Ethan Zuckerman’s written version of his talk* at PopTech 2022 on legacy cities is packed with insights and a number of places and projects you’ve probably never heard of. It’s at once not Fab City and very Fab City. The history and downfall of some of the cities he writes about might not look like the rest of our posts here, but the emergence and potential of how they reinvent themselves, the innovation and grass root DIY of barebones creation is very much at home here.
Alfred Twu, an artist and architect who works on housing and transportation projects, wrote a guest post for Noah Smith’s newsletter with lots of interesting views on the evolution of cities. It’s mostly a sequence of statements of a few paragraphs, so a bit hard to summarise, but here are some outtakes to encourage you to read through, plus there are quite a few of his illustrations spread out along his writing. Twu wrote about renovation, the economy, lifestyle, shopping, colleges, transportation, and dreams.
This blog post ends up being a synthesis of a synthesis, so you might want to click through to the article explaining seven major transformations to solve urban inequality, or even to the World Resources Report Towards a More Equal City. But here are some of the highlights.
We’ve already written about cities for children. Now, following a similar line of thought, architecture firm Arup have release a new report, Cities Alive: Designing Cities that work for women. The basic argument for both is roughly the same: cities are designed for white men going to work. That’s a great oversimplification on my part but broadly correct as a center point to multiple issue. If we design cities for a broader range of people, more of them will be comfortable, be able to safely do a greater number of things within cities, and everyone will benefit.
Earlier this year, Open Future published their views concerning a public data commons and presented it as a public-interest framework for B2G (Business to Government) data sharing in the European Data Act. It is quite a long read and might seem somewhat incongruous to a blog about fab cities, but it’s an important issue well covered here. Important because, regardless of which visions or ideals one promotes for cities (and society more broadly) everything is more and more digital. What’s digital produces data. Data is easy enough to collect and can be assembled as insights and knowledge. Who controls it matters. A lot.