Sometimes words taken from another language can provide a useful little perspective shift on a topic. Tsundoku, the Japanese word for “the phenomenon of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them” gave a tiny bit of a rallying cry for those of us who buy books left and right, the Danish “hygge,” which roughly translates to “a quality of cosiness” became a decoration trend and life style for many homes. During the pandemic, the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen rekindled “samfundssind”, a compound noun of “samfund” (society) and “sind” (mind) to bring citizens together and encourage them to put “the good of the greater society above your own personal interests.”
At The New Yorker, for the 200th anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted, Alexandra Lange meets with landscape architect Sara Zewde and goes over some of Olmsted’s legacy. Like many important figures from the past, his life and work can look contradictory to contemporary eyes.
Rewilding, which consists of “conservation efforts aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and wilderness areas,” is usually done away from cities, in more rural areas and involves, to simplify greatly, letting land go back to its natural state. The word still seems fitting though, for the two short articles below, where man-made structures are replaced with hybrid ones, bringing more nature back into, and around cities.
One of the defining features of Fab Cities is the idea of acting locally and connecting globally. For the last year+ of posting here, we’ve featured a lot of international projects. Now, even though we’ve always featured local projects too, we’re going to spend a little more time highlighting local initiatives that, whether they realise it or not, fit under the umbrella of the Fab City.
Gentrification is a major problem in many neighbourhoods in cities around the world. Groups of residents in Bristol, UK, have been organising to reclaim some of the land and properties vital to their community.