By Renard Teipelke
“The Global City Indicators Facility provides an established set of city indicators with a globally standardized methodology that allows for global comparability of city performance and knowledge sharing.”
This web-based relational database website, Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF), is based at the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design of the University of Toronto in Canada and has on its executive committees both officials (partly elected politicians) from cities of various size and region and representatives from international organizations such as UN-Habitat or ICLEI.
The indicator themes are organized in two main categories:
- City services: education, finance, recreation, governance, energy, transportation, wastewater, fire and emergency response, health, safety, solid waste, urban planning, water.
- Quality of life: civic engagement, economy, shelter, culture, environment, social equity, technology and innovation
A while back we published a very popular blog post on High Line New York, which has been on the top of the daily clicks every since. Now, here is another article from the New York Times, which tells quite a different story. Absolutely worth reading for anybody interested in the gentrification debate.
JEREMIAH MOSS writes: “Today it’s difficult to remember that initial feeling. The High Line has become a tourist-clogged catwalk and a catalyst for some of the most rapid gentrification in the city’s history.”
Read the whole article here: In the Shadows of the High Line – NYTimes.com.
Local produce shop in Tornow (Brandenburg)
by Hanna Lutz
When I moved to Berlin two years ago, there was only one organic food market in my neighbourhood. Today, there are countless markets, restaurants and cafés and even discounters that sell organic products. I can drink fair trade organic mate made in Argentina in a Brazilian café, get organic apples from New Zealand in the organic corner store and go to a close by supermarket and buy some organic cereals from a company in a southern city in Germany I have never heard of before. So…thank you for all that “globalized” choices. But I don’t really consider an apple being shipped from the other side of the world organic. Whereas an apple being harvested in and transported from a close by region, (even though it might not have an organic certification), feels much more organic to me. So what I did as a consequence is ordering a weekly “regional box” from a company in a region in Brandenburg that distributes local farmers’ seasonal products (like fruits and vegetables, dairy products, wine and beer etc.) under the umbrella brand “Märkische Kiste”.
Special Edition: Roots – Politics – Methods
The book is now available for download under www.inpolis.de
The first two International Place Branding Conferences have provided a highly valuable input into the still emerging field of place branding. In Berlin 2008 and Bogotá 2011, scholars, practitioners, and city representatives came together to discuss various aspects related to the branding of places. A ‘common language’ among the different disciplines has been sought and different perspectives on the issue have been examined. The conferences provided important insights to the subthemes of place branding, but open questions remained. These questions deal with the general understanding of what the place branding profession does as distinguished from affiliated fields, such as place marketing or city management. Conference participants urged to solve the ambiguities in the analytical understanding of place branding.
It is for these unsolved issues that the format of a special session was developed for the International Place Branding Conference. Scholars and practitioners met in Utrecht January 2012 to approach place branding from a theoretical and methodological standpoint. Keynote lectures, paper sessions and panel discussions contributed to a more precise understanding of the definition, concepts, and roots of place branding. Also, the special session helped in enriching the dialogue between various actors from different disciplines.
private vs. public
by Hanna Lutz
Public space is public space. I myself like to consider it as space not only accessible for the public (if this is ensured at all), but in the first place being made and maybe even protected by the public. In my last blog entry I already gave an overview about the predicted loss of public space as well as about Urban Hacks that sought to maintain (or almost fight for) its ideal forms. In this second article of my series I will give a selection of Hacks that are direct reactions to the privatisation of public space and will put the focus on the Urban Hackers’ ways to deal with these occurrences.