An Array of Utopian Flowers
- Big Noise from Big Band Drummer Gene Krupa
Posted on April 10, 2018 | No Comments
- Loose Nuts: Edison Reveals Huge Gap in Safety at San Onofre
Posted on April 9, 2018 | No Comments
- 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
- Big Noise from Big Band Drummer Gene Krupa
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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 December 6, 2014 | No CommentsThe model planners and economists touted as "sustainable development" has only exacerbated ecologic distress and community dislocation through its focus on wealth-creation. The needs of our ailing planet facing an impending 11 billion population calls for ecology and human welfare to dominate economy, but how to achieve this in a world bought and paid for by finance capitalism?
- Posted on October 9, 2013 | 9 CommentsOnce the largest hippie commune in the US, the Farm persists as an intentional community in rural Tennessee, based on principles of nonviolence and respect for the Earth. It now advocates permaculture, sustainable and renewable energy, a vegetarian diet, and midwifery.
- 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 May 7, 2013 | 1 CommentMaster planned, self contained New Cities have appeared all over Africa. Emulating models from the global north, private-sector boosters advance them without considering factors such as environment, economy, context and even poverty. Nairobi-based urban practitioner Jane Lumumba argues they might only make social and economic problems worse.
- Posted on February 23, 2013 | 2 CommentsThe government of Honduras plans the creation of neoliberal free-market enclaves, unaccountable to national laws and governed by foreign corporate interests. Stipulated for territory inhabited by Garifuna people and campesino farming communities, with propaganda about democracy, economic innovation and humanitarian justice, "President" Pepe Lobo should first refrain from presiding over the coup-backed "illegitimate regime."
- Posted on January 18, 2013 | 6 CommentsA visionary eco-city in the Arizona desert, Arcosanti is an urban laboratory created by Paolo Soleri. Based on the concept of Arcology, or ecological architecture, it presents a compact, sustainable, energy-efficient urban form that confronts environmental destruction, economic collapse, and social dislocation.
- Posted on September 25, 2012 | 5 CommentsFree marketeers and Libertarians advocate for the world's first Charter City, with authoritarian governance, facilitated by a military coup, coordinated using political sway with business partners, using public funds from the IDB for infrastructure plans, and built on land "purchased" from indigenous communities, small farmers and the state of Honduras.
- Posted on August 13, 2012 | 2 CommentsRapid industrialization in China has caused a massive migration to crowded, faceless and polluted urban mega-cities of 10 million residents or more. They should consider Italo Calvino's utopian "Invisible Cities" to rethink the role of imagination in urban planning.
- Posted on May 15, 2012 | 6 CommentsNeo-colonialism in Honduras: Paul Romer's Charter Cities movement advocated suspension of sovereignty and democracy in the service of unfettered capitalism. Unfortunately, the enabling legislation was deemed by the Honduran Supreme Court as unconstitutional. While the coup-backed government of Honduras presses the issue forward, resistance members and indigenous and labor organizations continue to fight this libertarian dream on the Coast of Trujillo.
- Posted on February 20, 2012 | 2 CommentsBaum's "Wizard of Oz" as a Utopian American Dream soft-peddles an anti-nature-prejudice amid dazzling urban-industrial landscapes. This bias at the expense of the earth's resources has led us to today's environmental and economic collapse.
- Posted on August 16, 2010 | 4 CommentsCalled Astana, it is the world's latest example of a rare but persistent type, the capital built from zero. It is in a line that includes St Petersburg, Washington DC, Canberra, Ankara and Brasilia and like them it provokes a question: can a city, in all its teeming complexity, really be planned? Or does the attempt lead only to a synthetic simulacrum, a kind-of city that is not quite the real thing?