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The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

  • David Harvey derides the NYC for being suburbanized:
    “New York? The whole damn place has been turned into a suburb,” sneered David Harvey, startling a roomful of New Yorkers who prided themselves on the same things he derided: the makeover of the city’s parks; the new network of bike lanes; the pedestrian malls along Broadway. “The feel of the city is losing its urbanity and being made okay for suburbanites to enjoy Times Square,” he continued, going on to condemn New York’s gentrification not on aesthetic or nostalgic grounds, but for being at the root of the financial crisis.

    This is definitely a very familiar argument straight out of Deleuze, the Situationists, TJ Clark, et al. (Heck, I used to teach this wrt Haussmann’s Paris and Impressionist painting…):
    Cities like New York “are increasing being constructed around spectacle,” Harvey argued Tuesday night. “One aspect of capital is that it wants to move faster and faster; capital cannot abide a long period without change.” In cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai, this change is being brought about by land grabs and slum clearance. In New York and other financial capitals, it’s gentrification “making cities a spectacle that is instantly consumed.” In other words, we’re blinded by the lights to our Matrix-like existence. “We’re all suburbanites now, without knowing it,” he said. “We’re all neoliberals now, without knowing it.”

    tags: fast_company david_harvey cities economics neomarxism suburbs

  • Suburban decline (urban rise)?
    To put it simply, the suburbs have lost their sheen: Both young workers and retiring Boomers are actively seeking to live in densely packed, mixed-use communities that don’t require cars—that is, cities or revitalized outskirts in which residences, shops, schools, parks, and other amenities exist close together. “In the 1950s, suburbs were the future,” says University of Michigan architecture and urban-planning professor Robert Fishman, commenting on the striking cultural shift. “The city was then seen as a dingy environment. But today it’s these urban neighborhoods that are exciting and diverse and exploding with growth.”
    And meanwhile, in other (more recent?) articles, critics argue that the city is being suburbanized, presumably by all the boomer ex-suburbanites who transfer their values (and economic clout) to the core.

    tags: suburbs cities harvard_business

  • Retrofitting older cities/ existing communities to green-ness?
    We are studying different business models (and their pilot projects) for creating better urban environments (aka “smart cities” or “eco-cities”). Living PlanIT is the first business model we have examined in depth. On June 28 one of us (Bob) attended an event in Paredes where an important deal between Living PlanIT and Cisco was announced. It’s important because the imprimatur of Cisco, a leader in networking technology, means that Living PlanIT can now shift into execution mode and try to demonstrate that its co-founders’ vision for creating a sustainable smart city can work.

    tags: urbanism green_technologies green_strategies retrofit harvard_business sustainability

  • How curious – never occurred to me (since I don’t live in a very hot climate) that getting a drink of water from a store would be a prime amenity for seniors.
    What people say they want most of all is to live in a neighborly place where it is safe to cross the street and where the corner drugstore will give them a drink of water and let them use the bathroom. They ask for personal shoppers at Fairway to help them find the good deals on groceries. They want better street drainage, because it is hard to jump over puddles with walkers and wheelchairs.

    tags: seniors elderly senior_friendly cities urbanism urban_design

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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