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What the Nordic nations can teach us about liveable cities - BBC Worklife
“Inclusivity issue?

But others working in the field are more sceptical about the idea of singling out Nordic methods as a global ideal worthy of their own postgraduate programme.

“There is a great paradox between how Sweden, Norway and Denmark sell themselves and what is actually the case,” argues James Taylor Foster, a British curator at ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design in Stockholm. He says that the Nordic concept of Jantelagen, which discourages standing out from the crowd, can hinder frank conversations about challenges and the need to adapt for the future. “Urban planning should be about inclusivity and I am not sure how inclusive the region is in reality, in relation to how it can often describe itself,” says Taylor Foster, who is trained in architecture.

There is a great paradox between how Sweden, Norway and Denmark sell themselves and what is actually the case – James Taylor Foster
One issue he believes deserves particular attention is the region’s dwindling stock of affordable housing. Many major urban hubs including Copenhagen, Stockholm and even Tromsø are experiencing a squeeze amid rapid population growth, gentrification and increased tourism. This has led to increased segregation as lower earners are forced further out of city centres and exacerbated integration challenges following record immigration, especially in Sweden.

In Stockholm, for example, outer suburbs such as Tensta and Rinkeby are largely populated by low-income immigrant families. While these areas comprise well-maintained apartment blocks, parks, pedestrianised shopping areas and subway stops connecting them to the city centre, Taylor Foster argues that residents can still feel isolated and may find their interaction with city services limited.

“If you need to go to a specialist hospital, they are largely in the centre of the city. Tax offices, museums… they are largely in the centre,” says Taylor Foster. “But some low-income families simply can’t afford a monthly SL [Stockholm public transport] pass, which is set to get even more expensive in the new year.” He argues that mobility – physical, cultural and social – needs to be prioritised in future. “We need to be able to think in a holistic way that allows engagement and experimentation. Practically speaking, public transport within a city could be completely free of charge,” he says.

We could learn a lot from other places that experiment and test ideas quickly – Jordan Valentin Lane
Jordan Valentin Lane, an Australian-born sustainability strategist and architect who works in Södertälje, a municipality south of the Swedish capital, describes urban planning practice as “quite homogenous”, with middle-class locals tending to dominate the field. This, he argues, can promote a limited perspective, while the region’s penchant for strict rules and consensus-based decisions can sometimes limit innovation. “Cities are works in progress, but sometimes things take too long, we could learn a lot from other places that experiment and test ideas quickly.”

However, Valentin Lane argues that courses like the Nordic urban planning master’s programme can play a positive role in promoting diversity in the field. “We can learn in the Nordics from hiring people with international backgrounds,” he says. “They have different ways of knowing the world and what’s possible. They take with them a whole history of place-making and city-making that may not have even been considered in the Nordics”.

He cites the example of outdoor pavement seating areas at city centre restaurants and cafes, a concept popular in other European cities which experienced “a real push-back” from city officials when planners suggested introducing it to Stockholm the 1970s. This kind of al fresco experience proved highly popular, despite Sweden’s cooler climate, with bars and restaurants now allowed to open their outdoor areas from April until October.

Valentin Lane also believes international students have much to gain from working in the region. “There is a good level of English, generous parental leave which you don’t get in other countries, and a lot more discussion and research being done from critical perspectives.”

Adapting the Nordic way

Back at Roskilde University, David Pinder says he is aware of the danger of “presenting a too celebratory perspective on Nordic urban planning”. He says the course also raises “critical questions” about past and present regional projects and hopes that it will help play a role in solving future issues.

“As cities grow and become prosperous, we really need to look at the downsides of that development, especially questions about affordability and growing inequality,” he argues. “What is meant by liveability, is this potentially an exclusive agenda and how can it address these problems of inequality and social justice? [This] will be a key area of debate in the coming years.”

Students take part in regular discussions with practitioners who are already starting to deal with these challenges, including local municipalities, urban consulting firms and non-profit organisations. Pinder hopes some of these practitioners will hire students after they graduate or inspire them to embark on their own planning projects. Meanwhile there are signs that the international students are already bringing a critical perspective to the table.

Leo Couturier Lopez argues that while he appreciates living near parks, having wide streets and the trend for low-rise buildings in Denmark, he believes that Copenhagen could become more attractive by densifying, rather than focusing on creating new areas such Lynetteholmen, a new island which is set to provide 35,000 new homes east of the city centre.

He also misses Paris’ buzzing late-night restaurant and cafe culture; in Copenhagen he is “sometimes a bit disappointed” with the social life in some residential neighbourhoods. “Copenhagen could develop and revitalise its existing centralities with small restaurants, small shops and little cafes and affordable houses, rather than the risk of creating lifeless new neighbourhoods.”

The region is perhaps best used as a source of inspiration for other cities, rather than as a direct guide to ‘copy and paste’
It’s an observation that has recently started to enter mainstream social and political debate, following studies suggesting that Nordics countries are some of the most challenging for expats and immigrants to make friends in, while concerns about social isolation and loneliness among the local population have also come to the fore.

Student Camilla Boye Mikkelsen says she will likely remain biased towards Nordic planning methods in future, having grown up in Copenhagen. But for her, a key takeaway from the course so far is that the region is perhaps best used as a source of inspiration for other cities, rather than as a direct guide to “copy and paste”.

“Saying ’now we are going to make London into a bike-friendly city like Copenhagen’ might not be the right thing to do,” she argues. “London is way busier and a stressful city where there are always people around.”

