Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category




New Hampshire Public Radio recently featured the ice castle work of Brent Christensen. Check out the story here.

Read Full Post »

Gezi Park protest - Photograph: Osman Orsal/Reuters

Gezi Park protest – Photograph: Osman Orsal/Reuters

When I first saw the now-famous “lady in the red dress” photo from the Gezi Park protest in Turkey, I had no idea that the protester was an urban planning professor from the nearby Technical University in Istanbul named Ceyda Sungur. In Luke Harding’s account in The Guardian, one of the origins of the protest, and the spark that set it off, is clearly the destruction of one of the very few green spaces in Istanbul. Harding describes it as a sort of final straw, a highly visible, in-your-face insult to the wishes of the urban population from top-down urban development decisions being made by the government.

Sungur’s urban planning department had long wrestled with the theme of how to reconcile Turkey’s economic and building boom with the fundamental needs of citizens. A petition which she and other members of the architecture faculty signed says that the rapid changes to Istanbul threaten not only “our professional field but also our living environment”. The petition adds: “All these top-down decisions disregarding planning and urban management principles are not approved by Istanbul’s citizens. We don’t accept them.”

Akgün, Sungur’s colleague, said: “The park is one of the last surviving green public spaces here. It’s calming to walk through it. You feel good.” Typically, Erdogan’s government had taken an “upside-down” approach to planning, she said, building first and considering the consequences afterwards. Akgün said she respected Sungur’s reluctance to become a poster girl for the anti-government protest movement, less of a revolution than a spontaneous citizens’ revolt.

Virtually all of Sungur’s students have taken part in the protests. Some of them are sitting finals; the dean refused a plea for exams to be postponed. On Wednesday, several of them were tinkering with architectural models in a large room next to her office. Others sat in a shady courtyard below and talked softly.

Akgün admitted: “I’ve been trying to teach my students for four years about the importance of urban planning. Now they finally understand what we are saying.”

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Making Sense of the Air

Cell phones and 3D printers lead to new wave of citizen science.

Read Full Post »

I had a similar post, Tracking Ideas Over Time, where I looked at ecological planning/land use planning terms. Interesting to see the ecology subfield comparison.

Read Full Post »

Just Because It's Cool

That tiny speck is Venus, as seen through Saturn’s rings. Captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

Read Full Post »

ImageAlong the way, the poor are crushed. It’s an old story. From today’s NY Times:

Many said they were given 20 minutes, at most, to pack up their belongings.

“Everybody was running helter-skelter,” said a resident, Femi Aiyenuro, adding that those who went back in to retrieve possessions risked being beaten with rifle butts and batons. “They started beating people.”

What little that could be salvaged was piled along a railway line running along Badia’s edge.

“They were flogging me,” said Charity Julius, 27 and pregnant. She said she ran into her dwelling to fetch her baby boy, and once he was safely out, she ran back to gather as many possessions as she could. The police did not like that and beat her, she said, showing a bruise on her right arm as evidence.

The Lagos state commissioner for housing, Adedeji Olatubosun Jeje, provided a different version of events.

“It’s a regeneration of a slum,” he said. “We gave enough notification. The government intends to develop 1,008 housing units. What we removed was just shanties. Nobody was even living in those shanties. Maybe we had a couple of squatters living there.”

Read Full Post »

Olmsted’s masterpiece like you’ve never seen it before.

Read Full Post »

An article by Zach Beauchamp in ThinkProgress explores the effect of income inequality on disaster impacts.

Inequality was, the researchers found, the single most important predictor of vulnerability to storm damage — variation in the wealth of individual counties alone explained 12.4 percent of the differences in the impact of natural disasters between counties.

And from Kathleen Tierney at the University of Colorado:

The lack of affordable housing in U.S. metropolitan areas forces the poor to live in substandard housing that is often located in physically vulnerable areas and also to live in overcrowded housing conditions. Manufactured housing may be the only viable housing option for people with limited resources, but mobile homes can become death traps during hurricanes and tornadoesdisaster evacuation scenarios are also based on other assumptions, such as the idea that in addition to having their own transportation, households also have the financial resources to leave endangered communities when ordered to do so. This is definitely not true for the poor.

Read Full Post »

Hurricane Sandy dealt a major blow to the New York City metro area. The website, Manhattan Past, notes the historic landscape pattern inherent in the city’s modern day evacuation routes. Landscape memory, recording the history of the landfill that created the Manhattan of today. Yesterday’s newfound real estate, today’s and tomorrow’s flood inundation zone, thanks to climate change.

Another key map comes from the Angela Fritz’s WunderBlog on the Weather Underground site. Record warm Atlantic waters fueled Sandy.




Read Full Post »

Older Posts »