re: a “Trivial Profession”

Places Journal published, ‘Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning‘, an essay by Associate Professor Thomas J. Campanella.

Therein he explains why;

To understand the roots of this sense of impotence requires us to dial back to the great cultural shift that occurred in planning beginning in the 1960s. The seeds of discontent sown then brought forth new and needed growth, which nonetheless choked out three vital aspects of the profession — its disciplinary identity, professional authority and visionary capacity.”

For China, a boom//bubble/bust in high bridge construction

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Clockwise from top left: the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in Qingdao, in Shandong Province; the Duge Beipan River Bridge, in Guizhou Province; the Aizhai Bridge, in Hunan Province; the Beipan River Shanghai-Kunming high speed rail bridge in Guanling Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Anshun, a city in southwest China’s Guizhou Province. Credit Xinhua; Getty Images; European Pressphoto Agency; Associated Press

More via NYT re: China’s New Bridges: Rising High, but Buried in Debt

battlefields in an unfolding European crisis of identity and confidence

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Alt-erlaa, Vienna. [Creative Commons via Flickr

Over at Places Journal, Owen Hatherly published a look at Socialism and Nationalism on the Danube, regarding among other things; Vienna as a PotemkinstadtGemeindebauten, Red Vienna, “Glück’s megastructures”, Am Schöpfwerk, “gender mainstreaming”, nationalist visions of Hungarian uniqueness and a resurgence of a new, rebranded fascism.

further re: littoral urbanism

Inspired via a note by William Menking about Chip Lord’s (of Ant Farm fame) new project, Miami Beach Elegy, (an urban portrait of the American city most immediately facing the issues of rising tides) I Googled the above term, used by me once before.

Which led me to a 2012 post, Littoral Urbanism: The Precarious Socio-Ecology of Urban Waterfronts by Steven Velegrinis and Woods Bagot. The authors argue

These challenges require a new approach to waterfront development which recognises and embraces the ecology of water and sea level change in master planning of waterfront developments.

Further as part of a “deep dive into Florida to coincide with the AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando” The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue, published two articles with a similar focus at the nexus of climate change and littoral urbanism.

what are its KPIs? aka Informatic Urbanism

Back in Feb, Shannon Mattern argued that A City Is Not a Computer. The essay, in part a reaction to Y Combinator’s move last year into urbanism, problematizes ‘smart cities’ and tech’s Californian Ideology.

To wit –

Were he alive today, Mumford would reject the creeping notion that the city is simply the internet writ large. He would remind us that the processes of city-making are more complicated than writing parameters for rapid spatial optimization. He would inject history and happenstance. The city is not a computer. This seems an obvious truth, but it is being challenged now (again) by technologists (and political actors) who speak as if they could reduce urban planning to algorithms. 20

Further, references to “nonsemantic information“, “the longue duré“, “geologic insight” and “urban epistemologies”.