“If you were to be inspired by the Nordic perspective on planning, the most important thing would not be to directly copy and put it on your city, but instead think: how can I adapt the Nordic model to our city and how our city works and our city’s unique rhythms?””
cities  society  nordiccountries  scandinavia  sweden  denmark  2019  urban  urbanism  planning  urbanplanning  inclusivity  inclusion  jordanvalentinlane  jantelagen  jamestaylorfoster  copenhagen  tromsø  stockholm  norway 
9 weeks ago by robertogreco
What It Would Take to Set American Kids Free | The New Yorker
"My trip coincided with the publication of “The Anti-Helicopter Parent’s Plea: Let Kids Play!” in the Times Magazine, a masterful bit of parental trolling whose comment section reached a symbolic two thousand and sixteen entries before it was closed. The dozens of adventure playgrounds in Tokyo offer, as a public amenity, what Mike Lanza (the “anti-helicopter parent” in question) says he created in his private Menlo Park, California, back yard: a challenging and unscheduled place for physical play that is largely free of parental supervision. Lanza is far from alone in believing that American children have a play problem. Take a look at Lenore Skenazy’s Free-Range Kids blog, which is peppered with reports of cops and child-protective services being called when parents leave their kids to play unsupervised. Lanza’s own book, “Playborhood,” describes the kids-can’t-play problem as both a social one and a spatial one. Without broader community support, such back-yard attempts at free play like his are doomed to become exercises in vanity. Look at them on the roof! My kids are more resilient than yours!

The overprogrammed, oversterilized, overprotected lives of (some of) America’s youth are the result of a nexus of changes to work life, home life, and street life that have made bringing up babies into a series of consumer choices, from unsubsidized day care forward. It is the public realm—where the Tokyo playgrounds operate—that needs to change for American children to have unstructured afternoons and weekends, for them to bike and walk between school and the playground, to see packs of kids get together without endless chains of parental texts. Kawasaki City, where Kodomo Yume Park is located, created its own Ordinance on the Rights of the Child, in 2001, which includes an article promising to make “secure and comfortable places for children.”

But independence requires infrastructure. Hanegi Playpark was founded in 1975 by Kenichi Omura, a landscape architect, and his wife Shoko Omura, an English teacher. They translated the key book on adventure play into Japanese and then travelled to Europe to meet with the woman who was their prime mover from the nineteen-fifties on: Lady Allen of Hurtwood. Lady Allen had seen the first such “junk playground” in Emdrup, outside Copenhagen, where it became a refuge for youth then under German occupation. She spent subsequent decades as a “propagandist for children’s play.” In Tokyo, a low crime rate and a society accustomed to community ownership of public space has created, around Hanegi and approximately thirteen other such parks, a city where there is more room for innocent error.

The road to Kodomo Yume Park (which means “children’s dream”) was narrow and winding, and there was no sidewalk for much of the way. And yet it was safe, because the tiny cars knew to look for pedestrians and cyclists, and drove at slower speeds. There were people in the houses and stores along the route, and few of the buildings were more than three or four stories tall, offering “eyes on the street” as well as adults who might be appealed to for help. The neighborhood, like the adventure playground, operated as a safety net, ready in case of trouble but not often deployed. A mother who was camped out at Yume Park with five children, the youngest a three-month-old, told me a story—hilarious for her—that would have been a nightmare for me. Her two-year-old, who had observed his five-year-old brother being sent to the corner to buy bread, decided he could do the same, and turned up at the shop with an empty wallet. I looked around at the protected bike lanes, the publicly funded playground workers, and the houses where people are home in the afternoon. Do I wish that my kids—who are five and nine**—**could roll on their own from school to the park, meet friends, and appear on the doorstep at 5 p.m., muddy, damp, and full of play? I do, but then I think of the Saturdays dominated by sports schedules, the windswept winter playgrounds, the kids hit by cars in crosswalks, with the light. It isn’t the idea of my kids holding a hammer or saw that scares me but the idea of trying to make community alone.

At the adventure playgrounds, the kids build the equipment they need under the hands-off supervision of play workers trained to facilitate but not to interfere. I’ve read the diary of the first play worker, John Bertelsen, who ran the adventure playground that Lady Allen visited at Emdrup. His account of the day-to-day in 1943 sounds quite similar to what I observed in 2016.
At 10:45 am today the playground opened . . . We began by moving all the building material in the open shed. Bricks, boards, fireposts and cement pillars were moved to the left alongside the entrance, where building and digging started right away. The work was done by children aged 4 to 17. It went on at full speed and all the workers were in high spirits; dust, sweat, warning shouts and a few scratches all created just the right atmosphere. The children’s play- and work-ground had opened, and they knew how to take full advantage of it.

The do-it-yourself rule is, to a certain extent, self-limiting, as towers built with simple tools are shorter than those ordered from catalogues. I saw plenty of children up on roofs—the rule was, if you can climb up without a ladder, relying on your own strength and ingenuity, it’s O.K. In a documentary on The Land, a Welsh adventure playground, a play worker describes the difference between risk and hazard: a risk you take on knowingly; a hazard is unexpected, like a nail sticking out of a board. The play workers are there to remove hazards and leave the risks.

