Crowdsourced Urbanism In Helsinki: The Rise Of Facebook Democracy?

Facebook democracy in Helsinki

Many companies and organizations have taken advantage of a crowdsourcing model to gauge public opinion on a wide range of questions. Now, the government is doing it. Last April, residents of Helsinki were given the opportunity to use a pop-up touch screen to “Like” a proposal for a government funded Guggenheim museum in their city (unlike Facebook, the screens also featured a ‘Dislike’ button, giving the opposition an opportunity to be heard as well.)

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Walkonomics Shows The Walkability Of Streets Around The Globe


Here in Amsterdam it can sometimes be a dangerous task to cross streets and walk without thinking. There are cars and bicycles everywhere, not to mention other pedestrians, who are so keen on getting to their destination as quick as possible. For foreign people it can therefore be a hard thinking to just stroll through the city. Walkonomics tries to change this by showing the ‘walkability’ of streets around the world and helping you explore the city while you enjoy your walk.

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  • Boston’s City Hall On Wheels

    Boston City Hall To Go

    Food trucks have become really popular in many cities around the world. Now also other organizations start to see the potential of offering their services in a flexible way. Inspired by the food trucks, Boston launched its City Hall To Go — a truck that travels the city’s neighborhoods to get in touch with local communities. Doing so, the flexible city hall aims to bring civil services to the people. As the Boston area measures almost 50 square miles, traveling all the way downtown to City Hall can be a big hassle for residents. Making the City Hall mobile solves this problem.

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    Building A Temporary Favela In The Dutch Winter

    Freezing Favela

    Amsterdam’s first slum will open this spring. The temporary favela is a project by art, society and new technology institute Mediamatic and will consist of all kinds of small, organically developed buildings inside a huge industrial building called De Fabriek. Mediamatic’s Freezing Favela will be a flexible space open for experiments with new ways of building, growing, isolating, energizing and programming in austere conditions.

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    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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  • Sofia’s Basement Shops

    Klek shop, Sofia

    After the fall of the Berlin Wall, 23 years ago, Bulgaria was one of the many countries that moved away from communism. The legalization of private ownership of production enabled the Bulgarians to start their own businesses, but rents of store spaces were too high for them. As a result, loads of fascinating, little basement shops popped up along the sidewalks of the country’s capital Sofia.

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