The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on December 18, 2011

  • Super interesting. Must-read article.
    What works best on the Web, short or long-form journalism? The monthly audience statistics for two accomplished FORBES reporters prove that online news consumers crave both. They devour brief and timely information and seek out the in-depth coverage that news stalwarts feared would disappear in the digital age.

    tags: journalism forbes lewis_dvorkin eric_savitz matt_herper shortform longform

  • For reference (great resource on urban planning history/ codes):
    This website is an anthology of the codes, laws and related documents that have created, or sought to create, particular urban forms. It is a searchable archive drawn from a broad array of historical documents. We have selected documents from around the world, and from all time periods.

    We include both legally-binding codes as well as customary rules that may not have involved a governing authority. These documents provide a rich cultural resource for urban planners, architects, and all others involved in the construction of place.

    tags: building_codes urbanplanning reference

  • Heartbreaking. Talk about trashing a city – bombs couldn’t be more thorough.
    This section of downtown is dominated by elevated roadways and surface lots but was once a vibrant cluster of rail and canal-based transit.

    tags: atlantic_cities buffalo_ny urban_renewal surface_parking_lots

  • There’s a city on an island in BC that could use this proposal…
    A city proposal before the Office de consultation publique de Montréal would modify Montreal’s urban master plan to allow the possibility of greater building height and density in certain sectors of downtown. It is designed as an incentive for owners of vacant properties or outdoor parking lots to bite the bullet and develop their properties, through offering them the possibility of erecting a taller building.

    Exterior parking lots are holes in the urban tissue that disfigure the downtown core of a city. All efforts must be deployed to encourage property owners to redevelop these outdoor spaces and at least bring the parking indoors.

    tags: montreal surface_parking_lots urban_development

  • Ed Glaeser and Michael Mehaffy debating over high-density living.
    “Building up is an option to avoid building out,” Glaeser says.

    Not everyone agrees. Architect and urban designer Michael Mehaffy says encouraging high-density living doesn’t always improve a society’s quality of life.

    tags: edward_glaeser michael_mehaffy cities density urbanism

  • Read on …or, dance on!
    To dance is a radical act. To think about dance, to study dance, or to practice dance in this 21st century is a radical act.


    Because if dancing matters—if dancing makes a difference to how we humans think and feel and act-then dancing challenges the values that fund modern western cultures.

    How so?

    tags: psychology_today kimerer_lamothe dance embodiment

  • Great survey by G. Roger Denson.
    Today we look back at the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki almost as if they were isolated events. But in the course of 1945, it was one more devastation piled atop the accumulated shock still reverberating psychically throughout the world at hearing of the atrocities at Nanjing, the firebombing of Europe, the Holocaust and death camps, the forced labor and genocide of the Gulags, and the virtual devastation of the once revered laws, guiding institutions, and moral authorities that now are seen as leading the world so far astray.

    We who have been born since 1945 think we can compare the events of the Second World War to 9/11. But not really. Any cognizant adult alive between 1937 and 1945 who didn’t live in a jungle or in a mountain cave was informed of some battle or massacre or collapse comparable to 9/11 each month, week–and in 1945, seemingly, each day. We might better understand the conservative 1950s when we think of the survivors of 1945 willingly living for a decade and more in retreat, or in some haze of bewilderment. It is a bewilderment that understandably compelled many survivors to disassociate themselves with the ideologies and institutions of the new, especially those proposed, now erstwhile, utopian political ideologies advocated by both the Left and the Right–the same ideologies that either left them bereft of a defense against fascism, or delivered them into its hands.

    tags: g_roger_denson huffington_post arthistory

  • Fascinating imagery. I can’t help but hope that the ability to see / map / visualize what we’re doing will help inform better choices.
    Las Vegas’s built environment is full of absurdities. The city’s development patterns showcase a tension between the natural (desert) and the built (the planned communities that litter the landscape).

    They also serve as visual symbols of America’s 2008 housing bubble. Anticipating rapid growth, developments fail to connect to each other, confidently (or, perhaps thoughtlessly) leaving the future to fill the spaces between.

