betacity


freedom to remake ourselves
November 22, 2015, 5:03 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, Cities | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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A multivalent definition of cities: the manifestation of who we are, our relationships, our attitude toward nature, our quotidian habits, how we use technology, what we find beautiful.

There is freedom in changing our built environments to change ourselves.

the question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question of what kind of people we want to be, what kinds of social relations we seek, what relations to nature we cherish, what style of daily life we desire, what kinds of technologies we deem appropriate, what aesthetic values we hold. The right to the city is, therefore, far more than a right of individual access to the resources that the city embodies: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city more after our heart’s desire. It is, moreover, a collective rather than an individual right since changing the city inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power over the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake ourselves and our cities is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.

David Harvey, The Right to the City



digital can’t replace the necessity of real cities
October 17, 2011, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Cities, density | Tags: , , , ,

Remember when we were promised the paperless office?  Digital technology would allow us to do everything online and thereby reduce the use of copying and paper waste. In my experience the use of paper went up after the advent of the digital because it became just too easy to push the print button.

Another more recent argument is that digital technologies allow us to continue to build our sprawling, disconnected environments because we are connected electronically.  Following is a good rebuttal by Tim Stonor.

Nothing can alter the basic need of people to be near social and economic centers.   Continue reading