Month: May 2011

entropy + institutions = pop-up democracy

I’ve been really excited and pleased by how much attention and conversation my post on the entropic city  has generated.  Since then I’ve found a lot of interesting thinking that folks have been doing, primarily in Europe, about this issue.  There’s this group of papers from a conference in Paris in 2008, this traveling exhibition from Spain, from around the same time, and this series of studies in Germany.  Of course, in America people are thinking about temporality too.  The Festival of Ideas for the New City last weekend in New York, which I regretfully could not attend, included a panel on The Heterogeneous City, for example, and included all kinds of exhibitions, interventions, and celebrations of the unexpected, the in-between, the temporary and the engaging.  The AIA in New York is also showing this exhibition on “Jugaad Urbanism” — resourceful, dynamic, innovative — in India. This is urbanism, but maybe it’s not planning.  There’s something profoundly anti-planning about all of this, in fact: an admission that economies, communities, and narratives cannot be predicted in …

good jobs.

If you follow my twitter feed, you know that I’ve been thinking about jobs lately.  Well, okay, everyone’s thinking about jobs lately.  The president’s talking about it, the media’s dancing around it, my job is all about it, Richard Florida as usual is writing  about it.  But lately I’ve been thinking about not just what we’re saying about jobs, but, more importantly, what kind of jobs we’re talking about. Last semester, I did a design studio project about economic development in Boston’s Innovation District.  I argued that creative and innovation economy strategies, which focus on highly skilled jobs and highly educated workforces, drive a wedge between the rich and the poor, a wedge that is growing faster in New England than anywhere else.  New England, and in particular New England cities, are  one of the most highly educated regions of the country, most equipped to take advantage of the innovation economy.  And that’s what everyone’s talking about…the rise of cities as a hub of economic generation, the emergence of technology as a key for American …