Smoke Signals: Buda’s Wagon and Infrastructure Terrorism in Nashville

“The car bomb, in other words, suddenly became a semi-strategic weapon that under certain circumstances was comparable to air-power in its ability to knock out critical urban nodes and headquarters as well as terrorize populations of entire cities. [...] It is the car bombers’ incessant blasting-away at the moral and physical shell of the city, … Continue reading Smoke Signals: Buda’s Wagon and Infrastructure Terrorism in Nashville

Urban Change and Moving Images in London

I've recently returned from London where I attended a workshop on Urban Change and Moving Images hosted by the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image. It was intellectually gratifying to engage with scholars of film, media, and cities over several days, as well as personally refreshing to indulge my lifelong passion for cinema. In addition to … Continue reading Urban Change and Moving Images in London

Public space, the public sphere, and the urban as public realm

This essay was originally written as part of my PhD comprehensive examinations. It was written to address connections between theories of the public sphere and concerns about public space, and to conceptualize the urban environment as a public realm.  Introduction Questions of space have always been implicated with the concept of the public sphere, but … Continue reading Public space, the public sphere, and the urban as public realm

Columbus wins DOT Smart City Challenge

The Department of Transportation has selected Columbus, Ohio as the winner of the Smart City Challenge. The winning city will receive a $50 million grant to fund the development and implementation of networked and "smart" transportation infrastructure. From the Columbus Dispatch: Columbus’ application includes several other transportation innovations, including an autonomous vehicle test fleet at … Continue reading Columbus wins DOT Smart City Challenge

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

Pittsburgh: driving transportation innovation

"Ride-sharing" service Uber recently announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to establish a research center in Pittsburgh. As the Post-Gazette reported: Uber, a San Francisco-based ride-sharing company, announced a joint venture with CMU on Monday creating a robotics research lab and technology center at the RIDC Chocolate Factory along 43rd Street that is already … Continue reading Pittsburgh: driving transportation innovation

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