    Below is a collection of satellite imagery via Google Maps that showcase some of these bizarre building patterns.

    tags: atlantic_cities las_vegas google_earth sprawl suburban_style landscape urban_development

  • It had to happen, of course…
    So it is with particular angst that many of these same planners [who learned from Jane Jacobs that they need to listen to the people] now are forced to reckon with the modern-day Jane Jacobs, at least in terms of tactics and a libertarian streak: the Tea Party.

    Across the country, Tea Party activists have been storming planning meetings of all kinds, opposing various plans by local and regional government having anything to do with density, smart growth, sustainability or urbanism.
    What’s driving the rebellion is a view that government should have no role in planning or shaping the built environment that in any way interferes with private property rights.

    tags: jjacobs tea_party grassroots planning density smartgrowth atlantic_cities

  • Lots of good stuff in here. Liked this one by Erin Kissane a lot:
    Respect complexity

    If a single idea has followed me around this year, from politics to art and work to friendships, it’s been this one: “it’s more complicated than that.”

    It’s centrally important to seek simplicity, and especially to avoid making things hard to use or understand. But if we want to make things that are usefully simple without being truncated or simplistic, we have to recognize and respect complexity—both in the design problems we address, and in the way we do our work.

    –Erin Kissane, Editor of Contents magazine, Content Strategist at Brain Traffic
    and this:
    Talkin’ bout my inspiration

    My standout lesson this year has been the importance of working with others (and putting complete faith in talented people). The brilliance that comes from the people around me is a constant source of inspiration. It drives me even more to surround myself with as many fantastic creative people as possible.

    –Dan Rubin, Founder / Creative Director, webgraph, Creative Director, MOO

    tags: erin_kissane web a_list_apart inspiration 2011 dan_rubin moo

  • Hoping there’s a good follow-up online about Head’s research findings; the topic is intriguing:
    Our findings indicate that nearly all students intentionally use a small compass for navigating the ever-widening and complex information landscape they inhabit. These and other findings of Project Information Literacy have profound implications for teaching, learning, work, and play in the 21st century.

    tags: education research berkman alison_head socialtheory

  • Useful.
    The MetroTrends team has graded the nation’s 100 biggest metros on how much economic security they offer families in these tough times. The rankings reflect erosion in house values, current unemployment, purchasing power of a low-wage job, and the rate of serious mortgage delinquencies. The best? Oklahoma City. The worst? Las Vegas. Mouse over your metro for more info.

    tags: maps interactive_map economy cities

  • It’s interesting that these units (even without plumbing/ sewer hook-ups) are so incredibly expensive…
    One approach to combating the problem [of human waste on public streets/ parks/ stoops/ etc.] is to build the restroom equivalent of the city’s innovative “parklets,” which are small public spaces built to fit within a few street parking spaces. “Pooplets” could provide publicly accessible toilet facilities. And through advances in composting toilet technology, these public toilets wouldn’t need to have expensive plumbing or sewage system hookups, keeping the cost at an estimated $40,000 to $50,000.

    tags: san_francisco public_health public_infrastructure toilets atlantic_cities

  • Brilliant! 🙂
    …the urban emoticon accurately communicates its host city’s gefühlszustand according to “mood data” obtained using integrated software which analyzes photos of the faces of passing pedestrians and processes emotions out of them. Mechanical armatures modulate the face’s expression in real-time, making it appear by turns happy, sad, or apathetic with corresponding gestures (smiley, frown, and blank).

    tags: happiness cities atlantic_cities emoticon art public_art

  • Intriguing:
    Cowbird is a simple tool for telling stories
    and a public library of human experience.

    We are a small community of storytellers, interested in telling deeper, longer-lasting, more nourishing stories than you’re likely to find anywhere else on the Web.

    Cowbird allows you to keep a beautiful audio-visual diary of your life, and to collaborate in documenting the overarching “sagas” that shape our world today. Sagas are things like the Japanese earthquake, the war in Iraq, and the Occupy Wall Street movement — things that touch millions of lives and define the human story.

    Our short-term goal is to pioneer a new form of participatory journalism, grounded in the simple human stories behind major news events and universal themes. Our long-term goal is to build a public library of human experience, so the knowledge and wisdom we accumulate as individuals may live on as part of the commons, available for this and future generations to look to for guidance.

    tags: cowbird journalism story_telling online_publishing

  • In the “12 days of Christmas” tradition, a series of ideas for affordable housing and good density.

    tags: vancouver affordable_housing michael_geller urbanization

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

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