As the year draws to a close, why buck the blogosphere trend of looking back on the best bits? It’s been a pleasure to publish some fantastic posts this year, and especially great to see so many of them land in the most-read list directly below. I’d like to extend a special thanks to everyone who has contributed to TBC this year. The blog will be quiet for a few weeks to recharge the blogging batteries (otherwise known as visiting family over the festive season) so see you in January. Until then, why not enjoy the ten most popular posts of 2014 once again? Here they are from 10 to 1:
“When the Berlin wall fell, the eastern suburbs of the city were virtually empty. Now, everyone wants to live in the trendy city of Berlin, where housing rents rise, nice little cafes open as well as vegan restaurants and expensive shops. The area is Bourgeoisified and those who had created the essence of the neighbourhood are forced to leave because they cannot afford to pay the new standard of living.”
Critics decry the massive amount of space the buses take up and that they often park for extended periods of time in public bus stops. But perhaps their most stinging critique is that they symbolize, and perhaps even worsen, the widening divide between the city’s rich and poor.
As infrastructure and citizens become more technologically-enabled than ever before, this concept of urban flow becomes easier to measure. The immense amount of data generated in cities can offer us an improved understanding of how everything from water to waste to people to cargo moves around.
Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University and an untiring defender of the suburbs, begins arecent column in the Washington Post with a valid question: “What is a city for?” He then proceeds to get that question completely wrong. Here are 7 key points that critics get wrong about New Urbanism.
Whether you are working with a patio or balcony plot, or have a little more space to spare, this infographic has advice for you. Scroll down for the especially interesting ‘companion planting’ section, teaching you everything you need to know about complementary planting.
Educational options for would-be urban world-changers were once comprised of architecture, planning, design, and urban studies. Today, prospective students have the opportunity to pursue an MA or MSc in everything from Sustainable Environmental Systems to City Design and Social Science or Urban Strategies and Design.
In March 2014 twenty urban artists from around the world commenced new works as part of the project which is supported through City of Culture funding. The project has the potential to position Limerick city as a leading player in the up and coming world of urban street art, the fastest growing art movement in the world.
These ideas are taken from the 2014 Sustainia 100 report – an “annual guide to 100 innovative sustainability solutions from around the world”. One chapter in the report focuses specifically on city solutions, and this year’s ten are featured here. All these ideas are already in use in cities.
Take one of the most iconic modern monuments of America, analyze the original design by a world-famous architect, identify all the site issues, coordinate with multiple national, state, and local agencies, and have it completed by 2015. Gullivar Shepard called the St. Louis Arch Ground project, known asCityArchRiver 2015, one of the most challenging projects he has been involved in.
Maybe readers of This Big City spend too much time getting lost, or maybe they just like to explore efficiently. Whatever the reason, this post picked up the most reads this year. If your spatial awareness skills are a little rusty, give it a read.
Welcome to the world of spatial awareness: a world that requires attention to your surroundings to grasp the city to its fullest. Some have it, some don’t, some know where that special alleyway is, while some are too scared of diverging from crowded streets for the fear of getting lost. Spatial awareness is both an innate and an acquired skill that needs to be exercised on a regular basis to boost brain activity and improve understanding of the world around.
Featured image via David McSpadden