imagining cities

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In 2007, In 2007 London’s National Gallery teamed up with creative agency The Partners to promote the gallery’s permanent collection of over 2,300 paintings. How do you get people to come indoors on a sunny day and see the art inside the gallery? Design experts The Partners turned the brief on its head, and instead brought the paintings outside to people on the street.

For 12 weeks during the summer, life-size high quality replicas of 45 of the National Gallery’s most famous paintings were hung about the streets of London. Complete with ornate frames and helpful information plaques as you find alongside the real artworks, the city itself became a giant art gallery.

A range of tours were offered, including ‘Lunchtime Tours’ designed to fit in with the hour-long breaks of workers in the city. By taking busy office workers around their own buildings, the tour made them reconsider the artworks as well as their own city. Each tour was supplemented by a downloadable interactive map as well as audio guides, downloadable from the gallery’s website.

Placing the paintings in a different context, viewers were able to interact with the art in a new way, with the whole experience being deliberately more modern and interactive.

More here

ClimateWorks is a San Francisco based foundation whose mission is to support public policies that prevent dangerous climate change and promote global prosperity. This infographic about wlkable neighborhoods is part of a document called Planning Cities for People, which was prepared for the Chinese government. The document, which contains 8 research-based recommendations that lead to prosperous, low-carbon urban areas, uses richly illustrated maps and diagrams to present examples of street-grids that promote walking, prioritize bicycle networks, create mixed-use neighbourhoods and support high-quality transit.
You can find the document here.

ClimateWorks is a San Francisco based foundation whose mission is to support public policies that prevent dangerous climate change and promote global prosperity. This infographic about wlkable neighborhoods is part of a document called Planning Cities for People, which was prepared for the Chinese government. The document, which contains 8 research-based recommendations that lead to prosperous, low-carbon urban areas, uses richly illustrated maps and diagrams to present examples of street-grids that promote walking, prioritize bicycle networks, create mixed-use neighbourhoods and support high-quality transit.

You can find the document here.

(via humanscalecities)

Social Interaction in Urban Areas

Urban areas impact individuals’ relationships with one another. Economic problems and power dynamics are intensified in small spatial areas in which resources are scarce due to dense populations.

Social scientists seek to understand how metropolitan social dynamics are distinct from those in other contexts.

German sociologist Georg Simmel was a founding father of this sociological subfield. He gave a speech that analyzed the effects of urbanity on the mind of the individual, arguing that urban life irreversibly transforms one’s mind.

Social scientists ask two sets of questions about social life in urban areas. The first set asks how social interactions are shaped by urban environments, and the other asks more pointed questions about how the architecture and physical space of a city influence social interactions.

  • Urban Ecology Model

    In the urban ecology model, the social scientist considers how individuals interact with others in their urban community.

  • Sociology of Space

    The sociology of space is a sub-discipline of sociology that is concerned with the spatiality of society. It examines the constitution of spaces through action, as well as the dependence of action on spatial structures.

  • Sociology of Architecture

    Sociology of architecture is a term that describes the sociological study of either the built environment or the role and occupation of architects in modern societies.

Read more here.

Urbanisation is important because we can’t keep developing our food basin and we shouldn’t sentence young people to a life in the outskirts of suburbia, cut off from effective transport and services.

City of Sydney Mayor Clover Moore, speaking at the National Press Club