Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Urban Picture

São Paulo, Marginal Pinheiros in a regular Wednesday

Soundtrack: Bogotá, by Criolo

obs. This one I took from Transportblog! (great blog, by the way) and it's in Auckland (NZ), but it would perfectly fit São Paulo streets today!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Pyramid of Life Expectancies

Marcelo Duhalde came up with this interesting way to visualize and compare the Life Expectancy at Birth of different countries (via John Metcalfe).

[click on the image to enlarge it]

[image credit: Marcelo Duhalde]

Related Links:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

off-topic: Inspiration to Work

A good soundtrack to remind us of that important saying: 

'Stop procrastinating and go back to work!'

Eye of the Tiger

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Historic Traffic Jam: the "H-Day" in 1967

When was the last time you've heard about a traffic jam in which people were actually happy to participate?

In his amazing book 'Traffic: Why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us)', Tom Vanderbilt gives us a glimpse of the "H-Day", when everyone in Sweden started driving on the opposite side of the road. I reproduce here a snippet of the book and two great pictures taken on "H-Day":

Just before dawn on Sunday, September 3, 1967, there was an unusually festive air in the streets of Stockholm. Cars honked, passersby cheered, people gave flowers to police officers, pretty girls smiled from the curb. The streets were clogged with cars, many of which had been waiting for hours to participate in a historic traffic jam. [...] At the moment the bell schimed for six o'clock, Swedes began driving on the right.

It had taken years of debate, and much preparation, to get to this point. [...] Undeterred, backers of right-side driving finally got a measure approved by the government in 1963.

As "H-Day" (after hoger, the Swedish word for "right") approached, the predictions of ensuing chaos and destruction grew dire. [...] And what happened when Swedes started driving on the other side of the road, many for the first time in their lives? The roads got safer. [...] Remarkably, it was not just for a few days, or even weeks, after the change over that Sweden's roads were safer. It took a year before the accident rate returned to what it had been the year before the changeover.

[images credit: ? via wired]

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The earliest sprawl?

Michael E. Smith writes a very interesting piece on How ancient cities can help us understand modern cities. And this paper caught my attention:

Ur, Jason A., P. Karsgaard and J. Oates (2007) Early Urban Development in the Near East. Science 317:1188 [ungated version]

AbstractIt has been thought that the first cities in the Near East were spatially extensive and grew outward from a core nucleated village while maintaining a more or less constant density in terms of persons or households per unit of area. The general applicability outside of the Near East of this southern Mesopotamian.derived model has been questioned recently, and variations from it are increasingly recognized. We can now demonstrate that such variation was present at the beginnings of urbanism in the Near East as well.

[image credit: Ur et al 2007 via Michael E. Smith]

Related Link [updated]: 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Urban Picture

San Francisco, USA

[image credit: Toby Harriman, amazing work by the way]

Cable Cars
[image credit: @GoogleEarthPics ]


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Subway systems of Rio and Shanghai 1993-2013

Alex Bellos points out to this striking comparison of the subway systems of Rio and Shanghai 20 years ago and today.

[image credit: ?]

Related Links:

Uncreative titles in academia

Patrick Dunleavy (LSE) recently published a useful piece suggesting four steps to avoid useless titles for articles and chapters. To those suggestions, I would add: avoid cliches. To illustrate my point here, Google Scholar shows:

By the way, don't try to be funny either. Amusing titles are weakly associated with the number of citations.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The World’s Largest Annual Human Migration

A map of the world’s largest annual human migration, in China of course

[image credit: Baidu via Slate]

"Millions of Chinese are currently heading to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year - the world’s largest annual human migration. Last year, a total of 3.4 billion trips were taken ... To put that number in perspective, only a little more than 3 million people in total went on Hajj to Mecca in 2012.

Baidu, China’s largest search engine, created the stunning map above showing the migration for the 40-day festival [...] the map was “created using data taken from users of its location-based applications to calculate and analyze the mass migration of the population during the Spring Festival. The map shows the travel routes and their popularity.” If you click into the interactive version, you can get data for specific cities (in Chinese only)"

Related Links:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The City of 7 Billion

The City of 7 Billion is an ambitious research project on the impact of population growth and resource consumption at the global scale that reframes the entire world as a single urban entity: the city of 7 billion. The project is being conducted by Bimal Mendis and Joyce Hsiang of the Yale School of Architecture. 

More info on the project here and here.

A visualization of population growth in cities around the world from 1990 to 2015

Saturday, February 1, 2014