Journalism about adventure play tends to emphasize the danger, but these spaces actually need to be seen as exceptionally porous community centers, in which lots of social activities, for parents and children, occur. “Risky play” is a way for children to test their own limits, and because the parks are embedded in residential communities they can do so at their own pace. Hitoshi Shimamura, who runs the organization Tokyo Play, told me that he has sessions to teach parents to use the tools, because their fear derived from their own lack of experience. Kids also need time to ease into the freedom and figure out which activity most appeals to them. If adventure play were to become permanent in New York, it would do better as a permanent fixture in a neighborhood than as a weekend destination. At a temporary adventure playground set up by Play:Ground on Governors Island this summer, a sign on the fence read, “Your children are fine without advice and suggestions,” though legally, children under six had to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The “adventure” can be with water, with tools, with real fire, or just with pretend kitchen equipment, allowing the parks to appeal to a broad array of children, and over a longer period of time. What this means, in practice, is a range of activity during days, weeks, or even years. In the morning, adventure playgrounds become settings for an urban version of a forest preschool, where small children learn the basics of getting along outdoors. In the afternoon, they become a place for older kids to let off steam between school and homework; many communities in Tokyo play a public chime at five in the afternoon—a mass call that is it time to go home. On the weekends, Yume Park might ring with the hammers of children, but for teen-agers there are other options: a recording studio with padded walls; a wooden shed piled with bike parts for the taking; a quiet, shaded place for conversation. Bertelsen wrote in his diary,
Occasionally, complaints have been made that the playground does not possess a smart enough appearance, and that children cannot possibly be happy playing about in such a jumble. To this I should only like to say that, at times, the children can shape and mould [sic] the playground in such a way that it is a monument to their efforts and a source of aesthetic pleasure to the adult eye; at other times it can appear, to the adult eye, like a pigsty. However, children’s play is not what the adults see, but what the child himself experiences.

One of my favorite moments in Tokyo occurred late one afternoon at a smaller adventure playground, Komazawa Harappa, a long sliver of space in a tight residential neighborhood, masked from the street by a simple hedge. Three kids fanned the flames in a fire pit; a baby padded about a dirty pool dressed in a diaper; two small boys, hammering on a house, had remembered to take their shoes off on the porch. But not everyone felt the need to be busy. Two teen-age girls had climbed up on the roof of the play workers’ house, via a self-built platform of poles and planks, and seemed deep in conversation. Suddenly, they began to sing, their clear voices ringing out over the open space."
alexandralange  children  unschooling  deschooling  community  2016  infrastructure  parks  playgrounds  adventureplaygrounds  risk  risktaking  hazards  japan  parenting  openstudioproject  messiness  johnbertelsen  kenishiomura  ladyallen  emdrup  copenhagen  tokyo  kodomoyumepark  srg  urban  urbanism  play  lenoreskenazy  hanegiplaypark  tools  dirt  order  rules  mikelanza  supervision  safety  independence  us  shokoomura  diy  risklyplay  lcproject  tcsnmt  sfsh 
september 2018 by robertogreco
The Future of Cities – Medium
[video (embedded): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOOWk5yCMMs ]

"Organic Filmmaking and City Re-Imagining

What does “the future of cities” mean? To much of the developing world, it might be as simple as aspiring to having your own toilet, rather than sharing one with over 100 people. To a family in Detroit, it could mean having non-toxic drinking water. For planners and mayors, it’s about a lot of things — sustainability, economy, inclusivity, and resilience. Most of us can hope we can spend a little less time on our commutes to work and a little more time with our families. For a rich white dude up in a 50th floor penthouse, “the future of cities” might mean zipping around in a flying car while a robot jerks you off and a drone delivers your pizza. For many companies, the future of cities is simply about business and money, presented to us as buzzwords like “smart city” and “the city of tomorrow.”

I started shooting the “The Future of a Cities” as a collaboration with the The Nantucket Project, but it really took shape when hundreds of people around the world responded to a scrappy video I made asking for help.

Folks of all ages, from over 75 countries, volunteered their time, thoughts, work, and footage so that I could expand the scope of the piece and connect with more people in more cities. This strategy saved me time and money, but it also clarified the video’s purpose, which inspired me to put more energy into the project in order to get it right. I was reading Jan Gehl, Jane Jacobs, Edward Glaeser, etc. and getting excited about their ideas — after seeing what mattered to the people I met in person and watching contributions from those I didn’t, the video gained focus and perspective.

If I hired a production services outfit to help me film Mumbai, it would actually be a point of professional pride for the employees to deliver the Mumbai they think I want to see. If some young filmmakers offer to show me around their city and shoot with me for a day, we’re operating on another level, and a very different portrait of a city emerges. In the first scenario, my local collaborators get paid and I do my best to squeeze as much work out of the time period paid for as possible. In the second, the crew accepts more responsibility but gains ownership, hopefully leaving the experience feeling more empowered.

Architect and former mayor of Curitiba Jaime Lerner famously said “if you want creativity, take a zero off your budget. If you want sustainability, take off two zeros.” It’s been my experience that this sustainability often goes hand-in-hand with humanity, and part of what I love about working with less resources and money is that it forces you to treat people like human beings. Asking someone to work with less support or equipment, or to contribute more time for less money, requires a mutual understanding between two people. If each person can empathize for the other, it’s been my experience that we’ll feel it in the work — both in the process and on screen.

Organic filmmaking requires you to keep your crew small and your footprint light. You start filming with one idea in mind, but the idea changes each day as elements you could never have anticipated inform the bigger picture. You make adjustments and pursue new storylines. You edit a few scenes, see what’s working and what’s not, then write new scenes. Shoot those, cut them in, then go back and write more. Each part of the process talks to the other. The movie teaches itself to be a better movie. Because organic is complicated, it can be tricky to defend and difficult to scale up, but because it’s cheap and low-resource, it’s easier to experiment. Learning about the self-organizing, living cities that I did on this project informed how we made the video. And looking at poorly planned urban projects reminded me of the broken yet prevailing model for making independent film in the U.S., where so many films are bound to fail — often in a way a filmmaker doesn’t recover from — before they even begin.

