Tuesday, January 6, 2009

WikiUrbanism

I often write, sometimes here/sometimes in real publications, about the effect the new generation will have on urbanism. I remember when then GenY was thought to be some awful version of GenX on steroids. That the internet would creation a video game playing nation stuck indoors with the only human interaction online.

Well, as it turns out, like with any new invention/substance interjected into a society, there is a period of dislocation before that group of people come to terms with it, much like a drug. GenX overdosed, GenY adapted it to suit their needs. This is a generation that grew up largely isolated in suburbia, but thru nature or nurture is a very social creature.

I thought this excerpt from a post at CoolTown Studios effectively captures the essence of how the wave of open sourceware is effectively overlaid onto urban principles and meeting the social and physical needs of future American cities. As you can see, many of these are reactive measures to the oppressive monotonous, relentlessly corporatized nature of suburbia:
  • The buildings and streets will be environmentally-conscious. That means less of a priority for driving and parking.
  • Public spaces (as shown above) will be primary focal points, like portals on the internet where people gather.
  • People are increasingly embracing and thriving in diversity, and that means a greater variety of places and spaces, homes and workplaces.
  • Authenticity has returned as a primary value, and that translates to more local businesses and human-scaled buildings.
  • Public health is as big a concern as ever, with more emphasis on walking and biking.
  • People will be looking to connect to their friends more often, more spontaneously, like on Facebook, but in person.