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Rachel Lissner

New Cartography: Bijlmer—Amsterdam

Bijlmer, Amsterdam

Stepping out of the Kraaiennest metrostation I immediately observe the large stretch of cement that blankets the space at its front, and beyond, two monumental pillars hold up the roof of the building like two architectural Atlases. Immediately to the right is a grand and imposing mosque that dictates itself into view and just beyond this is a flat space with very little in it. But after, there follows a tall, faded apartment building that impales the landscape, with a sad-looking shop at the base of the tower. The area was originally built up in the 1960s and was inspired by Le Corbusier’s idea of a ‘tower in the park’; where large residential towers would be built into an expanse of parkland to combine the residential and the rural in an urban setting.

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Kate McLean’s Sensory Maps Show How People Smell, Taste, Feel, And Hear The City

Sensory Maps by Kate McLean

What is it about that smell? Maybe it’s not a smell you crave, but maybe it is one that you love, one that you breathe in fully to remind yourself where you are. Or perhaps it is a smell that you love to hate. Or maybe it’s not even smell at all, but it’s the touch of lightly dragging your fingers along an old stone wall somewhere in a European city or caressing the blades of grass in a park nearby. Kate McLean wants to know. She is a cartographer of senses and she maps out how people smell, taste, feel, and hear the city. Edinburgh-based McLean has made a series of sensory maps of cities on both sides of the Atlantic. She seeks to challenge an “ocular-centric” perception of space and introduce new ways to gather understand and navigate experiences in urban places.

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Geologic City: A Field Guide To The GeoArchitecture Of New York

Geologic City: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York

Anyone could point out several factors that make up a city. In a quick glance, it’s easy to see the layers of pollution, vehicles rushing by, statues that hark to another era of local history, buildings being built up and other ones being torn down. But where did the city come from? All those buildings are made out of something. And what about time? How has the literal influence of time changed the landscape, health and aesthetic of the city? In Smudge Studio’s Geologic City: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York, the guide visits twenty sites in New York City that identify geologic material and consider their relationship with the space they inhabit and once inhabited. The examples takes readers all over New York City and the world — sometimes even the galaxy — and the guide provides an interpretation the human connection to this geologic material or process. Smudge Studio follows the Dutch scientist Paul Crutzen’s idea that the modern human impact on the planet is so massive that is is “geologic in scale” and worth of its own era, the Anthropoecene.

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  • Reclaim The Street, Eat!

    Keuken, Bandung

    A street festival in Indonesia is reclaiming public space by encouraging people to eat their way through their city. Keuken is a food festival that aims to help locals in Bandung, a city outside of Jakarta, to use food as a way to inhabit and recreate the narrative of public spaces and improve urban living. As far as Keuken is concerned, eating is one way to strengthen the bonds of a local community and it uses the tagline “Those who eat together, stay together.”

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    The Pop-Up City Presents…. Blogging The City!

    Blogging the City

    We have something great to announce. On 4 October, Amsterdam’s creative hub Pakhuis de Zwijger will be setting the stage for Blogging the City, a conference for leading European bloggers of architecture, design and urbanism to meet, discuss, and plan for the 21st city and beyond. It will examine developments and trends of the urban landscape and discuss the role of the Internet in a global and digital world.

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    Restaurant Day In Amsterdam — A Report

    Restaurant Day Amsterdam

    Around the globe one week ago, strangers broke bread and clinked glasses to celebrate Restaurant Day, a new Finnish tradition that has taken the casual dining world by storm and surprise. From Helsinki to Tokyo, people set up pop-up restaurants and dining tables and everyone celebrated the spirit of creativity and just having a nice time. It’s a seasonally-occurring dining event that encourages everyone to relax and enjoy themselves, and it just might be coming to a park, boat peer, or street corner near you. In Amsterdam, six restaurants set up shop for the day, each one providing a different taste of hospitality. In Vondelpark a pop-up picnic offered granola and cakes starting at 11 AM, a nice pick-me-up to start a sunny Sunday morning.

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  • Hebrew Teacher Teaches Student Street Smarts With Tel Aviv Graffiti Tour

    Tel Aviv Graffiti Tour

    Two of the best ways to understand a place is by learning the local language and checking out the street art, but it can be challenging to take the time to master both. But if you’re in Tel Aviv, Guy Sharett can take you on a tour of graffiti in Florentine, one of Tel Aviv’s hippest and most colourful neighbourhoods, and explain the plays on words in stencils, poetic texts in window fronts, and municipal signs.

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    Love Letters To Toronto

    Love Lettering Project, Toronto

    For topophiliacs in Toronto, the Love Lettering Project allows people to write love notes to their beloved city. At events around the city, the group sets up a table with fancy paper, glue sticks, scissors and pens and lets people pour their hearts out. Once they penned their odes, they are given an envelope and told to go hide their letters somewhere in the city for a stranger to find.

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