cities

“Oleksandr Burlaka claims that the most valuable feature of communist urban spaces lies in their “spatial freedom”, which is “sometimes naive, but a clear urban logic without over-regulation”. As an example, he singles out the Rusanivka district in Kiev, where standard prefab towers of the 1970s are integrated with canals and embankments. Although the built-in water fountains were broken years ago, “it’s still the place for walking, bathing, meeting, with open-air barbecues even in winter”.” – Soviet squares: how public space is disappearing in post-communist cities

“give the example of Kansas and Missouri fighting for state taxes when instead they should become a joint agro-business powerhouse. I talk about Kentucky and Tennessee fighting about low-wage automobile plants when they should become an advanced manufacturing powerhouse. Only by aggregating on a functional scale are we going to get these regions of America to be more competitive.” – Cities are the New Nations

“Mason Porter, professor of nonlinear and complex systems at the University of Oxford, said: “We know that there is empirical evidence for some cognitive limit – how many digits people can memorise from phone numbers, or how many moving objects.”

Now, he added: “Cities and their transportation networks have grown to the point where they have reached a level of complexity that is beyond human processing capability to navigate around them.”” – Transport maps in big cities baffle human brain, says study

“The global obsession of our age is competing everywhere with everyone for everything. In the mainstream imaginary, every city has to chase competitive success in a league table where it secures prosperity by getting ahead of others.

Our premise is that competition is the wrong kind of imaginary; that we are trapped by an idea of the externally competitive city as a basis for economic success. The content and meaning of that success then goes largely unexamined until somebody notices that prosperity is manifestly failing to trickle down and the tax system actually reinforces income inequality.” – How to build a fairer city

“The success of a city should not be measured externally by relative size and the ability to come first ahead of equals; rather, the measure should be a city’s internal ability to distribute mundane goods and services which ensure the civilised life of the largest number of its people.” – How to build a fairer city

“In the same way that the heart does not care which life it beats for, the city does not care who fulfills its various functions. When everyone who moves around the city today is dead … the sound of people’s comings and goings, following the same old patterns, will still ring out. The only new thing will be the faces.” – Karl Ove Knausgaard is Your Favorite Author’s Favorite Author