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Credit Crunches City Projects

Just came across an interesting article about how the economic crisis is impacting municipal bond markets and consequently city funded projects.

It is likely a short-term problem, but it is an interesting view of how the “Wall Street” crisis impacts “Main Street”.

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Response to UK’s public drinking ban

Punk in Drublic

In the UK a ban that would prohibit drinking in public spaces is being protested by throwing a party in a public park.

It is fascinating that it is illegal to drink in most public spaces in the states, but simply putting a bag over your drink or a publicly sanctioned event makes it alright.

These quotes from this Guardian article made me think about Sennett’s book The Uses of Disorder and the Fall of Public Man.

The longer these bans are imposed, the more each of us refuse to take responsibility for public space, and stop resolving our own issues, leading to a more antisocial society. This is not a campaign for drunkenness, it’s for the public right to engage in our own space.

The police should be concerned with people breaking the law, not with these so-called preventative measures. Cultural issues are not solved with blanket bans, but by political and social engagement for which we need a vibrant public sphere.

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Music Hall and Rainbow

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Post Fact Society

A report at NAC brings up the issue and role that opinion plays in our society. It shouldn’t be underestimated. Even the philosophical text On Bullshit has become required reading for architecture and design students.

The report points towards a new book and uses the combined sewer overflow issue in Milwaukee to illustrate the point.

The book, True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society, “explains how modern media technology has exacerbated human tendencies to selectively absorb information that comports with our beliefs, and to screen out information that doesn’t jive with our version of “reality.” In a post-fact society, the line between what is fact and what is opinion has become blurred to the point of irrelevance.”

“We now conduct public debates without a base of verified, agreed-upon facts. …the lack of fact-based debate also shows up in questions of local infrastructure and services, where the public is called upon to decide how to invest public dollars to solve public problems.”

Most interesting to me is how information technology plays into this. Obviously, this site factors in to this. I’ll be the first to admit it my opinions presented here add to the masses of information we have to sort through. I imagine most people choose to agree or disagree, but it is nice when there is evidence of a dialog that goes somewhere unanticipated.

So is the “blogosphere” part of the problem or part of the solution? Should we leave information disemenation to fact purveyors, or is opinion just as important in shaping cultural discourse? Sometimes it seems more divisive than anything.

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Banks Design Tease

Yesterday some rendering of the first phase of the banks were released. I haven’t seen them all, but there are a few here. I’m curious what everyone thinks, specifically in regards to the idea from the article about how the “riverfront development’s look fits Cincinnati.” Seems like it could be in Anywhere USA to me.

I also thought that changing the heights of the elevation to make it appear to be separate buildings is just a faux finish. It reminds me a lot of contemporary mixed use buildings. Why can’t these large developments reinvent how mixed use feels. Even changing the materials on the street level and offsetting the setback a touch would make more sense than altering the heights. Especially, because it should be about the pedestrian.

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Graffiti Saved My Life

graffiti saves

Graffiti was never intended to dominate this space, especially not discussion of it, but there has been some interesting questions raised and I have had more time than usual of late, so whateva.

And that is what happens with graffiti when left to its own devices, it dominates. But that is never the case. It is never left to its own devices. It is the product of people who are in someway reasonable in both producing it and countering it. It is not everyones reasoning, but it came from somewhere. Many of which are not bad places. And it goes somewhere too. Which are also not all bad.

Graffiti may have saved this life. Maybe not entirely, but it certainly had a lot to do with the path that I am on, which honestly doesn’t have much to do with graffiti anymore, which is sometimes unfortunate.

God bless graffiti

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