Oude beelden armoede Amsterdam ~ Old Images Poverty In Amsterdam (1930)

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Contested Terrain: A Lecture With Eyal Weizman

Can architecture be a form of political intervention? This question is central to the work of Eyal Weizman, a writer, architect, and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. For this talk, Weizman discusses his approach to architecture as a research-led collaborative practice. Often working with an interdisciplinary team—artists, urbanists, forensic scientists, archaeologists, human rights advocates—he analyzes vacated buildings, maps, satellite imagery, and other spatial artifacts to unravel the contested politics in sites of conflict and violence, including Palestine, the Former Yugoslavia, and Guatemala, among others.

This lecture is presented in conjunction with Sacred Space/Contested Terrain, an interdisciplinary exhibition organized by the University of Minnesota’s Katherine E. Nash Gallery, School of Architecture, Department of Art, and Program in Religious Studies in collaboration with the Walker.

Weizman directs the European Research Council–funded project Forensic Architecture. He is one of the cofounders of the architectural collective DAAR—Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency—in Beit Sahour, Palestine. His books include The Least of all Possible Evils (2012), Mengele’s Skull (with Tom Keenan, 2012) Hollow Land (2007), and A Civilian Occupation (2003). Weizman is a regular contributor and an editorial board member for several journals and magazines, including Humanity, Cabinet, and Inflexions, and has lectured extensively around the world.

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Sabrina Iovino ~ Smokey Mountain: A Walk Through The Slums Of Manila, Philippines

Photo: Sabrina Iovino

Photo: Sabrina Iovino

I left the upscale neighborhood Makati by taxi and headed towards the north of Manila, towards Tondo. I was on my way to visit Smokey Mountain, one of Manila’s slums and the largest dumpsite where over 25,000 people pick up garbage for a living. The sad truth is, Smokey Mountain is one of the most impoverished areas in the world.

See: http://www.justonewayticket.com/smokey-mountain

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Brent Toderian ~The 100 “Best” Books On City-Making Ever Written?

pile-of-bookFebruary 2015. I usually don’t associate happiness with things, “stuff,” material goods, but I have to admit that there are few things that make me happier than my books. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved libraries and book stores, and when I saw that a childhood friend’s home had a room full of floor-to-ceiling book shelves, I knew that one day I would have to have a room like that. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever embrace the growing trend of downloading books on tablets – for me, there’s simply nothing quite like sitting in my “library” (the enclosed balcony in our downtown apartment), surrounded by my favourite books on city-making.

I like to claim that I have the most extensive library of books on urbanism of any city-making practitioner – at least for any non-professor! If anyone would care to challenge my possible self-delusion, bring it on!

Read more: http://www.planetizen.com/

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The Cities Papers ~ An Essay Collection From The Decent City Initiative

cities-headerJanuary 2015. How can the core characteristics of big cities be mobilized to make human life more just and democratic? Premised on the centrality of urban space to human experience and the great challenges and opportunities produced by urban concentration across the globe, the Social Science Research Council’s initiative on The Decent City seeks to deepen understanding and improve practice by creating interactions among social scientists, humanists, architects, designers, and urban planners. The Cities Papers are thought pieces produced by scholars and practitioners from all these perspectives who participated in several gatherings to further shape the initiative’s agenda.

Read more: http://citiespapers.ssrc.org/

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World Urbanization Prospects The 2014 Revision

WUPIntroduction
In today’s increasingly global and interconnected world, over half of the world’s population (54 per cent) lives in urban areas although there is still substantial variability in the levels of urbanization across countries. The coming decades will bring further profound changes to the size and spatial distribution of the global population. The continuing urbanization and overall growth of the world’s population is projected to add 2.5 billion people to the urban population by 2050, with nearly 90 per cent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. At the same time, the proportion of the world’s population living in urban areas is expected to increase, reaching 66 per cent by 2050.
There is great diversity in the characteristics of the world’s urban environs: close to half of urban dwellers reside in relatively small settlements of less than 500,000 inhabitants, while nearly one in eight live in the 28 mega-cities of 10 million inhabitants or more. The number of mega-cities has nearly tripled since 1990; and by 2030, 41 urban agglomerations are projected to house at least 10 million inhabitants each. Whereas several decades ago most of the world’s largest urban agglomerations were found in the more developed regions, today’s large cities are concentrated in the global South, and the fastest-growing agglomerations are mediumsized cities and cities with 500,000 to 1 million inhabitants located in Asia and Africa.

Read more (PDF)http://esa.un.org/WUP2014-Highlights.pdf

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