Tag Archives: Neighbourhoods

When Life as we know it erupts into Scale, Manufacturing and Transit

Productivity is a measure of how efficiently production inputs are being used within the economy to produce output. Growth in productivity is a key determinant in improving a nation’s long-term material standard of living. —Statistics NZ ….[yawn]

Since March 2006, Statistics NZ has produced a yearly release of official measures of annual productivity for the measured sector. These measures are vital to better understanding improvements in New Zealand’s living standards, economic performance, and international competitiveness over the long term. Productivity is often defined as a ratio between economic output and the inputs, such as labour and capital, which go into producing that output.

Productivity Statistics – information releases ….[ZzzZzzzz…………..]

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Viddsee Published on May 18, 2016
Changing Batteries – A Robot “Son” Couldn’t Replace The Emptiness In Her Heart // Viddsee.com
‘Changing Batteries’ is a final year animation production made in Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia. The story tells of an old lady who lives alone and receives a robot one day. Based on the theme ‘Change’, our story tells about their relationship development with one another through time.

Viddsee Published on Feb 23, 2016
Alarm – Relatable Animation For The Mornings // Viddsee.com
The story is about a salaryman living in a single apartment. But he has a problem getting up early in the morning. He would rather die than wake up early. He decides to set many alarm clocks everywhere in his apartment so he can get to work on time. The next morning, after struggling with his alarm clocks, he barely finishes preparing for work.

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WIRED UK Published on Jul 5, 2016
Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (Full Documentary) | Future Cities | WIRED
Future Cities, a full-length documentary strand from WIRED Video, takes us inside the bustling Chinese city of Shenzhen. We examine the unique manufacturing ecosystem that has emerged, gaining access to the world’s leading hardware-prototyping culture whilst challenging misconceptions from the west. The film looks at how the evolution of “Shanzhai” – or copycat manufacturing – has transformed traditional models of business, distribution and innovation, and asks what the rest of the world can learn from this so-called “Silicon Valley of hardware”. Directed by: Jim Demuth

Future Cities is part of a new flagship documentary strand from WIRED Video that explores the technologies, trends and ideas that are changing our world.

BBC aired the documentary in November, with the following descriptor:

Best Documentary 2016 Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware gives us an insider’s perspective on a system of creative collaboration that ultimately informs all of our lives.

The centre of the technology world may not lie in California’s Silicon Valley, but in the bustling marketplace of Huaqiangbei, a subdistrict of Shenzhen in China. This is where curious consumers and industry insiders gather to feast their eyes and wallets on the latest software, hardware, gadgetry, and assorted electronic goods. At the very start the film sets the scene to this fascinating technology mecca. A city populated by 20 million people, Shenzhen is the setting where advancement is most likely to originate at speeds that can’t be replicated in the States. The city’s vibrant and inventive tech work force takes over when the innovations of Silicon Valley become stagnant. The revolution may have started in the States, but its evolution is occurring in China. Working in collaboration, Shenzhen labourers craft unique upgrades and modifications to everything from laptops to cell phones. Their efforts then immigrate and influence the adoption of new products in other regions of the world. The infrastructure by which this is made possible is known as the ‘Maker movement’. In developer conferences and Maker exhibition fairs, tech geeks are encouraged to share their ideas freely with colleagues in the hopes that more open collaborations will form grander innovations. The film highlights how these attitudes stand in sharp contrast to the Western world where communications are secretive, monopolies are the norm and proprietorship is sacred. However, there are challenges faced by Shenzhen in maintaining their edge in the industry. While widely acknowledged as pioneers, Shenzhen’s prominence has faltered as the remainder of China has proven successful in their attempts to catch up. Adding to the frustrations, the government has interceded and moved manufacturing bases outside of the city. Meanwhile, figures from the world of investment financing have moved into the equation, and threatened to stifle creativity by imposing a more closed and impenetrable mode of operations.

