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When Tokyo Was a Slum – The Informal City Dialogues
"Alongside the futuristic visage of skyscraper Tokyo, a human-scale city lies along rambling roads, where mom-and-pop stores sell soap and sandals, and private homes double as independent shops engaged in local trades like printmaking and woodworking.

This is incremental Tokyo, the foundation upon which the world’s most modern city is built.

Like much of the city, these small hamlets were smoldering ash pits 70 years ago, reduced to rubble by the bombs of Allied forces during World War II. When the war ended, Tokyo’s municipal government, bankrupt and in crisis mode, was in no condition to launch a citywide reconstruction effort. So, without ever stating it explicitly, it nevertheless made one thing clear: The citizens would rebuild the city. Government would provide the infrastructure, but beyond that, the residents would be free to build what they needed on the footprint of the city that once was, neighborhood by neighborhood."



"These mixed-use habitats and low-rise, high-density neighborhoods emerged by default, not design. But though the city didn’t plan them, it considered them legitimate and supported them. Sewage systems, water, electricity and roads were later infused into all parts of Tokyo, leaving no neighborhood behind, regardless of how slummy or messy it looked. Even the traditionally discriminated-against Burakumin areas were eventually provided access to state-of-the-art public services and amenities.

The notion that infrastructure must be adapted to the built environment, rather than the other way around, is a simple yet revolutionary idea. The Tokyo model, combining housing development by local actors and infrastructure from various agencies, explains why that city has some of the best infrastructure in the world today, not to mention a housing stock of great variety and bustling mixed-use neighborhoods.

The House Is a Tool

The relationship between the city’s urban form and its vibrant economy is best illustrated by the idea of homes as tools of production. Many of the houses built in the postwar period in Tokyo were based on the template of the traditional Japanese house, in which a single structure can serve as a shop, workshop, dormitory or family house — and possibly all of those things at once. Official statistics illustrate the scale of the home-based economy. As late as the 1970s, factories employing fewer than 20 employees accounted for 20 percent of the workers and 12.6 percent of the national output in Japan. In Tokyo alone, 99.5 percent of factories had fewer than 300 workers and employed 74 percent of all factory workers, according to economist Takeshi Hayashi. What these numbers tell us is that the Japanese miracle was built not only by large-scale factories, but also relied on a vast web of small producers that often worked from their neighborhoods and their homes."



"For the people who live in Dharavi, this is not only the best possible outcome, it’s their only option. Most residents of Dharavi cannot possibly afford to move to other parts of Mumbai. Their futures will rise or fall with the fate of their neighborhood, which is why the Tokyo model, which values and cultivates neighborhoods like theirs, is probably their best hope for economic and social advancement.

That prosperity, however, depends on the local authorities heeding the lessons of Tokyo. Neighborhoods like Dharavi are already served by various NGOs and foundations. The residents are doing their part. The only missing piece is the support of city authorities, whose attitude toward such settlements sets back the city of Mumbai as a whole.

What’s more, the Tokyo model is simply an elegant one that follows the path of least resistance, allowing order and mess to naturally combine as they would without top-down intervention. It’s hard to imagine a better example of “development” in its most holistic dimension: Houses, neighborhoods, economies and communities all rising in concert with one another. The environment is deeply connected to processes of collective growth, because people, objects and lived spaces are all knit together by the impulse to constantly improve and transform. Through this process, with very little capital, we see how user-generated neighborhoods invest in the idea of growth and mobility, where self-interest and successful urbanism are one and the same."

[Tagging this with Teddy Cruz because it reminds me of his study of Tijuana and his recommendation that we learn from patterns of growth and development there.]
postwar  mixeduse  lowrise  density  mimbai  takeshihayashi  cities  organic  organicism  home-basedeconomy  production  manufacturing  factories  openstudioproject  cafes  homeoffice  homefactory  homeworkshop  homes  infrastructure  redevelopment  development  dharavi  slums  mobility  economics  middleclass  collectivism  technology  neighborhoods  asia  informality  informal  cottageindustries  2013  urban  urbanism  growth  change  government  tokyo  japan  history 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Podcast « You Are Not So Smart
"Episode Five | Selling Out | Andrew Potter
Episode Four | The Self | Bruce Hood
Episode Three | Confabulation | V.S. Ramachandran
Episode Two | Illusion of Knowledge | Christopher Chabris
Episode One | Attention | Daniel Simons"
keepingupwiththejoneses  freerange  local  natural  organic  andrewpotter  poiticsofcool  oneupmanship  statusseeking  nonconformism  hipsters  hipsterism  conspicuousconsumption  status  kurtcobain  art  advertising  consumption  christopherchabris  guiltypleasures  danielsimons  vsramachandran  society  modernity  brucehood  confabulation  knowledge  attention  authenticity  authentic  culture  counterculture  2012  via:zakgreene  sellingout  psychology 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Slime Mold and Highways Take the Exact Same Paths
"Slime mold is weird stuff: despite having no brain or nervous system it's ruthlessly efficient at hunting down food. So efficient that if you lay out food for it in the pattern of major cities across the US, it grows in the exact same paths as the highways we've already built.

