Raul Dancel ~ Dreaming Of Own Home In Manila’s Slums

A row of decrepit apartments built on government land in Baclaran, a sprawling poor district south of Manila. In 1946, there were about 46,000 slum dwellers in Manila. Now, metropolitan Manila is host to about 2.1 million slum dwellers. -ST PHOTO: RAUL DANCEL

A row of decrepit apartments built on government land in Baclaran, a sprawling poor district south of Manila. In 1946, there were about 46,000 slum dwellers in Manila. Now, metropolitan Manila is host to about 2.1 million slum dwellers. -ST PHOTO: RAUL DANCEL

MANILA • I grew up in one of the many slums scattered all around metropolitan Manila. Ours was just south of Manila, in Baclaran, a district known for a sprawling shrine dedicated to the version of the Virgin Mary known as the Lady of Perpetual Help.
It was fitting, really. I always felt our neighbourhood was in perpetual need of help. We lived in one of the upper floors of a row of decrepit two-storey flats our landlord somehow managed to build on land he did not own. It was government land.

It was in the middle of thousands of shacks that were really nothing more than cardboard, plywood and tin sewn together with nails, chicken wire and adhesive tape covered with galvanised steel and held in place with cement blocks, used tyres and other heavy debris.

Read more: http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/dreaming-of-own-home-in-manilas-slums

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The University of Chicago Press ~ The History Of Cartography

CartographyThe first volume of the History of Cartography was published in 1987 and the three books that constitute Volume Two appeared over the following eleven years. In 1987 the worldwide web did not exist, and since 1998 book publishing has gone through a revolution in the production and dissemination of work. Although the large format and high quality image reproduction of the printed books (see right column) are still well-suited to the requirements for the publishing of maps, the online availability of material is a boon to scholars and map enthusiasts.

On this site the University of Chicago Press is pleased to present the first three volumes of the History of Cartography in PDF format. Navigate to the PDFs from the left column. Each chapter of each book is a single PDF. The search box on the left allows searching across the content of all the PDFs that make up the first six books.

“An important scholarly enterprise, the History of Cartography … is the most ambitious overview of map making ever undertaken …. People come to know the world the way they come to map it—through their perceptions of how its elements are connected and of how they should move among them. This is precisely what the series is attempting by situating the map at the heart of cultural life and revealing its relationship to society, science, and religion…. It is trying to define a new set of relationships between maps and the physical world that involve more than geometric correspondence. It is in essence a new map of human attempts to chart the world.”—Edward Rothstein, New York Times

“It is permitted to few scholars both to extend the boundaries of their field of study and to redefine it as a discipline. Yet that is precisely what The History as a whole is doing.”—Paul Wheatley, Imago Mundi

“A major scholarly publishing achievement.… We will learn much not only about maps, but about how and why and with what consequences civilizations have apprehended, expanded, and utilized the potential of maps.”—Josef W. Konvitz, Isis

Go to: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/HOC/index.html

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Sibusiso Tshabalala ~ This Nigerian Architect Wants To Turn Africa’s Water Slums Into Floating Cities

An artist’s impression of what the Makoko water settlement could look like(Photo from NLÈ website)

An artist’s impression of what the Makoko water settlement could look like(Photo from NLÈ website)

Nigerian architect Kunlè Adeyemi is re-imagining African’s water slums as floating islands.

Nearly 70% of Africa’s capital cities—like Lagos, Luanda and Kinshasa—are near water, with many urban dwellers living in bungalows, wooden structures and shacks on water. But rising sea levels, increasing rainfall and climate change threaten many of these structures, leaving water slum residents vulnerable to flooding.

Read more: http://qz.com/this-nigerian-architect-wants-to-turn-africas-water-slums-into-floating-cities/

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Stephanie Kitchen ~ Guest blog: ‘Publish Or Perish In African Studies: New Ways To Valorize Research

publish-or-perish11The well attended panel (with standing room only) raised a number of salient points and debates about publishing in Africa and African Studies. Hartmut Bergenthum introduced the panel that aimed to bring together academics, publishers and librarians to discuss the changes from traditional (print) to new (digital) publishing models and how they are used to support and valorize research.

Jos Damen (ASC, Leiden) helpfully identified the main current models of journal publication. Journals are funded by (i) subscriptions, (ii) organizations and institutions, or (iii) are open access funded by authors; or else they are a hybrid of these models. Looking at the top ten journals in African Studies as measured by Impact Factor, it is noticeable that only one of these is fully open access – Africa Spectrum, funded by the German GIGA Institute of African Affairs.

Read more: https://tondietz.wordpress.com/publish-or-perish

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Michael Eric Dyson ~ Think Out Loud. An Emerging Black Digital Intelligentsia Has Embraced Online Technology To Change American Ideas

bulbTWENTY YEARS AGO, less than two years after I’d received my doctorate in religion from Princeton, I appeared with Cornel WestDerrick Bell, and bell hooks in an illustration accompanying an article in The New Yorker about the rise of a new generation of black public intellectuals. Those were heady times. “A new African American intelligentsia has become part of this country’s cultural landscape,” wrote literary scholar Michael Bérubé. “It’s a development as noticeable as the ascendancy of the New York intellectuals after the Second World War.”
The comparison was apt. Like the New York intellectuals, we had come to prominence as a group, our race a defining feature of identification and struggle in the same way that their Jewishness had supplied inspiration and subject matter. Many New York intellectuals were leftists searching for a Marxist and anti-Stalinist alternative to Soviet communism; many black public intellectuals were also leftists, who grappled with the enchanting, if insular, siege of black nationalism while combating the unheroic ubiquity of  white supremacy.

Read more: http://www.newrepublic.com/think-out-loud

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Linda Poon ~ Mapping The ‘Urban Fingerprints’ Of Cities

UrbanLike humans, cities and neighborhoods have their own unique fingerprints. While genes determine ours, a city’s mark is characterized by the relationship between buildings and open spaces. Think of it as “spatial DNA,” which is typically mapped out by urban designers and researchers in black-and-white diagrams. Black shapes indicate buildings and white represent the open ground.

“These are useful tools to [visualize] the micro-scale of urban [neighborhoods] and understand how buildings and their surroundings succeed or fail in making a continuous and integrated urban whole,” Peter Griffiths, editorial officer of the Cities Research Center at London School of Economics and Political Science, says in an email. The maps were created by researchers at the center’s Urban Age program, who have been studying how the layout of rapidly urbanizing cities can affect their livability. Researchers used satellite photography and official city data to create the maps.

Read more: http://www.citylab.com/housing/mapping-the-urban-fingerprints

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