urbanus vulgaris

urban life & culture / ideas & insights / innovation & development

Month: March, 2012

Google Maps gone 8-bit NES Style

by Domantas Stukas

Apparently Google decided to take April Fool’s day in their wacky style again.

Links below:

http://g.co/maps/wm2gt World View

http://g.co/maps/ekjpw   Street View


worldometers.info- the speed and scale of consumption

by marciusoka

Wanted to share this link http://www.worldometers.info/ It’s an amazing illustration showing the speed and scale of consumption globally. Other than just presenting interesting data-  it also puts a price tag on our lifestyle.


Jennifer Pahlka: Coding a better government

by marciusoka

Jennifer demonstrates how amusingly and efficiently (local) governments can solve their small practical problems. Most of the people perceive it as anarchy, on the other hand, it’s just a beautiful example how technology can stimulate engagement into local governance, cut the costs & strengthen communities.


The Netherlands a Manufactured Landscape

by svoosten

Following the posts ‘Manufactured landscapes’ and ‘Who’s your neighbor’ I would like to recommend the series ‘Nederland van Boven’ by the VPRO, that captures impressive imagery of the Netherlands and combines it with attractive data visualizations. Providing insight in the daily though sometimes not ordinary ‘organisation’ of the urban, industrial and cultural landscapes of the Netherlands.

For those whomwere not already convinced, this series will make you understand that the title ‘manufactured landscape’ could also rightly be applied to the Netherlands, or at least to the Rotterdam Harbor, an exemplary case study when it comes to the man- made landscape.


Urban models from the 17th century

by justina

Detail of the urban model from the 17th century

A month ago the Grand Palais in Paris was housing exciting exhibition of raised relief maps and huge urban models of towns from the 17th and 19th centuries. The impressive models done for military reasons now represent urban planning, architecture, typology of the fortified towns and give an image of the environment  few centuries ago.

Visitors explore and walk on carpet, historical map of France, at the entrance of the exhibition

The exhibition was very inspiring. You could endlessly explore precise details, little cute houses, relief, trees, materials, learn about the old towns. Size of the models was really amazing! That let me think that in the 17th century just as now the best way to make the impression and express the power is to show how big, successful and powerful your city is. Back then fortifications, newest planning ideas were presented on the models, now the tallest buildings, the smartest architecture, the biggest developments are also shown on the huge models.

Urban models from the 21st century: Tokyo, Singapore, Dubai and Shanghau

Since the 17thcentury till now role of cities did not change: growth and wealth of the city represents power of the whole country. And a huge model is the most astonishing and understandable way to express that power.

Read the rest of this entry »

Manufactured Landscapes (2006) by Jennifer Baichwal

by vytasvulgaris


“The film follows Burtynsky to China as he travels the country photographing the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. Sites such as the Three Gorges Dam, which is bigger by 50% than any other dam in the world and displaced over a million people, factory floors over a kilometre long, and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai’s urban renewal are subjects for his lens and our motion picture camera.

Shot in Super-16mm film, Manufactured Landscapes extends the narrative streams of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our profound impact on the planet and witness both the epicentres of industrial endeavour and the dumping grounds of its waste. What makes the photographs so powerful is his refusal in them to be didactic. We are all implicated here, they tell us: there are no easy answers. The film continues this approach of presenting complexity, without trying to reach simplistic judgements or reductive resolutions. In the process, it tries to shift our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it.” (http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/)

Edward Burtynsky: Exploring the Residual Landscape

by vytasvulgaris

“Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.” (Edward Burtynsky)

Wooden skyscrapers

by Ignas

For sometime I thought that I miss wooden buildings in the cities. Somehow they look warmer and more cozy for me than concrete buildings. The ones that I thought about didn’t look like these but still… Wooden skyscrapers

Staying alive in Joburg

by vytasvulgaris

The rest of the film: part 2  part 3  part 4  part 5 part 6

Amazing  documentary by Rob Schröder (2009).

“The inner city of Johannesburg is one of the most violent areas in the world. The Highrises are empty and squatted by illegal groups of Nigerians, Ethiopians and Congolese. Most NGO’s are too scared to do anything for the people who live there. Ismail Farouk is a social geographer who tries to make a difference. Meanwhile the city is getting ready for the World Cup Soccer in 2010. A masterplan has been created to clear out the area and make it clean, safe and liveable. The film follows this process.”


Bill Ford: A future beyond traffic gridlock

by vytasvulgaris


“When you factor in population growth, it’s clear that the mobility model that we have today simply will not work tomorrow. Four billion clean cars on the road are still four billion cars, and a traffic jam with no emissions is still a traffic jam.” (Bill Ford)

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