Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Mon, 07/12/2010 - 23:29, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 00:47
Jane Jacobs died in the spring of 2006. Three years earlier she had published the last book of her illustrious career as a philosopher, Dark Age Ahead, prophesying the fall of North American civilization. Today, this civilization is having a severe stroke due to all the factors that she warned us about.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Wed, 07/08/2009 - 22:34, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 00:58
In Cities and the Wealth of Nations, Jane Jacobs quotes a Japanese economist about his country's capitalist revolution following the Meiji Restoration. He said that the greatest periods of creativity and productivity had been experienced when the country was adrift, not focused on any particular goal but open to all opportunities.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Mon, 03/23/2009 - 07:00, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 01:02
This is part I of a series of excerpts of an article to be published in the International Journal of Architectural Research entitled The Principles of Emergent Urbanism. Additional parts will be posted on this blog with the editor's permission until the complete article appears exclusively in the journal's upcoming issue.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 01:03, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 01:05
The economic crash has cities scrambling to keep their real estate markets alive. Disappearing credit has caused many of the most capital-intensive projects, meaning big buildings, to halt. Some have been surprised that projects modeled on traditional patterns of urbanism, such as mixed-used developments, have been caught up in the storm. It's one thing when a lone skyscraper or a subdivision at the edge the city stops dead in development. It's simple to ignore and get around.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 01:36, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 01:13
Bill Hillier of Space Syntax is, along with Christopher Alexander and Michael Batty, part of the British old school of urban complexity researchers. (Hillier has joked that he would have used the term "Pattern Language" instead of Space Syntax had Alexander not used it first.) He has studied the functional impact of spatial relationships on human behavior over a career spanning several decades, and came upon some very insightful results.
Submitted by Mathieu Helie on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 00:23, last updated Sun, 11/06/2011 - 01:19
In the 20th century, the modern movement in architecture drew up grand plans to remake cities for the machine age. Le Corbusier, the leader of the movement, conceived his Radiant City plan. He designed every part of it himself so that it would work as he had willed it to. His machine provided the solution to four problems: inhabitation, work, recreation, circulation. Everything else was removed.
The idea of a machine city expressed three assumptions that led to the catastrophic results of modernism.
Interesting observations, and in general I agree. However, I would add that another powerful part of this film is the dystopian idea that in a "dis-aggregated" world of suburban limbo, violent death is inevitable, and often emerges out of sheer boredom.
Thank you Mathieu.. I find myself lucky to come across your articles recently when i really needed knowledge about theory of emerging cities..
Its my master's project and I was going through few references when I came across this particularly..
I've been keeping your blog as a personal reference in the last two years and I'd like to congratulate and to thank you. It seems we have close interests... I was wondering if you know "The Self-Organizing Universe" by Eric Jantsch.
I appreciate the content on complexity, but I think many of the initial presumptions are unfounded, assumed, or contended. For example, when shall we assume that cities became "a normal, ordinary aspect of civilized living"?