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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

World Wide Wednesday: Swings, Shifts and Copycat Towns

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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.

• At Project for Public Spaces, Gary Toth writes about an exciting initiative he’s been part of called the Strategic Highway Research Program. The program breaks the traditional highway planning paradigm to embrace ideas such as shared-decision making and community building.

• The awesomeness of swings is undeniable. NOTCOT celebrates artist Jeff Waldman’s project to install swings in all sorts of unexpected locations. The playful results are captured in pictures and videos. 

• Spurred by numerous pedestrian fatalities, Chicago is beginning to develop a Pedestrian Master Plan. The city is home to some of the highest pedestrian fatality figures in the U.S. To combat these numbers, planners will consider countdown timers, curb bump-outs and medians – among other interventions. (Chicago Tribune)

• If you find yourself at Paris’ Centre Pompidou, look out the window. “Augmented Window”, the exhibit based on work  by Thierry Fornier at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, combines spectacular views with live video feeds of other perspectives to deliver a multi-dimensional viewpoint. (Polis)

• Many city builders borrow from the successes of other locales. But a Chinese firm may have taken this concept to a new level with plans to replicate the Austrian town of Hallstatt in Guangdong. While imitation may be the highest form of flattery, representatives from UNESCO are still considering the legality of the replica.

Image from NOTCOT

Do you have a World Wide Wednesday worthy article you’d like to share? Send the link to