Urban Planets: Kids, Cars and Cognitive Mapping, 99 Tiny Games

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.

• The negative implications of car culture on children are well documented. But planner, Bruce Appleyard, has uncovered yet another. Kids who are driven to most destinations aren’t “able to accurately draw how the streets in their community connected, whereas children who [walk or bike] to get around [produce] detailed and highly accurate maps of their neighborhood street network.” The “windshield perspective” actually changes the way that children are able to perceive and relate to their environment. (The Atlantic Cities)

• If you’re looking for a spot of fun, head on over to London, England. Although the Olympics are over, the games have just begun. Showtime, a free outdoor arts festival that gives Londoners the chance to enjoy “world class entertainment and culture on their doorstep” has 99 tiny games on offer. Round stickers with game instructions are hidden all over London to draw people together in play. (The Pop Up City)

• It’s becoming clear that the Zombies Apocalypse scene has begun to… ahem, rise out of it’s cult roots and challenge vampires as the monster-du-jour of pop culture. In the recent years, the zombie hordes have broken out of the confines of B-movies and video games and into successful comics, tv shows, books, and even classic literature. Beyond that, there’s a huge movement in more local, community-based events and projects like zombie walks or ZED.TO, which add a whole new level of participation outside of media consumption.

…And if you really want to live out your dreams (nightmares?) as a Z-day survivor,  you can head to England where, for under $200, you can have your own Dawn of the Dead experience.

Known as The Mall, the British company Zed Events has taken over an abandoned shopping mall outside of London and unleashed a horde of “professional” zombies on groups of survivors every weekend in three-hour sessions.

If Dawn of the Dead isn’t your ideal zombie apocalypse, they also have The Manor, more of a Resident Evil-style setting.

For more on urban zombie survival, check out our summer 2012 “Disaster” issue, still on newstands and available online.

• 2008 was a stressful time in New York. The financial crisis had hit with full force, meaning that Wall Street commuters could expect a repeated assault of bad news at work each day. Dutch photographer Reinier Gerritsen decided to capture the spirit of the moment – sneaking photographs on crowded subways as they passed through Wall Street station. The result is a poignant series of photographs, capturing a range of emotions during an uncertain time. (My Modern Met)

• Another cycling innovation courtesy of the Dutch for you. This rural roundabout is the entrance to Eindhoven. While the original roundabout design had bike paths and traffic lights, the Dutch deemed it not quite safe enough. Thus, in early 2012, construction began on the floating bicycle roundabout – a suspended piece of cycling infrastructure that completely separates bikes from cars. (Don’t be alarmed by the cars on the cycling path – this photo was taken during construction). (Bicycle Dutch)

Image from clappstar

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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