Thursday, June 7, 2012

Alice of Monsterland

Unfortunately I'm not allowed by Metropolis Magazine to defend myself against Alice's horrible accusations. She's definitely not Alice of Wonderland, as she clings to the monsters of Le Corbusier, the great city destroyer, and I would add the great fairy-tail destroyer, as no fairy tails can survive in his machine-world!

No fairy tail can take place in the world of Alice of Monsterland 

I'm just happy I didn't live 25 years next door to Alice, and if I did I would just waited for a chance to run. Anyway, here is my answer to Alice:

Well, Alice, I could have "cherry-picked" 253 other items if you liked: http://www.jacana.plus.com/pattern/P0.htm

Yes, you are right, New Urbanism isn't really enough integrating, that's why I wrought my article Integrated Design: http://permaculture.org.au/2010/10/06/integrated-design/

But if I should have written it now I would probably have called it Integrative Ecosocial Design: http://permaliv.blogspot.no/2011/10/integrative-ecosocial-design.html

Even Christopher Alexander thinks the new urbanists have a too mechanical approach to design, working within the old cozy framework with developers: http://www.livingneighborhoods.org/library/battle-for.pdf

Nikos Salingaros too wants a more integrative process with the users: http://permaculture.org.au/2012/02/07/peer-to-peer-themes-and-urban-priorities-for-the-self-organizing-society/

Nikos Salingaros is (like myself) a p2p-urbanist, working for the new era of the commons. He's a friend of Michel Bauwens, one of the most influential promoters of the commons, the initiator of the p2p-foundation: http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/

David Bollier, another soldier fighting for the coming realm of the commons, writes about Salingaros:

"One of the most prominent thinkers about cities and the commons is Nikos Salingaros, the founder of a network of architects, planners and designers known as P2P Urbanism, for Peer to Peer Urbanism. Salingaros is a fierce critic of most of 20th Century urban planning. He criticizes it for its “central planning that ignores local conditions and the complex needs of final users, and which tries to do away with the commons for monetary reasons.” His crusade is to help the commoners reinvent cities, so that they can be more human-friendly, and not simply instruments of the Market and State."

See: http://permaculture.org.au/2012/03/07/re-imagining-urban-design-and-city-life/

By the way, didn't you know that the tea party activists are the new urbinites fierce opponents: http://bettercities.net/news-opinion/links/16797/tea-party-activists-fight-green-projects

They don't want common projects, as New Urbanism is (or should have been), as they are possessed with their private properties.

You should also diverse between paleo-conservatives and neo-conservatives. Wendell Berry is a typical paleo-conservative:

"Here we can see the radical nature of Berry’s vision. Our entire economy, our very culture of work, leisure, and home is constructed around the idea of easy mobility and the disintegration of various aspects of our lives. We live in one place, work in another, shop in another, worship in another, and take our leisure somewhere else. According to Berry, an integrated life, a life of integrity, is one characterized by membership in a community in which one lives, works, worships, and conducts the vast majority of other human activities. The choice is stark: “If we do not live where we work, and when we work, we are wasting our lives, and our work too.”

See: http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2011/03/wendell-berrys-new-urbanism-agrarian-remedies-urban-prospects/

This is what I call inclusive! What you mean about it I have no idea, and it doesn't matter as Berry's version of it is what I want.

If you had read Michael and Salingaros earlier essay in these series you would have known that the new super-kindergarten in Brønnøysund is definitely damaging for childrens mental and cognitive skills/development: http://www.metropolismag.com/pov/20120225/science-for-designers-intelligence-and-the-information-environment

Whatever that kindergarten is most aligned with Corbu or with BIG I don't care, as it's all the same flawed typologies. Alexander writes:

"Imagine that we sort the buildings of the world into two piles. In the one pile, all those traditional buildings, built for thousands of years, in traditional societies all over the world. And, in the other pile, all those buildings built in the last hundred years, built by totalitarian technology, by industry.

Although the buildings and towns in the first pile have vast variety of different forms – brick houses, straw huts, stone vaults, timber framing, thatched roofs, log cabins, piled dry stone walls, stone columns, steep roofs, flat roofs, arched windows, straight windows, brick, wood, stone, white, blue, brown, yellow, narrow streets, wide streets, open compounds, closed courtyards – still compared with the other pile, they have something in common.

It is a particular morphological character. And when buildings are made in the framework of the timeless way, they always have this character." – Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, page 519

See: http://permaculture.org.au/2011/06/17/the-timeless-way-of-building/

The kindergarten at Brønnøysund definitely belongs to that other pile! But what is even worse is that it separates the children from any kind of real community, as envisioned by Berry above. Poor children!

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