A Year in New York

A Year in New York from Andrew Clancy on Vimeo.

Goddamnit, this one's good. Also: clearly made by a Queenser. +1


Liveblogging the Tactical Urbanism Salon: Evening Presentations

Evening Presentations

Introduction - Mike Lydon (The Street Plans Collaborative)
  • Early example of  tactical urbanism: Paris book boxes along the Siene; interesting parallel between historic book box tension w/bookstore owners and contemporary arguments between foot trucks and restauranteurs
  • What we call tactical urbanism has been going on for hundreds of years
  • There has been an acceleration of TU in recent years; of 56 Open Streets initiatives in the US, more than 40 started within the past three years
  • Tactical Urbanism guide volume 2 will be available for d/l within the next few weeks!

Introduction - Aurash Khawarzad (DoTank:BrooklynProject for Public Spaces)
  • "Do Tanks" are more appropriate right now than "Think Thanks"
  • Do:Tank Brooklyn is intended to provide a platform for people to come together and work collaboratively on projects
  • Individual Do:Tank projects are less important than the conversation happening here tonight
  • We've done the smaller projects, now it's time to come together. Tactical Urbanism is not a trend, it's a movement. Let's be more organized about it and put forth a full-throated argument for why this is important in the field.
  • People are tired of the "talk-itecture." They're doing something about it.

Liveblogging the Tactical Urbanism Salon: Pecha Kucha Presentations

Pecha Kucha

  •  BroLab used Q32 bus line between Flux Factory & Momenta Art to stage "Bench Press"; created a template & built benches along bus lines.
  • Project allowed people to see benches building built, get a sense of the work that went into them.
  • Did 12-15 live-build installations of benches at bus stops over the course of one day.

Vertical Theory, Karen Mackay
  • Wanted to find solutions for large-scale sustainability issues on a local level; looked at urban farms as a solution
  • Cities = limited horizontal outdoor space; how do we grow food here? Farmscrapers need lots of time & $, but VT looks at how do non-horizontal farming in a more DIY way
  • Looked @ hydroponics, wooly pockets, not nobody was doing these two things together; started doing prototypes to use piping in pockets to distribute water
  •  Also working on creating prototypes in glass; harder to be DIY, but can still have an impact and get people thinking

TreeKIT, Sophie Plitt
  • Urban trees have many benefits: "Trees really make cities; although they're extremely ubiquitous, we don't always see them for how valuable they are."
  • NYC is relying on individuals, developing a stewardship model. Not really working yet.
  • TreeKIT hias developed a "Track, See, Collect" mapping model to increase stewardship. Currently collecting the data to allow people to track their stewardship.
  • Draw people [general public] into the data-collection process - "Participatory action research"

Liveblogging the Tactical Urbanism Salon: Intro & Panel Discussion: Tactical vs. DIY Urbanism


Mike Lydon - The Street Plans Collaborative
Aurash Khawarzad - DoTank:Brooklyn / Project for Public Spaces
  • ML: Idea for the TUS was to look at short-term actions driving long-term change
  • AK: Old process of building communities is not working anymore; new more collaborative ways of doing things
  • AK: We want everything about today to be different; everything we do should be action-focused. 
Panel Discussion: Tactical vs. DIY Urbanism

Tony Garcia - The Street Plans Collaborative
Chiara Camponeschi - Enabling City
Quillian Riano - DSGN AGNC
June Williamson - The City College of New York, CUNY

A Modest Proposal...

A few years ago I made a series of hackmaps, using Google Earth to cobble together a few visualizations of alternate urban realities. I'd always planned to post some of the better ones to Where, and never got around to it. Recent events, however, made me think that there was one  in particular that was worth sharing.

The image above was created in the fall of 2008, right as the financial meltdown was getting white-hot. The idea that the wizards of Wall Street should share their posh financial district with a Rio-style favela seemed fitting, given the number of people who were suddenly finding themselves homeless. Luckily, there was a huge hole in the ground right next door.

The site may have been overly ambitious, but it's good to see that some people have been feeling the same way.