Cities: what 'world class' means; what US Federal policy for cities could do

The first a deliciously cranky short piece about why cities striving to be “world class” is a rotten idea: “World class” just means banal:

The joy of great cities lies in their differences. What’s special about Stockholm is different from what makes London or Vienna attractive. The “world class city”, and its gormless sibling, […]

Rapidly approaching Rainbows End

Rainbows End is a really awesome novel by Vernor Vinge, set in a near-future world "where almost every object is networked and mediated-reality technology is commonplace." Reading the first part of "The street as platform" felt a lot like being back in the fictional world of Rainbows End, but it is entirely realistic. It may […]

Wind belts and eco-cities

I'm going to the monthly Deeper Green meeting (a committee of the USGBC MA Chapter), and one of the traditional things we do is to share news about things we've learned recently regarding sustainability, usually in terms of "cutting edge" technology. Which I have mixed feelings about.

On the one hand, I love a good widget; […]

A few articles on biomimicry

The Year in Biomimicry, with inventions inspired by butterflies, penguins, and slime mold.

Another butterfly-inspired product is Morphotext, “the world’s first optical coloring fiber,” made up of layers of polyester and nylon, which create colors by the way light interacts with the different thicknesses of fiber – there is no dye or pigment.

Is biomimicry really a […]