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!

newsweek:

“Enter Pyongyang” is another stunning collaboration between city-­branding pioneer JT Singh and flow-motion videographer Rob Whitworth. Blending time-lapse photography, acceleration and slow motion, HD and digital animation, they have produced a cutting‐edge panorama of a city hardly known, but one emerging on the visitor’s landscape as North Korea’s opening unfolds.

North Korea was the last country seemingly immune to change—but no longer. Recent years have witnessed mobile phone penetration, a surge in tourists, and even a marathon. Numerous special economic zones have been launched in cooperation with China, Russia, and South Korea, with railways planned linking all countries in the region. “Enter Pyongyang” captures not just the city, but this dynamism and sense of potential.

This video is the single most significant multi-­media contribution to transcending clichés about North Korea as a society defined by reclusiveness and destitution. To travel there is to witness a proud civilization, though one caught in a Cold War time-warp. Korean cultural traditions are meticulously preserved and displayed in authentic richness. Anyone who has witnessed the awe-inspiring Mass Games knows that, with great sacrifice, North Koreans can pull off a performance unparalleled in its precision.

Learning about one of the world’s most secretive cities.

Less is more: living small, living free

urbnhive:

One of my favorite things about my job is meeting future residents and hearing their many perspectives on square footage. Our residents come from a wide array of backgrounds, locations and lifestyles. Someone moving downtown Grand Rapids after years of suburban life may freak at the smallness of…

Rarely do we find happiness in a closet full of clothes we don’t wear, or a garage packed with gear and tools we forgot we had.”

sociology-of-space:

How making London greener could make Londoners happier – interactive map

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/ng-interactive/2014/aug/14/-sp-london-green-space-make-londoners-happier-interactive-map

London – with all its tarmac, brick and glass – is actually 38.4% open space and ranks as the world’s third greenest major city. Now Daniel Raven-Ellison wants to go further … and make Greater London a national park. His campaign and online petition aims to have the city treated in the same way as parks like the Peak District and the Brecon Beacons, to conserve its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage. The maps below plot open space and happiness – and attempt to show how well-being would increase if London’s green space was expanded

Further evidence that a green city is a happy city. 

permatech:

Crinkle-Crankle wall, England. (From Wiki)
The crinkle crankle wall economizes on bricks, despite its sinuous configuration, because it can be made just one brick thin. If a wall this thin were to be made in a straight line, without buttresses, it would easily topple over. The alternate convex and concave curves in the wall provide stability and help it to resist lateral forces.
Both crinkle and crankle are defined as something with bends and turns (Webster’s), but the term is also thought to come from Old English meaning zig-zag.
Many crinkle-crankle walls are found in the Fen Country of East Anglia.
[There are some in the States too: Thomas Jefferson (1743 to 1826) incorporated so-called serpentine walls into the architecture of the University of Virginia, which he founded. Flanking both sides of its landmark rotunda and extending down the length of the lawn are 10 pavilions, each with its own walled garden separated by crinkle crankle walls.]
via buffleheadcabin:vanimore

Mind blown. This wavy wall actually reduces the amount of bricks required in construction. 

permatech:

Crinkle-Crankle wall, England. (From Wiki)

The crinkle crankle wall economizes on bricks, despite its sinuous configuration, because it can be made just one brick thin. If a wall this thin were to be made in a straight line, without buttresses, it would easily topple over. The alternate convex and concave curves in the wall provide stability and help it to resist lateral forces.

Both crinkle and crankle are defined as something with bends and turns (Webster’s), but the term is also thought to come from Old English meaning zig-zag.

Many crinkle-crankle walls are found in the Fen Country of East Anglia.

[There are some in the States too: Thomas Jefferson (1743 to 1826) incorporated so-called serpentine walls into the architecture of the University of Virginia, which he founded. Flanking both sides of its landmark rotunda and extending down the length of the lawn are 10 pavilions, each with its own walled garden separated by crinkle crankle walls.]

via buffleheadcabin:vanimore

Mind blown. This wavy wall actually reduces the amount of bricks required in construction. 

(via goingurban)

Google “cities as an organism” and you’ll find everything from TED talks to blog posts to academic papers on the topic. There’s no shortage of suggestions that collective actions in cities are like an urban metabolism.

The immense amount of data generated in cities can offer us an improved understanding of how everything from water to waste to people to cargo moves around.

Which is exactly what .FABRIC and James Corner Field Operations have done as part of their new show at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, which runs until August 23rd.

Find out more about their digital mapping of Rotterdam in our latest post