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Monday News Roundup

Mar 07, 2011

Wooden floors that follow the wood’s natural curves (Inhabitat)
“It wasn’t nature that created straight floorboards; it was the limitations of technology.” Such is the philosophy behind Bolefloor, a new Dutch company that manufactures wood flooring by cutting boards according to the natural curves found in trees. The method saves wood by optimizing the number of boards that can be produced from one tree. Seattle’s farms and gardens:  Are you on the map? (Urban Farm Hub)
A mapping project, to make sure we can show what a force urban ag is here in Seattle.

Apps for urbanists  (Yurbanism)”Recently I came across a post by Matthew Latkiewicz on Smart Blogs that showcases a few more location aware mobile apps.”
Honesty in transit marketing (Sustainable Cities Collective)

An agency’s brand and message can be very easily co-opted by engaged customers, including, in the best case, well-meaning riders, or in the worst case, disgruntled customers holding a grudge. As a result, transit marketers must learn to lay off the spin and start laying on the truth.

Architect Barbie – will it inspire young women? (Good) There has been much discussion in the design community over the last week about Barbie’s sudden ascension into the ranks. Mostly, about how Mattel got it all wrong.
Self-affirmation manual for urbanites (Sustainable Cities Collective)

Just in time, a Harvard economics professor has arrived to reassure us of the rightness of our way of life. Edward Glaeser’s recent book Triumph of the City is both a manifesto on behalf of the best cities and a self-affirmation book for confirmed urbanites who may just once have considered cheating with a suburb.

“Active Design” prioritizes health in designing cities (Sustainable Cities)In response to the obesity trends illustrated below, it was just a matter of time before they introduced a plan to invest in an infrastructure that prioritizes public health, especially through being physically active. Produced by the NYC Department of Design and Construction, the highly illustrated 138-page Active Design Guidelines is one of the most comprehensive documents on the subject ever published.

More cities are razing urban highways (CS Monitor)
“For people who live and work around [urban highways], they always had huge negative side effects: They broke up the urban fabric, were noisy, and divided cities,” says Ted Shelton, a professor of architecture at the University of Tennessee who has studied urban highway removal. Removing roadways presents an opportunity for wiser, gentler redevelopment that can – if all goes well – add vibrancy and livability to areas around city centers.

Art that can change the world (Grist)
Can art save our cities? If it’s Candy Chang’s crowdsourced fantasy urban planning, then yeah, probably.

The food movement’s role in revitalizing environmentalism (Seattle Times)

Guest columnist Jeffrey C. Sanders reflects on the history of the Northwest food movement and its potential for connecting east and west, city and country.
Facebook ponders urban design with charette (Sustainable Cities Collective)

Facebook is hosting a “design charrette,” inviting more than 100 architects and other design professionals to engage in a fast-paced, collaborative planning session to envision infrastructure upgrades to areas surrounding Facebook’s new campus.