Andrew Adamatzky, a researcher at the University of the West of England, UK, takes a petri dish of agar and holds it over a map. Then, he places oats where each of the major cities is, and dollops a lump of slime mold at the nation's capital. The networks that the slime forms pretty much tally exactly with the roads humans have built between the real cities.

If you don't quite believe that, I don't really blame you. But he's done the same experiment using maps of Canada, China, Australia, the UK, France, and a bunch more—12 in total—and the same thing happens each time. He speculates that it's because roads are actually based on unplanned paths that were also originally chosen by living creatures…"
highways  organic  mold  nervoussystem  andrewadamatzky  pathways  growth  roads  france  china  canada  uk  australia  us  cities  slimemold  2012 
april 2012 by robertogreco
SOL Seasonal, Organic, Local - Fresh and healthy organic foods, farm fresh and nutritional - Southern California - WELCOME
"Real Food. Close to Home." Opening soon, SOL Markets will sell the freshest, healthiest local foods and will be available to you seven days a week. We’ll have a bar serving local beer and wine, a café where you can enjoy dishes prepared with ingredients available right in our store, and plenty of opportunities to spend time with and learn from people who grow, prepare and care about quality food and community.

2855 Perry Road, San Diego, CA 92106 · Cómo llegar

Seasonal Organic Local. We sell only the freshest and healthiest food grown by local farmers/ranchers, then serve that food in our cafe along with local beers and wines. Opening soon in Liberty Station."

[See also: http://www.facebook.com/solmarkets?sk=wall ]
sandiego  food  groceries  local  organic  seasonal 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » An interview with Saskia Sassen about "Smart cities"
"Urbanity is a mutant. And this means it is made and remade along many different concepts/ideas/imaginations across the world. It can happen in sites where we, we of our westernized culture, might not see it… urbanity is made; it is not only beautifully designed urban settings.

In sharp contrast, I think that the model of “intelligent cities” as propounded by technologists, with the telepresence efforts of Cisco Systems a key ingredient, misses this opportunity to urbanize the technologies they mobilize. Secondly, the intelligent city concept if too rigid, becomes a futile effort to eliminate the incompleteness of the city, to get full closure/control. This is a recipe for built-in obsoleteness. Imagine if Rome could not have mutated across the millennia: it would be a dead city now. Third, the planners of intelligent cities, notably Songdo in South Korea actually make these technologies invisible, and hence put them in command rather than in dialogue with users."
nicolasnova  saskiasassen  cities  networkedurbanism  urbancomputing  opensource  unfinished  evolution  rome  songdocity  cisco  china  control  flexibility  design  urbanism  urban  2011  telepresence  organic  urbanity  responsive 
july 2011 by robertogreco
cloudhead - The revolution will not be centralized [via: http://bettyann.tumblr.com/post/6092631637 ]
"[…]

There will be no leaders or followers
no winners or losers
There will be no beginning, middle or end
because the revolution will not be centralized.

[…]

The revolution can not be built, designed, or engineered … The revolution can only grow.You are the seed, you are the soil, and you are the buzzing of the bee."
headmine  revolution  decentralization  anarchism  hierarchy  organic  deschooling  unschooling  glvo  lcproject  shiftctrlesc 
june 2011 by robertogreco
A Physicist Turns the City Into an Equation - NYTimes.com ["According to data, when a city doubles in size, every measure of economic activity increases by approximately 15% per capita.]
One quote:

“A human being at rest runs on 90 watts,” he says. “That’s how much power you need just to lie down. And if you’re a hunter-gatherer and you live in the Amazon, you’ll need about 250 watts. That’s how much energy it takes to run about and find food. So how much energy does our lifestyle [in America] require? Well, when you add up all our calories and then you add up the energy needed to run the computer and the air-conditioner, you get an incredibly large number, somewhere around 11,000 watts. Now you can ask yourself: What kind of animal requires 11,000 watts to live? And what you find is that we have created a lifestyle where we need more watts than a blue whale. We require more energy than the biggest animal that has ever existed. That is why our lifestyle is unsustainable. We can’t have seven billion blue whales on this planet. It’s not even clear that we can afford to have 300 million blue whales.” 
urban  urbanism  geoffreywest  cities  corporations  growth  physics  modeling  models  energy  density  efficience  freedom  remkoolhaas  planning  policy  economics  self-control  short-termmemory  memory  architecture  design  urbantheory  urbanscience  theory  science  data  census  walking  transportation  patternrecognition  patterns  math  mathematics  infrastructure  jonahlehrer  organic  organisms  consumption  metabolism  sustainability  interaction  janejacobs  collaboration  crosspollination  robertmoses  efficiency 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Bohm Teaser on Vimeo
"Bohm is a zen-like and soothing experience about creating a tree.

