Astroturf and artificial reefs

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Notes towards understanding our understanding of our built environment.

“Artificial reefs”, because Miriam Lyons noted the parallel between
building artificial ocean habitats to attract biodiversity,
and the construction of artifically-hip neighbourhoods to attract dotcom startups.

Ideas to discuss

  • Smart city versus surveillance state.
  • Development externalities.
  • Zwischennutzungen
  • Squatting
  • Right to the city
  • Sous les pavés, la plage
  • Creative Classes
  • Smart city
  • Detournement
  • gentrification
  • “urbanist”
  • Culture Jam
  • Society of the spectacle
  • what was the hipster?
  • weaponised design
  • politics of play

To read

  • Marcus Westbury (Mr Creating cities)

  • Michael Batty’s vision is a kind of capital-friendly techno-utopianism,
    which rings weirdly in my ears
    But is a necessary marketting strategy for urbanists in 21st century London,
    I think, and he is probably not so technocratic as all that?
    He has some interesting mathematical ideas:

  • Adam Greenfield has a lot less maths, but a lot more critical insight.
    Useful antidote.

  • Anab Jain, e.g.
    How will we live

  • Tom Armitage, Some of these things are not like the others

  • Julian Agyeman and Duncan McLaren, Sharing Cities:

    McLaren and Agyeman propose a new “sharing paradigm,” which goes beyond the
    faddish “sharing economy”—seen in such ventures as Uber and TaskRabbit—to
    envision models of sharing that are not always commercial but also
    communal, encouraging trust and collaboration.
    Detailed case studies of San Francisco, Seoul, Copenhagen, Medellín,
    Amsterdam, and Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) contextualize the authors’
    discussions of collaborative consumption and production; the shared public
    realm, both physical and virtual;
    the design of sharing to enhance equity and justice;
    and the prospects for scaling up the sharing paradigm though city
    They show how sharing could shift values and norms, enable civic engagement
    and political activism, and rebuild a shared urban commons.
    Their case for sharing and solidarity offers a powerful alternative for
    urban futures to conventional “race-to-the-bottom” narratives of
    competition, enclosure, and division.

  • Dan Hill

  • Jane Jacobs 1 and 2

  • Herbert Simon

  • Luís Bettencourt

  • Henri Lefebvre

  • David Harvey (Mr “Right to the city”)

  • Richard Florida (Mr “Creative classes”)

  • Jürgen Habermas (Mr “Communicative Rationality”)

  • Kalle Lasn (Mr Adbusters)

  • Jan Chipchase (Mr I got paid to wander round the tropics looking at mobile phones)

  • Le Corbusier

  • walkability versus cars

See original: The Living Thing / Notebooks Astroturf and artificial reefs