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Author Archives: Ian Babelon
In this blog I explore the value of minimalism for many aspects of our urban lives. I draw parallels between such varied phenomena as urban acupuncture, resource-optimised engineering, consumption practices, communication and personal philosophies. Aesthetics Minimalism is most famous for … Continue reading
In this post I explore how the notion of User Experience (UX), a key dimension of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), can enhance urban planning. Applying user-centred design and management approaches to cities, in turn, can also enrich the field of … Continue reading
In this post I discuss Urban Information Systems, and how they fit into wider society. Urban Information Systems – a modern day “Pandora’ s Box”? Photo by Ludovic Bertron on Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. What are they? Urban information systems centralise and … Continue reading
Spatial planning is all about putting things on the map: existing spaces and places, as well as spaces and places to come. Yet how much of mapping for spatial planning actually engages the supposed beneficiaries of planning? This post considers … Continue reading
The smart city is much discussed as a sustainable urban development model. However, as discussed in former posts on the blog, “smartness” is in the eye of the beholder. Smart cities of the past can help us plan smart(er) cities. … Continue reading
The smart city concept builds on technological and governance innovations to better enable cities to face up to urbanisation challenges, including the ability to “bounce back” from social, environmental and economic crises and shocks. To become smart is to become … Continue reading
Through the Looking Glass: why public engagement in cities should be about (more than) reflexion/reflection
Place-making affects all of us. Yet how many of us, apart from place-making professionals and decision-makers, can really shape the places we live in? This post argues that engaging the public in place-making should at least be about mutual learning, … Continue reading