This week the protests continued in Turkey which began with the outrage at the privisation of Gezi Park, it is becoming clear that public open space is an issue that will always spark citizens to go into action to save their cities spaces.
The Gezi Park example is a extreme case but all over the world as state and city governments attempt to raise revenue they are turning to development of public open space as it is one of the only assets that many cities have remaining due to privitisation of services (utilities, education, health, transport).
There are some successful situations of private developments providing public open space in cities such as Hong Kong, there will always be a need for public open space for recreation and civic or cultural events. These whoever are usually small in scale to the large cultural spaces such as squares, local and regional parks. However, it seems many governments are overstepping the line by turning public space into private space whether this is leasing a local park or garden for a wedding or the extreme of developing a whole park or square for private use.
Public open space (parks, gardens, squares, etc) provide space for citizens and visitors to relax, recreate, meet and communicate and also to experience nature, culture and human connections. A lack of programmed and unprogrammed public open space creates soulless cities as landscape architects we need to push for public open space and rally against the push for privitisation of public spaces.
What I read that was interesting this week
Building Hyperdensity and Civic Delight | Design Observer | Vishaan Chakrabarti
“Sound urban development is the lynchpin of the hyperdense environment. Yet public advocacy for high-density development is extraordinarily low, primarily because its merits are misunderstood.”
Five Robotic Bike Parking Systems That Solve an Urban Dilemma | Gizmodo
Maybe New York should have looked at these first for citibike?
Atkins to develop Eco-Low Carbon Urban Planning Guidance in China
Funnily enough I was contacted by another group of companies to join this commission but they didn’t get it. Be interesting to see what Atkins develops and if its published publicly. I hope its more ‘practical’ for governments and developers rather that another dust collector.
5 Ideas Apple Gleefully Stole From Google, Twitter, and Microsoft | Fast Co Design
When I saw iOS 7’s new icons and features, I instantly thought they had Android and Windows features came straight mind. As for the new Mac Pro it is a disappointment and I think that they will have to develop a rack option for digital studios and heavy users as a cyclinder is not really an efficient use of space. I have used used desktop macs back in Australia including a G4 and G5 Macs including the ‘cube’ which cracked and overheated. There will always be discussion about Apple’s designs but I hope Apple continues to innovate.
Asian universities are leaping up the league tables, but China is getting left behind
Personally, I think there is a shortage of qualified and experienced staff to join the many new universities opening in China. This problem will be solved over time but there will a period of transition. There is transition occuring in every industry in China as the national focus turns from looking out to to looking in. Interesting times ahead.