The past half year has been very interesting. I have begun to teach and more importantly develop new educational formats with the School of Architecture, Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Finland.
The first step in this process was the two week workshop: Mapping Urbanity with both lectures and talks on perception, appropriation, mapping and urbanity but most importantly a number of hands on exercises on the ground which is rather challenging in the dark Finnish winter. See pictures from the area – or the zone – here. Continue reading “June Update”→
I meet Ron Shiffman at The Pratt Institute, School of Architecture which is situated in a part of Brooklyn where global forces are rapidly changing the fabric of local communities. In short one can say that one kind of segregation mostly based on race now is changing to a segregation based on income (which is not unrelated to race). I was staying in the Bed-Stuy neighbourhood that could be called the ground zero of struggle against gentrification. Continue reading “Pratt Center and Ron Shiffman”→
On the sunny day in November the city of Newark, New Jersey, was almost too clean and people who were looking after the central part of town was driving around on Segways. It was quite clear that an effort had gone into making the place look good but it was unclear for whom this tidiness was intended.
I met with the leader of Strong Healthy Communities Initiative, Monique Baptiste-Good, in their clean and beautiful offices on a square with remarkable many organisations addressing homelessness, alcoholism etc. One of them with a sign welcoming president Obama who was there the day before. Continue reading “Strong Healthy Communities Initiatives – SHCI”→
Two main impressions from my study trip to New York City: The amazing openness from the people I wanted to meet – and those I met on the way – and the feeling that the problems we are facing when it comes to the development of our cites are more similar than I expected in spite of very different situations.
I was visiting the city to study how a more civil society driven urban development would make a difference from a European tradition where it is more run by states and municipalities. Would it mean that the approaches were more innovative and able to get much closer to what was going on on the ground – yes. But did it add up to address the massive problems that New York still faces (even) after years of (uneven) economic progress – no. Continue reading “Cities By Citizens – Study trip to New York City”→
A collection of screenshot from a LiveMapping done in Hedehusene in the western suburbs of Copenhagen in 2012. The mapping was done both with street interviews and small interventions such as public meetings, walks and being part of a local market. Especially our street kitchen was an important tool as a mobile base.
I am going to NYC and will be there from November 3 to 16.
I have a travel grant from the Danish Art Foundation to go and study civil society organisations working for urban change. Please let me know if you might want to meet up or have suggestions for people to meet or things to see.
Above is the poster for a lecture to be held at Parsons School of Design.
The last half year has been dominated by the ongoing work with new theoretical foundations and practical methods that focuses on the Urban as Situated and Relational – testing these thoughts in various ways: presentations and workshops, competitions, conferences etc.
One presentation and workshop was organised by IPOP in Ljubljana earlier this year with the title, Urbanizit, that would both test a more active kind of presentation (check the link for a video) and discuss some of the methods and thoughts on how to urbanize the city.
Along with theory and methods a new graphic language is also being developed and tested in the competition: Designing the Urban Commons organised by Theatrum Mundi, an offshoot of the LSE Cities in London. The project – Fun City – is still a quite rough prototype as can be seen on the illustration below.
After a paternal leave we (the group of one) decided to develop the concept of CiTyBee further. So a new website is in the making (and even a new name)
Just to sum up what has happened since last year:
Still working on the mapping tool making it a more porous way of mapping. Right now we work on a flexible way of adding or changing categories to avoid fixing the mapping process too soon.
We have been working with the program Actors of Urban Change as a part of the Robert Bosch Foundation and MitOst in Berlin. As an offshoot to that project we have worked with Živa dvorišča in Maribor, Slovenia, And just recently made a presentation of CiTyBee as a part of an Urban Hackaton.