Category Archives: C. Urbanity

Streets Made By People

In recent years, more and more initiatives try to counter the important role of the car in urban streets. Projects likePARK(ing) Day and Neighborhood in Motion show how the removal of cars affects the urban space and the mindsets and lifestyles of the residents. Ghent has another bottom-up approach where 16 residential streets were transformed into collectively created spaces for no less than 2.5 months.

Streets Made By People — Pop-Up City

via Streets Made By People — Pop-Up City.

The future of mobility as seen from the past

James B. Settles, 1946, Amazing Stories Magazine. Trade your trouble for a bubble

James B. Settles, 1946, “Pleasure ball”, Amazing Stories Magazine.

Moving walkways with seats, rolling bubbles, magnetic ring railways… Several sites (e.g. the science fiction site “Dark Rosted Blend”) present a series of imaged futures of mobility, as seen from the point of view of the past century.

“Now that atomic energy is coming, we have asked artist James B. Settles to picture for us one of the developments in amusement to which it might be put. He surprised us with this huge rolling cross-country pleasure ball.
With atomic energy, it has been postulated that man will have many leisure hours that he never had before. He will have most of the day to pursue as he pleases, either for pleasure, or in pursuit of a hobby, or in art, or in just plain being lazy.
… and decide to go sightseeing across the country in this giant rolling ball of transparent plastic, balanced by interior gyro stabilizers controlling a suspended core which ever remains erect as it travels around its giant “track-ring.”
This ring is magnetic, and powered by the atom, revolves along the roadway. The same power that makes the ball move forward (or backward) acts for stopping the ball. There are no huge motors, no complicated apparatus, just the simplest of gadgets, and a complex and very interesting interior which is the last word in pleasure palaces. Games, terraces, ramps, restful lounging places, dance floors, swimming pools and just plain sightseeing would make this huge ball a pleasant place to while away a day.” – Amazing Stories, 1946.

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Public transport and public health: bacteria in the New York Subway

“A city is like an organism,” said IBM Corp. computational biologist Robert Prill, who is among those at the company investigating ways to better collect and analyze these immense new public-health genome databases. “It has a circulating system consisting of the movement of people.”

A question that also needs to be taken  into account in PostCarWorld.

Big Data and Bacteria: Mapping the New York Subway’s DNA – WSJ.