re: high bridge construction in China

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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”.

 

re: making Gainesville the most citizen-centered city in the world

Answering the Gainesville Question, could mean a “More Competitive urbanism. Wherein,  and a  model, suggests the need for an “Action Officer” working in the “Department of Doing“…

Via BRACEC, IDEO and many more…

Resurrection City and architect John Wiebenson

NYT has been doing a great series recently, “Unpublished Black History From the New York Times Archives” and one of the latest articles fts reporting from the 1968, Poor People’s Campaign.

How many Archinectors out there are familiar with the story of “Resurrection City” (see this oral history via American Public Media).

Or the fact that “An architect designed rudimentary tents and wooden structures for temporary residents, and then came a city hall, a general store, a health clinic and a handful of celebrity visitors, including Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando and Barbra Streisand.

As far as I could tell from a quick search, neither of these topics have been mentioned in news or forums on Archinect.

Did some research and while there is some additional information out there about the architecture of “Resurrection City” there doesn’t seem to be tons…

Best/first – is a 1969 essay Wiebenson wrote in JAPA reflecting on his experience and how “Though temporary, Resurrection City is a useful model of the community development process in action.

Smithsonian Magazine – has a paragraph in an article about the larger movement.

MIT – has a photo of one of the A-frames with a plastic door, available via their digital archive.

WETA’s Boundary Stones blog – focuses more on the movement but has a couple of great photos.

A moving eulogy to the man, by Sam Smith long-time editor of DC Gazette (now the Progressive Review).

Anyone have tips for further reading?

Some photos

Credit: George Tames/The New York Times

 

Also

After my further reading, I suspect he and his work might be a bit more familiar to architects in DC area, as since 2003 AIA DC has awarded the Wieb Award (for Combining Good Architecture with Good Works).

An interesting side-note is that Wiebenson was the author of a comic strip, Archihorse (example below).

On and he is from Denver/CO originally, which I only learned after I read the above strip. Interesting to note that similar conversations continue today (see for example Denver Fugly) in Denver.

A while ago I started a (somewhat) related thread re: participatory-design/performance and political and ecological engagement in architecture and urbanism. Specifically within context of counter/sub-cultural movements of 1960s/70s.

Editor’s note: Cross-posted from Archinect (compare time stamps…)