Labadie Collection: Hidden Treasures Now Online!

A very timely collection has been released online by University of Michigan, Labadie Collection, reminding the US its resistance history!

We are excited to share with everyone these Labadie Collection posters. Acquired over the past 100 years, they range in topics from anarchism (our strongest collecting area) to civil liberties, anti-colonialism, anti-war/pacifism, feminism, labor, youth and student protest, ecology, Occupy, and more. Due to their format, until now, we have only been able to provide very limited access. Our hope is that they will get more use now that everyone can view them. (UMICH)

Good job UMICH, click here to amaze yourselves 😉

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Wait.. What!? Steampunk-themed Condo!

Well,  I must admit, I love steampunk!

The first thing to say is that this is not steampunk, but a farce Victorian themed selling campaign.

The project is No.15 Renwick, which is located in New York city near Hudson Squareç. The location is defined as the last underdeveloped corner of Manhattan by Observer.

hudson square 01 Hudson Square Rising: Last Corner of Undeveloped Manhattan Starts Rezoning Process Monday

Image Credit: Observer

The project is self-avowed as steampunk to attract rich hipsters to this ’boutique’ condo development.

A new luxury development called 15 Renwick in New York is giving built form to steampunk. That’s right, steampunk: that dark, Victoriana-obsessed cousin of Renaissance festivals and Star Trek conventions is now a theme for condos. I’m sorry to report that it gets worse: Steampunk is the entire pitch for the building. (cityLab)

The condo’s campaign uses the theme to attract residents and buyers by also using the ‘characters’:

Image IGI-USA

I have to say that I am quite curious about the responses to such campaign as well. Especially to steampunk boxer!?

Do these characters make you want to live in such an apartment building? Do you want to be like one of these characters? Does the imaginary life they are presenting attractive?

The sales of the units have even been launched by a costume party. It is a striking example showing how far using theming can go in promoting urban spaces. The campaign packages a themed life for the residents with every detail. Let’s check cityLab’s analysis of one of the visuals the project uses:

Let’s take stock of what this rich hipster’s boutique life entails:

—Tome with quill and ink, for writing one’s paper Tumblr
—Vast cape draped over the chair
—There is definitely an airship out the window
—Not just a carafe of cognac, but an artfully spilled goblet
—That hair tho
—Marble bust on an Isamu Noguchi coffee table
—Are those shields? (cityLab)

Seriously, are those shields?

No further questions..

How Much Is Your Neighbourhood Worth?

We pay not for the neighborhood itself, but for the access the neighborhood affords us to other people, as well as jobs and or amenities. (cityLab)

New study exemines the willingness to pay the amount of the paycheck for rent and its relationship with the characteristics of the neighbourhoods and amenities provided in those in US.

Driving to Opportunity: Local Rents, Wages, Commuting, and Sub-Metropolitan Quality of Life by David Albouya and Bert Lueb

The study reveals many important aspects which people are taking into consideration while prefering to live in a neighbourhood.

According to the research, people are willing to pay the most for three things:

People will pay more for better, well-funded schools.
People will pay more to live in less dangerous places.
People will pay for access to more bars and restaurants. (cityLab)

The research provides important clues regarding commodification of urban space and access right to urban spatial infrastructure. Details of the researach can be found here.

However, the study does an audacious move by identifying the “willingness-to-pay” with “quality of life” by calling their index as quality of life index.

We combine the rent, wage, and commuting differentials to estimate average local willingness-to-pay – or, “quality of life” – from Eq. (Albouya and Lueb)

Athough it is very true that the access right to urban infrastructure is a part of the quality of life, it is also very controversial to call the index of willingness-to-pay as the index of quality of life .

(Image Credit: CityLab)

The Compactness/Sprawl index

 

A very comprehensive work (The U.S. Cities That Sprawled the Most (and Least) Between 2000 and 2010) about sprawl and compactness of cities in the US, worth to have a look:

A new report from Reid Ewing and Shima Hamidi of the University of Utah, lead researchers on the aforementioned rankings, gets at that question. Ewing and Hamidi scored the largest 162 U.S. urbanized areas on the Sprawl Index — or, if you’re feeling optimistic, the Compactness Index — for 2010. (Urbanized areas reflect development better than fixed metro area boundaries do.) Then they applied the index to the same cities in 2000 to show the change over time.

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(Image credit: CityLab)