An Array of Utopian Flowers
- The US Shame of My Lai in Vietnam
Posted on March 17, 2018 | No Comments
- The Lucrative and Violent Curse of Coltan Mining in Congo
Posted on March 3, 2018 | No Comments
- Iannis Xenakis and the Notion of a Cosmic Utopia
Posted on February 21, 2018 | No Comments
- Anthropocene Arrives, Climate Collapses, and No One Cares
Posted on February 17, 2018 | No Comments
- Jean Jacques Dessalines and the Women Warriors who Liberated Haiti
Posted on January 24, 2018 | No Comments
- The US Shame of My Lai in Vietnam
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- Posted on February 21, 2018 | No CommentsIannis Xenakis, the Greek-French experimental composer and protege designer for the famous architect Le Corbusier, advanced theories of the vertical "Cosmic" city as the only sustainable way forward. Here, he wrote this essay in 1966, decrying decentralization (read: suburban sprawl) in favor of building up, up, up...5 million inhabitants to be housed in a single megastructure, a hyperbolic paraboloid of more than 3,000 meters high and 50 meters wide.
- Posted on September 6, 2016 | No CommentsFacing a major Coastal Commission decision this week, Newport Banning Ranch developers should adopt staff's recommendation that all environmentally sensitive habitat should be protected and could be integrated in a vision for a residential resort community through Regenerative Design.
- Posted on September 5, 2016 | 3 CommentsDestroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and policy makers. A 2012 documentary unveiled the many witting and unwitting villains, including urban poverty, public policy enforced racial segregation, and urban disinvestment in favor of the White Suburban Dream.
- Posted on May 12, 2016 | 4 CommentsNewport Beach's Banning Ranch, the site of a proposed mega commercial and residential development, is an extraordinary archaeological site. Once the site where an ancient Native American coastal village called Genga, a ritual and trading hub for both the Tongva and Acjachemen Native American Nations, existed for over a thousand years.
- Posted on May 4, 2016 | 4 CommentsJerry Brown, once known as governor Moonbeam who signed into law the California Coastal Commission, now can be seen as the man behind handing it over to developers. Governor Brown must fire his four at-will commissioners with significant lapses of judgement and ethics, as well as his powerful backroom dealer from the Resources Agency.
- Posted on April 27, 2016 | 2 CommentsThe California Environmental Quality Act, protector of resources and communities through consideration of implications of proposed projects, is under attack. Representatives from industry and real estate development, and sometimes even Governor Jerry Brown, seek ways to weaken it, or to exempt their pet projects. While the law is far from perfect, it remains the gold standard of environmental protection in the US.
- Posted on March 11, 2016 | 8 CommentsWhy did Coastal Commissioners dump popular Executive Director Charles Lester in a closed session at their February meeting in Morro Bay? It is part of a plan by well connected lobbyists and lawyers pushing environmentally damaging projects for their wealthy clients.
- Posted on April 8, 2015 | 1 CommentArchitecture must move on from an addiction to spectacle and fad, adrift in a sea of meaningless forms, leaving serious design and sustainability problems unresolved, says Peter Buchanan. But to do this will require a more critical perspective from architectural academe and the media.
- Posted on December 17, 2014 | No Comments"Vertical City," a complete ecosystem in the sky that you never have to leave, accommodates population growth and protects the planet, but may have significant drawbacks for the people who call it home and their connection to the earth. Projects in China and Dubai illustrate the concept and its limitations.
- Posted on July 10, 2014 | 2 CommentsOn one hand, Detroit turns the water off for communities challenged by its legacy of disinvestment and neglect. Yet, with urban farming, electric streetcars, neighborhood reinvention, Mayor Mike Duggan’s pledges begin to manifest in the city’s North End, despite considerable financial and cultural impediments. John Eligon elaborates.
- Posted on May 13, 2014 | 1 CommentJack Eidt writes on the dangers of proposing mixed use development far from urban amenities and alternative transportation. The real estate industry in Orange County, California and beyond, has consistently violated engineering and planning wisdom by building in floodplains, paving over precious open space land and losing opportunities to preserve wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities amid the suburban sprawl at the edge of the wilderness.
- Posted on October 10, 2013 | 1 CommentGlobal warming poses a real threat to cities but planners in the Danish capital are taking visionary steps to ensure its resilience – and success – as far ahead as 2100. The city approved a plan for carbon neutrality, while a 10-person team focuses on how the city will adapt to a changing climate.
- Posted on October 1, 2013 | 9 CommentsThe idea of the "utopian" community began in 1516 with Sir Thomas More's fictional perfected society to present-day attempts to build the most sustainable urban ecosystem. With the case of Songdo International Business District, South Korea, we begin a series of case studies in the success and failure of utopian experiments in living sustainably.
- Posted on September 16, 2013 | 1 CommentAfter seven years of study, federal officials have recommended a $453-million plan that would restore an 11-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River but leave much of its banks steep and hard to reach. Advocates will continue to press for a more ambitious alternative that would bring more people to the river, improving parks and recreation as well as ecosystems.
- Posted on August 17, 2013 | 2 CommentsFor the last 40 years, Detroiters have fled the once-majestic downtown core for the bucolic image of sprawling suburbia. Now an urban revival in the name of "Detroit Future City," complete with forests, parks, farms and waterways, is planned to overcome the financial mismanagement and industrial blight that have plagued the city for far too long.
- Posted on April 9, 2013 | 8 CommentsThe LA River, an over-engineered concrete "water-freeway," is undergoing a long-term greening and revitalization. A 32-mile greenbelt, developed through numerous projects, promises to improve the health of the ecosystem and the value of the river as a regional public amenity, while managing flows and protecting properties.