tender urbanity

11Jan10
the city in your genes

the city in your genes

We are more on the move than generations before us. Therefor the home and ‘coming home’ (“landing”) becomes more important. Our affectional connection and loving concern for the city we have chosen to root ourselves is one of the examples of how our desire for ubiquitous connectivity needs a core.  With locative media (= media that gives you information on where you are in the world) information has become a commodity. With Google goggles we open up windows to the world (can apply layers of knowledge over an image captured by our camera). We can all gather specific information which makes us less unique: knowing about facts is not the feature of a local anymore. Esther polak has used locative media to show how our milk travels the world before it reaches us. We can all be travel agents by ourselves – as long as we are connected with our apps to the (provided)  information layers. Still we need a place to ground ourselves. “The city has become the place where we live our lives and meet the people who become our extended families. Where we find our favorite coffee corners or bagel shops tucked away in the neighborhoods we have gotten to know like the back of our hands over the years.” We appreciate the city and we like to show that appreciation. Though our cities might be dirty, unsafe or overpopulated – we prefer to give in to our primal urge to just pull away from distrust or reasoning and permit ourselves an island of decadent refuge. We deal with difficult circumstances by making them opportunities to have fun. We return to our cradles, or choose our environment that we are prepared to engage with. With a tongue-in-cheeck we organize events that generate a spark of joy and happiness in our surroundings. Initiatives as city-ecology and citizenship-communities and CSR-initiatives are no longer pebbles, but might well be the new mainstream of public-engagement. It might be cynical like the unemployment olympics or more friendly like playing the piano that urges people to take the stairs, but all are encouraging and creative ways to bring a smile to your face.  It might become the new way to pinpoint creative cities. Thus: city-marketeers..it might be wise to realize that a new wave of creative signs is shining on the horizon, so maybe instead of big campaigns, the best way to encourage creativity in your city is to work on those regulations that usually are a barriere for public-events. I love the idea of blowing bubbles when pedestrians can cross a street – but can you imagine what adminstration it would take to implement that formally? The big question you might like to ask ourself for 2010 is: in what city would you put our energy to make the world a little bit better place?..and how much fun could you have doing it..

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