Strange title, no? To explain: the term "blogedanken" is a portmanteau of "blog" and "gedanken," a German word that translates, roughly, to "thought experiment." Tonight, a blogedanken for your entertainment and mental exercise. After the first part, you'll need to highlight the text to see the next three. Resist the urge to look ahead -- go one at a time, or it won't be any fun.
1.) Spend ten minutes brainstorming every bit of urban designery that would be on your ultimate wishlist for your city. Does your city need a more efficient subway? Better street life? A giant sculpture of Chuck Norris? Go crazy. Get creative. This is the easy part. (Here's a great example featured in Weekend Reading two weeks ago, in case you need inspiration).
2.) Now go back over your list and decide which fifteen things would be your top priorities if you could put together your ideal plan for your city. Think carefully -- what would really make your city a better place to live?|||
3.) Next -- without changing the order of your fifteen priority items -- circle the first, sixth, and eleventh entries on your list. Now try to come up with a way that you could combine all three into one grand, symbiotic piece of urban design and/or policy. Repeat the process for the groupings of items 2-7-12, 3-8-13, 4-9-14, and 5-10-15. Again: Go crazy. Get creative.|||
4.) You should now have five innovative, wildly imaginative urban solutions unique to the challenges that face your city. Post your favorites in the comments section of this thread. Floating sustainable fast food culture villages? Tribal teen centers hung from the bottoms of elevated high-speed train tracks? Tax breaks for city workers who rent their homes and volunteer with local nonprofits? Show us what you've got.|||
Go get your gedanken on.
EDIT: This blogedanken is now officially a contest. You can enter as many or as few of your five results from the exercise as you'd like, but no more than five entries per person, please. Entries should be added as comments to this thread, and only participants who complete all four steps will be eligible to win. Entries will be accepted between now and March 31st, at which point I'll narrow the entries down to the most creative/funky/innovative/entertaining of the bunch (yeah, it's subjective, I know) and open things up to a public vote from April 1-10. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 11, and will promptly receive, via mail, a copy of PA Press' book, Hyperborder.
(Photo from Flickr user Dom Dada. The original full-color version can be viewed by clicking the photo.)