City Economics and Politics & the Environmental Crisis

David Harvey HARDtalk at the BBC (2012)

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The City in TED talks

Amanda Burden

A collection of 20 minute chats or Ted Talks by a wide cross-section of prominent contemporary figures.

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The Revolt Against Vancouverism

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“Vancouverism”

photo: google image commons

Time magazine called it “Hong-couver” in the 1990s. Between Expo 1986 and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics planning in Vancouver took a turn for the worse building a tower-and-podium typology many hoped would make the city ‘world class’. However, as tower developers drive into the neighborhoods in search of cheap land a different Vancouver is being loudly proclaimed. Continue reading

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What if Cars are NOT the problem?

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What if the cars are not the problem? What if vehicular congestion, pollution, and environmental degradation are symptoms of bad urbanism, but not the cause? What if the greatest challenge facing urban sustainability are the towers and the freeways—the permanent structures and public investments—rather than the cars? Consider that the fleet changes over every 4 to 10 years making it possible to retrofit new technologies at a fast rate. Leading indicators like the taxi fleets have gone electric signalling a truly revolutionary change ahead. Towers and highways, on the other hand, will be with us for centuries to come inscribing patterns on the landscape—and in our social circles—that are much more difficult to break Continue reading

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Firenze: Built According to the Ancients

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Aerial View: Florence, Italy

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1939: The Modern City Unveiled

 

Lapel button

1939 New York World’s Fair

General Motors Pavilion Lapel Button 

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As Nazi Germans were preparing to take northern Europe and France by Blitzkrieg the top corporations in the U.S. were readying their displays for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Visitors to the General Motors futurama came away with a lapel button inscribed: “I Have Seen the Future” and a brochure containing still photos of a floor-size scale model depicting what American cities would look like in just twenty years. History would show the futurama to have been highly accurate in both detail and scope. Yet, it didn’t tell the whole story.

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A ‘Great City’ is Planned in China



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Privately planned & developed new satellite city for 80,000 people (30,000 families) will be built on a green field outside Chengdu as a model ‘Great City’ for the rest of China.

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