In this radio interview for Calgary Radio, Jeff Risom stresses the importance of providing people with freedom of choices when it comes to mobility. His focus is on Red Deer, Alberta in Canada, a city with an abundance of space and the possibility for everyone’s mobility needs to be considered equally. Mobility is not a question of us versus them – motorists versus cyclists or pedestrians – but of offering everyone the option of a comfortable and safe journey. Listen to the full radio interview here. Scroll to the bottom of the linked page to play the broadcast.
I apologize for the delay this week, but hope that in the light of the wonderful links i have stumbled upon for this weeks’ Friday Fun, you will find it in your hearts to forgive and forget and enjoy this little mix of Dancing Cities, Cul-de-Sacs and Talking Streets.
The City Of São Paulo dances to the tune of washed out neon; Dancing Cities project by Brazilian artist Brüno Melo is a series of GIFs which with flashing washed-out colors and broken lines deconstruct the buildings that constantly crop up in the cityscape of modern day São Paulo. The images are both beautiful, stressful and mesmerizing and even though they are completely without sound, creating a rhythm and flow that makes you feel like dancing. Follow the link – or click on images – to see the GIFs in motion http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/the-city-of
Roads to nowhere: ‘Cul-de-Sacs’ – Love them or hate them? Two writers in opposition gives us their view upon growing up and living in this staple of the suburban landscape. – short and fun article from TheGuardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/jul/17/communities.homes
Mapping Barcelona Street Art and Onist Film look into the street art of Barcelona, the definition of street art and the ancient antagonism between street artists and governments. Follow links to an interesting read by co-producer and project manager Ian Currie and to a trailer for the documentary ‘Las Calles Hablan’ – that is available for free for all to enjoy (see link at the bottom of post). In the same way that the street artist leave and impression on us, the public, at no cost. http://www.mbpa.es/DOCUMENTARY - http://thisbigcity.net/the-ancient-antagonism-between-street-artists-and-governments/
Link to ‘Las Calles Hablan’ in full length https://vimeo.com/60149775
Our very own, CEO and Founding Partner, Helle Søholt recently appeared at a TED talk in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In her presentation Helle stressed the potential of thinking about cities as solution engines for leading a healthier lifestyle instead of thinking about them as generators of health problems. Helle stated that the city can act as an arena for a healthier life – both physically and mentally – by building exercise routines into people’s daily lives, be it through walking, cycling or through the provision of meeting spaces. We invite you to listen to the full talk…
Since we first met Coralie and Ryan from Gapfiller in Christchurch in May 2011 we’ve watched them go from strength to strength. They were prominently featured in our film, and we are thoroughly impressed with the way in which they have gone about transforming many empty sites left by the earthquake into unique, creative, lively, community places. They are now in need of some help maintaining their biggest project to date – The Pallet Pavillion. See the message from Coralie below. We’ll be supporting them, and we hope you can too.
Gap Filler’s Pallet Pavilion was built in late 2012 by 250+ volunteers using 3000 wooden pallets. It was conceived to respond to the loss of venues for live music and community events in post-quake Christchurch. An extremely ambitious project, it has been an incredible success. It has had amazing media coverage, too with features in Australian Geographic, Cuisine, the Daily Mail, the Weekend Australian and more.
More than 25 000 people have visited in just 5 months and it has hosted more than 100 events from live music to markets to children’s parties to lectures. 45 volunteers have contributed to it running across the Summer.
The Pavilion is a temporary project and its deconstruction was due to take place in May this year. So NOW in other words. But across March and April many people have asked if we can keep the Pavilion in the space for another year.
But we can’t afford to keep it. So we’re putting it to you, our friends, fans, supporters and community to help us raise the money needed and also spread the word.
If you would like to support the Pavilion please go to https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/1064 and watch a beautiful little video about it.
- Coralie Winn, Gapfiller.
If you find yourself in Copenhagen these days, you might have noticed that people are behaving a little bit differently. It seems as if more people are smiling, holding their heads up a little higher, walking a little slower and just standing around – at corners, up against walls, coming up from the metro etc., all because they want to enjoy the first rays of spring sun. This of course raises numerous questions… Where are they standing? Do more women than men stop to rest? Are they walking more slowly? What factors in the built environment can make us stop and enjoy the sun and the city life?
