urbanus vulgaris

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

Month: February, 2014

New urbanism vs landscape urbanism

by gailiute


Today I came across quite an interesting topic: new urbanism (though it is an new word for good old cities) versus landscape urbanism. I didn’t think these two approaches are confronting each other, yet it seems that in US “which one is better” can be quite an issue to debate.

Its nice short overview of this discussion complemented with a list of articles.


The Wolf of Wallstreet: Straight line persuasion

by jiookrednav

Why are skyscrapers in London scattered throughout the city?

by jiookrednav


As read on The Economist:

“Today’s boom is much bigger. It is stoked by soaring demand for office space from expanding businesses and even greater pressure for housing, driven by gentrification and population growth. A shortage of land in a city constrained by a tight green belt makes it profitable to build upwards. Foreign money—whether from Arab sovereign-wealth funds or wealthy Malaysian investors who buy flats before they are built—means there is plenty of finance for risky projects. And the authorities, for reasons both idealistic and pragmatic, are minded to allow construction.

In theory, the London Plan, laid out by the mayor’s office, determines the city’s shape. Tall buildings are encouraged in a few “opportunity areas”, especially if they are architecturally striking, explains Sir Edward Lister, the capital’s head of planning. The plan also protects views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster, as seen from London’s larger parks. You must, for example, be able to see both buildings from a specific oak tree on Hampstead Heath. Erecting tall buildings behind them is discouraged, too.

These protected views help to explain why tall buildings are rising in such a dispersed pattern. The Shard will not get neighbours anytime soon, as it is wedged between two viewing corridors. In the City, towers are scattered instead of crowding around transport hubs, as economic theory might predict. Their odd designs—described by nicknames such as the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie and the Cheesegrater—are in some cases a means of avoiding imposing on St Paul’s. Only at Canary Wharf, which is too far east to spoil many views, do cuboid skyscrapers rub together in the way they do in other big cities.”

Secret History of Our Streets: Caledonian Road (London)

by vytasvulgaris

Part 1: vimeo http://vimeo.com/80790365
Part 2:  http://vimeo.com/82091045

Beautifully told story about how complex and actually organic the city fabric can be. How it is shaped by rather accidental than planned. For those who have ever lived in Rotterdam – the film features the ideological twin brother of Mr. Vliegenthart ( +316 – 53 55 16 25 – for those still looking for a room in Rotterdam).

The Pedway: Elevating London

by vytasvulgaris

“The Pedway: Elevating London is a documentary on the post-war redevelopment in the City of London – focusing on the attempt to build an ambitious network of elevated walkways through the city. Featuring interviews with professor of town planning Michael Hebbert (UCL), architecture critic Jonathan Glancey, city planning officer Peter Wynne Rees and writer Nicholas Rudd-Jones (Pathways), the film explores why the ‘Pedway’ scheme was unsuccessful and captures the abandoned remains that, unknown to the public, still haunt the square mile.”

Planned & Constructed by Chris Bevan Lee

Teddy Cruz: How architectural innovations migrate across borders

by vytasvulgaris

Do you know the world of today? Nope.

by vytasvulgaris

The statistician superstar Hans Rosling has been humming around for a while already destroying our prejudices about the world of today.  BBC documentary Overpopulated is definitely one of the most amazing  life statistics shows of him (except from the sward swallowing at TED) with a number of braking facts and figures (presented in the high-tech entertainment style) bringing completely different view of the world than we actually think.

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