As a player you explore the level of interaction you have. Discovering the different ways you control and manipulate your tree is all part of the game experience.

Bohm is about slow gameplay. Growing, creating branches, pushing your tree into strange shapes, and discovering how beautiful and relaxing these simple processes can be.

Every tree is generated procedurally while you play. As the tree grows, so does the adaptive music. Both change and evolve over time, under the influence of buttons pressed and decisions made.

Bohm is not about winning, but about letting yourself get carried away in an aesthetic and auditory poetic experience. An interactive homage to the beauty, slowness and peace of nature." [See also: http://bohmthegame.com AND http://monobanda.nl]
bohm  trees  slowgaming  slow  slowgameplay  games  gameplay  play  organic  plants  evolution  nature 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Población callampa - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre [Used the callampa metaphor with Basti in a conversation today when talking about education futures and the idea of small laboratory schools or learning centers]
"Población callampa es la denominación que se le da en Chile a los asentamientos irregulares. La palabra callampa (sinónimo de seta), refleja la rapidez con la que se reproducían (de la noche a la mañana) estos sectores de infraviviendas en los años 1960, 70 y 80. Actualmente se les conoce también como campamentos y, según datos de la Fundación Un techo para Chile, quedaban 453 de dichos asentamientos con más de 8 familias, al año 2005."
chile  slums  poblaciónescallamas  informal  unplanned  infilling  organic  housing 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The Great Grocery Smackdown - Magazine - The Atlantic
"In an ideal world, people would buy their food directly from the people who grew or caught it, or grow and catch it themselves. But most people can’t do that. If there were a Walmart closer to where I live, I would probably shop there.
walmart  wholefoods  agribusiness  agriculture  business  cooking  distribution  groceries  food  farming  sustainability  organic  produce  local  locavore 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Ken Kellogg - Yen Home
"With views to the Pacific Ocean this home has three levels that wind down and around a light-giving landscaped core. Situated on the north slope of a hill viewed from Scenic Drive, south of the University of California in La Jolla, the roof is designed with integral solar water heated panels. This home is also designed with a long, curved, textured concrete wall on the carport side for maintenance, sound, privacy, and protection from misguided vehicles. The raised floors act as horizontal shear panels allowing the posts to cantilever through to the roof for resistance of seismic forces permitting 100% windows for views where other homes are obstructed mostly by walls. Laminated wood beams also serve as mullions for the windows around the landscape core, project up, over, and roll far outside, in a web of roof beams creating the feeling of outside being inside to the ends of various cantilevered roofs. ..."
lajolla  sandiego  modernism  homes  kenkellogg  yenhome  design  architecture  organic 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Growth Assembly
"Though the example product seems a little far-fetched; growth assembly could be quite revolutionary. Worldwide shipping of manufactured things is very inefficient. Why not ship devices and utensils in a single envelope? As seeds."
seeds  concepts  growth  manufacturing  fabbing  organic  plants  environment  sustainability 
december 2009 by robertogreco
The design genius of Charles + Ray Eames | Video on TED.com - “Beyond the age of information is the age of choices.” - Chales Eames
"The legendary design team Charles and Ray Eames made films, houses and classic midcentury modern furniture. Eames Demetrios, their grandson, shows rarely seen films and archival footage in a lively, loving tribute to their creative process."
eames  design  children  creativity  innovation  choice  furniture  film  video  vision  ted  eamesdemetrios  process  glvo  iterative  tcsnmy  learning  learningbydoing  organic  handson 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Edible Schoolyard
"The Edible Schoolyard (ESY), a program of the Chez Panisse Foundation, is a one-acre organic garden and kitchen classroom for urban public school students at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California. At ESY, students participate in all aspects of growing, harvesting, and preparing nutritious, seasonal produce.
tcsnmy  schools  education  learning  science  food  edibleschoolyard  farming  urbanfarming  curriculum  agriculture  sustainability  environment  california  green  health  urban  local  organic  nutrition  ecology  gardening  classes  foodeducation  classideas 
april 2009 by robertogreco
MyFarm - Growing Vegetables. Growing Community
"MyFarm is a decentralized urban farm. We grow vegetables in backyard gardens throughout the city. By increasing local food production we are creating a secure and sustainable food system. Using organic practices we strive to grow the best tasting most nutritious vegetables."
sanfrancisco  gardens  gardening  yards  california  entrepreneurship  vegetables  bayarea  food  organic  green  permaculture  urbangardening  urbanfarming  farming  agriculture 
april 2009 by robertogreco
HAND-ME-DOWN
[Wayback: http://web.archive.org/web/20091223032056/http://hmd.howies.co.uk/

