WEEKEND READING: July 28-August 3, 2007

Ok, so...I have, like, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 articles in my Google Reader that are basically doomsday predictions for American infrastructure. None of them will be linked to in Weekend Reading. Short list, though...

ITEM ONE: A great piece on Xanadu in the Middle East and the American dust bowl. How are they connected? Oh, just follow the link and you'll see...

ITEM TWO: Planetizen Interchange features a great post from Ali Modarres about the severe abuse of the word "community" in contemporary planning and architecture.

ITEM THREE: The world is shrinking, y'all. Or it's going to soon, anyway.

ITEM FOUR: There are two great articles on superurbanist Charles Landry in the news this week.

ITEM FOUR AND A HALF: Here's the other one.

ITEM FIVE: Mexico City joins the list of Latin American cities (Curitiba, Bogotá, Medellin) aiming to re-define the image of urbanism in that region. (via CEOs for Cities)

ITEM SIX: Newsweek's feature story says everything I've ever thought about Dubai. Only it's about Abu Dhabi. Go figure.

ITEM SEVEN: Finally -- and this isn't really related to urbanism -- the FCC has proven, once again, that it's clueless. Or well-bribed. Either way, it's disgusting and disappointing.

That is all. Have a great weekend!

(Photo from Flickr user James_Ting.)


Anonymous said...

Brendan - I was prepared to read something good about Mexico City & it was yet another NYT sensationalist article. There have been many like this that play on the stereotypes of Buenos Aires... I don't know if I was sad or relieved to know that we aren't the only ones getting this treatment.

For the record, the Mexico City I know & love has its share of urban problems. That happens when 20+ million ppl live together. But the negativity expressed by the article (supposedly to make current projects look even better) isn't necessary. I even reread my Mexico photoblog just to be sure I wasn't crazy :)

I wanted to do a post about this article, but I don't know if I have the time. My main question: Is this what people want to read? Articles that reinforce negative stereotypes? Maybe it's just what sells...

Brendan Crain said...

Hmmm...the link isn't working anymore. The Times appears to have lost the article. It was a few weeks back that I read it, so it's gone out of my head... :-<

At any rate, public opinion of S. America in general is kind of...well it's not really an issue, I guess. The War on Drugs has taken a backseat to the War on Terror and whatnot, and people here seem to have largely forgotten that S. America even exists. In fact, Mexico is often perceived to be *in* S. America, if that says anything.

I find the whole damned continent utterly fascinating, which is why it pops up more frequently on Where. S. America definitely has a lot of potential, and with the way cities like Medellin are dealing with their slums, the continent could wind up teaching the Indias and Chinas of the world a thing or two if the predictions about the "Slum Planet" come true.