Also: Why New York City is reporting sustainability progress to the UN, and imagining a “Canadian Anti-Tourist League.”
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What We’re Following
People watching, plus: Carlo Ratti is an architect, engineer, and inventor. He’s also a kind of philosopher of the smart city. As director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, Ratti’s team deploys digital sensors, artificial intelligence, and other wifi-connected inventions in cities. But his work differs from “smart city” dogma in a key way: It isn’t about directly addressing problems with technology as a “solution.” Instead, it’s about observing people’s interactions with urban spaces.
Thus the lab’s proposals have a more playful philosophy: Make tweaks and let them ripple. CityLab’s Laura Bliss visited the Cambridge, Massachusetts, lab to check out its latest projects. Read her story: The Sensory City Philosopher
Speaking of play… If you’re a parent raising small children in a city, take our survey to help inform coverage for our new series, “Room to Grow.”
More on CityLab
Moscow’s 83-year-old transit system is layered with political and architectural meaning. Different generations have imposed their own visions on the system, from the ornate stations of the Stalin era to more recent utilitarian facilities. Architectural historian Nikolai Vassiliev recently curated an architecture and design map with descriptions and photos of more than 40 of the system’s notable stations. CityLab’s Mark Byrnes asked him a few questions to get behind the design of a Moscow Metro station.
What We’re Reading
Don’t call them parks: the success of New York’s pedestrian plazas (New York Times)
Chicago police release bodycam footage of deadly shooting (NPR)
How Helsinki arrived at the future of urban travel first (Bloomberg)
The urban tragedy of Flint’s poisoned water (Next City)
Wanted: male architect willing to navigate his own building in a skirt. (Los Angeles Times)