In Defence of SkyCycle

Soaring above the city on a bike: you can’t deny it would be a cool way to get around. One of the greatest pleasures of urban transport is being the passenger in a car travelling along an elevated highway — being immersed in the city yet removed from it, revealing a perspective inaccessible to you […]

Mobile Architecture

Despite the fact that I’ve never owned a car, and I drive only a couple of times a year, I’ve always had a fascination with car design. When I was a kid, I knew all the marques. I would sit in the back seat of my parents’ van, naming the cars that went by, a […]

Open Doors in Phnom Penh

We’re happy to introduce our newest contributor, Yin Khvat. Yin was born in Manchester in the UK and has lived in Australia for the last six years. She is currently on a short stay in Taiwan and has a particular interest in Cambodia. Photo by Bo Nielsen A woman is selling green coconuts off the […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Europe, Public Space, Society and Culture by Yin Khvat Comments Off on Open Doors in Phnom Penh , , , ,

Revisiting the Fortress Embassy

Security forces intervene during the protests at US Embassy Cairo. Photo by Gigi Ibrahim. There are probably at least a few in your city, hiding on the upper floods of office buildings, secluded in elegant townhouses, tucked somewhere behind high fences out of view. Nearby cars’ license plates are sometimes their only identifiable feature. Whether […]

Posted in: Africa and Middle East, Architecture, Books, Europe, Politics by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Revisiting the Fortress Embassy , , , , ,

Pastoralympics

Wait, that’s not an Olympic sport! Photo courtesy UK Department of Culture, Media, and Sport Texted, tweeted, teasing browsers of a hundred “sneak preview” slideshows ─ in short, serving as the centerpiece of endless international speculation for weeks prior to its debut ─ the verdant green fields on which the curtain of the 2012 Olympics […]

Posted in: Europe, History, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Pastoralympics , , , , , , ,

Photos of the Week: Cold Shoulder

Posted in: Europe by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Photos of the Week: Cold Shoulder ,

Delving Brick Lane’s Layers

Early on a Friday morning, London’s Brick Lane bustles with Bangladeshis heading to prayers at the local mosque. The women wear brightly coloured saris and the men don long pastel robes, looking striking as they stride along this worn English street. A few hours later, they are gone and the feel of the street has […]

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 , , , ,

Photo of the Week: Polaroid Commute

This week’s photo was taken with an iPhone by Matthew Burlem in the London underground. The Polaroid effect comes from running the image through the iPhone’s Polarize app. Every week, we feature striking images from our Urbanphoto group on Flickr. Want to see your photos here? Join the group.

Posted in: Europe, Transportation by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Photo of the Week: Polaroid Commute , , , , ,

Time Travel With Nick DeWolf

Penn Station, New York, 1958 Three years ago, people were still complaining that photo-sharing websites like Flickr were home mostly to “thousands of pieces of shit” — few good photos, endless amounts of clichéd snapshots that nobody really wants to see. Since then, of course, Flickr has proven its worth by attracting plenty of good, […]

Brick Lane Street Art

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/15673926[/vimeo] It’s right next to the City of London, but the Brick Lane area is everything the financial district is not. It has long been one of the poorest districts of London, notorious for its crime and council housing. It also has an artistic atmosphere and abundant street art that contrasts with the sterile corporate […]

The Reluctant Urban Artist: Anish Kapoor

In the omphalos of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, Chicago The contemporary art world can be a fickle place. Less than a decade ago, Damien Hirst somehow managed to earn an overnight fortune by preserving a dead shark in a fish tank. That was before a host of personal troubles — and the ongoing recession’s damper […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Europe, Public Space, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on The Reluctant Urban Artist: Anish Kapoor , , , , , ,

Rush Hour in London, 1970 and Today

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPIaG644jsI[/youtube] Bulbous black taxis and double-decker buses might supply London’s most recognizable transport iconography, but Britain, where the railroad was born, has long been a nation defined by trains. A look at two videos of London’s rail station at rush hour confirms the country’s undying regard for rail. The crowds pulsating through Waterloo Station in […]

How to Fix a Troublesome Highway

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po9jgc6JS24[/youtube] When Montreal’s Turcot Interchange opened in 1966, no one had seen anything quite like it. Floating one hundred pillared feet above the ground, its concrete spans swirled and swooped through the air, finally coming together in a knot of jaw-dropping proportions. It comprised over seven kilometres of road and spanned an area of seventeen […]