Life In The Slums – Industrial Revolution To Progressive Era

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Ann Seltman Smart ~ A Is For Architecture

A vintage film (mid-1960’s) on the importance of architecture in everyday life. Produced by Ann Seltman Smart, formerly of WPTF-AM in Raleigh, North Carolina. Narrated by Ted Daniel.

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Valeria Luiselli ~ Trespassers On The Rooftops: A Secret History Of Mexico City’s Cultural Revolutionaries

UllsesMexico City rooftops – azoteas – are usually flat. A parapet wall encloses the roof area, creating a kind of open-air patio, less visible to neighbours than the common interior patios of colonial and neocolonial buildings, and not easily accessed by visitors.

The rapidly expanding city of the 1920s housed its working classes either in these small rooftop rooms (cuartos de azotea), or in the more well-known vecindades, Mexico’s version of tenement buildings. Brought to Mexico during the conquest in the 16th century, but transformed into the sort of living quarters we know today during the mid-19th century, the vecindades were the typical dwelling space for working-class families, and in them the urban lumpen were crammed into small rooms that surrounded a common patio. While these were occupied by members of the working classes whose jobs did not provide room and board, such as factory workers, builders, or street-vendors, the cuartos de azotea were occupied by maids and servants, usually migrants from the provinces, who worked for the family that lived downstairs.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/trespassers-on-the-rooftops

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British Pathé ~ Housing Problems (1973)


Location unknown – probably a Northern town in England.

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British Pathé ~ Housing Problems (1950-1959)


This is Pinewood Stock Cans material.

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Urban Joburg

urbanjoburgJoburg is a complex city. On the one hand, its (too) high crime rates, its traffic problems, its smog, its secluded suburbs and the large gap between rich and poor reflect a harsh reality that makes Joburg not exactly the easiest city to live in.

But on the other hand, beneath this tough exterior is a city that is almost caring, and that grips you in its all encompassing embrace. Its vivacious vibe, its engaging range of entertainment, its spectacular sunsets and its cosmopolitan citizenry somehow keep you enchanted and alive to this city’s magic.

It’s a paradox, but we think that’s really what defines Joburg. You cannot make sense of it. It doesn’t want you to make sense of it, nor will it present itself on a silver platter to you. It will allow you though to engage with it, and to find out not only what makes Joburg, Joburg, but what makes YOU a Joburger.

Urban Joburg and its sister site, JoziGram, are our way of engaging with this mammoth city, and also of allowing you a space to engage with it, think about it, interogate it, and love it. Hope you enjoy them.

Our History:
Urban Joburg was founded by Thomas Coggin in September 2009, who edited the blog up until May 2015 with Marius Pieterse. Since then it has grown to include over 4000 followers on both its Facebook and Twitter pages. The blog is edited at present by Julie-Ann Tyler. Julie-Ann is a Masters student in architecture, also at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Read morehttp://www.urbanjoburg.com/

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