Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Some amazing futuristic ideas from the recent past collected (Jellicoe) and illustrated (Cullen) by two pioneers of the urban design profession. Perhaps they should have known better? Perhaps it illustrates the power of a good illustration and how it can make a Hulme or Parkhill humane - have a city based on the scope of the coar and emerging technologies but then fill your drawings full of pedestrians (probably lots of them because they all have their own vehicle) ...

Reference: Jellicoe, Geoffrey (1961) Motopia: A study in the evolution of urban landscape (Studio, London).

One Planet Living on Spaceship Earth

The photograph "Earthrise", by Apollo 8 crew member Bill Anders, taken on Christmas Eve 1968 is said to have kick started the global environmental movement and visualised / popularised the idea of "Spaceship Earth" with our planet as a closed global system with limited resources and carrying capacity. Yet while the concept was popularised by people from Stewart Brand and Buckminister Fuller, the first use of the phrase was regarding global economics in the work of Barbara Jackson. Closed systems being exploited by economic systems demonstrating some complex inter-relationships. All very topical again in 2014 (and probably will be again around 2035). 

References: Ward-Jackson, Barbara (1965) Spaceship Earth (Columbia University Press, New York).

Monday, 3 February 2014

It took a riot

Hidden in the depths of the UK National Archives are some strangely current issues around urban policy and housing market renewal. Geoffery Howe's support for the idea of 'managed decline' of Liverpool has been well know publically for a while, but less so the underlying briefing report that decsribes the complex self organising nature of Liverpool as an urban system.