Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

From Planetizen — The Power of
Jane Jacobs' "Web Way of Thinking"

On the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Michael Mehaffy refuted the contrarians and clarified Jacobs' lasting "Top 10" observations found in the incredibly influential book. 
MICHAEL MEHAFFY Planetizen Dec. 15, 2011 Just now we are nearing the end of the 50th anniversary of Jane Jacobs' hugely influential book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The year has seen a remarkable series of re-assessments and, in some cases, revisionisms. Planner Thomas Campanella has criticized Jacobs' "evisceration" of planning,which created a vacuum into which privatizing interests rushed; economist Ed Glaeser has argued that Jacobs fed gentrification with her call for preservation of some old buildings instead of all new towers; and sociologist Sharon Zukin attacked Jacobs' alleged fantasy of the "social-less" urban block. Most recently, my friend Anthony Flint suggested that Jacobs was a libertarian with a mixed legacy of NIMBYism.
What I find remarkable about these accounts – speaking as an instructor who regularly uses her texts - is that in almost all cases these were things that Jacobs herself simply never said. Read more: The Power of Jane Jacobs' "Web Way of Thinking" | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jane Jacobs / Systems of Survival
A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of
Commerce and Politics
chapters six, seven

Trading, taking, monstrous hybrids and anomalies. Street gangs and organized crime, Mafia, Columbia drug cartels, Neopolitan Camorra, Hong Kong crime associations are examined. How does organized crime fit — or not fit — into the scheme of two survival systems, the guardian and the commercial? Exhibiting essentially guardian habits and characteristics; loyalty, hierarchy, use of force; they have in common an involvement in trade, resulting in "monstrous hybrids." 
The centrally planned economy of the Soviet Union comes in for special attention—
If you put economic planning into guardian hands you get economic planning for guardian priorities. The planning apparatus that presided over these [Soviet] investments, in itself, a pork barrel providing millions and millions of desirable jobs, increasingly for their own sake, not because they were pulling their weight creating viable production and commerce.
Or as the joke went up and down Eastern Europe, "we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us." 
Law and agriculture are anomalies and are seen as subversive of the systems but interestingly art's provenance "seems to come from both taking and trading ... and its difficulties different from those of commerce and guardianship" To come: a discussion of "casts of mind."

Monday, August 17, 2015

From @WhatWasThere —
On August 17, 1907 Pike Place Market
opens in Seattle

On August 17, 1907 Pike Place Market opens in Seattle. It is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers'...

Posted by WhatWasThere on Monday, August 17, 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Economy of Cities

Jane Jacob's economics thought is often condensed as something called "import replacement." More accurately it can be said to be summed up as an economic self-replicating ecosystem. Better yet, as "new work added to old." Her hypothesis in The Economy of Cities is that there are three ways, and only three ways that she was able to uncover, by which a city's economy grows and prospers—
• By adding export work to other people's local work;
• By adding export work to different local work of their own;
• By exporting their own local work.
"The significant fact about these processes is that they all depend directly on local economies... these are the only ways I have been able to discover. Indeed it soon becomes exceedingly tiresome to read the business histories of exporting organizations because their narrative plots are so few. One might be reading the same three novels over and over again." Chapter 6, How Large Cities Generate Exports.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

From CityLab
3 Traits Shared by
New York's Most Walkable Streets

Some streets are bound to attract more foot traffic than others simply based on where they’re located. Maybe there’s a metro stop nearby. Maybe they lead to a cluster of offices or businesses. Maybe a lot of people call these streets home. These streets draw loads of foot traffic regardless of their general appearance. We all have to live, work, and shop somewhere. Read more: A New Study Finds 3 Traits Shared by New York's Most Walkable Streets - CityLab

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bob Ransford re-imagines
downtown Vancouver

—@BobRansford re-imagines downtown Vancouver @rdtvan

Posted by The Sidewalk Ballet on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

From Price Tags — Cities Safer by Design @WorldResources reference guide