• With free WiFi and free coffee, Cambridge's CultureHouse provides a kind of instant public space. Courtesy CultureHouse.

Pop-up social infrastructure

By Patrick Tanguay|2022-08-22T10:23:52-04:0021 July 2022|Cities|

Pop-up spaces are not a new thing (even the article we’re linking to is two+ years old), but few are well done, fewer still are not incubating retail spaces, but it’s even more unique to find a group that does multiple projects over a few years. That’s what the CultureHouse have been doing, turning pop-up spaces into social infrastructure.

Co-cities and the enabling state

By Patrick Tanguay|2022-08-22T11:08:45-04:0012 July 2022|Cities|

This great piece by Sheila Foster, From Vacancy to Decommodification: Co-Cities and the Enabling State, was part of a symposium on decommodifying urban property, held by the LPE Project (Law and Political Economy). In it, Foster shows how the commodification of property can be replaced by a community-oriented vision, and how homes and shared resources can be managed in land trusts, instead of as private property dealt on the speculative market.

People hate car-free cities until they’ve lived in one

By Patrick Tanguay|2022-08-22T11:00:02-04:0030 June 2022|Cities|

Excellent article at WIRED UK, proposing that people hate the idea of car-free cities until they live in one. Which sounds about right. I’m sharing it here for two reasons. First, the topic itself; fewer cars, more and better public transport, more cycling, this combination tackles a number of huge issues for cities. Less pollution, less traffic, better health for citizens, fewer carbon emissions, etc. The second, less obvious reason, is as an example of an unpopular but essential change becoming the new normal.

  • Heavy rains along the Yangtze River in Wuhan in 2020 caused flooding

Turning Cities Into Sponges

By Patrick Tanguay|2022-08-05T08:11:07-04:0019 April 2022|Cities|

As a growing number of people realise, climate change isn’t just about large-scale, somewhat slow change; it’s also about more frequent and more extreme “weather events,” like “hundred-year storms” happening two or three times in 15 years, for example.

Online shopping might reshape cities

By Patrick Tanguay|2022-08-05T08:13:27-04:0022 March 2022|Cities|

We’ve covered this topic before, but how online shopping might reshape cities is definitely worth revisiting both for the phenomenon itself, and as an example of “software eating the world.” Digital companies, or simply the use of new technologies by incumbents, not only disrupt their competitors but often have much broader impacts.

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