Urban Media Studies conference in Zagreb, Croatia: post-trip report

On September 24th and 25th, I was on hand for the Urban Media Studies conference, hosted at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Political Science. The conference was organized by members of the ECREA temporary working group on media and the city. It was a thoroughly international event, with participants from across Europe and the … Continue reading Urban Media Studies conference in Zagreb, Croatia: post-trip report

Fantasy Lands: 5 urban truths I learned at Disneyland

“This book … intends to establish Manhattan as the product of an unformulated theory, Manhattanism, whose program – to exist in a world totally fabricated by man, i.e. to live inside fantasy – was so ambitious that to be realized, it could never be openly stated.” – Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York On July 17, … Continue reading Fantasy Lands: 5 urban truths I learned at Disneyland

Urban Comm roundup: Smart cities, hostile architecture, and placemaking

Smart Cities Writing for Forbes, Rich Karlgaard reports on the smart-city champions, i.e. the countries and companies poised to benefit from the smart city boom: I see three categories of winners. The first will be suppliers of digital technology, from high-speed telecom, cloud services and digital security to apps, for example, like Uber’s and Airbnb’s … Continue reading Urban Comm roundup: Smart cities, hostile architecture, and placemaking

Urban Communication: City Branding; Social Networks; Mapping and more

David Crouch reports in the Guardian that Denmark wants to rebrand part of Sweden as "Greater Copenhagen": A metropolis needs 4 – 5 million people to be “somebody” on the world stage, Tryding admits, and Copenhagen is the only city in the region whose name has international recognition. Many southern Swedes already treat Copenhagen as … Continue reading Urban Communication: City Branding; Social Networks; Mapping and more

Urban Communication: media ecology & infrastructure, neighborhood narratives, rhetoric & rebranding, and more

In Urban Media Ecology news, several recent studies reported correlations between characteristics of the built environment and human health. A study from the University of Kansas (in my birthplace of Lawrence) found that "neighborhoods that motivate walking can stave off cognitive decline in older adults": The researcher judged walkability using geographic information systems — essentially … Continue reading Urban Communication: media ecology & infrastructure, neighborhood narratives, rhetoric & rebranding, and more

Smart Cities: India’s initiative; technologized transport; democratic dilemmas and dystopian dangers

Smart cities continue to be a hot topic for urban designers and commentators, even as the very definition of the term is debated. Kieron Monks at CNN recently addressed this in an article on the next generation of smart cities: The urban planning equivalent of a Rorschach test, a "Smart City" can be taken to … Continue reading Smart Cities: India’s initiative; technologized transport; democratic dilemmas and dystopian dangers

Urban Media Ecology: light pollution, gender mainstreaming, urban marginality

When I first read Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television several years ago I was inclined to agree with the bulk of the thesis presented: the dangers posed by the inherent biases of the television medium, such as the centralization of control and "the walling of awareness". One of Mander's arguments that … Continue reading Urban Media Ecology: light pollution, gender mainstreaming, urban marginality

Gentrification and ‘the fucking hipster show’; hostile architercure and defensive urban design

In a post at the Jacobin blog, Anthony Galluzzo considers how the mainstream media's "fucking hipster" show mocks hipsters in the service of capital: [Marxist geographer Neil] Smith offers a dry, but emphatically structural account of this process, which he first theorized in the late eighties with Soho and the Lower East Side in mind. … Continue reading Gentrification and ‘the fucking hipster show’; hostile architercure and defensive urban design