Posts Tagged ‘Urbanism’

Ghost Rivers of Baltimore

Photo by Frank Hamilton

It’s easy to miss the fact that our cities often cover up existing streams and rivers, often diverting them underground or into existing storm drain systems. Back in 2009, Spacing posted a wonderful map of Montréal’s hidden rivers.

Ghost rivers is a street-level art project tracking a submerged river in Baltimore:

Ghost Rivers is a new 1.5-mile-long public art installation and walking tour by artist Bruce Willen that visualizes a lost stream buried below the streets of Baltimore.

This project explores the hidden history and path of Sumwalt Run, which now flows through underground culverts beneath the Remington and Charles Village neighborhoods.

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Which Came First?

Which came first—the parking spot or the pole? Either way, this seems like someone messed up.

Detroit Tiny Houses

Photos by Sarah Rice for NYT

The New York Times has an interesting piece about tiny houses being used to house people in need in Detroit. The houses are all different, and rented in a rent-to-own model that eventually end up being owned entirely by the occupants:

Gladys Ferguson, who is in her 60s and has severe arthritis, rents Cass’s yellow gabled house for $350 a month. (Seven years of her accumulated rent will eventually finance her outright purchase of the property.) “It’s just a gorgeous little thing,” she said. When she first entered the house for a preview, shortly before she moved in a few years ago, she sneaked away for a nap in the tucked-away bedroom. “That was the most serene thing you’ve ever seen,” she said.

While I don’t think this is the sort of solution that would be ideal in Montréal, which needs its own housing needs addressed through denser apartments, I appreciate that it’s a good solution for a sprawl-ier city like Detroit.

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Lift Party

Underpass Pieces by tbanbox

Some nice paste ups by tbanbox.

Sculpture by Junko

Streets of Japan

Photo by Taras Grescoe

From author Taras Grescoe comes a nice little meditation on what make Japanese streets particularly great. Since my partner and son went to Japan a few months ago, I’ve heard many times about how wonderfully human-scale Japan is, and how its multiple modes of transportation absolutely blow away all of the lauded European cities like Amsterdam or Copenhagen in terms of livability and transport.

Grescoe writes:

There are no cars. Sure, drivers might pass through, but they don’t stick around: that’s because there’s no on-street parking. A simple reality, which explains why the streets in so many neighborhoods of Tokyo and other Japanese cities are a paradise for kids (and cats).

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Loading Dock

I spotted some random streaks of colour from the end of the loading dock. I had to walk down a long ramp with dog in tow to see what it actually was. I’m not sure if this is an accident or the work of an artist, but I like it a lot.


It’s the time of year where the sun sets very close to “Montréal North”, which is actually North-West, and so shines perfectly down many streets and even narrow alleys.

Bee Stencil

Found in Montréal’s Mile Ex.