Rooftop Dystopia

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEpjnRwLrco[/youtube] Two years ago, I spent a lot of time exploring the rooftop squatter villages that spread across the city like mushrooms on a tree stump. There’s an eerie feeling that comes over you as you walk through these settlements. Weeds poke through cracks in concrete walls; birds chirp and cicadas whir in the hot […]

Photo of the Week: Oakland

Wayne Place, Oakland, California. Photo by Cory Young Every week, we feature striking images from our Urbanphoto group on Flickr. Want to see your photos here? Join the group.

Posted in: United States by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , ,

La douce saison du printemps

I’ll be returning to Montreal for a visit in late July — the same hot, humid time of year I left for Hong Kong three years ago. Though I’m happy to be going back, I wish I could be there for those first exuberant days of spring and early summer, before seasonal amnesia sets in […]

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf 6 Comments , ,

Small Houses, Big Impact

Sam Wan was 10 years old when his father, an officer in the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, died in the line of duty. Reeling from his death, Wan’s family moved from their Tsim Sha Tsui apartment back to their ancestral village, Tai Po Tsai, where they owned a small tile-roofed house. The year was […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, History, Politics, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Small Houses, Big Impact , , , , , ,

Photos of the Week: Instant India

Varanasi. Polaroid on canvas (2011) by Lionel Muñoz Varanasi. Polaroid with 669 film (2011) by Lionel Muñoz

Posted in: Art and Design, South Asia by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Photos of the Week: Instant India , , , ,

A Citadel of Colonial Power — For Sale

Later this year, when Hong Kong’s government moves its headquarters to a glassy new building next to Victoria Harbour, it will leave behind the leafy hill it has called home since the 1840s. Rather than conserve the hill for public use, however, the government wants to sell half of it to developers, who plan to […]

A Day in Petaling Jaya

Kuala Lumpur is a city that settles into its streets like a comfortable pair of jeans. Hawker stalls and coffee shops spread out on the pavement, where a vast range of people — old, young, Indian, Malay, Chinese, immigrant — eat delicious food on folding tables and bright plastic stools. But the irony is that, […]

Tokyo Bicycles in Twelve Frames

Photos of Tokyo cyclists taken in March 2011.

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Public Space, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Tokyo Bicycles in Twelve Frames , , , ,

Photos of the Week: Reflections in Transit

“Ghost train,” Vancouver, c_c_clason

Posted in: Canada, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Photos of the Week: Reflections in Transit , ,

A Walk Through the Bairro Português

Jane Jacobs died five years ago and fans of cities and the celebrated, iconclastic urbanist have been remembering her contribution with walks through neighborhoods around the world since 2007. This coming weekend, May 7 and 8, enthusiastic city lovers in more than 150 cities around the world, from Toronto to São Paulo, will lead Jane’s […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Heritage and Preservation, Public Space, Society and Culture by Mary Soderstrom Comments Off on A Walk Through the Bairro Português , , ,

Elected by Ethnoburbia

Election results in Toronto in 2008 (top) and 2011 (bottom) Red is Liberal, blue is Conservative, orange is NDP Canada held its 41st federal election on Monday and the results have unleashed a seismic shift in the country’s political landscape. After two consecutive minority governments, the Conservatives have now won a majority. The left-wing NDP, […]

Street Furniture in Guangzhou

I’ve written a bit about the discarded furniture phenomenon in Hong Kong, where people make up for a lack of quality street furniture by putting household chairs in the street for people to use. It turns out Hong Kong has got nothing on Guangzhou. In that city’s ancient Liwan District, where leafy, winding streets are […]

Photos of the Week: Mailboxes

Hong Kong mailboxes by Hamachi & Toro Taipei mailboxes by Poagao Every week, we feature striking images from our Urbanphoto group on Flickr. Want to see your photos here? Join the group.

Mega(city)transect

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeMJKmrFdPc[/youtube] Megatransecting Mexico City In 1999, American biologist J. Michael Fay set out on a project to map and survey the vegetation of Africa’s entire Congo River basin. Heavily promoted by National Geographic as “The Megatransect,” Fay’s feat involved 455 days of walking across 3,200 miles of largely untamed territory. Biologists had actually been using […]

Posted in: Europe, Latin America, South Asia, Video by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Mega(city)transect , , , ,