"These products have been made to last. So that one day you can hand them down to someone else. And they can carry on their little journeys."
sustainability  howies  reuse  manufacturing  bags  vintage  glvo  apparel  clothing  environment  spimes  rfid  fashion  organic  shopping  plannedobsolescence  plannedlongevity  beausage  wabi-sabi 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Outstanding in the Field
"Set between the soil and the sky, Outstanding in the Field's long, linen-draped table beckons adventurous diners to celebrate food at the source. Bringing together local farmers and food artisans, chefs and winemakers, we explore the connection between the earth and the food on your plate. Join us as we feast on the gifts of the land."

[see also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12493564@N06/sets/ ]
food  local  green  events  bayarea  california  agriculture  outdoors  culinary  farms  farming  organic  hyperlocal  locavores  restaurants  slow  sanfrancisco 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Pasto colorido « Terreno
"Este código processing crea un array de objetos de una clase. Fué interesante llenar los parámetros con números al azar que pudieran cambiar gradualmente de cuadro a cuadro."

[More here: http://terreno.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/pasto-colorido-en-corriendo-version-web/ ]
processing  organics  organic  coding  code  edg 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food
"Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Want to support this great web site? Shop in our catalog for things you…"

[see also: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ ]
food  organic  local  farms  farming  agriculture  green  activism  vegetables  groceries  produce  sandiego  localism  locavore  us  sustainability 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green
"Winning the war on global warming requires slaughtering some of environmentalism's sacred cows. We can afford to ignore neither the carbon-free electricity supplied by nuclear energy nor the transformational potential of genetic engineering. We need to t
environment  green  science  climate  globalwarming  climatechange  controversial  conservation  energy  transportation  sustainability  wired  worldchanging  cities  policy  future  carbon  earth  technology  development  nuclear  urban  urbanism  footprint  organic 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium - Scenius, or Communal Genius: "the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius."
"Scenius is like genius, only embedded in a scene rather than in genes. Brian Eno suggested the word to convey the extreme creativity that groups, places or "scenes" can occasionally generate." "When it happens, honor and protect it."
brianeno  kevinkelly  community  creativity  education  learning  lcproject  genius  culture  intelligence  organic  scenius  words  neologisms  collaboration  groups  art  environment  crowdsourcing 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Roads patterns following biological patterns
"Belle Dumé in the NewScientist addressed recently the idea that city road networks grow like biological systems. The article is basically a description of the academic work of Marc Barthélemy and Alessandro Flammini who analysed street pattern data fro
cities  patterns  growth  organic  biology  systems  nature 
april 2008 by robertogreco
3quarksdaily - The Trouble with Organic Food
"“Organic” is a magic charm, to protect us against the squalor, the chemicals and industrial scale on which most of what we eat is produced. Like any magic charm, it can’t possibly do all we expect of it."
food  organic  industry  health  words  language  truth 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Why organic food can't feed the world | COSMOS magazine
"Recent studies have re-visited the idea that organic methods of agriculture would be sufficient to feed the world – but they are flawed because of naïveté about agriculture in developing nations."
agriculture  sustainability  organic  science  farming  development  world  international  hunger  poverty 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Click opera - Notes on Fujimori
"This sensitivity and whimsicality is how Japan can mark its difference from China. No to Brutalism! No to idiotic skyscrapers! No to economic standardization!"
architecture  japan  terunobufujimori  miyazaki  treehouses  homes  gardens  housing  wood  materials  organic  tradition  slow  exhibits  landscape 
may 2007 by robertogreco
Evolving Logo
"Different logos are being "bred" and then picked ... Thus, everytime the logo is displayed on a website as an animated icon or printed out on a letter, it reflects the current state of the lab as a living organism."
biology  design  evolution  genetics  life  living  science  logos  graphics  information  infographics  glvo  identity  art  evolvinglogos  algorithms  organic  branding  brand 
december 2006 by robertogreco

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