Each week we will be focusing on blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.
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• Luud Schimmelpinnink–one of the activists behind the 1965 White Bicycle Plan in Amsterdam–has envisioned the bike city of the future. Schimmelpinnink’s design incorporates electric bikes, iphone apps, smart cards, and puncture-proof tires to create a fully integrated, easy to use, and theft-protected program. Tree Hugger looks at the plan’s details and shows renderings of some its most innovative design features.
• The CityFix recently ran a feature on the reasons behind the cable car’s increasing popularity as a means of mass transit across the developing world.
• In light of the recent park building trend in the United Sates, The Infrastrucutrist has compiled a list of the country’s 6 best new urban parks. Highlights of the series include Chicago’s $475 million, 24.5-acre Millennium Park featuring a Frank Gehry designed pavilion, and downtown Dallas’ 10-acre Sammons Park known for its reflecting pool, small gardens and expansive lawns.
• While economic recovery plans around the world brought renewed attention to large infrastructural projects, the Architects Newspaper discusses a wholly different–and increasingly vital–infrastructure category. Dubbed ‘soft infrastructure’, it is described as “immaterial, expansively informational, slippery…organic in behavior, and powered by data networks, not engines”. A prerequisite for the operation of any ‘hard infrastrucutre’ project (e.g bridges, airports, transit), ‘soft infrastrucutre’ has become critical for the smooth functioning of our urban environments and key to their future survival.
• Over at Worldchanging.com, Alex Steffe writes on the “symbiotic” relationship between public space and cyberspace. Steffen looks at how new technologies such as iPhones and GoogleMaps empower residents to use, and interact with, city spaces.
picture of cable car from Rio de Janeiro from Phil Whitehouse