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This video was kindly made by one of the participants in the Bike In Film Screening, and shows the mass Moonlit Bike Ride from Static Gallery down to the opening night of SCAN, 15 September 2008.

The screening, “The Living City” was curated by Jacqueline Passmore and included a programme of short experimental films about the city and urban navigation, including works by Ken Paul Rosenthal, Neil Grant, Rebecca Lennon, Semiconductor, and Masaki Hosokawa.

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Further Glenn Small- check out this article: Trees cut crime rates. I found this when searching for a study I read several years ago which drew correlations between increasing the percentage of greenspace and lowering crime rates in New York City housing projects.

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Boston will plant 100,000 trees during the next 13 years, with the bulk of the plantings to take root in the city’s least green neighborhoods, Mayor Thomas M. Menino will announce today.

By expanding the urban forest by some 20 percent to cover more than one – third of the city, leaders hope to reap a range of benefits, including cooler temperatures in summer, absorption of carbon dioxide and storm water runoff, and increased psychological well-being among residents.

As part of the initiative, the mayor will also announce a new partnership with the US Forest Service that designates Boston as an urban experimental forest — one of three such sites in the country — where scientists and arborists will conduct research to document the effects of trees on people and the environment.

“There’s no downside to having more trees,” Menino said in an interview. “They bring people together and give people pride in their neighborhood.”

The push to increase the tree cover in the city reflects growing national awareness of the value of urban trees, after decades when their potential to help cities address environmental problems was little considered. The project began with a comprehensive inventory of the trees in Boston, conducted by the city and private organizations over three years and completed last fall. Among the inventory’s findings: The tree canopy covers 29 percent of Boston, more than several other major East Coast cities.”

Biomorphic Biosphere Megastructure: 1965-1977 Developed over a span of ten years, Glen Small’s biggest, most ambitious, and most recognized vision evolved from his Vertical City design. Small describes the BBM as “a perfect city designed to solve the ecological problems of the world in a beautiful, gorgeous manner,an “alternative to the existing mediocrity”.

Some wild designs, centering on the city as an environmentally friendly utopia…

More on Glenn Small in an interview here

An interesting way to view the city is as a living, breathing and continually evolving organism.  Here is an excerpt and a couple of links that nicely explain this:

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“For the first time in history, the majority of the people on our planet live in cities. Going forward, human history will become urban history: homo sapiens has evolved into homo urbanus.

The back story for this profound if not evolutionary shift in human behavior is that fact even in 1800 only 3% of the world’s population lived in cities.

Dr. Geoffrey West, President and Distinguished Professor of the Santa Fe Institute, led a team of scientists that has found that city growth driven by wealth creation increases at a rate that is faster than exponential. The only way to avoid collapse as a population outstrips the finite resources available to it is through constant cycles of innovation, which re-engineer the initial conditions of growth. But the greater the absolute population, the smaller the relative return on each such investment, so innovation must come ever faster.

Thus, the bigger the city, the faster life is; but the rate at which life gets faster must itself accelerate to maintain the city as a growing concern so much so that to maintain growth, major innovations must now occur on time-scales that are significantly shorter than a human lifespan.

“In this crucial sense cities are completely different from biological organisms, which slow down with size; their relative metabolism, growth rates, heart rates, and even rates of innovation – their evolutionary rates – systematically – and predictably – decrease with organizmal size,” West said. “Several thousand years ago the evolution of social organizations in the form of cities brought a new dynamic to the planet that seems to be uniquely human: People actually do walk on average faster in larger cities whereas heart rates decrease as animal size increases.”  

More here, and the more scientific/research oriented take on the biological metaphor here.