WEEKEND READING: May 14-20, 2011

It's a week full of revivals. Weekend Reading is back. In truth, it should never have left. Apologies. My Google Reader is overflowing, so most of these are a bit older; we'll catch up soon enough. Anyway, let's get to it—

ITEM ONE: Top billing goes to a guest post by Utazó over at Polis (the ace blog run by former Wherebloggers Peter & Katia) on gentrification and demographic shifts in the Józsefváros district of Budapest.

ITEM TWO: The fabulous Nina Simon writes about Case by Case, an experiment by the San Diego Museum of Natural History that invites museum-goers to affix post-its with questions, comments, etc. to cases containing un-labeled historical artifacts. It gets the artifacts out on the floor faster and helps staff develop exhibits that are more responsive to visitors' interests. Would love to see someone develop an app for doing this in a public space.

ITEM THREE (& 1/2): Richard Florida presents new info supporting his argument that happier cities are more economically prosperous, while Jay Walljasper suggests that neighborhoods with common shared spaces are happier neighborhoods. Happier neighborhoods = happier cities; more proof that Americans need to re-learn the importance of sharing.

ITEM FOUR: Where's friend Mimi Zeiger (@loudpaper) writes at Places about the creative use of posters, pamphlets, and guides in activating the urban environment.

ITEM FIVE: Fascinating article in re:Place about public space in West African cities. Strikes me as especially interesting that the main form of urban social space in Accra is the street—this is also often said of New York. (Union and Madison Squares are nice, but the real action is on the sidewalks).

ITEM SIX: Edwin Heathcote slays ridiculous city rankings (a la Monocle's whitebread circus of a livability list) in The Financial Times. Certainly among the best articles I've read on the subject.

ITEM SEVEN: Flavorwire rounds up a "Retrospective of Interventionists and [Museum] Crashers." Not even the Met is safe from DIY/participatory urbanism. Bwahaha! (via @fastcodesign)

ITEM EIGHT: I've been doing analysis of the data from the @IfUD's By the City / For the City  over at our project blog; add our feed to your RSS reader, there will be a lot of interesting stuff coming over the next couple of months.

Got suggestions for next week? Tweet them to @thewhereblog!


Zach said...

That FT article is good, but it could use a LOT of work. Reading it suggests that the author has not been to Vancouver or New York at all.

New York's "per capita homicide rate" is listed as comparable to Johannesburg's (insane) and its public transport is described as "inefficient" (huh?).

Vancouver is mentioned as not being excited because it lacks a sense of divide between rich and poor. Vancouver, where people shoot up in the streets two blocks from the most expensive real estate in Canada...

I like the sentiment. But not the article. The Accra one is quite good however.

Zach said...

Excuse me, "exciting", not "excited."