Institutionalizing ‘radical’

I heard a lot of academic stuff this past week; by which I mean guest lectures and presentations. Some of it was good, most of it was eh but what really got me thinking was not the substance of these talks but rather the title of one in particular: ‘How to be a Radical Geographer.’ … Continue reading


The word heritage use to make me yawn. I associated it with visiting my grandparent’s house as a child where the perfectly preserved 1950s interior was equally dull as it was formal. Almost all socializing took place in the dimly lit front living room; I’d stare out the window, to the street, and wonder how … Continue reading

Subjective Scale

Scale has different meanings according to disciplines, trades, and livelihoods. Thanks to words such as capitalism and globalization, scale is increasingly prevalent in everyday discourse. ‘Scaling up’, ‘scaling down’, and ‘scales of influence,’ are all phrases that help us better imagine and produce dichotomies such as global and local. Scale is a crucial word in … Continue reading

We’re on the Road to Nowhere

I know in my last post I argued there’s no such thing as developed and undeveloped, which, as Vince Carducci rightfully observed in his comment, is more an attempt to think beyond that particular dichotomy than suggest that some kind of global quality of life has been achieved. I’d like to take up this theme … Continue reading

India Revisited

I’ve decided to take my distrust of linear narratives to heart and not care about the backlog of comments I want to transform into posts. So, I skip my follow up on Oslo waterfront development (which has the makings of a seriously juicy update), my thoughts on the recent conference of Critical Heritage, backtrack from … Continue reading

Oslo Under Construction

Europe has many crane cities (Brussels immediately comes to mind) but, as I pulled into Oslo Sentralstasjon, I wasn’t expecting to see that horizon. Yet similar to many other major cities (e.g. London, Amsterdam, New York), Oslo is focusing on waterfront redevelopment. Also similar, the city seems committed to predominate global waterfront ideologies (e.g. young, … Continue reading

A Comprehensive Ideal of Self-Determination

Last week Susan Fainstein gave a talk on her new book, which revisits the major theme of her career–the just city–by trying to develop an urban theory of justice. Her criteria are diversity, democracy, and equity, three philosophical principles (or questions) she develops from the work of John Rawls, Martha Nussbaum, Nancy Fraser, and Iris … Continue reading

The Gloved Era of Urban Chaos

Paris may have been the capital of 19th century modernity, but it was Berlin that gave birth to the gloved era of urban chaos. Unlike Paris, London, or even New York, Berlin at the turn of the 20th century was not just about the radical transformation of the city, but the birth of the city … Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Transportation Education II

Every year I watch the Superbowl I’m reminded about what’s wrong with American….every…well, no, let me keep it simple: with American transportation ideology. I mean our obsession with the car. Let me be specific. The purpose of every car commercial during the Superbowl is to inspire men to own (and drive) motor vehicles. This inspiration … Continue reading

Intentional String Theory (aesthetic with no inside)

Can aesthetic reveal truths? Or is it that when we find truth (an instinctual, fleeting feeling of certain ‘rightness’) we also find aesthetic? I think both are possible, but, at this moment, I feel the urge to state that aesthetic can never be intentional. When we create for aesthetic and aesthetic only, it disappears. It … Continue reading