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The Price of Public Green Space

A New Orleans public housing development on the verge of demolition. Source: The Bag Is it possible to assign a monetary value to public green space in cities? Alex Lo recently published an assessment of methods based...

Posted February 1, 2012    

How Design Activists Hope to Turn Around Detroit

The Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) is not content with the status quo when it comes to built environment professionals — especially architects. Based at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture since 1994, it sees the...

Posted January 20, 2012    

Why Microsoft's 'Avoid Ghetto App' Takes Us the Wrong Way

Source: EURweb.comThe American Internet is atwitter after Microsoft announced last week that it had patented a mobile application technology giving pedestrians directions that avoid high-crime areas. An early story from a Seattle TV station...

Posted January 17, 2012    

Management as Design in Urban Housing Blocks

The Starrett City housing development in East New York. Source: New York Magazine Rosalie Genevro's article "Starrett City: A Home of One’s Own — With Party Walls" traces the history of a beloved modernist housing project in East...

Posted January 13, 2012    

Mapping Architectural Controversies

Aerial view of the 2012 Olympic stadium in London, one of the projects profiled by Mapping Architectural Controversies. Source: Flickr user Frans ZwartWhile we've previously mused on the agency of mapping in reconfiguring information vital to...

Posted January 11, 2012    

The Top Landscape & Architecture Posts of 2011

In selecting our list of the 10 best works of architecture and landscape architecture in 2011, we at Polis have settled on works that highlight a number of issues dear to us. This was a year of social change, a sputtering economy and fewer big...

Posted January 3, 2012    

The Town of Jesus, Bedouins & American Explorers ... via Instagram

Visiting Capernaum was a surprise. Not knowing what to expect from the dot on the map, we found ourselves at a site where Jesus strolled more than two thousand years ago. Today — during a birthday observed by many — I am reminded of the ancient town...

Posted December 27, 2011    

Why Rio+20's 'Green Economy' Approach is Not Enough

Source: Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil.During the 1992 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, most of the world's national governments agreed on the existence of a global environmental crisis. However, this agreement...

Posted December 26, 2011    

On View: 'Cities and the Things That Matter'

Cities are complex social, political and cultural ecologies. "Cities and the Things that Matter," currently on view at New York's Lombard-Freid Projects, explores the numerous rhythms, structures, stories and transactions of urban...

Posted December 20, 2011    

Podcast: Civil Rights Leaders on Modern Social Change

Unveiling ceremony for the Delta Seeds program in the U.S. state of Mississippi. Source: Delta Seeds.How do you work toward a more just world when the systems that hold it up are crumbling before your eyes?"In this period, imagination is more...

Posted December 15, 2011    

Moscow's Growing Pro-Democracy Movement

Video of last week's protests in Bolotnaya Square in Moscow. Source: Bolʹshoy Gorod (Big City).Daria Syuzeva, a recent graduate of the Strelka Institute, just sent in an account of events surrounding last week's peaceful pro-democracy...

Posted December 14, 2011    

Lessons from Ecuador's Citizen Participation Law

In April 2010, Ecuador's National Assembly passed the Citizen Participation Law — an excellent compendium for anyone interested in participatory democracy. The law defined mechanisms for direct democracy through which Ecuadorians are...

Posted December 13, 2011