city ness

city vision i wish


perhaps a good place to note..

when we use city.. we mean it to be interchangeable with community, even with individual.. the dance between individual and society.. as a means to 7 billion people in eudaimonia ness.

rethinking cities



5/11/16 6:44 AM
The irony of cities- seeing so many people sharing a space walking about as if they are not sharing a space

huge.. often.. what we seek most (ie: sharing – w/o measuring).. right in front of us.. in plain view. blinded by the light..


[adding some categories – but many could go in several places]

city as school ness:

city as school – floorplan

city as school models

city sketchup – tunnel jam

prospect – suggested cities

chicago city of learning – cities of learning

saxifrage school – Timothy Freeman Cook

Theaster Gates


Alex Gilliampublic workshop

visions/visuals of self-organization – stigmergy ish

Iwan Baan

Teddy Cruz

paint city – Edi Rama

without a master plan


human ecosystems –  Salvatore Iaconesi

projects/initiatives – commons ish

foodscaping – seed

a-kamp47 via Stéphane Malka

microtopia via Jesper Wachtmeisters

Zaid Hassan

Chris Berthelsen – diy gardening

city experiment – Tony Hsieh

global villages network


Jessica Lowry – key to the street

Shani Graham – neighborhood

better block

collaborative consumption/sharable cities

 April Rinne

Rachel Botsman

mesh – Lisa Gansky

city science (mit) –  Kent LarsonSandy PentlandCésar A. HidalgoEthan ZuckermanNicholas NegroponteJoi Ito,

startup cities institute

Pam Warhurst – incredible edible

Harish Manwani – unilever sustainabile living

write a house

Rob Hopkins – transition towns

fab cities – barcelona

city as commons (policy reader)

city ish thinking/thinkers:

loveable cities – Peter Kageyama

new cities foundation Mathieu Lefevrre

Richard Florida  –  Roger MartinDon Tapscottmartin prosperity institute

walkable cities – Jeff Speck

Andrés Duany – new urbanism – lean urbanism

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk

Charles Montgomery

Daniele Quercia

Shawn Micallef

nyc streets

equitable/democratic cities – Enrique Penasolas

self-organizing/co-created cities – Iwan Baan

commons – Stavros Stavrides

child in the city – Colin Ward

great american cities – Jane Jacobs

Adam Greenfield – against the smart city

lse cities

education cities – Yaacov Hecht

use what you have – Pam Dorr

Greg Lindsay

Eric Liu

Mara Mintzer

city ish app ness:

see click fix – Ben Berkowitz

Alessandro Orofino – meu rio


code for america – Jennifer Pahlka – Catherine Bracy

Laura Schewel – street light data

Dave Troy – social maps

city ish resources:

waste not

open library

trash – Robin Nagle


meshkit bonfire


retire\ment communities

city as commons (policy reader)

transport ness:

zipcar – Robin Chase

walking 30 – charity mile

herobike – bamboo bikes

flykly smart wheel – electric bikes

copenhagen wheel – out of mit

sada bike – fold to umbrella size

solar roadways

self-driving car


city issues/governance ness:


commons – city as commons (policy reader)

neighbor\hood (govt)

Kevin Carson – desktop regulated state

money ness

Graham Hill – life edited

Benjamin Barber – uclg

Channing Meyer et al – soup nights – as new way of governance?

city lab – Saul Kaplan, Peter Hirshberg

cure violence – Gary Slutkin, Teny Gross, ..

changing city

Amanda Burden

Tom Raftery

Richard Sennett

Saskia Sassen

Jan Gehl

Johnny Hwin – the sub

Michel Bauwensp2pfoundationflok society

Dougald Hine

Indy Johar, 00:\, hub westminster

farmer foodshare

Vinay Gupta


spaces that already are



no more little boxes..

living spaces


a people experiment/experience/praxis

in the city ness (as the day):

in the city as the day update

city sketchup


from city ness on grokking page:


new rules of public art

art people


from july 2015 data & society:

Making Sense of the New Urban Science (this is a pdf download – 32 pages): “Since 2005, more than a dozen new labs, departments and schools have been launched with a common purpose – to pursue deeply quantitative and computational approaches to understanding the city.” In this Cities of Data report, Anthony Townsendattempts to understand this movement’s scope and impact.

from 1st link – pdf – talking about researching cities mixed with tech. but i’m not seeing any research – rat park ish. it’s all within some bubble. ie: that makes it science of people ness. so we can’t really see what we could do/be/are.

p. 9

A third factor is the institutional context. Higher education is now an urban phenomenon because of changes in teaching and the university’s new role in economic development. Universities will be a key hub of an urban planet, which means this urban science boom may be here to stay.


p. 14

SENSEable’s model stands out for its focus on producing usable prototypes, a reflection of MIT’s engineering culture, where the urge to ‘demo or die’ is a deeply shared value.

prototyping to death makes no difference if people aren’t set free.. no? iterating on boxed ness.

p. 15

The Urban Observatory has one goal — to move urban science beyond merely analyzing the exhaust data of cities, and start developing massive new scientific instruments to collect novel data about the city.

p. 17

Intel’s interest is clearly self-serving — the company wants to push university research that might have an impact on its business in the future. But how does corporate involvement in academic work influence the research agenda? And are there larger public benefits?


p. 20

Third, AMS has a substantial financial commitment from the city  of Amsterdam, which will provide $175m (€150m) over ten years. Finally, citizens are considered from the outset as part of the strategy. “AMS will not just study cities and their citizens; it will mobilize them,” states the center’s proposal in no uncertain terms — by far the strongest language about the role citizens from any of the centers surveyed here.

see.. the strongest.. yet are they free? so how do you know..

