Urban Planet: Retro New York Futures

Urban Planet is a daily roundup of  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.

 New York City is much beloved by urbanists and futurists alike as a city of possibility and promise. Which is why Web Urbanist‘s look at retro-futures for the Big Apple is so entertaining. From a second subterranean-nuclear-bomb-proof NYC to an elevated railway to the statue of Liberty to Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, there are no shortage of dreams for the city of dreams.

 WiFi access is beginning to roll out for commuters on London’s underground. This follows Mayor Boris Johnson’s announcement earlier this year that 80 stations would have free wireless internet access in time for this summer’s Olympics. The service will be provided by Virgin Media and continues to undergo testing until its official launch. (PocketLint)

 If you’ve been on a Manhattan-bound B or Q train in the past couple years, you may have noticed a series of moving images while looking out the window.

Though it’s been around since 1980, Masstransiscope went under a renovation project in 2008 that brought back the brilliance of the project. Artist Bill Brand hand-painted over 200 panels that were installed along the subway tunnel walls. When the train moves through the tunnel, the panels appear animated, like a flip-book.

New technologies based on the similar principals are now bringing animated advertisements for productsmovies, and companies in city subway systems around the world.

 What young urbanist hasn’t tried their hand at city building playing the board game, Monopoly? In Chicago, someone has tried to expand the game beyond the confines of the board and onto city streets. Elements of the board can be found in the city’s Logan Square area. (The Atlantic Cities)

 New York is a city of tall buildings. As a result, some of the best views of the city are captured high above the ground. Photographer Stewart Mader was certainly transfixed by them. He writes, “I started bringing my camera along anytime I knew I would be in a building with elevated views of the city – to business meetings and social events – and at the invitation of people who learn about the project and offer me the opportunity to photograph their vantage points.” The collection entitled Elevator View is well worth looking through.

Image from Oobject

For more stories from around the planet, check out Spacing on Facebook and Twitter.  Do you have an Urban Planet worthy article you’d like to share? Send the link to urbanplanet@spacing.ca

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