101 small ways you can improve your city

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Sometimes the smallest things we can do for our neighborhoods can have the biggest impact. At Curbed, we know the power of a vegetable garden planted in a vacant lot or a library installed on a sidewalk. For Micro Week, we want to share 101 urban interventions and ideas that show how even the tiniest changes can make our cities better places.

Source: Curbed

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Why Japan is Crazy About Housing

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Japan Designs

An unconventional home requires an unconventional client, one who’s willing to take-on, or can afford to ignore, one or more types of risk: privacy, comfort, efficiency, aesthetics, etc. But Japan’s experimental commissions aren’t necessarily luxury villas for a wealthy cultural elite. Many are small middle-class homes, not a typology where we expect to find bold avant garde design. So, what is it about Japan that encourages such everyday risk taking?

via ArchDaily.

How Did Sesame Street Influence Your Childhood Perceptions of Urban Neighborhoods?

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To my eyes Sesame Street seemed exotic, nothing like where I lived. Sure, I’d see neighbors, tinkering in their garages or sitting in a lawn chair  – on their driveway. But the interaction was different on Sesame Street, they couldn’t help but run into neighbors as they went about their lives. Since my dad worked on new homes, I rarely got to experience older/walkable neighborhoods closer to those on  Sesame Street.

via UrbanReviewSTL.

Are cities music?

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For me, New York’s superpower is its chaos of interactions. It’s simple combinatorics: a city of eight million people can have nearly 32 trillion distinct one-on-one encounters. Think about that the next time you lock eyes with someone on the subway. You bump up against so many people that it feels inexhaustible; if you find this quality rejuvenating, you are officially a “city person.” It’s a setting in which certain kinds of artists thrive: those who play well with others and especially those who learn to harness the noise between people, the sounds and movements of those in their midst – and let it erupt through their work.

Source: New York Stories: Vijay Iyer.