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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

World Wide Wednesday: Bamboo bike, sea spires and quiet time

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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.

• Yes, Virginia, there is a bike tree. Design student Alexander Vittouris coaxed a bamboo stalk to grow into a bike frame shape – the Ajiro. Grist wonders whether we might see fields of bamboo bikes in the future.

• Artist Cliff Garten’s Sea Spires installation in Long Beach, California gives new meaning to the “bus stop” concept.  Commissioned by Long Beach Transit and the Arts Council for Long Beach, the sculpture enhances the transit experience at East 2nd Street and East Marina Drive. Officials in Long Beach hope that the installation “encourages pedestrians, drivers, and transit riders alike to reflect upon the power of art to enhance urban communities”. (Contemporist)

• In Abu Dhabi, a new master plan for the suburban communities of Baniyas and South Wathba will revitalize and reintegrate the neighbourhoods with the metropolitan area. The neighbourhoods are currently separated by a major highway. The plan attempts to restore balance through growth and mixed use development. (The National)

• “In an ever more dense and active city, how can we preserve such room for contemplation and reflection on a wider scale?” asks Polis. London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is an attempt to answer this question. The contemplative space offers shelter from the city’s rain and creates “sacred ground within the city.”

• Londoners also had a chance to ponder the seven hot air balloons which took to this sky this week as the Sky Orchestra. The launch is part of the cultural celebration taking place in the year leading up to the London Olympics. (Pop-Up City)

Image from Grist

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