Weekly Urban News Update
August 31st , 2018
In This Update
Smart Cities
Urban Living
This Weekend in the District
This Week in Photos
Smart Cities

In Greece, Trikala leads the way
Trikala, The Guardian explains ,  was a surprising choice to lead Greek cities in smart technology. In 2014, Trikala, situated in the agricultural heartland of Greece, was 45 million euros in debt. Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Dimitris Papastergiou, Trikala has embraced EU funded projects and opened itself as a test site for local tech companies,  while simultaneously cutting its debt in half. "If our country could follow the example of this municipality," remarked Vassilos Spachos, an ICT teacher in Trikala, "maybe we could get out of this crisis."

Quayside, Toronto: An Urbanist or Orwellian Utopia?
In Toronto, residents weigh the promise of an easier, cheaper and happier life with anxieties about the gray area around data collection, profit and privacy. Developer Sidewalk Labs is facing backlash over its  planned neighborhood Quayside, self-described as the "world's first neighborhood built from the internet up," as some worry about the "monetization of citizen data" by private corporations. CityLab surveys the debates for and against, landing on the side calling for transparency from Quayside's founders.

Urban Living 

Map Twins in Chicago: "Long Lost Siblings" of the North and South Sides
Loyola University Museum of Art is currently featuring "Folded Map," an exhibit by Chicago photographer Tonika Johnson. Johnson, who was born in the South Side and attended high school in the North Side wanted to explore the differences and similarities of Chicago residents who shared the same address, but lived on different sides of the Madison Street dividing line. Nanette Tucker, of Englewood in the South Side, and Wade Wilson, of Edgewater in the North Side, were among the "long lost siblings" brought together by Johnson.  Wilson, who shares the street address as Tucker says he has "gained a new friend," and that both he and Wilson are no longer "scared to approach new people or neighborhoods." As Professor Mary Patillo (Northwestern University) put, the ingenuity of Johnson's exhibit lies in its reflection of "our own curiosity and discomfort with what we know is a very segregated city, but experience as our own comfortable enclave, wherever that may be."  Read more here.

Animating City Spaces: A Case Study in Charlotte, NC
This week CNN Travel reminds us of some of the  best urban national parks  in America, but it leaves us wondering why some public spaces succeed when others do not. CityLab examines how even revamped and revitalized public spaces can remain empty and unused through a case study of Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte transformed a central plaza between government buildings into "GovPorch," a welcoming "front porch" space that includes public art, deck chairs, and food trucks. The key to its success? CityLab points to the space's "activation." Since reintroducing the plaza, Charlotte has activated the space with its "First Friday" programming, with  live music and food trucks. Read more here.

This Weekend in the District

Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality
On Saturday, September 8th, at Union Market in Washington, DC, Politics and Prose hosts authors Melissa and Chris Bruntlett who will discuss their forthcoming book Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality. The Bruntletts, co-founders of the creative agency Modacity, will present their research on how and why the Netherlands became the only country in the world to count more bicycles than people. The Bruntletts will also discuss the influence of the Dutch example on some American cities that have sought to implement a similar accessible, casual, and inclusive cycling culture. Can't attend? Listen to the Bruntletts discuss their book on the StreetsBlogUSA podcast or read t heir  Vox interview.

Find the event information here.
This Week in Photos 
  • New Cities and Old Trees in China: China transplants trees from villages and forests into new urban developments.
  • A Tale of Two Yemeni Cities: At this year's Visa pour l'image photojournalism festival in France, photographer Lorenzo Tugnoli presents his work on the humanitarian crisis in Aden and Sanaa.

Egongyan Park, Chongqin, China, 2017 (The Guardian)
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