Category Archives: cities

The weaponised SUV set to terrify America’s streets

The extreme features of the Reznavi Vengeance – including electrified door handles and blinding strobe lights – are wholly in tune with lethal trends in the US market

One thing oddly missing from the Vengeance (priced from $285,000, rising to $499,000 with all the extras) is a rear windscreen, because of course that would be unsafe. Instead, drivers are treated to a live video rear-view mirror and a front camera overlaid with “augmented reality”. Perhaps it shows an imaginary zombie army for you to mow down on your way to the mall.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2023/jan/25/pepper-spray-school-run-apocalyptic-suv-reznavi-vengeange?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Spoof billboard ads take aim at BMW and Toyota over ‘going green’ claims

Satirising the manufacturers’ advertising messages, the billboards highlighted what activists describe as the misleading adverts and aggressive lobbying tactics used by Toyota and BMW.

https://amp-theguardian-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/19/spoof-billboard-ads-take-aim-at-bmw-and-toyota-over-going-green-claims

‘Similar to criminal conspiracy’: draconian new law targets Italian ravers

The so-called “decreto anti-rave” was the first bill proposed by Giorgia Meloni’s rightwing coalition when the prime minister took office in October. Now officially approved by parliament, it makes organising raves a specific crime punishable with three to six years of jail time, fines of up to €10,000 (£8,900) and the confiscation of equipment. The new statute also allows the surveillance of groups who are suspected of holding these unauthorised events, including tapping their phones.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/jan/06/italian-ravers-new-laws-meloni

VISUAL DECOLONIZATION OF FUTURES

The Visual Decolonization of Futures is a proposal to liberate the legacies of coloniality that have been sustained through the use of images in the field of Futures Studies. It is a project that confronts and disassociates images about futures from the hegemonic perspective of the Global North. It seeks inclusion, respect, and autonomy not only for individuals, but also for groups and social movements, such as feminism, the black movement, the ecological movement, the LGBTqia+ movement, etc.

https://www.profuturists.org/post/visual-decolonization-of-futures

The bus, the bike, and the elevator are the future of transportation

There’s a lesson in that. Getting people around in new, different ways—as happened in Amsterdam between 1970 and 2000, between Beijing and Shanghai in the past decade, and in Dar es Salaam right now—relies mostly on technologies that we have had for a while. Why should we want to change the status quo? Most urgently, because transportation from motor vehicles is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. We spend, onaverage, nearly two full days a year in rush-hour traffic (about five days in Los Angeles). We pay dearly for the privilege, spending $740 a month per car according to AAA. Last year, 36,560 Americans died in car crashes, not including 6,283 pedestrians killed by cars. Countless more are sickened by exhaust. Nearly half of American kids walked or biked to school in 1950; today that figure is 13 percent.

https://slate.com/technology/2019/10/future-of-transportation-bus-bike-elevator.html

Why Office Buildings Are Still in Trouble

“We see lots of tenants not renewing their leases, going either fully remote, or renewing their leases but signing up for less space,” said Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, one of the authors of the paper, and a professor specializing in real estate at Columbia Business School. “It all adds up.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/17/business/office-buildings-real-estate-vacancy.html

Libraries Are Launching Their Own Local Music Streaming Platforms

If you’re fed up with streaming behemoths like Spotify, there’s now another place you can go to discover new music: your local library. 

Over a dozen public libraries in the U.S. and Canada have begun offering their own music streaming services to patrons, with the goal of boosting artists and local music scenes. The services are region-specific, and offer local artists non-exclusive licenses to make their albums available to the community.

https://www-vice-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.vice.com/amp/en/article/5d34px/libraries-are-launching-their-own-local-music-streaming-platforms

The trend to mend: how repair shops are leading a fixing revolution

Bath’s Share & Repair says it has repaired more than 3,000 items in the five years since it opened, 60% are electrical or electronic items, mainly kettles, toasters, radios and lamps. The project also lends out household items and runs workshops on how to maintain your bicycle, use a sewing machine or darn a jumper.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/nov/08/the-trend-to-mend-how-repair-shops-are-leading-a-fixing-revolution?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=news_tab

The super-rich ‘preppers’ planning to save themselves from the apocalypse

Taking their cue from Tesla founder Elon Musk colonising MarsPalantir’s Peter Thiel reversing the ageing process, or artificial intelligence developers Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether. Their extreme wealth and privilege served only to make them obsessed with insulating themselves from the very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is about only one thing: escape from the rest of us.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/sep/04/super-rich-prepper-bunkers-apocalypse-survival-richest-rushkoff