Sunday, February 1, 2009

URB-Links 01

Hi Everyone,

Shinian Kuai Le, or Happy Chinese New Year!
Sorry for the week long absence from posting but I have been on holiday for CNY since last Saturday. I hope to have some pics from the festivities on my Flickr page soon so all of you can take a gander. It's a very interesting holiday for me to witness as a foreigner and I really enjoy all of the traditions--the food, the firework, the family time, etc. It's truly wonderful.
With a new year also comes new traditions. This is the first in a new segment here on _URB_ - a weekly links update on things that I have found interesting in relation to the themes that we tend to explore here. So the links will be organized topically.
Without further adieu...

The big event in geo-mimicry this past week has to be BIG's new masterplan for Zira Island in Azerbaijan. Will it really be a zero-energy resort and a "sustainable model for urban development"? That remains to be seen...but what we do know for certain is that the project's form is derived from Azerbaijan's famous 'Seven Peaks.'

Although this is not exactly urban, the fact that the rainforests are regenerating themselves on abandoned farmland is pretty great news. But in the end tt actually does have something to do with urbanization however: "small holdings...and much larger swaths of farmland — are reverting to nature, as people abandon their land and move to the cities in search of better livings."

Io9 features a great gallery of megaSPACEstructures--apparently where we will all be living in a few decades. My favorite? Probably the first image apparently supplied by NASA--it's a great mix of 2001, Paolo Soleri, and an LA suburb.

The Architect's Newspaper's editorial by Julie Iovine encourages architects to expand their professional capacities and become "designers of options, instead of icons." She also mentions a forthcoming book called Architecture Depends which sounds really great.

Limewire creator Mark Gorton is looking to bring an open-source approach to urban planning through open source city models, increasing the capacity and complexity in online trip-planning, internet based planning forums for communities, and introducing para-transit and other smaller, more adaptive, and more responsive public transit systems. Sounds exciting!

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