The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on August 28, 2011

  • Sounds like it’s all kind of symbolic – or rather, the “acupuncture” aspect is really extraneous.
    Drawing from the ancient Chinese healing art, this strategy views cities as living, breathing organisms and pinpoints areas in need of repair. Sustainable projects, then, serve as needles that revitalize the whole by healing the parts.
    Not sure I can be onside with attempts to stick a “cool” label (say, acupuncture, in this case) on interventions that aren’t actually what the label advertises.

    tags: cities urban_acupuncture acupuncture

  • Great article by Nicholas Kevlahan, comparing Vancouver and Hamilton (Ontario). In the conclusion:
    …the most important lessons from the Vancouver Model are generally applicable:
    1. Residents have the power to decide what sort of city they want to live in. Vancouver residents deliberately rejected an urban freeway-based proposal, and eventually developed a dense, mixed-use pedestrian-based alternative. (…)
    2. Effective city planning requires deciding on a strategic vision and sticking to it. Vancouver has followed the same basic urban planning strategy for 40 years now, regardless of changes in council and city administrators. This consistency allows the city to learn gradually how to do things right, and lowers the risk to developers. However, it needs all city staff (and council) to work together. (…)
    3. Sustainability and livability are achieved in dense, mixed use, pedestrian-oriented development. Vancouver is consistently rated one of the most attractive and liveable cities in the world because it has focused on these qualities. Density makes cities more financially sustainable because it costs much less to provide services for a given number of people in a dense neighbourhood. (…)
    4. Planners must be insulated from council and flexible in achieving strategic goals. Vancouver’s planners operate largely free of direct council (and OMB!) interference, and have the power to mandate mixed use and particular built forms. Planning is prescriptive and interventionist. (…)

    tags: nicholas_kevlahan vancouver hamilton_on urbanism cities urbanplanning urban_development

  • Heard grumblings about this from the cabbie that took me from Logan Airport in Boston to downtown, two years ago. Am seeing it locally, too, albeit not so much in big compensation to rank-and-file, but in inflated / overly-generous compensation packages for top-level management bureaucrats. Hmm…
    The budget pain that thousands of cities and smaller governments are experiencing is likely to worsen. For one thing, states have balanced their own budgets by reducing the financial aid that they send to municipalities and school districts. The federal stimulus money that started to flow in 2009, sending nearly $300 billion in aid to states and localities, is now largely used up, too.

    tags: city_journal steven_malanga cities compensation salaries benefits pensions unions

  • Memo to self: check in on Cathy Davidson’s Sept.20/11 talk on “How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn.”
    Approximately fifteen years into industrial-era management science, the medieval university began its rapid metamorphosis into the modern twentieth-century research university. Now, fifteen years after the commercialization of the Internet and the World Wide Web, we are at an optimal moment for reconsidering these fundamental institutions for our own era. Davidson is neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the role of technology in our lives but, rather, asks how we can use technology as an engine of transformation. This talk helps us to think in historical, theoretical, and practical ways about how, as individuals and institutions, we can learn new ways to thrive in the interactive, digital, global world we already inhabit.

    tags: berkman cathy_davidson attention_economy brain

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

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