Jane Jacobs said that “cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” I’ve worked on videos for companies, for the guy in the penthouse, for nobody in particular, in the developing world, with rich people and poor people, for me, for my friends, and for artists. I’m so thankful for everybody who allowed me to make this film the way we did, and I hope the parallels between filmmaking and city building — where the stakes are so much higher — aren’t lost on anyone trying to make their city a better place. We should all be involved. The most sustainable future is a future that includes us all.

“The Future of Cities” Reading List

(There’s a longer list I discovered recently from Planetizen HERE but these are the ones I got into on this project — I’m excited to read many more)

The Death and Life of American Cities by Jane Jacobs
The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward Glaeser
Cities for People and Life Between Buildings by Jan Gehl
The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life by Jonathan Rose(just came out — incredible)
Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck
The City of Tomorrow: Sensors, Networks, Hackers, and the Future of Urban Life by Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World by Wade Graham
Connectography: Mapping The Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna
Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas
Low Life and The Other Paris by Luc Sante
A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook
Streetfight: Handbook for the Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow
Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-Term Change by Mike Lydon & Anthony Garcia
Living In The Endless City, edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic

“The Future of Cities” Select Interviewees:
David Hertz & Sky Source
Vicky Chan & Avoid Obvious Architects
Carlo Ratti: Director, MIT Senseable City Lab Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati
Edward Glaeser: Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University Author of The Triumph of the City
Helle Søholt: Founding Parner & CEO, Gehl Architects
Ricky Burdett: Director, LSE Cities/Urban Age
Lauren Lockwood, Chief Digital Officer, City of Boston
Pablo Viejo: Smart Cities Expert & CTO V&V Innovations, Singapore
Matias Echanove & Urbz, Mumbai
Janette Sadik-Khan: Author, Advisor, & Former NYC DOT Commissioner
Abess Makki: CEO, City Insight
Dr. Parag Khanna: Author of Connectography
Stan Gale: CEO of Gale International, Developer of Songdo IBD
Dr. Jockin Arputham: President, Slum Dwellers International
Morton Kabell: Mayor for Technical & Environmental Affairs, Copenhagen
cities  urban  urbanplanning  urbanism  bikes  biking  cars  singapore  nyc  losangeles  janejacobs  jangehl  edwardglaeser  mumbai  tokyo  regulation  jaimelerner  curitiba  nantucketproject  carloratti  vickchan  davidhertz  hellesøholt  rickyburdett  laurenlockwood  pabloviejo  matiasechanove  urbz  janettesadik-khan  abessmakki  paragkhanna  stangale  jockinarputham  slumdwellersinternational  slums  mortonkabell  urbanization  future  planning  oscarboyson  mikelydon  anthonygarcia  danielbrook  lucsante  remkoolhaas  dayansudjic  rickyburdettsethsolomonow  wadegraham  charlesmontgomery  matthewclaudeljeffspeck  jonathanrose  transportation  publictransit  transit  housing  construction  development  local  small  grassroots  technology  internet  web  online  communications  infrastructure  services  copenhagen  sidewalks  pedestrians  sharing  filmmaking  film  video  taipei  seoul  santiago  aukland  songdo  sydney  london  nairobi  venice  shenzhen  2016  sustainability  environment  population  detroit  making  manufacturing  buildings  economics  commutes  commuting 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Why Copenhagen works: Lessons in city governance | Brookings Institution
"With such a reputation, it’s not surprising that Copenhagen has become a required stop for city builders of all stripes looking for smart techniques and tactics like enclosed bike lanes, district heating, innovative transit financing, and internal green courtyards.

But this exercise misses an important point. While acknowledging the value in a search for the discrete, replicable solution, we contend the reason for Copenhagen’s success runs deeper than having progressive ideas. Rather, it is rooted in fundamentals of sound governance. Copenhagen’s municipal government is powerful, and that enhances the city’s ability to make strategic decisions that span decades and mayoral terms. The capacity of the public sector is strengthened by an educated workforce with deep technical knowledge. And collaboration across political parties, levels of government, and sectors of society is common and consistent. 

Understanding this underlying structure—and which parts are replicable and which are not—is critical to advancing progress in other cities."



"The focus on strong local capacity is also reinforced by the city government’s ability to establish publicly owned corporations with specialized areas of responsibility and authority. For example, the city and seven surrounding municipalities co-created and co-own the Greater Copenhagen Utility (HOFOR), which is responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the wastewater system, district heating and cooling, and gas supply for the city and metro region. Another publicly owned corporation is CPH City and Port Development, a joint city/federal effort that is tasked with developing areas along the waterfront and in the Ørestad neighborhood, as well as overseeing operations in Copenhagen Port. The corporation raised capital for developing the Copenhagen metro system by rezoning and selling off valuable land in Ørestad and Nordhavnen—the latter a neighborhood partly built on surplus soil pulled up during subway construction. The benefits of these corporations lie in their ability to bring scale and to harness market forces while working toward the public good."
copenhagen  denmark  cities  planning  governance  government  politics  urbanplanning  longterm  2016  via:tealtan  power  urban  urbanism 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design
"The integrated structure of CIID incorporates education, research and consultancy. We encourage a cross-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment.

