Increasingly, it is connective systems rather than built forms that bind a city together. Intelligent infrastructure confers upon a city previously unimagined levels of adaptability, with mobile telephony serving to organize people and events on the move and in real time. Beginning with a consideration of invisible networks—the sociohistorical systems that contribute to and constitute urbanity—the essays collected here examine a variety of actual tools, from handheld devices to autonomous vehicles, within a fully networked built environment: the smart city.
This book argues that knowledge of both the visible and invisible components--information, energy, sustainability, transportation, housing, and social practices--are critical to understanding the urban environment. The dynamic and diverse cast of contributors includes Mitchell Schwarzer, Frederic Stout, Anthony Townsend, Carlo Ratti of the MIT SENSEable City Lab, Mitchell Joachim of Terreform ONE, and many other innovators who are changing the urban landscape.
T. F. Tierney is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Director of the URL: Urban Research Lab, and author of The Public Space of Social Media: Connected Cultures of the Network Society.
In the early seventeenth century, in a backwater Dutch colony, there was a wide, muddy cow path that the settlers called the Brede Wegh. As the street grew longer, houses and taverns began to spring up alongside it. What was once New Amsterdam became New York, and farmlands gradually gave way to department stores, theaters, hotels, and, finally, the perpetual traffic of the twentieth century’s Great White Way. From Bowling Green all the way up to Marble Hill, Broadway takes us on a mile-by-mile journey up America’s most vibrant and complex thoroughfare, through the history at the heart of Manhattan.
Today, Broadway almost feels inevitable, but over the past four hundred years there have been thousands who have tried to draw and erase its path. Following their footsteps, we learn why one side of the street was once considered more fashionable than the other; witness the construction of Trinity Church, the Flatiron Building, and the Ansonia Hotel; the burning of P. T. Barnum’s American Museum; and discover that Columbia University was built on the site of an insane asylum. Along the way we meet Alexander Hamilton, Emma Goldman, Edgar Allan Poe, John James Audubon, "Bill the Butcher" Poole, and the assorted real-estate speculators, impresarios, and politicians who helped turn Broadway into New York’s commercial and cultural spine.
Broadway traces the physical and social transformation of an avenue that has been both the "Path of Progress" and a "street of broken dreams," home to both parades and riots, startling wealth and appalling destitution. Glamorous, complex, and sometimes troubling, the evolution of an oft-flooded dead end to a canyon of steel and glass is the story of American progress.
From the connected farmhouses of New England to I.M. Pei's Media Lab, from "satisficing" to "form follows funding," from the evolution of bungalows to the invention of Santa Fe Style, from Low Road military surplus buildings to a High Road English classic like Chatsworth—this is a far-ranging survey of unexplored essential territory.
More than any other human artifacts, buildings improve with time—if they're allowed to. How Buildings Learn shows how to work with time rather than against it.