Environment, Social, Urbanism

Rethinking Engagement in Cities: Ending the Professional vs. Citizen Divide

Cities are among humankind’s grandest and most complex creations. Even small urban communities represent the cumulative result of literally hundreds of thousands of public and private, individual and collective decisions over time. They are the playgrounds of spontaneity. Such an understanding of how cities come into being and evolve is hardly new. Nor are its… Continue reading Rethinking Engagement in Cities: Ending the Professional vs. Citizen Divide

Apps, Smartphones, Software, Technology, Urbanism

Maps on smartphones: Lost

The criticism heaped on Apple shows the growing importance of cartography. ... Maps are becoming important strategic terrain. They are more than an aid to getting from A to B. Apps based on location—to summon a taxi, say—need maps inside them. Digital maps can include countless layers of information, plus advertisements from which money can… Continue reading Maps on smartphones: Lost

Environment, Social, Urbanism

Cities Could Use Your Tweets To Build Better Infrastructure

These days, people are more likely to gripe about civic issues on Twitter than actually talk to city officials. But in some cases, that social media activity is all a city needs. This week, IBM unveiled the results of its Social Sentiment Index on traffic in India. The index, which looked at 168,330 comments on… Continue reading Cities Could Use Your Tweets To Build Better Infrastructure

Apps, Urbanism

How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything

Behind every Google Map, there is a much more complex map that's the key to your queries but hidden from your view. The deep map contains the logic of places: their no-left-turns and freeway on-ramps, speed limits and traffic conditions. This is the data that you're drawing from when you ask Google to navigate you… Continue reading How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything

Environment, Social, Urbanism

Tunnel Vision: Subterranean Park to Stay Sunny with Fiber-Optic Skylights

More than a decade ago a group of New York City residents launched an ambitious experiment to build a park atop an expanse of abandoned elevated freight train tracks. Today the High Line, which opened in 2009, provides locals, commuters and tourists with more than a kilometer of green space several meters above the urban… Continue reading Tunnel Vision: Subterranean Park to Stay Sunny with Fiber-Optic Skylights