Category Archives: urban planning

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

What do we mean by flexibility? (developing a new language for the future of work)

Flexibility is often used loosely to mean not working in the office. We’re all still having those, ‘How many days are you in?’ conversations as hybrid working continues to evolve. Post-pandemic, however, expectations of flexible working are much broader than before. Recognizing this, Unilever’s approach is more holistic.

External data and commentary suggest that most people look for what we call ‘everyday’ flexibility – the ability to manage and adjust start and finish times, the freedom to manage work commitments in and around life commitments and for work to be measured in outputs delivered, rather than hours worked.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/01/flexible-working-productivity-and-growth-davos23?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=social_scheduler&utm_term=Davos+2023&utm_content=24/01/2023+05:00

Related report: Work in the Pandemic Age

‘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

How car culture colonised our thinking – and our language

We say this because we’ve become accustomed to thinking about the street in “traffic logic”. For centuries, streets used to be a place with a multiplicity of purposes: talk, trade, play, work and moving around. It’s only in the past century that it has become a space for traffic to drive through as quickly and efficiently as possible. This idea is so pervasive that it has colonised our thinking.

Why are roads you can’t live next to, cycle on, or walk along called main roads? Why do we speak of “segregated” or “separate” cycle paths, when it’s actually motorists who’ve been given a separate space of their own? The language of traffic instils a “windscreen view” of the world, as the Belgian mobility expert Kris Peeters wrote a good 20 years ago.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2022/aug/31/how-car-culture-colonised-our-thinking-and-our-language

Germany’s Ultra-Cheap Train Ticket Saved 1.8 Million Tons of CO2

Germany’s three-month experiment with super-cheap public transport reduced carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to powering about 350,000 homes for a year. The 9-euro ($9) monthly ticket, which allows nationwide travel on regional trains, subways, trams and buses, prevented 1.8 million tons of CO2 because commuters didn’t use their cars as much, according to the VDV public-transport lobby.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-30/germany-s-ultra-cheap-train-ticket-saved-1-8-million-tons-of-co2

Horizon scanning process to foresight emerging issues in Arabsphere’s water vision

The Arabsphere struggles with highly complicated water challenges due to climate change, desertification, coronavirus pandemic, and Russo-Ukrainian War. This paper explores how to build a robust water vision to pave the road to achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the Arabsphere. A sustainable water future (SWF) necessitates an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research strategy. ‘Horizon scanning’ process (HSP) is one of the promising foresight methodologies. A generic process for “Horizon scanning” has been developed to cope with water crises and challenges. “DEEPEST” holistic framework has been designed to suit both the “Futurology” science and water, environment, and engineering disciplines. “DEEPEST” characterizes Demographics, Ecological, Environmental, Political, Economic, Social, and Technological features. The macro-future factors (MFF) applied in the foresight process (FP) have been presented. The results showed that Water conservation (WC), Circular Water (CW), and Emerging Water Technologies (EWTs) were the main outcomes of the ‘Horizon scanning’ process (HSP). The paper concluded that the preparing for a sustainable water future (SWF) must be right now and the opportunities range from the deepest water drop to the highest water drop on Earth. The essence of the conclusion is hydrosphere sustainability, particularly in Arabsphere, should be given extreme concentration, effort, and support.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-16803-1