Walk Deficit http://yhoo.it/dijIvg 10 years ago
- Today’s Moment of Idealistic Naivete: Wikileaks
- Ending the War on Drugs
- The Most Walkable Cities in the World
- It’s Where We Live
- Can Cities Feed Themselves?
- French Street Artist Wins TED Humanitarian Prize
- Dimanche Sans Voiture
- Are Brussels and Los Angeles Sister Cities?
- Masdar begs the question: What exactly is meant by “a sustainable city?”
- Is Generation Y Passing on Cars?
- Can Cities Make Us Crazy?
- Stranger Studies 101: Cities as Interaction Machines
- Does New Orleans Have an Identity Crisis?
- Three Urban Interventions in Two Hours: NYC
- Cargo Bike Spotted…
Tag Archives: architecture
A city is about diversity, so shouldn’t its architecture be, too?
I’ve heard Seaside, Florida, lauded as the first great project of the New Urbanism. I’ve also heard it ridiculed as new-faux urbanism. So what’s the truth, at least as I see it? Well, during the scant few hours I recently spent there I saw a lot to like. Dozens of wonderful pathways for bikes and pedestrians that connect everywhere to everywhere, many of which feel like something to discover instead of simply travel. Residential roads eschewing sidewalks in favor of shared space. Relatively tall buildings on relatively narrow lots. Architecture with integrity. Loads of trees and shady places (critical given the town’s latitude). Seaside feels like it was designed by people who care.
Architecture clearly illustrates the social, environmental, economic, and aesthetic costs of ignoring beauty. We are being torn out of ourselves by the loud gestures of people who want to seize our attention but give nothing in return.
Yesterday’s post on the extraordinary rice paddy art of the Japanese village of Inakadate got me thinking about the power and purpose of art, public art in particular. Japan’s well-documented generational flight from the country to the city has gutted many rural communities that will likely become ghost towns once their predominantly elderly inhabitants pass on, and forgotten completely once their buildings rot. Yet here is Inakadate, drawing 150,000+ visitors annually to a village of fewer than 9000 residents 400 miles from Tokyo to stare out a tower window at rice paddies. Such is the power of art.
Throughout the world the International Style, as the Museum of Modern Art calls it, has been used as an excuse for every bunkerlike structure, atrocious housing project, lifeless office building, and ubiquitous, crumbling third-world concrete housing block and office. Crap the world over has the imprimatur of quality because it apes, albeit badly, a prestigious style…