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Kaid Benfield’s Blog

Cut'n'Paste Cities and "Design a Livable Street" - fun interactivity

Kaid Benfield

Posted June 26, 2009

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     Seattle's Post Alley (by: Thomas Brown, creative commons license)

Cut'n'Paste Cities is a web-based participatory project that invites readers to share what they like best (and least) about cities, through their own photographs:

"A global call to action and an invitation to urban dwellers to describe through photography the places and things they love about their cities, and those that they could do without.

"The brief is to capture through photography what you really like in a city, what makes it tick, and what you would like to see more of in the future. They can be spaces or services, aspects of everyday life or temporary events. Alternatively, describe something that should be removed from the city, a building you could do without, a service that just doesn't work. These are a CUT. Things you like are a PASTE.

"The project will culminate with an exhibition of curated insights, stories and speculations based on the images.

Cut'n'Paste eminates from Foresight, a project of the global design/engineering firm Arup:

"The Foresight Team was established by Arup in 2002 to help better understand the long-term drivers shaping our business and that of our global client base. We identify emerging trends and explore their likely impact on the built environment. Drivers of Change is a research-based programme that communicates these important issues in a thought-provoking and accessible way. These issues continue to be explored in workshops, publications, talks, films and exhibitions."

The project already has some great photos on display, including the one of Seattle's Post Alley (above), by Thomas Brown.

In a similar vein, check out Good magazine's "Design a Livable Street" project.  Using a technique similar to NRDC's Picturing Smart Growth, the 22 entries posted start out with an actual photograph of a streetscape in need of help, and then show a vision of what the same space could look like.  Very creative and fun.

Kaid Benfield writes (almost) daily about community, development, and the environment.  For more posts, see his blog's home page. 


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