Los Angeles is often portrayed as the example of the car-friendly city. The traditional image of the town is an endless pattern of single family dwellings, interconnected by traffic-clogged freeways, where transit is undeveloped and the air is choked with smog.
However, Los Angeles is changing. The city’s Transport Authority has planned in the last years a series of measures aiming to improve quality of life through improving transit and walking and providing alternative to car commuting.
From april 18 to april 26, 2009, Swiss Association of Engineers and Architects (SIA) organizes the Contemporary Architecture Week. All along the week, visits to more than 100 contemporary buildings will be organized and led by each building’s author. In the same days, a series of conferences will be held in Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg and Bern. The list of all visits and conferences can be downloaded here and here.
In June 2008, Transportation Alternatives launched the competition 21st Century Street. Partecipants to the competition should redesign the intersection between 9th Street and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, in order to allow more space for pedestrians, cyclists and public transports.
On December 9, 2008, the results of the competition have been announced, and you can see the winners after the break.
Peak oil is approaching. In the next future, most of the oil-dependent suburbs in which we live now will be abandoned and decay, turning into ruins, inhabited only by the few ones who where too fat and too car-dependent to escape back to the city. Little by little, nature will take over suburbs, but this process will be extremely slowly.
“Slumdog Millionaire” is the movie of the year. Its story of a young guy from Mumbai’s slum of Dharavi, who manages to change its destiny through the “Who wants to be a Millionaire” game has charmed many people, including the Oscars’ jury, who awarded the movie with 8 prizes.
At the same time, the movie has created a debate around slums and how the movie portrays them. “Slumdog Millionaire” follows the mainstream vision of slums, described in the XIX century by writers like Daniel Defoe or Charles Dickens: dark, dirty places, with people packed in small rooms with no water facilities. In slums, riots are frequents, and police can hardly enter: the perfect place for criminals to hide and plan their threats to the society, and the perfect incubator for all sort of diseases.