[note: if this video won't play, visit the original here at PBS]
Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City examines how Detroit, a symbol of Americaâ€™s diminishing status in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and progress in America. The film debuts nationally on PBS on February 8 at 10 pm (check local listings).Detroit is the crucible in which the nationâ€™s ability to move toward a modern 21st century transportation infrastructure is put to the test. The documentary shows how investments in the past â€” beginning with the construction of canals in the 18th century â€” profoundly shaped Detroitâ€™s physical layout, population growth and economic development. Before being dubbed the Motor City, Detroit was once home to the nationâ€™s most extensive streetcar system. In fact, it was that vast network of streetcars that carried workers to the areaâ€™s many car factories. And it was the cars made in those factories that would soon displace the streetcars in Detroit â€” and in every major American city.
Detroitâ€™s engineers went on to design the nationâ€™s first urban freeways and inspired much of Americaâ€™s 20th century transportation infrastructure system â€” from traffic signals to gas stations â€” that became the envy of the word.
But over the last 30 years, much of the world has moved on, choosing faster, cleaner, more modern transportation and leaving America â€” and Detroit â€” behind. Viewers are taken on a journey beyond Detroitâ€™s blighted urban landscape to Spain, home to one of the worldâ€™s most modern and extensive transit systems; to California, where voters recently said yes to Americaâ€™s first high speed rail system; and to Washington, where Congress will soon decide whether to finally push Americaâ€™s transportation into the 21st century.
I had seen images generated by these ‘mouse path’ programs, but had never actually used one – it’s pretty cool. I’m not sure what it is you can use them for, but it’s fascinating to see a visual representation of your movements on-screen.
With that in mind [what?] – here’s this week’s link roundup.
As always, if you see anything on the web that you believe should be linked-to from AMNP [as part ofÂ Ninjas on the 'Net, the news sidebar, or as a full post] feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com.
To car traffic, that is. Bloomberg has announced that the pedestrian plazas created by closing off parts of Broadway in Times Square to car traffic will be made permanent – and that they will get a serious redesign as well.
The ninjas over at the archiCULTURE project have started a podcast-ish interview series, and has had the chance to sit down with Mimi Zeiger of Loudpaper fame and alsot author ofÂ Tiny Houses, andÂ New Museums: Contemporary Museum Architecture Around the World.
Joshua Prince-Ramus believes that if architects re-engineer their design process, the results can be spectacular. Speaking at TEDxSMU, Dallas, he walks us through his fantastic re-creation of the local Wyly Theater as a giant “theatrical machine” that reconfigures itself at the touch of a button.
Madonna, super generous & benevolent pop-star extraordinaire, has purchased land from the Malawi Government to build a girls school for the local population – a local population of which hundreds are being displaced by the project. My ninjas, PLEASE. Who would want to send their girls to a school set up by Madonna anyways? She’s no role model for young girls…
The good people of Architect Magazine tweeted [twit? twittered?] this to me over a week ago and I somehow missed it until today. This ninja right here is crazily silly sick with a tape measure. Mad skills.
In case you were wondering – yes, this kind of thing is exactly why construction jobs rarely finish on time or on budget. I, for one, think its worth it.
What, you thought we were in a recovery and that things were clearing up? Well, that may not be the case – as its being predicted that over the next SEVERAL YEARS the commercial real estate market will tank as businesses fail and default on mortgages, etc. Â Pray for school and hospital projects, my ninjas.