FEATURE REPORT/ ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
JMBC (J Max Bond Centre), with its partners the Nature of Cities and Next City, has released the first installment of “The Just City Essays” this week. The essays are a part of the Design for the Just City initiative and features powerful voices from around the globe, describing their aspirations and prescriptions for justice and the city. With terms such as ‘green’, ‘livable’, ‘sustainable and more recently, ‘resilient” taking on a perfunctory role, the essays give a fresh perspective and attempt a frank conversation about the structures and processes that affect the quality of life and livelihoods of urban residents.
Issues of equity, inclusion, race, participation, access and ownership remain unresolved in many communities around the world, even as we begin to address the challenges of affordability, climate change adaptation and resilience. The persistence of injustice in the world’s cities—dramatic inequality, unequal environmental burdens and risks, and uneven access to opportunity—demands a continued and reinvigorated search for ideas and solutions.
Read the whole piece here
Published by Next City.
ONLINE PUBLICATION OF THE WEEK
‘Rethinking Smart Cities from the Ground Up’
Published by Nesta
Looking to the future steps in the development of smart cities, this publication explores how to get the best alignment of hardware, software and people. City governments are investing heavily in smart city technologies, from the internet of things and predictive analytics to automated infrastructure. Yet a lot of investment in the past has been wasted because of a failure to take the needs of citizens into account or the role that they can play in making their cities humanly ‘smarter’.
Alongside smarter transport and energy infrastructures, the authors argue that smart cities need to tap the collective brainpower of their people, or the true ‘smartness’ of any city’s users. With this notion as a driving force, “Rethinking smart cities from the ground up” identifies four ways that cities can do this: crowd-sourcing, collective intelligence, crowdfunding and collaborative consumption. Read on to explore the impact of these trends on urban challenges, from planning to sustainability.
Read or download the publication here.
VIDEO/ PODCAST OF THE WEEK
‘Ingenious homes in unexpected places’
Created by Iwan Baan
Photographer Iwan Baan documents how people build homes in unlikely places, touring the through the family apartments of Torre David, a city on the water in Nigeria, and an underground village in China. Glorious images celebrate humanity’s ability to survive and make a home – anywhere. In 2012, the team of Iwan Baan, Justin McGuirk and Urban-Think Tank won the Golden Lion for the Best Project of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition Common Ground at the Venice Biennale for Torre David / Gran Horizonte. The project documented an unfinished 45-story tower in Caracas, Venezuela, that is now home to an informal community of more than 750 families. It is a far cry from the high-profile commissions Baan is normally commissioned to photograph and is part of the “ingenious homes in unexpected places” he discusses in this TED talk.