ideas for cities

This Big City on tumblr is your source for ideas that can make cities better. It is curated by Joe Peach and Lucas Lindsey.

Joe founded This Big City in 2009. He is a Marketing professional and works in one of London's most sustainable buildings.

Lucas is an urbanist, futurist, and blogger. He's the child of a suburban nation, but born again believer in an urban future. He lives in Tallahassee, USA.

If you have an idea you'd like to share, click the submit button!

soundbitecity:

No Surface Without a Seat

Berlin isn’t the warmest of places, so I was continually surprised by the amount of outdoor seating around the city.  In some neighborhoods, sidewalk cafes, public benches, beer gardens, or terraces seemed to be at every turn.  But what surprised me even more than the sheer amount of seating, was the seemingly ad-hoc, improvised, or innovative nature of many of the options.  Anywhere there was a surface or some extra space, you were bound to find a cushion, a folding chair, a crate, or some recycled materials inviting you to sit down and take a break.  It wasn’t limited to restaurants and bars either - cushions and chairs could be found on the steps, ledges, sidewalks, and street corners outside of clothing stores, gift shops, and all sorts of other random places.

My visit was in April, presumably the time of year when these chairs and cushions first emerge from winter storage.  I’d be curious to take walk through the city in summertime to see them in greater use, and to see if even more sprout up.  It must create an impressively vibrant street life.

Photos taken April, 2014

Take a seat!

Prefab Home, out from Taschen, documents the history of the factory-made house and features today's most innovative designs. Here, the WeeHouse, inspired by the basic principles of sustainable design--building small and efficiently.

fastcodesign:

The World’s Coolest Prefab Houses

These houses, which can be plopped down nearly anywhere—on roofs, in deserts, on riverbanks—offer stylish alternatives to mobile homes for the contemporary nomad. Some can be built up in the course of a day, then broken down again, like giant Legos. And, as we all know by now, such homes are far more eco-friendly than resource-guzzling McMansions.

Read more>

Prefab is brilliant. More prefab please. 

(via fastcompany)

sprawlnation:

No, Bike Lanes Don’t Cause Crazy Congestion
While they do increase congestion, the effect is minimal. The Fast Company article does stress that roads should be selected based on their existing design in order to deal with the realities of car reliant cities. Pushing to hard to make bike lanes work in less pedestrian freindly areas could have detreminal effects. Congestion that slows emergency responsiveness is an example.
While the article is light on content, the headline alone is enough of an eye-grabber to start a conversation about when, where and how fast, bike lanes appear on our roadways.
  High-res

sprawlnation:

No, Bike Lanes Don’t Cause Crazy Congestion

While they do increase congestion, the effect is minimal. The Fast Company article does stress that roads should be selected based on their existing design in order to deal with the realities of car reliant cities. Pushing to hard to make bike lanes work in less pedestrian freindly areas could have detreminal effects. Congestion that slows emergency responsiveness is an example.

While the article is light on content, the headline alone is enough of an eye-grabber to start a conversation about when, where and how fast, bike lanes appear on our roadways.

[Planning Professor Reid] Ewing tracked fewer fatal car crashes in counties with less sprawl. More densely populated counties actually had more car crashes (more traffic), but fatalities were lower. So a person living in Walker County, Georgia, is three times as likely to be killed in a car crash than a person living in Denver County, Colorado.

Urban Sprawl: Get Fat, Stay Poor, And Die In Car Crashes : a new report on metro density says it straight: quality of life improves in compact cities | Fastcodesign.com, 4/7/14 (via atlurbanist)