World Wide Wednesday: Building Tweets, DIY Safe Streets, Parks & Democracy

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.

• We’ll fight the law for safer streets and sometimes the law will win. Treehugger showcases 8 DIY strategies for working around the system: guerilla gardening, knitting, bike/ped signage, eco-graffiti, parking, dumpster conversion, recycling bin art, and benching.

• From the zany, to the informative, to the creative, to the engaging, to the participatory, Architectural Videos has a 10 minute spot profiling “buildings that twitter”.

The Guardian reports on Ugandans Fred Kyagulanyi and James Sendikwanawa. The two are using plastic waste collected from Kampala’s suburbs to produce high quality petroleum fuels suitable for use in a variety of vehicles.

• In Vancouver, the movement of local businesses supporting cyclists has reached a fever pitch, reports Momentum Planet. The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC)’s Businesses for Bikes program aims to “create a robust group of businesses that openly support cycling and supply businesses with the tools and resources to reach the cycling consumer; empower employees to ride safely and confidently; and help create a more vibrant community and local economy.”

The Dirt summarizes a fascinating article by Sarah Williams Goldhagen on the role of parks and public spaces in healthy democracies. She urges us to build public space which is “unstructured and non-goal-oriented, because humans, wired to concentrate on goals when goals are set before them, will focus on people whom they might not otherwise see (or whom they might otherwise choose to ignore) only if the pursuit of concrete goals is withdrawn.” Parks open up the opportunity for us to step outside of our traditional communities to connect.

• A breathtaking trailer for the film, Waste Land. The 2010 documentary  features the work of artist Vik Muniz at the world’s largest garbage dump. “What I’d really like to do,” says Muniz, “is change the lives of a group of people with the materials they use everyday.”

Photo by Treehugger

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