AMS has an ambitious road map, with some 100-150 researchers at full buildout, following a ten-year path to self-sufficiency. Most cities have policy think tanks, some have urban research centers that directly support government — none have an engineering skunkworks like this.

p. 21

But as the Future Cities Lab shifts into its second five-year push, in many ways the simulation is moving to the forefront as the research product itself. The center’s “value lab”, an immersive simulation studio where researchers and Singaporean officials work together on ‘what-if?’ explorations, has proven very effective.

like – what if we set people free.. and focused on self-talk as data..? that immersive..? the revolution of everyday life ness?

p. 23

Research Frameworks

Research is the primary purpose driving investment in the expansion of urban science and informatics at universities around the world. Yet there are a wide range of approaches to defining research agendas, staffing and executing research, and disseminating results. We see at least three general approaches that have emerged:

Ad Hoc

The SENSEable City Lab at MIT embodies this approach – much of its work involves rapid engagement and experimentation with emerging hobbyist and consumer technologies such as personal drones and gestural video game controllers. These tools, when they exhibit promising characteristics for interacting in urban settings, are repurposed to inexpensively develop novel urban sensing projects.. The lab tends to pursue many small projects in parallel, with graduate students leading the bulk of the work.

center of the problem.. is a simple thing. making everyone the ie: hobbyist first. no? then study and repurpose and develop all you want.

Big Science

The Center for Urban Science and Progress has committed itself to a handful of flagship projects such as the Urban Observatory, a multi-decade sensor deployment at the Hudson Yards development project in Manhattan, and a massive data repository hosted on behalf of the City of New York. These efforts require researchers, support staff, and specialized administrative personnel such as a Chief Privacy Officer (to develop and monitor compliance with protocols for use of research data provided by external partners) to be supported over an extended period of time. This amalgamation of people, facilities, instruments and infrastructure very much embodies a ‘big science’ approach to building a research enterprise, with a national government as the only likely source of sustainable funding at the level required.

ugh. big science approach to building a research enterprise.


The Urban Center for Computation and Data takes yet a third approach, combining elements of the previous two. Leveraging both an agile project-based approach, but also bringing to bear the substantial resources of both the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, it is as director Charlie Catlett describes it, “an impromptu ensemble”. But rather than keep projects in-house, either run by students on a shoestring or the largesse of big science, the model aspires to outsource much of the key roles and work to partner organizations in a distributed collaboration.

pbl push in Ed now..

p. 24

Again these relationships map across a spectrum:

• BARI’s efforts to provide basic analytical capabilities to Boston and smaller suburban municipal governments within the context of more advanced research-based investigations.

• AMS’s intention to develop a close working relationship with Amsterdam and serve as a skunkworks and consultancy on the most pressing challenges.

• CUSP and FCL’s data warehousing functions — they are amassing larger and more well-curated collections of data about their host cities than any single entity in city government.

The focus on host cities stems quite logically from several unique aspects of data-intensive research-policy collaborations. First, it eases the access to and cost of acquiring and transferring data. For instance, CUSP’s unique close data-sharing arrangement with New York City means that it already has most of the data it will ever want in its archive, ready for use at a moment’s notice.

does it have self-talk data? if not.. it doesn’t want that in its archive… but they (cusp) are amassing larger and more well-curated collections of data about their host cities than any single entity in city govt..

p. 27

This survey has outlined a new movement in urban research, empowered by rapidly advancing capabilities and falling costs for collecting and analyzing vast amounts of data about cities. The goal of this exercise is twofold: to hold a mirror to this emerging field so that it might evaluate itself, its identity, and its collective ambitions; but also to present it to the outside world to inform dialogue about how to link it to existing research networks and real-world systems of government.


While it has accomplished a great deal in less than a decade, this movement is at a fragile moment in its infancy. If present trends continue, by 2030 this network of global universities could invest a projected $2.5 billion in new centers to pursue this agenda. There is great promise that this effort will produce new knowledge about urbanization at just the moment in human history it is most needed for good decision-making. But success is not guaranteed and many challenges remain.

p. 27

The last two years have witnessed an interesting inflection point in the broader smart cities movement with which urban science and informatics shares much common DNA. The early promises of rapid market growth and return on public investment made by technology vendors during the post-financial crisis stimulus wave have proven elusive. Yet at the same time, a slew of new consumer-focused companies are making great strides developing smart city products and services.

ok. explains much. focus is profit.

