On how to make an attractive city


School of Life, 26 Jan 2015

Cities are a big deal. We pretty much all have to live in them. We should try hard to get them right. So few cities are nice, very few out of many thousands are really beautiful; embarrassingly the more appealing ones tend to be old, which is weird because we’re mostly much better at making things now.

For a related articles and short films by The School of Life on Ugliness and the Housing Crisis click here and on Relativism and Urban Planning click here.

What ‘Tactical Urbanism’ Can (and Can’t) Do for Your City


Sarah Goodyear, CityLab, 20 Mar 2015

The phrase “tactical urbanism” came into use just a few short years ago, coined by a group of young planners and activists and popularized by an online guide to phenomena such as guerrilla wayfinding, pop-up markets, and DIY traffic-calming.

Many of those nimble urban-improvement techniques, which often originated in the activist community, have since gone mainstream. Cities such as San Francisco and Philadelphia, for instance, have been rapidly installing parklets where parking spaces used to go, a practice that originated with an annual grassroots action called Park(ing) Day.

To find out more about Mike Lydon from Street Plans click here, for links to their books click here, and to download their guides to Tactical Urbanism click here. Several of these guides have been co-authored with similar placemaking firms around the world including Co-Design Studio (Australia), Ciudad Emergente (Chile), and TaMaLaCà (Italy).

It’s our city. Let’s fix it.


Alessandra Orofino, TED, October 2014

Well, I believe that if we want to changewhat our cities look like,then we really have to changethe decision-making processesthat have given us the results that we have right now.We need a participation revolution,and we need it fast.

All of us, if we are reasonably comfortable, healthy and safe, owe immense debts to the past. There is no way, of course, to repay the past. We can only repay those debts by making gifts to the future.

Jane Jacobs, journalist

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.

Robert Swan, polar explorer