Tianjin in perspective
Aug19

Tianjin in perspective

by Austin Williams | 19 August 2015 “Disasters on the scale of (this) tragic explosion … tend to provoke a brief wave of statements that such things must never happen again. With the passage of time these sentiments are diluted into bland reports about human error and everything being well under control… (but), there is a real chance that the death toll could trigger meaningful changes in a neglected aspect of...

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The Right Time for the Night Time
May26

The Right Time for the Night Time

Alan D Miller | 26 May 2016 The Night Time industries are vital to Britain’s future both culturally and economically. Now that the dust has settled after the General Elections, it is worth reminding everyone that said they are “pro business” and particularly intere ted in the employment of young people as well as small businesses  that there is an enormous success story in our capitaland across Britain that is...

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Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #5
Oct13

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #5

Steve Nash | 2 October 2014 Megacities – Twelve Stories of Survival. Dir. Michael Glawogger, 1998 This film is a tour de force. Part documentary and part fictionalised account of the lives of those fighting to get by in the megacities of Mumbai, Mexico City, New York and Moscow, it is also a visual poem with a dream like qualitywhose images are intended to stay with the viewer for a long time. It is now part of the legacy of the work...

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Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #4
Oct09

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #4

Martin Earnshaw | 9 October 2014 Ecumenopolis: City without Limits, Dir. Imre Azem, 2012 When we think of a World City we think of a globalised hub like London where people from all over the world come to live, work or study. An Ecumenopolis gives the concept of the World City a differentmeaning. Although the term was coined in the 1960’s as an extrapolation of the rapid growth of cities, the idea of a city expanding to cover an...

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Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #3
Oct06

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #3

Josh Broomer | 7 October 2014 ‘Ecopolis China’, Directed by Anna-Karin Grönroos Anna-Karin Grönroos’s insightful documentary is dedicated to exploring two possible Eco-City projects; a state of the art eco-research city and an Eco-City in a single tower.Both are intended to accommodate 20,000 people and share the aim of creating, in the jargon, a cleaner, brighter and more sustainable future. Yet in their design and construction...

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Film Review: Robin Hood Gardens
Sep30

Film Review: Robin Hood Gardens

Rosalind Alexander | 30 September 2014 “The Smithsons on Housing” Allow me to introduce you to B S Johnson’s 1970 documentary, “The Smithsons on Housing”, which might be better titled “The Smithsons on the Tragedy that is London.” Everything they discuss is from the perspective of their project at Robin Hood Garden in Poplar, east London, which was in mid-construction when they were interviewed. It is also somewhat difficult to get...

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Film review: “Rebel Architecture” #2
Sep04

Film review: “Rebel Architecture” #2

Magdalena Melon | 4 September 2014 “Greening the city” “If the current way of thinking does not change, sooner or later citizens will actually live in concrete jungles. For a modern architect, the most important mission is to bring back green spaces to the earth.” “Urbanisation is threatening our green spaces in Ho Chi Minh City” – a quote from Vo Trong Nghia, the Vietnamese architectural subject of this short film –...

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Film review: “Rebel Architecture”
Aug29

Film review: “Rebel Architecture”

 Pedro Calmon | 29 August 2014 “The Pedreiro and the Master Planner”  “The favela is unplanned, it arises spontaneously, with no help or design from government”, Luis Carlos Toledo, Master Planner. Arbitrariness, especially in urban settlements, is a rare feature. From Berlin’s Wall to the plazas of Spanish cities, the question “why is something where it is” – seems to be fundamental to any analysis of a determined...

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The Anti-Human Eco-City
Apr20

The Anti-Human Eco-City

By Paul Thomas | 20 April 2014 Before attending this lecture on The Anti-Human Eco-City at Leeds Met, I’d heard of them but was unsure what they were. Apparently, I was not alone. According to the speaker, Austin Williams, Associate Professor of Architecture at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China, there is no agreed definition of what an eco-city is; there are very few that have been built; and the most famous one,...

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Ordos’ Other Ghost Town
Jan04

Ordos’ Other Ghost Town

Ordos in Inner Mongolia is synonymous with the phrase ‘Ghost Town’; a term describing cities apparently built on a whim, with no-one to occupy them. With China having already started to fulfil its pledge to build 400 new cities in 20 years, innumerable articles have emerged in the Western press to laugh, pity or gloat at the emergence of such tragi-comical examples of urban desolation. Forbes magazine is typical of many...

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