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### dailymail.co.uk 30 Oct 2013
Ever wondered how everything you buy from China gets here? Welcome to the port of Shanghai – the size of 470 football pitches
By Daily Mail Reporter
Whether it’s the car you drove to work in, the computer at your desk or your children’s toys strewn across their bedroom floor, there’s a very good chance they have come from here. This is the world’s busiest trading port which handles a staggering 32million containers a year carrying 736million tonnes of goods to far-flung places around the globe. Stretching as far as the eye can see, rows upon rows of containers lie stacked up at the Port of Shanghai waiting to be shipped abroad and bringing in trillions of pounds to the Chinese economy in the process. It’s this fearsome capacity that has helped China become the world’s largest trading nation when it leapfrogged the United States last year.
The port has an area of 3.94 square kilometres – the equivalent of 470 football pitches. China’s breakneck growth rate in recent years has been driven by exports and manufacturing as well as government spending on infrastructure. In the last eight years alone, capacity at the Port of Shanghai has ballooned from 14million TEUs (a unit which is roughly the volume of a 20ft-long container) in 2004 to more than 32million last year. The rapid expansion was largely thanks to the construction of the Yangshan Deepwater Port, which opened in 2005 and can handle the world’s largest container vessels. That port alone can now shift around 12million containers a year.
Shanghai’s location at the mouth of the Yangtze River made it a key area of development for coastal trade during the Qing dynasty from 1644 to 1912. In 1842, Shanghai became a treaty port, which opened it up to foreign trade, and by the early 20th Century it became the largest in the Far East. Trade became stifled after 1949, however, when the economic policies of the People’s Republic crippled infrastructure and development. But after economic reforms in 1991, the port was able to expand exponentially.
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shanghai-yangshan-port-01-topchinatravel-comdonghai-bridge-1-topchinatravel-comyangshan-deepwater-port-meretmarine-comyangshan-deepwater-port-embed-lyyangshan-deepwater-port-via-reddit-com

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David Carrier Published on Jan 13, 2017
World’s Biggest and Busiest Port Ever Made – Full Documentary
The Yangshan Deepwater Port is connected to the mainland by the Donghai Bridge, the world’s longest sea bridge.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: (from top) Shanghai Map – topchinatravel.com, Donghai Bridge – topchinatravel.com, Yangshan Deepwater Port – meretmarine.com, embed.ly, reddit-com

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‘Low-rises are great for the community and the residents’

### theglobeandmail.com Tuesday, 10 July 2012, 1:07 PM EDT
Last updated Tues, 10 July 2012, 1:15 PM EDT
Real Estate
High time for more low-rises
By Nadani Ditmars
The traditional “Vancouverist” model of a tower and podium may well be headed for a civic sea change. In the midst of controversy over proposed new towers – like the Rize Alliance development in Mount Pleasant that continues to draw significant community opposition despite being approved by council – several new “low-rise” projects are quietly making their mark on the urban landscape.

Call it the “slow-rise” revolution if you will, but the model that is gaining ground is one that evokes an earlier era and a more human scale, with uniquely contemporary design. Centred around Vancouver’s historic neighbourhoods, projects like Gastown’s Paris Annex, Chinatown’s Flats on Georgia and Mount Pleasant’s Collection 45 offer modernist architectural values that respect the surrounding built-and-social environments in a way that the city’s growing number of cookie-cutter towers do not.

Developer Robert Fung, whose six-storey Paris Annex building will be completed this summer, and has already sold out, contends that “our region needs density – it’s crucially important. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be exclusively through high-rises.” He notes that Paris, one of the densest cities in the world, achieved that density largely through the six-storey walk-up typology.

While he believes that high-rises can be designed with sensitivity to their environment, low-rises offer certain advantages, says Mr. Fung, “They increase light in an area,” he notes. “They offer a strong sense of identity and individuality, but at the same time make it easier for neighbours to get to know each other.”

Because of the low-rise’s need to be “strongly contextual to where they are,” he says, “that can often mean a higher level of design, and greater attention to detail,” noting that “our historic neighbourhoods tend to offer greater opportunities for this, as the buildings have to have a greater sense of engagement with their environment.”

He notes that some towers in the area, like the Woodwards one, tend to be “inward looking” with a lack of “street-front engagement.” Low-rises by nature have a greater engagement with the street and tend to go against the grain of the “commodity ubiquity towers” that proliferate around, say, the False Creek South area.
Street view-HASTINGS-10The Paris Annex is a conjoined fraternal twin of sorts to the next-door heritage conversion (and former HQ of Paris boot-makers) Paris Block. Both buildings, designed by architect Gair Williamson, share service core infrastructure.

“You have to walk through the old 1907 building to enter the new one,” notes Mr. Williamson. “Every day, residents are literally moving through history.”

The elegant 35-foot building of glass and steel will contain 2,500 square feet of retail on the ground floor and mezzanine, with 17 market residential units on the upper floors.

The constraints of these “character sites,” as Mr. Williamson calls them, “make them unique. When you work on a 25-foot site, you have to respond with integrity and be hyper-aware of the surrounding environment.”
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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For urban designers, speculators and stadium nuts

We love pop-up maps!!!

Today, at Fast Company’s website, William Bostwick profiles Rob Carter’s Metropolis, a 9-minute history of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Metropolis, Bostwick says, is a trend trifecta: cartography, cut and folded paper, and urban history. The animation, made from a sequence of aerial pictures layered on top of each other, transforms Charlotte “from Native American trading post to cotton-age boom town to tower-spiked banking hub in just a few folds.”
Fast Company Link


5LoveMyself 15 February 2010
View full animation, Metropolis (2008), on Carter’s site. (9:30 mins)

More…

“Metropolis is a quirky and very abridged narrative history of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. It uses stop motion video animation to physically manipulate aerial still images of the city (both real and fictional), creating a landscape in constant motion. Starting around 1755 on a Native American trading path, the viewer is presented with the building of the first house in Charlotte. From there we see the town develop through the historic dismissal of the English, to the prosperity made by the discovery of gold and the subsequent roots of the building of the multitude of churches that the city is famous for. Now the landscape turns white with cotton, and the modern city is ‘born’, with a more detailed re-creation of the economic boom and surprising architectural transformation that has occurred in the past twenty years.

Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, primarily due to the continuing influx of the banking community, resulting in an unusually fast architectural and population expansion that shows no sign of faltering despite the current economic climate. However, this new downtown Metropolis is therefore subject to the whim of the market and the interest of the giant corporations that choose to do business there. Made entirely from images printed on paper, the animation literally represents this sped up urban planners dream, but suggests the frailty of that dream, however concrete it may feel on the ground today. Ultimately the video continues the city development into an imagined hubristic future, of more and more skyscrapers and sports arenas and into a bleak environmental future. It is an extreme representation of the already serious water shortages that face many expanding American cities today; but this is less a warning, as much as a statement of our paper thin significance no matter how many monuments of steel, glass and concrete we build.”
Vimeo Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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European Workshop Waterfront Urban Design

@ Lisboa (Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal)

### archdaily.com 27 Jan 2010
European Workshop Waterfront Urban Design
By Sebastian J
ULHT (Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias) has organised an international workshop on the theme of waterfront design (European Workshop Waterfront Urban Design) EWWUD. This event will take place between 14 and 28 March 2010 and has several international specialists in nine foreign universities.
Solutions for the relocation of port facilities and the consequent waterfront regeneration of old ports are dependent upon the capacity of both port and city to sucessfully develop the necessary means of negotiation, to work towards mutual improvements. While port representatives privilege the efficiency of maritime activity, city leaders pursue improvements to their citizens’ quality of life.

Exchange of good practices between port cities is required with two goals: to support the ports’ need to expand and relocate, and to produce urban waterfront REGENERATION that integrates rather than segregates neighbourhoods and their citizens.

Workshop objectives:
Port cities sharing similar experiences regarding projects of architecture and urban design at former port areas; discussion of the influence generated by geographic and historical factors; introduction of the cartographic culture of urban fabric’s transformation at the water edge; comparison of cultural, environmental and historical heritage solutions; port cities exchange mutual visions and common pratices, that constitute a relevant tool for the regeneration of former port areas; production of architecture and urban design sketches for publication; understanding that former industrial waterfronts are potential sites of continuity for urban morphology.
Email: ewwud @ulusofona.pt

ArchDaily Link + Workshop Poster

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Can Dallas turn a complex of starchitect buildings into a vibrant urban district?

### architectmagazine.com January 20, 2010
Architect: Design
Enough Arts; More District
By Cathy Lang Ho
Dallas seeks to create a vibrant urban neighbourhood out of a slew of starchitect buildings. It’s not the first city to pin its hopes for a shot of urban adrenaline on dazzling new cultural buildings, but it’s among the more ambitious.

The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House by Foster + Partners, the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre by REX/OMA, and the Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park by landscape architect Michel Desvigne are the latest additions to the downtown arts district, a 68-acre area that already includes structures designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, I. M. Pei, Renzo Piano, and Brad Cloepfil.

The newly completed projects—along with an outdoor amphitheatre by Foster and another theatre by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, slated for completion in 2010 and 2011, respectively—constitute the AT&T Performing Arts Centre, the largest and most costly performing arts complex built in the United States since Lincoln Centre, which, of course, grandfathered the trend of arts districts doubling as urban development tools.
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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“Tradition in architecture conveys the kind of practical knowledge that is required by neighbourliness.”

Thanks to ro1 for the following article, published by The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute:

### http://www.american.com Sat, 19 Dec 2009
The High Cost of Ignoring Beauty
By Roger Scruton
Architecture clearly illustrates the social, environmental, economic, and aesthetic costs of ignoring beauty. We are being torn out of ourselves by the loud gestures of people who want to seize our attention but give nothing in return.
In Britain, the state, in the form either of local or central government, will tell you whether you can or cannot build on land that you own. And if it permits you to build, it will stipulate not only the purposes for which you may use the building, but also how it should look, and what materials should be used to construct it. Americans are used to building regulations that enforce utilitarian standards: insulation, smoke alarms, electrical safety, the size and situation of bathrooms, and so on. But they are not used to being told what aesthetic principles to follow, or what the neighbourhood requires of materials and architectural details. I suspect that many Americans would regard such stipulations as a radical violation of property rights, and further evidence of the state’s illegitimate expansion.
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Roger Scruton is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a writer, philosopher, and public commentator, and has written widely on aesthetics, as well as political and cultural issues.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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