Tagged with city

moonlight towers

Posted March 4th, 2012 at 6:35 pm. There is 1 comment.

Andy Mattern  Moonlight Towers
Moonlight Towers by Andy Mattern

These Moonlight Towers were installed in Austin Texas in 1894 to provide street lighting over a wide area. You can visit all 14 that are still standing.

new york city department of transportation pothole blog

Posted February 18th, 2011 at 4:39 pm. There are 0 comments.


All the potholes fixed in the last month, from January 16 to February 15

the daily pothole features daily counts of potholes fixed and lots of action shots of potholes getting repaired. potholes.

paris metro infiltration

Posted December 23rd, 2010 at 10:42 am. There are 0 comments.


Back in October 2007 sometime after midnight and before the first trains rolled into regular service, qx and I took our first timid steps onto the tracks of the Paris metro. With more nervousness and care than I’d like to admit we gingerly stepped down between the metal rails just off the end of a platform wondering what madness had possessed us to do so. We’d never done Metro like this before and this scary new world was full of elements we didn’t understand at all. Looking at every rail critically working out which carried the power, asking ourselves so many questions: how far could the electricity arc, would that even happen, could the cameras on the platform see us, did security wait in the tunnels after hours, were there any trains after service, if so how fast did they go, did anyone live in the tunnels, would we encounter writers? We’d heard lots of stories about RATP security forgoing the usual legal punishments and simply beating up those found in the tunnels and kicking them out onto the street. We weren’t packing paint but would that matter?

Sleepycity’s travelogue from an illicit exploration of the Paris Metro.

what New Yorkers call 311 about

Posted November 2nd, 2010 at 3:25 pm. There are 0 comments.

What a Hundred Million Calls to 311 Reveal About New York | Magazine | Wired.com.jpg

Wired Magazine’s graph of one week of 311 Calls

311 provides a pool of data that can get turned into usable intelligence, “a crowdsourced metropolis”

Museum of the Phantom City

Posted October 1st, 2009 at 12:26 pm. There are 0 comments.


New York City of today isn’t exactly as we had imagined it. Through history there have been many possible futures that have gone unrealized. The Museum of the Phantom City presents these Architectural and Urban Design proposals as one moves through the city to the intended locations via an iPhone app that is available no in the app store. The Van Alen Institute is holding a walking tour on Sturday October 3rd, the day the full site launches.

Get the Museum of the Phantom City: Other Futures iPhone app

giant tangrams in the park

Posted June 1st, 2009 at 12:10 pm. There are 0 comments.

giant tangram

A Day in the Park is a big game that involves giant tangrams. From the game’s description:

The grind of New York City as gotten to you. You and your buddies have decided to play hooky in the park. Once you get there you realize nobody has brought any supplies. You need the essentials to enjoy the day. Remember this is New York so your team is not the only one looking for a fun day, of course you have to beat out teams for your items. Each team will have to complete missions in the park, and solve HUGE tangrams to create their ideal Day in the Park .

Part of the Come out and Play festival, city-size fun.

kevin slavin interview

Posted April 17th, 2009 at 6:58 pm. There are 0 comments.

Nice short interview with Kevin Slavin of Area/Code at Fabrica Blog from last year. Two striking quotes, but go read the whole thing

Regarding an very small anti-war protest in 2003, emphasis mine. –

And I realized that they had earpieces, and were connected to spotters, who were also in the city. And I saw that, and thought that it was unlike anything that we had ever seen before. The technologies of communication that are usually associated with authority start to be used in a million other ways. I saw that their ability to communicate was going to enable totally different ideas of how we actually use space. By 2003, the mobile phone was already common, but the ideas of groups and more sophisticated interactions other than ‘I’m calling you’ hadn’t really been popularized.
But a big question mark had appeared over Broadway for that moment.

Regarding PacManhattan, again emphasis mine –

The things that have happened over the last ten years point to the need to restore the idea of thinking of the city as a system upon which things can be run. That the streets are not purely for commerce or transportation, but that they have a number of layers. To think of the city as hardware that different software can be run on. Some of that software is an entertainment software, one of the titles could be Pacman. To think of the city like that seemed like a new idea, and at the same time, a very old one. It’s also one that can be rethought with new technologies. Mobile technologies allow us to do it in ways that we may have never been able to do.

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