Archive for the ‘cities’ Category

Have we learned nothing from the 60s UK demolitions?

Friday, November 20th, 2015

The urban planning disasters of the 1960s in Britain. We think we have learned from them, but have we?

Start watching the video at 14:00 if you don’t want to watch the whole documentary, which is a sort of myth-busting look at the 60s in England. There’s a fantastic segment on brutalism, the influence of le Corbusier, and the question of who benefited from the wholesale destruction of English towns and cities in the 60s.

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Harvey Molotch’s “The City as Growth Machine”

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

This is sociologist Harvey Molotch: like a handsomer Munch from Homicide: Life on the Street
“A city and, more generally, any locality, is conceived as the areal expression of the interests of some land-based elite.”

Harvey Molotch‘s seminal 1976 article “The City as Growth Machine”—which is still applicable today—just happened to be published the same year of the UN Habitat Conference on Settlements that took place in Vancouver (and is the subject of my upcoming book).

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The Tudor house, colonialism, white gold and toothache

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

“This is why we love the Tudor period so much, because it’s the age of discovery, and there’s a sense that anything was possible.”

“Discovery”? That’s one way of putting it.  This BBC documentary, Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home, outlines how the sudden change in house architecture and lifestyle in the Tudor era for the middling rich—merchants and yeoman farmers—was made possible by merchant trade with conquered colonies.

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Keep it in the ground! Guardian animation on solar power

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Short animation by the Guardian on solar power, as part of their “Keep it in the ground” campaign against fossil fuels. The price of solar panels has come down by 75% since 2009, and other interesting facts.

This is part 2 of the Guardian’s fight against fossil fuels and climate change, focusing on the switch to solar and hope.

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Donald Sutherland to fellow Canadians: “change the government”

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Donald Sutherland, while attending the Toronto International Film Festival, was asked about the Canadian federal election on Oct 19, 2015. Thanks to the Conservative government’s changes to the Elections Act, Sutherland as a resident of the US has been rendered unable to vote and he has been very vocal about it in the media, especially given his feelings about the current Stephen Harper government.

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“When Hipsters Dream of the 1890s” – an abridged version of my hipster essay is now in Briarpatch Magazine

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Briarpatch Magazine, one of Canada’s oldest lefty political mags, has published an abridged version of my earlier essay on heritage hipsters and colonialism redux.

If you want to read the original and longer post (with a far drier title) it is here: Settler & pioneer “heritage hipster” styles in the age of Idle No More, Chinatown gentrification, &c.

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