The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on August 26, 2012

  • THIS. Might help explain why American voters are getting dumber: they’re listening to too much crap on the media.
    …being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you dumb. Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity–including viewing such material on TV–actually peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus. “That’s the part of your brain you need for problem solving,” he says. “Basically, it turns your brain to mush.”

    tags: neuroscience psychology complaining

  • A step towards NOT accommodating cars at all cost:
    The theory is compelling. Relaxing the rules would allow developers to build in places where it’s currently difficult because of a lack of space for parking. That could have the effect of revitalizing economic dead zones. The parking districts, which would be designated by the City Council, might encourage foot traffic and transit use. (…)
    …Similar parking schemes have worked. When parking rules were eased for developers who converted office buildings downtown into residential projects, it started a housing renaissance that helped turn a fading commercial center into a booming urban community. Moreover, public transit in Los Angeles County is getting better and more convenient all the time, thanks to Measure R, the 2008 sales tax measure that is rapidly adding new lines to the system.

    tags: los_angeles parking cars transit_oriented_development cities urban_planning development

  • More on the city as platform:
    While technologists boast of the potential for smartphone apps to connect citizens to city services and institutions, those smartphones double as data exhaust-emitting GPS devices, prompting significant civil liberties concerns. As Alex Howard succinctly puts it, “While the apps used to find city services are generally not the ones used to surveil citizens, in practice the mobile device itself may be an agent of both actions.”

    The policies enacted and implemented in the name of innovation require ongoing debate and scrutiny; open data initiatives and civic apps are not ends in themselves. Despite this, the civic tech movement must play a fundamental role in addressing the challenges besetting cities and their denizens in the early 21st century: exploding populations, crumbling infrastructure, unemployment, even municipal bankruptcy.

    tags: cities urbanism technology

  • Succinct explanation of the duck-and-decorated-shed analogy:
    As a former Venturi Scott Brown colleague explains, “The idea of the Duck and the Decorated Shed assumes that buildings are communicative in some way. Whether it is intentional or not, we generate meaning from what we see in a building. In a duck, the meaning comes from the form of the building itself. Boston City Hall and Richard Meier’s houses are good examples of ducks – they are unadorned buildings, and their form is responsive to the functions inside. A decorated shed is a formally generic building that communicates its function through decoration or signage. In the most extreme form, this can be found in the architecture of the commercial strip – think Home Depot. Without the orange accents and the sign that says Home Depot, you wouldn’t know what it is. But any generic building that generates its meaning through signs can be a decorated shed. They don’t have to be cheap or ugly.”

    tags: venturi scott_brown architecture smartplanet

  • “Why does it take a crisis for us to collaborate today?”

    tags: community_platforms meetings tedx jake_barton youtube video cities

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

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