At the end of May, the Danish publisher Bogværket will publish the book Bylivsstudier by Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre. The book is filled with inspiration on how to go out in the city and study city life. In the fall, the book will be out in the US, published by Island Press and titled How to study public life. The book both presents tools on how to study the relationship between the built form and life, as well as a historic perspective on the field of city life studies.
This is what Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University, Peter Newman writes about the book:
“For decades the Public Space Public Life Studies developed by Jan Gehl and his team in Copenhagen have been a great inspiration for professionals, academics and city planners in all parts of the world. I have experienced their work in several cities but have never known how they do it. Now all is revealed and their secret tools are available to everyone in “How to Study Public Life”. It’s just a matter now of getting out there and putting them to use.”
While we wait for the book to be released, we invite you to comment on how you have studied city life. Have you made any interesting observations; do you have references of interesting studies or reflections on different types of methods? For instance manual versus automatic; qualitative versus quantitative studies; Observations or interviews. We would love to know more about your experiences of studying public life!
Many Danish cities are currently redeveloping their libraries or building new ones. The library is no longer a house of books, but a framework for learning, for new as well as old knowledge – both in digital and traditional book formats. We have seen many examples recently of new, library building formats in Seattle, USA, in Haag in Holland as well as the Idea Stores in London to mention a few.
In Denmark, there are also discussions about the role of the library in the neighborhood, in the city and in society in general. How can the library work as a meeting place and enrich public life? How can libraries be more integrated into the city both in daily life as well as in the overall strategies? These were some of the questions that were debated at The Danish Library Association’s big cultural conference in Odense, Denmark’s third largest city with app. 170.000 inhabitants, on the 23rd April. Librarians, politicians and planners gathered and debated themes such as library design – interior as well as exterior, as well as how library related activities can take place in the city, and how new partnerships can bring about renewed synergies.
The library can be seen as a public space. It is one of the few non-commercial spaces in the city and also one of the few places with silence zones and no ringing mobile phones (more might come…). Then there is the democratic dimension, the libraries are where a mix of ages, income groups, young and old share the same place. The potential seems to exist for the libraries to play an even more vital and active role as public spaces. This was the conclusion at the conference in Odense, where one of the key strategies of the city, is to select a new location for a central library that would help Odense to transform from industrial city to a city that has a broader profile and that is rooted in knowledge, culture and education.
The libraries will definitely play a role as one of the few non-commercial public spaces in the future, but the role might vary from city to city, from neighborhood to neighborhood etc.
The Danish Library Association is an organisation which lobbies for libraries, in particular public libraries: Read more here: http://db.dk/
Happy Friday! This week we go art!
I stumbled upon this really interesting article about Eco Visualization: Aesthetics for sustainability. Eco-visualizations place the use of resources in the lives of viewers, trying to connect the abstract “plundering of our natural environment” with daily life. It is defined as artwork that respond to ecological data by reinterpreting them through new technological and artistic means, with the aim of educating and actually changing consumer behavior. The article describes a variety of projects of both larger urban scale as well as smaller projects relating more directly to daily life of a single person, putting direct visualizations on our ecological footprints. http://urbanomnibus.net/2013/04/eco-visualization-aesthetics-for-sustainability/
7000 oaks and counting | Courtesy of Tiffany Holmes
Laser Forest by Marshmallow Laser Feast is a captivating visual and auditive experience. The project is an interactive installation that involves 150 rods that when touched trigger both light and audio cues, effectively creating a large interactive instrument, based on spectator engagement. See link for more beautiful images and a video of the installation in action. http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/exploring-new-canvases-meet-marshmallow-laser-feast
This weeks’ last link is to a blog post by Visual News on the street art of Julien “Seth” Malland. Malland is a socially conscious street artist that journeys the world and spends periods of time in different locations, getting to know the local community, then creating lively and colorful pieces displaying children to ‘liven up’ the communities. See links for more of Mallands beautiful pieces. http://www.visualnews.com/2013/04/29/julian-mallard-and-his-street-art-go-around-the-world/ – http://www.globepainter.com/#/?id=1
Enjoy your weekend!