Moshe Safdie, Global Citizen


Over the course of his 50+ year career, Moshe Safdie has realized the desires and aspirations of a wide range of different communities—and people—he serves, while also confronting the broader challenges of urban life. An exhibition of his varied international projects, currently showing at New York City’s National Academy on the Upper East Side, explores his distinctive work. The re-envisioned exhibition explores in particular what it means to create livable urban spaces, an aspect of Moshe’s career that stretches from his famous Habitat ’67 to the Yad Vashem holocaust museum in Jerusalem, and that he is now addressing with renewed vigor in today’s increasingly populous global cities.

Affordable Housing, Berlin style


Berlin has become the first city in Germany in which effective legislation has come into force in a bid to put the breaks on some of the fastest rising rents in Europe.  From Monday, landlords in the capital will be barred from increasing rents by more than 10% above the local average. Such controls were already in place for existing tenants but have now been extended to new contracts.

“The rent ceiling is very important for Berlin because the difference between the rent paid in existing contracts and new contracts is so high,” said Reiner Wild, managing director of the Berlin Tenants’ Association. “The other problem is that we have 40,000 more inhabitants per year. Because of this situation the housing market is very strong.”

Berlin is pioneering the rent cap after the national parliament approved the law, aimed at areas with housing shortages, in March…


Particpatory Budgeting + Tactical Urbanism = Participatory Urbanism


Can participatory urbanism — linking moves toward citizen involvement via participatory budgeting and other innovations — improve how cities adapt to climate change as well as other ongoing socioeconomic pressures?  By transposing these two seminars  I propose that Jane Jacobs’ dreams may come true, thanks to the urgency of rising tides and other urban concerns.

A pair of thoughtful panels discuss the issues, slowly but thoroughly. First, Mike Lydon and friends show how low-cost creative projects, such as pop-ups parks and open street initiatives, are the essence of the tactical urbanism movement. From guerilla wayfinding signs in Raleigh, to pavement transformed into parks in San Francisco, to a street art campaign leading to a new streetcar line in El Paso, demonstrate the breadth and scalability of tactical urbanism interventions.

@ Vimeo:

and then the Royal Society and William Solecki of CUNY and IPCC discuss flexible adaptation pathways (the panel was yesterday, video is due any minute!) at: