re: “lights-out” urbanism

Absenteeism as a problem is peculiar to the smudge of “super-prime” London around Harrods

Ed Cumming reports in from London, the natural home of a sometimes slightly dodgy flight capital, where certain boroughs have seen large increases in “non doms”.

We also learn

Foreign buyers accounted for 20% of all sales in Kensington and Chelsea in the four years to 2014, according to the Department for Business. For new properties, however, the figure is about 75%

On a related note you can read the NYT series Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate which analyzed and visualized “the increasing sums of foreign money in high-end real estate and the growing use of shell companies“.



Meme-Watch: “transit environment” edition

From historic transit hubs to contemporary transit environment(s), first a church to mobility now landscape as mobile church…? Not just multi-modal but multi-cultural, lifestyle zones…

a “transit environment”? First off, it’s not just trains. It’s heavy rail, light rail, buses, streetcars, subways, bicycles, pedestrians, all integrated into a single multi-modal hub. Second, it’s an activated space, with shops and restaurants (not just kiosks and food courts, but stores and restaurants you’d want to hang out in), live performances, art, parks — a true public gathering space. Finally, it’s integrated into the city, less a soaring monument to transportation than a celebration of urban life — and in the more ambitious efforts, a small city in itself.

Via Will Doig over at Salon

e-pal, heh….

Not sure why I haven’t seen the term before-seems very networked culture/public… I suppose I might have a few. If only old friends, now infrequently seen.

Came across “e-pal” in a fairly sympathetic review by Emerson Dameron, of Icon Give Thank, the new record by Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos.

To wit: “An e-pal of mine called out Stallones on his ‘Bonnaroo vibe,’ and that’s not an unfair characterization — his take on earthy psychedelia is not entirely different from that of Animal Collective. Fortunately, the playful harmonies of The Congos, and particularly the damaged falsetto of Cedric Myton, have no problem pulling Icon Give Thank out of its music-major mysticism, sometimes catching some rare, soulful air…Things gel best on ‘Sunshine,’ a mix of buoyant vocals, lighthearted lyrical ad libs and sinister guitar squiggles that recalls Roy Ayer’s ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’ in the best possible way.

Meme-Watch: Greenbelts plus a touch of new urbanism

In Rescuing the Rural Edge, Miller-McCune explores how in seeking to tackle the problems of rapid urbanization  and disappearing rural lands, Fresno and elsewhere are trying “a new approach to regional planning“.

To me however, it sounds like a combination of greenbelt policies and the application of new urbanist planning principles. Essentially scaling new urbanism up from one (planned) community to multiple (and more dense) communities (or villages). A sort of regional, new urbanism. This development could be seen in two ways I think. As the logical extension of the new urbanist use of historical models for community planning or perhaps as a response to Duany’s criticism or dialog with landscape urbanism? For more on that exchange see here, here and watch an exchange between Charles Waldheim and Andres Duany in the Closing Plenary of CNU 19.

As Jonathan Lerner writes in Miller McCune “Though the particulars differ, they all share the basic approach of building compact towns or villages as a way to avoid consuming undeveloped land. This kind of planning is equally applicable to protecting places where agriculture is not present, such as desert or wetland environments. But it directly addresses today’s concerns over the sources and security of our food. These new villages would offer ready markets for adjacent farmers — especially small producers.

The piece then goes on to discuss key concepts like the legal mechanism called transfer of development rights (TDR), try out buzz-words like “agricultural urbanism”, “agrarian urbanism”, “agriburbia” or  “new ruralism” and the role played by the long championed by new urbanists “form-based code”.

Also see this Archinect news post Hottest new development trend: Broadacre City for more on agriburbia .

Meme-Watch: equity urbanism

From the guys at Mammoth’s contribution to Magazine on Urbanisms twelfth issue, Real Urbanism.

What is equity urbanism?

This equity-urbanism, an urbanism constructed around the cultural valuation of home-ownership, is at its core a relentless appropriation of ‘home’ as ‘wealth creator’. If Gottfried Semper updated his Four Elements of Architecture to accurately represent the contemporary American condition, hearth, roof, enclosure and mound would have to be supplemented by a fifth: ATM.

Read the rest of the piece “Shelter Category” (here)