The School and Research Lab at CIID provide a platform for intensive training, an interface to academia and the creation of new knowledge. The Consultancy works independently and allows development of pragmatic, real-world ideas and works on business focused cases for industry.

CIID aspires to be a hub blending design and technology. Design is a major innovation driver towards a knowledge-based economy, and new research models that interface with both academia and industry are required to reflect this.

Academics and industry professionals from Denmark and all over the world come to CIID to work on innovative products, services & technology."

[See also: http://ciid.dk/education/ and http://ciid.dk/about/ ]
multidisciplinarythinking  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  experiencedesign  strategicdesign  servicedesign  interaction  interactiondesign  denmark  copenhagen  design  ciid  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  education  altgdp 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Savory | The new platform for digital publishing
"NOW writers, editors, and publishers have a new tool to design and publish narrative content on the web.

Savory™ provides app-like designs for publications, and an on-line content management system to build them.

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Savory is an upgrade from blog hosting services. It's made for multiple stories or chapters. And publishers can produce editions whenever they want—and add updates any time.

Sign up for for the Charter Rate, only $49 (€49) a month."
browser  browsers  savory  newspapers  magazines  books  html  adaptivehtml  web  copenhagen  epublishing  epub3  epub  design  publishing  html5  digitalpublishing  epubs 
september 2012 by robertogreco
ARHOJ
"STUDIO ARHOJ was founded in Tokyo, Japan.
Currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Established by Anders Arhøj in 2005 the studio
provides services that include:

+ Illustrations
+ Character design
+ Interior design
+ Industrial & object design
+ Concept ideas & styling
+ Fabric prints & patterns"
umamimart  copenhagen  denmark  illustration  print  patterns  portfolio  design  andersarhøj 
september 2012 by robertogreco
All power to the free universities of the future! [The Copenhagen Free University]
"The Copenhagen Free University was an attempt to reinvigorate the emancipatory aspect of research and learning, in the midst of an ongoing economisation of all knowledge production in society. Seeing how education and research were being subsumed into an industry structured by a corporate way of thinking, we intended to bring the idea of the university back to life. By life, we mean the messy life people live within the contradictions of capitalism. We wanted to reconnect knowledge production, learning and skill sharing to the everyday within a self-organised institutional framework of a free university. Our intention was multi-layered and was of course partly utopian, but also practical and experimental. We turned our flat in Copenhagen into a university by the very simple act of declaring 'this is a university'. By this transformative speech act the domestic setting of our flat became a university. It didn't take any alterations to the architecture other than the small things needed in terms of having people in your home staying over, presenting thoughts, researching archival material, screening films, presenting documents and works of art. Our home became a public institution dedicated to the production process of communal knowledge and fluctuating desires."

"As the strategy of self-institution focused on taking power and not accepting the dualism between the mainstream and the alternative, this in itself carried some contradictions. The CFU had for us become a too fixed identifier of a certain discourse relating to emancipatory education within academia and the art scene. Thus we decided to shut down the CFU in the winter of 2007 as a way of withdrawing the CFU from the landscape. We did this with the statement 'We Have Won' and shut the door of the CFU just before the New Year. During the six years of the CFU's existence, the knowledge economy had rapidly, and aggressively, become the norm around us in Copenhagen and in northern Europe. The rise of social networking, lifestyle and intellectual property as engines of valorisation meant that the knowledge economy was expanding into the tiniest pores of our lives and social relations. The state had turned to a wholesale privatisation of former public educational institutions, converting them into mines of raw material for industry in the shape of ideas, desires and human beings. But this normalising process was somehow not powerful enough to silence all forms of critique and dissent; other measures were required."

"We call for everybody to establish their own free universities in their homes or in the workplace, in the square or in the wilderness. All power to the free universities of the future."
self-organizedlearningenvironment  self-organization  2837university  lcproject  altgdp  experimental  hierarchy  freedom  deschooling  unschooling  copenhagen  denmark  copenhagenfreeuniversity  freeschools  freeschool  activism  education 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademie Billedkunstskolerne
"The School of Walls & Space investigates contemporary notions of space, its production, privatization & the role of the artist as a critical and political agent within it, & uses both traditional & more experimental pedagogical methods.

The School is a multi-layered micro-institution that encourages the development of an inter-disciplinary research-based practice. It balances individual mentoring w/ collective group activities. The school uses traditional pedagogical methods: group & one-to-one crits, seminars and talks, in conjunction w/ the exploration of more experimental collaborative teaching models which the School researches and develops collectively as a group. These include brain storming techniques, games, charettes, group activities, actions & happenings. It also explores historical practices, such as psychogeography & the derive, & the experimental teaching methods of Paolo Freire, Roy Ascott, Paul Goodman, & Colin Ward…"

[See also: http://wallsandspace.wordpress.com/ ]
copenhagen  theschoolofwallsandspace  2837university  lcproject  derive  collaborativeteaching  collaborative  charettes  arteducation  situationist  psychogeography  paulofreire  colinward  paulgoodman  royascott  nilsnorman  permaculture  denmark  art  space  education  place  pedagogy  dérive 
april 2012 by robertogreco
TEMPORARY SERVICES - Non-commercial since 1998
"Experiencing art in the places we inhabit on a daily basis remains a critical concern for us. It helps us move art from a privileged experience to one more directly related to how we live our lives. A variety of people should decide how art is seen and interpreted, rather than continuing to strictly rely on those in power. We move in and out of officially sanctioned spaces for art, keeping one foot in the underground the other in the institution. Staying too long in one or the other isn’t healthy. We are interested in art that takes engaging and empowering forms. We collaborate amongst ourselves and with others, even though this may destabilize how people understand our work."

