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The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

  • This article is about an expressway in Toronto, but Christopher Hume’s closing sentences apply to so many other places and situations: low expectations, self-perpetuating, lack of will to re-invest…
    A reason was the low expectations Torontonians had for that part of town. It is viewed as a wasteland, largely because that’s what it has been for so long. Ironically, the Gardiner is at least responsible for that.

    But as the waterfront comes back to life, it’s time to demand more. People now live in neighbourhoods that until recently were industrial.

    tags: toronto christopher_hume highways urban_design urban_renewal thestar

  • A Circular economy: selling a product’s benefits instead of the product itself…
    With this in mind, my company is redesigning its products and considering how to capture their residual value. At the same time, it is shifting from a transaction- to a relationship-based business model – one that entails closer cooperation with customers and suppliers. And it is changing its corporate culture to emphasize long-term solutions. None of these changes is easy to implement, but all of them are necessary.

    tags: economies economy economic_development circular_economy davos leasing renting

  • Interesting historical background here:
    Economists think German housing policy struck a much better balance between government involvement and private investment than in many other countries. For instance, in the UK, when the government gave housing subsidies to encourage the building of homes after the war, only public-sector entities, local governments, and non-profit developers were eligible for them. That effectively squeezed the private sector out of the rental market. In Germany, “the role of public policy was to follow a third way that involved striking a sensitive balance between ‘letting the market rip’ in an uncontrolled manner and strangling it off by heavy-handed intervention,” wrote economist Jim Kemeny, of the German approach to housing policy.

    tags: germany housing affordable_housing renting

  • Ok, but we’re still being mediated *by* technology, subtly primed to respond to its dictates. Would be interesting to think about how that manifests in a supposedly more people-oriented computer technology as depicted in Her… (I’m just thinking about this in the terms laid out by Ursula M. Franklin, viz. growth-oriented and production-oriented technologies, whereby the former is holistic, people-centered, and the latter is geared toward efficiency and fulfilling the needs of production.)
    It’s not just that Her, the movie, is focused on people. It also shows us a future where technology is more people-centric. The world Her shows us is one where the technology has receded, or one where we’ve let it recede. It’s a world where the pendulum has swung back the other direction, where a new generation of designers and consumers have accepted that technology isn’t an end in itself–that it’s the real world we’re supposed to be connecting to.

    tags: technology film movies spike_jonze her userinterface design

  • Is it true?
    The Atlantic has called “peak car”—not once but twice. We have repeatedly explained why young Americans “don’t care about owning” a vehicle. We predicted a long-term decline of auto sales, and, in a dramatic moment, essentially announced “the end of car ownership,” generally.

    We had strong data. Perhaps we had strong biases, too.

    tags: cars cities

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

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