The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on August 2, 2009

  • Great review by Howard Husock of 2 new books about Jane Jacobs: Anthony Flint’s Wrestling with Moses, and Glenna Lang and Marjory Wunsch’s Genius of Common Sense.

    Love this quote, which Husock provides, from Jacobs: “To approach a city or even a city neighborhood as if it were capable of being given order by converting it into a disciplined work of art is to make the mistake of substituting art for life.”

    Why do I single this one out? Because it takes aim at the “aesthetes”.

    tags: howard_husock, jjacobs, anthony_flint, nyc, urbanplanning, city_journal

  • A review of Anthony Flint’s “How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City.”
    Now there’s a book that shows how these mythic characters shaped each other’s work and reputations – a volume that leaves me wishing there was some way today to combine the best traits of both.
    Make no mistake, Jacobs is the hero of this yarn. But in the epilogue, Flint addresses our ever-changing urban dynamics, where Jacobs’ quest for “thoughtful citizen involvement” has morphed into “all-powerful neighborhood residents, who seek conditions to stay exactly as they are and reward politicians who agree with them.”

    Which sounds a lot like San Francisco, Berkeley and every other city [Victoria!] where process is more important than results. All the protections we’ve put into place, such as environmental reports, become weapons that can be used to derail anything that anyone dislikes.

    tags: jjacobs, robert_moses, urbanism, cities, urbanplanning, politics

  • QUOTE:
    Andy Lipkis, Founder and President of TreePeople, describes how this organization has pioneered an integrated approach to managing urban ecosystems as watersheds in the Los Angeles region. This involves strategic tree planting, tree-mimicking technologies, and community engagement to generate multiple solutions to the environmental threats facing our cities, including ensuring a sustainable water supply, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preventing water and air pollution, fostering stronger neighborhoods, and creating jobs. For a summary of TreePeople’s six demonstration projects that are now collecting 1.25 million gallons of water every time it rains 1″ in Los Angeles, visit www. Video Going to Green: Planting Seeds of Change with Community Forestry produced by the Media & Policy Center Foundation for PBS.
    Great stuff here – fascinating to see how “silo-think” works against solving problems.

    tags: environment, ecological_urbanism, los_angeles,, green_technologies, urban_renewal

  • Really interesting, and borderline kooky (but therefore refreshing), talk on creativity/ the muse/ Genius, and strategies for dealing with same. Key: think of it as residing outside of yourself, as a “visitation,” and in this way take the heat off yourself when you “fail” to deliver. But don’t forget to show up – old-fashioned ideas about genius aren’t an excuse for slacking off.
    Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

    tags: video, elizabeth_gilbert, creativity, genius, ted_conference, inspiration

  • Excellent presentation by Alain de Botton, described as follows:
    [Botton] examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.
    Really worth watching/ listening to.

    tags: alain_de_botton, careerism, success, snobbery, ted_conference, video

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

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