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Thoughts on urban planning, city design, architecture, the built environment, social issues, Seoul, Korea, and soon... London

22.8.04

Architects of the Parecon Society 

ZNet - Parecon - Architecture of the New Society

This article from Chris Spannos of Vancouver offers a good, in the quick, overview of past "visions" of non-capitalist city's/urban societies as well as the vision of the parecon (participatory economy) city and the role of the architect and planner in it.

The parecon vision is commendable and appealing, perhaps good to use a guiding light. Spannos only offers one sentence on how we can build the parecon city: "Transition from capitalism to parecon would have to begin with "building the new society in the shell of the old."

Fortunately, the source of a quote offers us some guidance: self-management. Tom Wetzel, in his article The City: From Self-managed Movements to the Self-managed City, cites community land trusts and similar organizations, as important mechanisms, particularly if networked, that can be used now to work toward the parecon city.

18.8.04

Architecture hit list 

Architect calls for Scotland's ugliest buildings to be torn down - The Herald

An architecture hit list is misguided/ing. Granted the buildings may be ugly and perhaps should be torn down for aesthetic or social reasons. But before rolling out the demolition ball, studies should be done to see if it would be more efficient (environmentally, financially, socially) to rework or, less preferably, simply let these buildings live out their lives. Should the buildings be torn down, measures first need to be in place to ensure their replacements will not be of a quality the same or worse.

Foremost in importance, however, is implementing good design in the first place. Second to that is the awareness that taste changes.


6.8.04

Bush speaks the truth! 

This from AP:

Bush misspeaks, says his administration seeking 'new ways to harm our country'

WASHINGTON, Aug 4. (AP) -- President George W. Bush offered up a new entryfor his catalog of "Bushisms'' on Thursday, declaring that hisadministration will "never stop thinking about new ways to harm ourcountry and our people.''

Bush misspoke as he delivered a speech at the signing ceremonyfor a $417 billion defense spending bill.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we,'' Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm ourcountry and our people, and neither do we.''

No one in Bush's audience of military brass or Pentagon chiefsreacted.

The president was working his way toward a larger point. "Wemust never stop thinking about how best to defend our country. Wemust always be forward-thinking,'' he said.

White House spokesman Scott McClellansaid Bush's misstatement "just shows even the most straightforward and plain-spoken people misspeak.''

"But the American people know this president speaks with clarityand conviction, and the terrorists know by his actions he means it,'' McClellan said.

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UNBELIEVABLE


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