CityDashboard makes it to the Mayor of London’s Office and the BBC!

CASA colleague Steven James Gray used the API from CityDashboard, which I created early last year by aggregating various free London-centric data feeds into a single webpage, to power the data for a 4×3 array of iPads, mounted in a wooden panel, itself iPad-esque in shape. The “iPad wall” was mounted in the Mayor of […]

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Tweet City: Building Heights by Number of Tweets Movie (London)

What if London’s buildings grew according to the amount of data they generate? Stephan Hügel (@urschrei) and Flora Roumpani (@en_topia) two of our PhD students from The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, have been working on a system to read in twitter data to CityEngine and link the geo…

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Limitless London

Defining urban boundaries is certainly an undefined topic. A proof is the recent “boarderless” competition where the winning projects swing between creating a functional built form of the boundary, or revolved around the notions of non-permanence and instability. The winning project ‘Floating Border Project’ by Hélène Grialouand Sebastien Gafari, creates a moving boarder. “The shaded frontier is moving throughout hours, days and seasons. The installation is composed of an inflatable structure which consists of a balloon cloud upon the Temple. These balloons calculate the weather forecast, wind and luminosity. During bad weather, the limit on the ground disappears and the aerial structure lights up to become a signal seen by the both two countries.” 
As urban planning and architecture integrates advanced techniques from computer science, big data and other sciences, it is affecting the built environment in both design and construction. New techniques which introduce complex calculations of different data feeds have led professionals of the build environment to slightly change their role and find solutions in relation to design and function with a clear focus on optimization and efficiency.
In the movie “Limitless” – 2011, a writer finds the “golden” pill, which allows him to access all of his potentials, giving him fulfilment in life- work and relationships and to accomplish his every goal. The intro of the film, is a very good metaphore of the limitless city. A reflection of todays fluxuating society and the rush to adjust to something that looks as if “it” has begun and as if “it” has no ending.

1st prize of boarderless competition  Hélène Grialou & Sebastien Gafari
In another film by K. Giannaris, “From the Edge of the City” , the undefined city boundaries represent a more vague image of the people who live in the edge of social acceptable. In today’s society, to be able to learn quick and easy so as to be as efficient as possible is part of this new world and this tends to be a dominant idea of the new urban utopia. Are we giving our cities some technological shots in the end? Are the boarders going to be defined by what is unable to adjust; inhabited by the marginalized of those without smart-phones?
And so, inspired by the brilliant intro of “Limitless” – here is a google maps version for the city of London. Of course not as well executed, but an animation using Google maps and some free sounds from http://soundbible.com, turned out to be something very quick and easy to do.
Continue reading »

Limitless London

Defining urban boundaries is certainly an undefined topic. A proof is the recent “boarderless” competition where the winning projects swing between creating a functional built form of the boundary, or revolved around the notions of non-permanence and instability. The winning project ‘Floating Border Project’ by Hélène Grialouand Sebastien Gafari, creates a moving boarder. “The shaded frontier is moving throughout hours, days and seasons. The installation is composed of an inflatable structure which consists of a balloon cloud upon the Temple. These balloons calculate the weather forecast, wind and luminosity. During bad weather, the limit on the ground disappears and the aerial structure lights up to become a signal seen by the both two countries.” 
As urban planning and architecture integrates advanced techniques from computer science, big data and other sciences, it is affecting the built environment in both design and construction. New techniques which introduce complex calculations of different data feeds have led professionals of the build environment to slightly change their role and find solutions in relation to design and function with a clear focus on optimization and efficiency.
In the movie “Limitless” – 2011, a writer finds the “golden” pill, which allows him to access all of his potentials, giving him fulfilment in life- work and relationships and to accomplish his every goal. The intro of the film, is a very good metaphore of the limitless city. A reflection of todays fluxuating society and the rush to adjust to something that looks as if “it” has begun and as if “it” has no ending.