"AGAINST COMPETITION… GROUP WORK & WORKING WITH OTHERS… BUILDING LONG-TERM INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT SIMILAR WAYS OF WORKING"

[via: http://www.dismalgarden.org/pages/links.html
now here http://web.archive.org/web/20101029173446/http://www.dismalgarden.org/pages/links.html ]
temporaryservices  leisurearts  artproduction  competition  philadelphia  copenhagen  zines  publishing  marcfischer  salemsollo-julin  brettbloom  unschooling  deschooling  deinstitutionalization  everydaylife  artists  design  community  chicago  collective  activism  art  collaboration  nilsnorman  artleisure 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Utopia Seminar A Reader The School of Walls and Space Copenhagen 2010 [.pdf]
"This course explores the history, concepts and the real and imaginary worlds of Utopia. As an extension of Nils Norman’s ongoing research of Utopia, the Utopic World will be investigated using a broad artistic, rather than academic, method of inquiry.

Utopia is nowhere, but historically and conceptually it cannot be just anywhere. The course will navigate the analytic study and long tradition of mainly Western Utopia going back to the Ancient Greeks, through the Judeo-Christian tradition of Millenarianism, sailing past the Utopias of the 16C, and on towards the mad and fantastic plans and programs of Utopian Socialists like Charles Fourier, Robert Owen and Saint Simon. From there we will steer towards the history of communalism in the United States, feminist utopias, the communitarian experiments of the 60s and 70s, and the intentional communities of the present."
karlmarx  marxism  socialism  ecology  intentionalcommunities  communitarian  saintsimon  robertowen  charlesfourier  millenarianism  anarchist  anarchism  utopia  place  space  psychogeography  situationist  art  denmark  copenhagen  theschoolofwallsandspace  2010  nilsnorman 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Copenhagen Game Collective - Games, research, and other cool projects from Copenhagen and beyond
"Copenhagen Game Collective is a multi-gender, multi-national, non-profit game design collective based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The collective comprises a network of people and companies interested in independent game culture. Our members include creative individuals first of all, but also small companies, non-commercial interest groups, and game communicators and disseminators.

We play, exhibit, create, and care about games of all types – digital or otherwise – with a slant towards types of play that the game industry’s big boys can’t or won’t address. The diversity of our exhibits and game projects reflects our belief that creativity breeds creativity. The loose structure of the collective, encompassing a network of developers and collaborators, aims to create synergies between all our various projects."
design  development  collective  community  art  gaming  copenhagen  denmark  gamedesign  games 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Hip Cities That Think About How They Work - NYTimes.com
"The story of young people, full of ambition, energy, skill and talent, moving to enticing cities that call to them like a siren’s song is as old as modern civilization. And in a world where national borders are easier to traverse, where more countries are joining the prosperous global middle class and where the cost of a one-way plane ticket is more affordable, young professionals probably have more cities to choose from than ever before.

This survey is not based solely on quality of life, number of trees or the cost of a month’s rent. Instead, we examine some cities that aim to be both smart and well managed, yet have an undeniably hip vibe. Our pick of cities that are, in a phrase, both great and good:

Aukland, Berlin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Montreal, Santiago, Shanghai, Vilnus"
via:gpe  cities  aukland  newzealand  berlin  germany  barcelona  spain  españa  capetown  southafrica  copenhagen  denmark  curitiba  brasil  montreal  Quebec  canada  santiago  chile  shanghai  china  vilnus  lithuania  planning  urbanplanning  livability  glvo  urban  urbandesign  policy  transit  masstransit  publictransit  sustainability  smartcities  environment  design  brazil 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Copenhagen's novel problem: too many cyclists | Amelia Hill | Environment | guardian.co.uk
"Can there be too many bikes in a city for safety? It's not a question usually asked: the received wisdom, supported by research and backed by campaigning groups, is that the more cyclists there are, the safer the roads become for everyone.

But in Copenhagen – one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world in which 36% of its inhabitants cycle to work or school, and which has committed to increasing that figure to 50% by 2015 – there are controversial voices coming from unexpected places.

According to the Danish Cyclists' Federation and Wonderful Copenhagen, the official tourism organisation for Denmark, the sheer success of the drive to get more locals and tourists on bikes is creating a dangerous, intimidating and unpleasant climate for cyclists in the city."
bikes  biking  denmark  copenhagen  transportation  commuting  urban  urbanism  cities  policy  bikelanes  2011 
september 2011 by robertogreco
We have to call it school « Sesat Blog
"A film by Peggy Hughes about Ny Lille Skole, in the 1970s. From Teach Your Own by John Holt:

"…over the titles one of the teachers says “We have to call it school. The law in Denmark says that children have to go to school, and if we didn’t call this a school, they couldn’t come here.” But it is not a school in any way that we understand those words. It is a meeting, living, and doing place for six or seven adults and about eighty children, aged about six through fourteen. It s more like a club than anything I can compare it to. The children come there when they feel like it, most of the time during the winter, not so often when spring and the sun arrive. Once there, they talk about and do many things that interest them, sometimes with the adults, sometimes by themselves. In the process, they learn a lot about themselves, each other and the world."

