“Dull, inert cities, it is true, do contain the seeds of their own destruction and little else. But lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration, with energy enough to carry over for problems and needs outside themselves.”—Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Vintage Books, 1991 [first published 1961], pp. 448 (via urbangeographies)
“I get out of bed, go over to the window, and look at the night sky. And think about time that can never be regained. I think of rivers, of tides. Forests and water gushing out. Rain and lightning. Rocks and shadows. All of these are in me.”—Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (via afternoon—-tea)
“For the world of urban policy, Superstorm Sandy was, in many senses of the word, a watershed moment, rearranging decades long priorities and forcing policy makers and urban planners alike to reflect on what city life means in an era of climate change.”—Lucas Lindsey (via thisbigcity)
“On the heels of the widespread protests in Turkey sparked by threats to destroy a public park, Brazil’s protests also mark a global trend toward greater awareness of urban issues.”—Drew Reed on citizen engagement with urban design. (via thisbigcity)
“Mexico City is encouraging citizens to trade recyclable materials for fresh food. The Mercado de Trueque market accepts glass, paper, cardboard, aluminium cans and PET plastic bottles, and returns green points which are redeemable for agricultural products grown in and around Mexico City.”—Tess Riley on the potential of recycling. (via thisbigcity)
Today urban areas — ranging from Times Square to a small town in India — cover perhaps 3 to 5% of global land. But Seto and her co-authors calculate that between now and 2030, urban areas will expand by more than 463,000 sq. mi. (1.2 million sq. km). That’s equal to 20,000 U.S. football fields being paved over every day for the first few decades of this century. By then, a little less than 10% of the planet’s land cover could be urban. “There’s going to be a huge impact on biodiversity hotspots and on carbon emissions in those urban areas,” says Seto.
The bulk of that great urban expansion will be in Asia — where more than 75% of the increase in urban cover is projected to occur — and in Africa, where urban land cover will be 590% above the 2000 level of 16,000 sq. mi.
“You lost all interest in this world. You were disappointed and discouraged, and lost interest in everything. So you abandoned your physical body. You went to a world apart and you’re living a different kind of life there. In a world that’s inside you.”—1Q84, Haruki Murakami (via mmariamula)
“Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.”—Janet Fitch, White Oleander (via showslow)
“The presidential family demands organic food in their kitchen, yet behind closed doors, shake hands with the biotech industry. China’s top brass is fed by an exclusive, gated organic garden while the rest of the population consumes GM food, steroid contaminated meat and dairy laced with melamine. Even Monsanto’s own employee’s command non-genetically modified food in their canteen. Access to clean, organic and healthy food is not a given right anymore — it has become a political battleground with the average citizen suffering the loss.”—Political and corporate elite shun GM food on their own plate | True Activist (via nathanielstuart)
“Any architectural project takes five years; no single enterprise - ambition, intention, need - remains unchanged in the contemporary maelstrom. Architecture is too slow. Yet, the word “architecture” is still pronounced with certain reverence (outside of the profession). It embodies the lingering hope - or the vague memory of hope - that shape, form, coherence could be imposed on the violent surf of information that washes over us daily.”—Rem Koolhaas, Content (via radarqnet)
“It’s in our nature to judge the people around us. If they ignore our wishes, we believe they are disrespectful. If they don’t watch their children, we conclude they are unfit parents. If we catch them cheating, we assume we know their reasons. But what happens when we finally stop for a moment to judge our own lives? It can be painful to step back and see what we’ve been doing and even more painful to realize we have no intention of stopping.”—Desperate Housewives (submitted by thebitchwhostolethecookie)
“There are monstrous changes taking place in the world, forces shaping a future whose face we do not know. Some of these forces seem evil to us, perhaps not in themselves but because their tendency is to eliminate other things we hold good. It is true that two men can lift a bigger stone than one man. A group can build automobiles quicker and better than one man, and bread from a huge factory is cheaper and more uniform. When our food and clothing and housing all are born in the complication of mass production, mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking. In our time mass or collective production has entered our economics, our politics, and even our religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea God. This in my time is the danger. There is great tension in the world, tension toward a breaking point, and men are unhappy and confused.”—John Steinbeck, East of Eden (via ransombookquotes)
I – like most Americans – believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms. I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.
But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities. […]
As we convene these conversations, let’s be clear even as we debate government’s role, we have to understand that when a child opens fire on another child, there’s a hole in that child’s heart that government alone can’t fill. It’s got to be up to us as parents, as neighbors and as teachers and as mentors to make sure our young people don’t have that void inside them. It’s up to us to spend time with them. To pay more attention to them. To show them more love and they learn to love each other and they learn to love one another and they grow up knowing what it is to walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes and to view the world in somebody else’s eyes.
“Light thinks it travels faster than anything, but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always gotten there first, and is waiting for it.”—Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett (via mynameismystery)
“‘You know what I think?’ she says. ‘That people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel. Advertising fillers in the newspaper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills: when you feed ‘em to the fire, they’re all just paper. The fire isn’t thinking ‘Oh, this is Kant,’ or ‘Oh, this is the Yomiuri evening edition,’ or ‘Nice tits,’ while it burns. To the fire, they’re nothing but scraps of paper. It’s the exact same thing. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there’s no distinction - they’re all just fuel.’”—Haruki Murakami, After Dark (via helplesslyamazed)