1st prize of boarderless competition  Hélène Grialou & Sebastien Gafari
In another film by K. Giannaris, “From the Edge of the City” , the undefined city boundaries represent a more vague image of the people who live in the edge of social acceptable. In today’s society, to be able to learn quick and easy so as to be as efficient as possible is part of this new world and this tends to be a dominant idea of the new urban utopia. Are we giving our cities some technological shots in the end? Are the boarders going to be defined by what is unable to adjust; inhabited by the marginalized of those without smart-phones?
And so, inspired by the brilliant intro of “Limitless” – here is a google maps version for the city of London. Of course not as well executed, but an animation using Google maps and some free sounds from http://soundbible.com, turned out to be something very quick and easy to do.
Continue reading »

Having a lunch at Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower in London

Looking at Heron Tower on the street (The image is taken by Networking City)


Some days ago, I went to Heron Tower near Liverpool Street Station in London.
This 46 floors and 230meter remarkable high rise building,
which is designed by KPF with structure design by Arup, was built in 2011.
Duck & Waffle restaurant is located on the 40th floor of the building.

Looking down toward Liverpool Street (The image is taken by Networking City)

The bar on the 40th floor of Heron tower (The image is taken by Networking City)

The interior of Duck & Waffle (The image is taken by Networking City)

The ‘Duck & Waffle’ at Duck & Waffle (The image is taken by Networking City)


My friend recommended this place because I can see an incredible cityscape of London, although the menu is pricey.
Not only the beautiful scenery of London but unusual food, which is crispy fried duck and fried-egg covered a waffle with maple syrup, are there.
The interior design of the restaurant is not looking good as much as some photos on their website.
It feels like rather refined, but some materials such as yellow wave ceiling do not make a nice combination altogether.  

However, looking down 30 St Mary Axe (or Gherkin) designed by Foster and 122 Leadenhall Street (or Cheese Grater) by Rogers just beside them was a strange and exciting experience. It gives a reason to go there.

Looking at 30 St Mary Axe and 122 Leadenhall Street (The image is taken by Networking City)

I recorded a film image in a high-speed elevator of Heron Tower.
The feeling of coming down from the 40th floor to ground level by the elevator is similar to that of dreaming flying dim London air but immediately returning to desert reality.

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Having a lunch at Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower in London

Looking at Heron Tower on the street (The image is taken by Networking City)


Some days ago, I went to Heron Tower near Liverpool Street Station in London.
This 46 floors and 230meter remarkable high rise building,
which is designed by KPF with structure design by Arup, was built in 2011.
Duck & Waffle restaurant is located on the 40th floor of the building.

Looking down toward Liverpool Street (The image is taken by Networking City)

The bar on the 40th floor of Heron tower (The image is taken by Networking City)

The interior of Duck & Waffle (The image is taken by Networking City)

The ‘Duck & Waffle’ at Duck & Waffle (The image is taken by Networking City)


My friend recommended this place because I can see an incredible cityscape of London, although the menu is pricey.
Not only the beautiful scenery of London but unusual food, which is crispy fried duck and fried-egg covered a waffle with maple syrup, are there.
The interior design of the restaurant is not looking good as much as some photos on their website.
It feels like rather refined, but some materials such as yellow wave ceiling do not make a nice combination altogether.  

However, looking down 30 St Mary Axe (or Gherkin) designed by Foster and 122 Leadenhall Street (or Cheese Grater) by Rogers just beside them was a strange and exciting experience. It gives a reason to go there.

Looking at 30 St Mary Axe and 122 Leadenhall Street (The image is taken by Networking City)

I recorded a film image in a high-speed elevator of Heron Tower.
The feeling of coming down from the 40th floor to ground level by the elevator is similar to that of dreaming flying dim London air but immediately returning to desert reality.

Continue reading »

BSP Seminar – Compact cities or garden suburbs?