[Video embedded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKcHsKBkhN4 ]

A good contrast to this, from the same era in Danish education, is the book Borderlines by Peter Hoeg."
peggyhughes  unschooling  deschooling  johnholt  caterinafake  nylilleskole  teachyourown  education  learning  perterhoeg  books  children  schools  schooliness  society  1970s  denmark  documentary  wehavetocallitschool  BagsvægdNyLilleskole  copenhagen  peterhøeg  borderliners 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Week 27: Scattered, and rolling. | Urbanscale
"the course also included some reading…we decided that compiling and designing a newspaper with all the reading for the course would be a better route to success. We had a 20-page newspaper printed by…Newspaper Club…The very fact of having a physical artefact, laying around on the desks in the studio, is a constant reminder that there is related reading to be done, and it invites browsing in a way a list of links or open tabs does not. It also has the advantage of being print — there’s much greater control (albeit with commensurately more effort) over presentation, of curating a selection, of removing distractions, no links, of considering what sits next to what. Texts from blogs can sit next to more historical texts, forcing the ideas to bounce and spark off each other. Not to mention, it ends up being a rather nice object to keep around, to glance at or refer to later.

Find below a list of the content in the newspaper we handed out as a form of shortened reading list."
urban  urbanism  urbanscale  adamgreenfield  toread  readinglist  tomarmitage  jackschulze  timoarnall  greglindsay  janejacobs  italocalvino  copenhagen  denmark  big  bjarkeingels  georgeaye  mayonissen  rongabriel  muni  williamhwhyte  danhill  2011  networkedurbanism  networkedcities  urbancomputing  immaterials  urbanexperience  systems  layers 
july 2011 by robertogreco
C O P E N H A G E N S U B O R B I T A L S
"Our mission is very simple. We are working towards launching a human being into space. This is a non-profit suborbital space endeavor lead by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, based entirely on sponsors and volunteers."
space  spacetravel  diy  engineering  future  copenhagen  science  technology  rockets  suborbital  spaceexploration 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Rødovre Adventure Playground - a set on Flickr
"Rødovre 'Construction Playground' has existed in Copenhagen since 1964 – and was the second adventure playground to be developed after C.T. Sørensen's historic playground at Emdrup. The playground's story, as we were told during our visit, goes that a local construction crew was working on a building in the area when local children would repeatedly get together and then raid the worksite – taking all the wood and tools to build their own forts and structures. Rather than working against them, though, the construction foreman decided to voluntarily toss some wood scraps and tools over the fence for the children – allowing them to build what they wish without raiding the construction site anymore..."
children  creativity  playgrounds  denmark  copenhagen  play  design  studentdirected 
june 2010 by robertogreco
MindLab
"MindLab is a cross-ministerial innovation unit which involves citizens and businesses in creating new solutions for society. We are also a physical space – a neutral zone for inspiring creativity, innovation and collaboration. We work with the civil servants in our three parent ministries: the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, the Ministry of Taxation and the Ministry of Employment. These three ministries cover broad policy areas that affect the daily lives of virtually all Danes. Entrepreneurship, climate change, digital self-service, citizen’s rights, emplyment services and workplace safety are some of the areas they address. MindLab is instrumental in helping the ministry’s key decision-makers and employees view their efforts from the outside-in, to see them from a citizen’s perspective. We use this approach as a platform for co-creating better ideas."
thinktank  governance  government  denmark  copenhagen  design  designthinking  socialentrepreneurship  reform  consulting  agency  agencies  welfare  innovation  public  service  creativity  society  lcproject 
march 2010 by robertogreco
The Danish Art of Hygge - Denmark - VisitDenmark
"The Danes have a word that's hard to translate, and no foreigner can hope to pronounce, but it's as Danish as pork roast and cold beer. It's hygge, and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. The closest we can come phonetically is "hooga," if we try forming our mouths for "ee" while saying "oo." It doesn’t translate directly into any other language but we can illustrate it in action."
hygge  hyggelig  denmark  culture  copenhagen  words  meaning  definitions  language  danish  coziness  tranquility  peacefullness  definition  comfort  peacefulness 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Copenhagenize.com - The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog: Holding On to Cyclists in Copenhagen
"Pling. All of sudden this little bicycle-friendly detail showed up on the urban landscape in Copenhagen one day. I'm quite sure that very few people have noticed it, except for the people who roll up next to it. Which is the point, really.
bikes  biking  copenhagen  cities  infrastructure  transportation  cycling  design 
january 2010 by robertogreco
How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room | Mark Lynas | Environment | The Guardian
"Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen. ... Copenhagen was much worse than just another bad deal, because it illustrated a profound shift in global geopolitics. This is fast becoming China's century, yet its leadership has displayed that multilateral environmental governance is not only not a priority, but is viewed as a hindrance to the new superpower's freedom of action. I left Copenhagen more despondent than I have felt in a long time. After all the hope and all the hype, the mobilisation of thousands, a wave of optimism crashed against the rock of global power politics, fell back, and drained away."
politics  environment  change  international  barackobama  climate  china  globalwarming  climatechange  copenhagen  economy  geopolitics  blame  2009  global  green  un 
december 2009 by robertogreco
MY PLAYGROUND - PREVIEW on Vimeo
