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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

World Wide Wednesday: Renegade infrastructure funding, Brazilian street art, ant planning

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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.

• A group of injured cyclists in Seattle is so mad about poor infrastructure at the city’s most dangerous intersection that they are willing to pay the cost of the improvements themselves. Their winnings from a recent lawsuit will more than cover the $13,000 price tag to fix the intersection where it’s estimated that one cyclist is injured every day. (Seattle Times)

• This Blog Rules showcases some amusing street art from Brazil’s 6emeia Project.

• Are ants genius urban designers? BLDGBLOG poses the question, after the work of Professors Graham Currie and Martin Burd from Melbourne’s Monash University suggests that ants may be on to something: “Ants [move] in an orderly fashion, and never [seem]  to panic, even when there [is] danger or congestion.”• Treehugger reports that the Parisian suburb, Montreuil, is championing a green revitalization agenda. The suburb has been known for social unrest and persistent poverty. Mayor Dominique Voyet, elected in 2008, is transforming the city with its first Plan local d’urbanisme which has paved the way for reclamation of abandoned lands, extension of the metro line, community gardening, and revitalization of the city’s historic murs à pêche (peach walls).

• With the recession easing its grip on development in Chicago, urbanists in the Windy City don’t know whether to curse or celebrate. According to the Chicago Tribune, the slew of proposed towers bring a whole host of urban design misses, a preponderance of parking spaces and inattention to efforts to promote transit oriented development.


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