Dr. Nicolas Falk presented for Bartlett School of Planning. Image is taken by Networking City
In this year, Bartlett School of Planning run BSP seminar series over the semesters. On 6 March 2013, Dr. Nicolas Falk, Director of URBED (Urbanism Environment Design), provided a presentation the title of “Compact cities or garden suburbs?” at Central House of UCL.
Because I was bit late, I could not watch all his presentation. He suggested simple but well-summarised planning keywords and showed relevant examples over the European cities. For example, he argued there are five key elements to reach Smart Growth. The five keys can be represented as 5C: community, connectivity, character, climate and collaboration. And he mentioned the meaning of the community with examples such as  ‘Schools as community hub with Houton, NL’ and ‘Places for all ages with Reiselfeld, Freiburg, Germany’.
Connected city, Five finger strategy and Redefining Greenbelt were mentioned as the future direction for smart growth in the UK as the conclusion of the lecture. In particular, he had expressed the negative feeling against current Greenbelt policy. According to him, the greenbelt of London is little bit old-fashioned and the greenbelt has been a strong obstacle to expand development areas and connecting between London and other cities. Although he said Redefining Greenbelt as one issue of the future direction, all three items should be accompanied with the reorganisation of London’s greenbelt. 
During his lecture, some questions were emerging by myself. Is really Green belt the obstruction of smart growth? Is there smart growth? If possible, how are different process and method needed compared to typical urban development? How can it work in high density?
I think there are two reasons why the questions were come up.
In the first, he emphasised the term of ‘smart’ and ‘smarter’ several times in his lecture. However, the term, smart, has been considering with the development of technology in our built-environment while his suggestions and examples were more familiar with sustainable urban planning and design.
Secondly, the key issues what he argued are too abstract and vague. We know community, connectivity, character, climate and collaboration are crucial factors. People might want to listen from him how we can achieve those factors, what kind of process, the roles of stakeholders and so on.

One of his lecutre slide. Image is taken by Networking City
There are good materials of urban design, field research and regional study on the homepage of URBED. They have run urban design and architectural design studios at University of Sheffield, so we can find the links of interesting students’ works. Also, they published ‘Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood’ in 2010 what includes some contents of today’s lecture.
 
Continue reading »

BSP Seminar – Compact cities or garden suburbs?

Dr. Nicolas Falk presented for Bartlett School of Planning. Image is taken by Networking City
In this year, Bartlett School of Planning run BSP seminar series over the semesters. On 6 March 2013, Dr. Nicolas Falk, Director of URBED (Urbanism Environment Design), provided a presentation the title of “Compact cities or garden suburbs?” at Central House of UCL.
Because I was bit late, I could not watch all his presentation. He suggested simple but well-summarised planning keywords and showed relevant examples over the European cities. For example, he argued there are five key elements to reach Smart Growth. The five keys can be represented as 5C: community, connectivity, character, climate and collaboration. And he mentioned the meaning of the community with examples such as  ‘Schools as community hub with Houton, NL’ and ‘Places for all ages with Reiselfeld, Freiburg, Germany’.
Connected city, Five finger strategy and Redefining Greenbelt were mentioned as the future direction for smart growth in the UK as the conclusion of the lecture. In particular, he had expressed the negative feeling against current Greenbelt policy. According to him, the greenbelt of London is little bit old-fashioned and the greenbelt has been a strong obstacle to expand development areas and connecting between London and other cities. Although he said Redefining Greenbelt as one issue of the future direction, all three items should be accompanied with the reorganisation of London’s greenbelt. 
During his lecture, some questions were emerging by myself. Is really Green belt the obstruction of smart growth? Is there smart growth? If possible, how are different process and method needed compared to typical urban development? How can it work in high density?
I think there are two reasons why the questions were come up.
In the first, he emphasised the term of ‘smart’ and ‘smarter’ several times in his lecture. However, the term, smart, has been considering with the development of technology in our built-environment while his suggestions and examples were more familiar with sustainable urban planning and design.
Secondly, the key issues what he argued are too abstract and vague. We know community, connectivity, character, climate and collaboration are crucial factors. People might want to listen from him how we can achieve those factors, what kind of process, the roles of stakeholders and so on.

One of his lecutre slide. Image is taken by Networking City
There are good materials of urban design, field research and regional study on the homepage of URBED. They have run urban design and architectural design studios at University of Sheffield, so we can find the links of interesting students’ works. Also, they published ‘Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood’ in 2010 what includes some contents of today’s lecture.
 
Continue reading »

World City Living and Working Densities: Poles Apart?

One of the most recognisable visualisation techniques used by LSE Cities in the Urban Age publications is the 3D density map- an intuitive and engaging way to represent built form, and enable comparison of very different city environments across the globe. I’ve been producing 3D density maps in my own research for around five years … Continue reading

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Urban Age Electric City Conference

I recently began a new job at LSE Cities and have been working for the last month on materials for the Electric City conference in London, taking place on the 6th and 7th December this week. The conference will be exploring smart cities and disruptive urban tech from a sociological slant, and includes talks from … Continue reading

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