And That’s How the Tube Map Was Born!

We all love metro maps, which is clear regarding the franchase produced with them. Mugs, ties, tot bags,….

But, how the idea came to life is a different story.

Small Thing. Big Idea., a TED series “celebrates the lasting genius of everyday objects so perfectly designed that they changed the world around them”, presents the creation of one of the greatest maps of all times : the metro maps!

Click here to watch! Enjoy!

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Great Return of Forsaken Books: An Unexpected Library at Ankara

Garbage collectors in the Turkish capital have opened a public library comprised entirely of books once destined for the landfills. For months, the garbage men gathered forsaken books. As word of the collection spread, residents also began donating books directly.
Initially, the books were only for employees and their families to borrow. But as the collection grew and interest spread throughout the community, the library was eventually opened to the public in September of last year.
Today, the library has over 6,000 books ranging from literature to nonfiction. There is also a popular kid’s section with comic books and an entire section for scientific research. Books in English and French are also available for bilingual visitors. (CNN)
These amazing people saved abandoned books from landfill and bestowed a public library for the use of the citizens. Read the full story here.
Great job! Thank you for giving recycling a different meaning!
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The Radical Imagination

Public Seminar is a critical platform for researchers on topics varying from contemporary politics to urban issues. The Radical Imagination strand presents some brilliant works on imagination, spectacle and discourse:

A collaboration between University College London & the New School for Social Research, this Public Seminar platform provides a forum for the study of imagination and its function in contemporary political economy. Publishing original contributions from a broad range of critical theory, we will explore the futures that are being socially produced against the backdrop of financial capitalism, and the opportunities for mobilizing a radical imagination to resist political dystopia.

Editors: Chiara Bottici and Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou
Managing Editor: Lucas Ballestin

Click here to read a very interesting selection short articles, including one from me 🙂

“Have you noticed the change in the city?” – Mass Media and Housing Futures in Turkey

“Have you noticed the change in the city?”

The above slogan is from an advertisement for a branded housing project in Istanbul (Figure 1). Istanbul is changing, so do the other cities in Turkey. The change is unprecedented and controversial. The change follows the neoliberal restructuring in this country, and in this context, branded housing projects, as housing enclaves providing services and facilities exclusively for their residents, have been developed since the early 2000s. The branded housing projects are produced under certain brands and advertised extensively through mass media while implementing various branding techniques and strategies. Although their extensive development in turkey take attention, it should be noted that this type of development is far from being a unique and can be seen in many other contexts such as Latin American CountriesSingaporeIndia, and Nigeria. (Research Turkey)

I wrote a piece on framing housing in mass media and its discontents for Research Turkey.

Click here to read it!

The Inconvenient Truth about Smart Cities – There aren’t any!

Scientific American points out an important issue about smart cities: “The current reality of smart cities is that there aren’t any. At the end of the day, most so-called smart cities are just cities with a few or several standout smart projects.”

Somewhat of a catchall term for wired, ubiquitous, connected or networked cities, a smart city refers to the technological and data-driven urban systems designed for efficient, resilient and economic growth. They are supposed to be cities of the future that leverage technology and data to improve the lives of citizens and to become more proactive and responsive to the needs of the city. These goals are achieved, the theory goes, by running the city on an integrated operating system where ubiquitous broadband service and sensors master myriad city functions in real time.

The movement toward smart cities signifies attempts by public and private industry to tackle the complexity and, oftentimes, incoherence of urban design efforts to create livable and sustainable communities. However, the potential of smart cities to deliver on their goals should not be mistaken with reality of smart cities.

The current reality of smart cities is that there aren’t any. At the end of the day, most so-called smart cities are just cities with a few or several standout smart projects. (Scientific American)

Kendra Smith proposes three critical questions for any successful implementation efforts for smart cities:

How will a smart city affect social justice in my city?

What does it really cost to develop a smart city?

Who decides what the city really needs and will operate going forward? (Scientific American)

All are important points to consider while assessing the success of any smart city projects. Check the rest of the article here.

 

(Image Credit: businessinsider)

Brexit and the City: Exodus from London?

Brexit is expected to effect many industries in the UK and the finance is on the top of the list. There are various assumptions, predictions and possibilities discussed since the Brexit vote.

Reuters has recently published an analysis on the change in the city related to finance sector in London.

Will Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in 2019 damage one of its most successful industries? Some politicians and economists predict London will lose its pre-eminence as a financial centre after Brexit, although supporters of leaving the EU say Britain will benefit over the long term by being able to set its own rules. Reuters assesses the fortunes of the City through a series of indicators that suggest signs of a slowdown, but no transformative decline. (Reuters)

One of the most important indicator is the jobs in this sector in London. Although it is too early to conclude a complete exit from London. The numbers show a tendency of dropping creation of new financial jobs.

The recruiter found 51,922 new financial services jobs were created in the first seven months of this year, a 10 percent drop compared with the same period last year. This was the lowest number of jobs available since 2012. (Reuters)

(Image Credit: Reuters)

The analysis also shows a decrease in transportation.

The number of people using the underground rail network at Bank and Monument stations in the heart of the City is on course for its first fall since the final year of the global financial crisis, according to Transport for London data. In Canary Wharf — a once defunct docklands now transformed into another hub of global finance in east London — the number of people using the station continues to rise but the pace has slowed.

London City Airport, favoured by executives for flights to European cities and beyond, had a slight increase in passengers in the first six months of this year with recent figures in decline.(Reuters)

(Image Credit: Reuters)

The analysis shows that it is early to conclude a total financexit from London. However, there are strong signs of its decline in near future. All these perhaps up to the results of the Brexit negotiations undertaken currently and their results will determine the finance industry’s condition and its effects on the city itself.

Visualisation of Airbnb Through the Years

Kor Dwarshuis visualised Airbnb boom in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and New York since the foundation of Airbnb to 2017.

The maps show the striking increase in the numbers as well as the distribution and clustering of the Airbnb flats in these cities.

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The maps also pose a question of the commodification of the couch as well as the scale of the unregulated holiday lets in these major cities.

It is also quite fun to explore 🙂 Click here to see more.