The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

May 16, 2010 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)
  • Sounds like this conference included a lot of talented people; click through to read Lincoln House’s own review:
    The two days that some 42 journalists and Nieman fellows spent at the Journalists Forum on Land and the Built Environment: The Reinvented City, late last month were packed with compelling conversations about all the re-engineering, re-imagining and retrofitting metropolitan regions need to be doing these days. The writers, editors, producers — and one artist! — gathered in Cambridge as they do every spring for the forum, put on by the Lincoln Institute, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Though part of the idea is to take a break from the daily pressures of the newsroom, there was much real-time blogging and the filing of weekend stories: Mary Newsom of the Charlotte Observer in The Naked City, Tim Halbur at Planetizen, on Andres Duany’s talk and the former mayors of Seattle and Miami; Tim Bryant of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in Building Blocks, Josh Stephens at California Planning & Development Report and Roger Showley of the San Diego Tribune on housing and recovery.

    tags: lincoln_institute, urbanism, urbanplanning, cities, anthony_flint

  • Excellent critique by Danah Boyd, which brings class issues and other questions of power into the equation.
    Facebook was originally a counterpublic, a public that people turned to because they didn’t like the publics that they had accessed to. What’s happening now is ripping the public that was created to shreds and people’s discomfort stems from that.

    tags: facebook, danah_boyd, commenting, privacy, socialmedia

  • Could this work?
    Where the Hartwell paper becomes controversial is in its approach to decarbonisation. The authors argue that the large emerging economies are clearly fuelling themselves with renewables and nuclear as well as, rather than instead of, fossil fuels, for various reasons, and that this will not change soon. Nor, they imply, should it. They argue that there is something wrong with a world in which carbon-dioxide levels are kept to 450 parts per million (a trajectory widely deemed compatible with a 2 degree cap on warming) but at the same time more than a billion of the poorest people are left without electricity, as in one much discussed scenario from the International Energy Agency.

    Their oblique approach is to aim instead for a world with accessible, secure low cost energy for all. The hope, intuition or strategy at play here is that since fossil fuels cannot deliver such a world, its achievement will, in itself, bring about decarbonisation on a massive scale. Following a path stressing clean energy as a development issue provides a more pleasant journey to the same objective.

    This analysis moves the policy prescription away from making today’s fossil fuels more expensive while subsidising the use of current suboptimal renewables, and towards the development of new energy technologies that will be cheap in absolute terms. This is to be achieved by spending public money directly on the development of the new technologies needed, rather than by hoping that putting a price on carbon will naturally move the market to the same destination. When it comes to technology development, the message is a distinctly un-Brownian “go straight for what you want” that will be familiar to those who have come across California think tank The Breakthrough Institute, the founders of which were also among the authors of the Hartwell paper.

    tags: green_strategies, hartwell, capability_brown, environment

  • Interesting review of Peter Harnik’s book, Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities (Island Press, 2010).
    …Peter teaches the reader what one should consider in order to construct and manage a successful city park system: that different kinds of parks serve different functions; that different kinds of populations look to parks for different services; that parks and neighborhoods need each other to be successful; that parks in the suburbs may be created through conservation of existing undeveloped land, but most parks in cities need to be developed (New York’s Central Park may look like it was conserved, but in fact it was carefully planned and created).

    tags: cities, urban_parks, urban_amenities

  • Way to go:
    The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority is not usually held up as an example of a public agency leading the way in the open data and transparency movement. It’s perennially attacked by New Yorkers and the local media as a bloated, inefficient agency that struggles just to keep the trains and buses running, let alone do anything innovative. Yet, the MTA’s recent efforts to open up its data and reach out to developers demonstrate that even the most bureaucratically and financially challenged public agencies can be leaders in embracing new media.

    tags: nyc, transit, opendata, gov2.0

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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