"A documentary film by Kaspar Astrup Schröder about movement in urban space. The film explores the way Parkour and Freerunning is changing the perception of urban space and how the space is changing the traceurs and freerunners. Mainly set in Copenhagen the film follows the making of the first dedicated parkour park in the world. Designed by the danish team, Team JiYo. The film also travels around the world to Japan, United States, United Kingdom, and China to explore the common understanding of exploring the urban space seen from a traceur and freerunners perspective. Founding architect of B.I.G. Architects, Bjarke Ingels in participating in exploring a untraditional path in perceiving a new approach to urban architecture and together with Team Jiyo he travels to Shanghai and Shenzhen to meet with a different people and culture. Does travelling to the other end of the world change our understanding of movement in the urban space that surrounds us?"
freerunning  parkour  urbanism  space  cities  architecture  movement  place  sports  bjarkeingels  big  design  urban  via:grahamje  documentary  denmark  copenhagen  tokyo  japan 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Worldchanging: Bright Green: Letter from Copenhagen - Cities and Citizenship
"it's not just the visual evidence of US decline that's troubling; it's that we don't even seem to recognize how far from reason our public debate has drifted. Returning from Copenhagen, it's hard to explain to my fellow Americans how insane, unrealistic & out-of-touch US climate debate now looks to rest of world...what US needs is an upheaval that's much more innovative, fundamental, sudden. I don't think anyone quite has a clear sight of what that is yet. Industrial shifts to clean economy, new models of news publishing, government 2.0, street as platform, post-ownership & post-consumer identities, community resilience a growing cultural preference for participation & collaboration combining w/ search for transparency & backstories & authenticity: all...clearly in the code of whatever new system is emerging, but none defines it...new natural unit of civic change, especially in US in 2010s is going to be the city...a place for us as people to live new values...a hotbed of innovation."
worldchanging  healthcare  us  cities  change  innovation  policy  sustainability  urbanism  reform  activism  citizenship  copenhagen  denmark  climatechange  community  urban  politics  patriotism  alexsteffen  gamechanging  citystates  progress 
september 2009 by robertogreco
8H - The 8-House on Vimeo
"8-House is located in Ørestad on the edge of Copenhagen. 8-House offers homes for people in all of life’s stages: the young and the old, singles, families that grow and families that become smaller. Instead of dividing the different functions of the building - for both habitation and retail - into separate blocks, the various functions have been spread out horizontally. The apartments are placed at the top while the commercial program unfolds at the base of the building. As a result, the different horizontal layers have achieved a quality of their own: the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight and fresh air, while the commercial merges with life on the street."
architecture  design  housing  denmark  copenhagen  big  mixed-use  bjarkeingels 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The Slow Bicycle Movement
"Please ride the bike you have, in the clothes you like, at the speed you enjoy. If you see something interesting, stop to look at it. Take spontaneous detours. Notice something new about your neighbourhood each day. Ring your bell for fun when travelling through tunnels or under bridges. Ride calm, composed and courteous. Refrain from road rage. When faced with road rage from others, please wave and smile. Name your bicycle. Our bicycles give us the freedom of the city and the keys to the country. Please sigh and smile contentedly at least once a day on your bicycle. Chat to somebody. Anybody. Whether you know them or not..."
blogs  slow  bikes  copenhagen  denmark  transportation  travel  activism  movement  community 
february 2009 by robertogreco
MIT Developing “Smart Bikes” and a Facebook App For Bikers : Gas 2.0
"In addition to the social networking and tracking software, MIT is developing a “Smart Bike” that uses regenerative braking to charge a battery for a motor that supplements peddling power. The battery, motor and regenerative braking system are all integrated into a rear wheel and could be retrofitted to existing bicycles.
bikes  copenhagen  concepts  mit  research  transportation  urban  green  mapping  social  location  technology 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Copenhagen Cycle Chic - Streetstyle and Bike Advocacy in High Heels: Terminology Folly
"She isn't an activist, doesn't belong to a cycling organisation with a long acronym and she doesn't even think about the fact that she lives in something called a "bike culture". She's just a cyclist. Riding her bike to work. She'll be doing the same tomorrow. If other cities had more of these kinds of cyclists, they'd find that a "bike culture" would be achieved a lot more quickly."
bikes  denmark  copenhagen  urban  culture  via:migurski 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Copenhagen Cycle Chic - Streetstyle and Bike Advocacy in High Heels
"She isn't an activist, doesn't belong to a cycling organisation with a long acronym and she doesn't even think about the fact that she lives in something called a "bike culture". She's just a cyclist. Riding her bike to work. She'll be doing the same tomorrow. If other cities had more of these kinds of cyclists, they'd find that a "bike culture" would be achieved a lot more quickly."
bikes  copenhagen  culture  denmark  fashion  urban  transportation 
july 2008 by robertogreco
I (heart) Public Space: "We make the city and the city makes us" --<em>Jan Gehl</em>
"In Copenhagen, 40% of city residents commute to work by bike. 70% of these commuters continue to bike in the winter, because when it snows, the city's bike lanes are plowed first -- then sidewalks, and finally, roads."
bikes  denmark  cities  copenhagen  via:cityofsound  design  urban  planning  policy  commuting  transportation  pedestrians  safety 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Ungdomshuset - Wikipedia
"the Youth House" was attributed name of building located in Copenhagen on Jagtvej 69, Nørrebro, which functioned as underground scene venue for music and rendezvous point for varying anarchist and leftist groups from 1982 until 2007."
activism  anarchism  anarchy  community  politics  copenhagen  denmark 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Copenhagen Free University
"opened in May 2001 in our flat...an artist run institution dedicated to production of critical consciousness & poetic language...do not accept so-called new knowledge economy as framing understanding of knowledge...work with forms of knowledge that are f
art  copenhagen  denmark  education  pedagogy  learning  economics  lcproject  gamechanging  knowledge  colleges  universities  urban  urbanism  schooldesign  alternative  design  capitalism 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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