Meanwhile, some very basic challenges need to be addressed, as CUSP’s Koonin argues – “figuring out what urban science is, is a meta-goal of CUSP”, and the field needs to be put on a solid academic footing with a journal and conferences.

journal and conferences ..?

p. 28

While much of the focus today is on the growing abundance of data, and the rapid expansion of raw computational horsepower for processing data, the actual underlying science – algorithms for discovering patterns, models for simulating real-world systems, etc. — has been dramatically improving as well, by some accounts even more rapidly. We cannot overlook the concurrent advances in algorithms for data analysis, linking of data, and data visualization that are even more important than the volume of data itself.

wow. simulating real world systems. when we aren’t even living them.  – more important than volume of data. not to mention than type of data.. no?

3 challenges/suggestions for funding (this is 2nd one):

The second challenge is developing mechanisms for accelerating the transfer of new knowledge and technology from urban science and informatics to city governments where it can improve the lives of billions. But as we have seen in fields such as biomedicine, applied research that involves complex institutions, public policy and large populations is painstakingly slow. There is an urgent need for research and experimentation in mechanisms that address the institutional challenges to harnessing the fruits of this research. But currently, there is a disconnect between efforts to overhaul government use of technology and what’s happening in the halls of urban science.

seems we perpetuate the counter.. no? ie: journals/conferences… over freeing people first. because.. we now have the tech to ground that chaos.

– –

from 2nd link – cities of data – project background:

Today, a new wave of rapid global urbanization in the Global South, combined with the need to curb carbon emissions in the cities of the Global North, is driving renewed interest in the city as an object of scientific inquiry and engineering design. New institutions to pursue this agenda are appearing on an almost daily basis. And much like a century ago, they are leveraging and nurturing collaborations amongst new talent from many different fields of study and practice – who see in cities questions of great complexity.

The big question this project seeks to address then is – what happens next for urban studies, and what does it mean for the way we build, manage and live in cities? Are we at a new inflection point, like the birth of planning itself in the early 20th century? What might come out the other side of this historic process a completely new field, a dramatically changed one, or a continuation of the status quo?

a lot depends on the braveness of our experimentation.. no?

There is no such thing as a “full” city. A manifesto:

Original Tweet:


summary ish from 2016 – habitat 3 in quito

United Cities (@uclg_org) tweeted at 5:33 AM – 21 Oct 2016 :

#Habitat3 agrees #NUA creating sustainable, equitable cities for all. Ready for the implementation! #Listen2Cities (


jodhbir share on fb



This is so important…

a city is not a computer

by Shannon Mattern

Our current paradigm, the city as computer, appeals because it frames the messiness of urban life as programmable and subject to rational order.

sounds like wild city of ants ness… ie: ants may appear to be playing follow the leader.. but in truth.. no single ant is calling the shots.. 

Anthropologist Hannah Knox explains, “As technical solutions to social problems, information and communications technologies encapsulate the promise of order over disarray … as a path to an emancipatory politics of modernity.” 14 And there are echoes of the pre-modern, too. The computational city draws power from an urban imaginary that goes back millennia, to the city as an apparatus for record-keeping and information management.


“The repetitions and regimentations of the bureaucratic system” — the work of data processing, formatting, and storage — left a “deep mark,” as Mumford put it, on the early modern city.


Lewis Mumford described the city as a fundamentally communicative space, rich in information. He would reject the creeping notion that the city is simply the internet writ large.


He would remind us that the processes of city-making are more complicated than writing parameters for rapid spatial optimization. He would inject history and happenstance. The city is not a computer. This seems an obvious truth, but it is being challenged now (again) by technologists (and political actors) who speak as if they could reduce urban planning to algorithms.


When we treat data as a “given” (which is, in fact, the etymology of the word), we see it in the abstract, as an urban fixture like traffic or crowds. We need to shift our gaze and look at data in context, at the lifecycle of urban information, distributed within a varied ecology of urban sites and subjects who interact with it in multiple ways. We need to see data’s human, institutional, and technological creators, its curators, its preservers, its owners and brokers, its “users,” its hackers and critics. As Mumford understood, there is more than information processing going on here. Urban information is made, commodified, accessed, secreted, politicized, and operationalized


We need to ask: What place-based “information” doesn’t fit on a shelf or in a database? What are the non-textual, un-recordable forms of cultural memory? These questions are especially relevant for marginalized populations, indigenous cultures, and developing nations. Performance studies scholar Diana Taylor urges us to acknowledge ephemeral, performative forms of knowledge, such as dance, ritual, cooking, sports, and speech. These forms cannot be reduced to “information,” nor can they be “processed,” stored, or transmitted via fiber-optic cable. Yet they are vital urban intelligences that live within bodies, minds, and communities.

imaginary citiesDarran Anderson
how to kill a cityPeter Moskowitz

Taras Grescoe (@grescoe) tweeted at 7:44 AM – 23 Mar 2018 :

“In a quality city, a person should be able to live their entire life without a car, and not feel deprived.” —Paul Bedford

networked cities via Kevin Carson jan 2018 (83 page pdf of ie’s)
cities for housing