Future Smart Reads, 30 Sept 2012

Here are the articles and ideas which really got our attention in the past two weeks;

DETROIT:  For decades Detroit has been a poster child of the misfiring American dream but amid block after block of post-industrial decline there are signs that Motor City is jump-starting its economy. Years of under investment have left a blank canvas for social entrepreneurs and small business owners keen to revitalise a broken metropolis. Monocle heads downtown to sample the green shoots of recovery.

MONTREAL: Have we become adults too quickly? These swings (in the video above) in public space are part of a giant collective instrument made of 21 musical swings; each swing in motion triggers different notes, all the swings together compose a piece, but some sounds only emerge from cooperation.

MELBOURNE: This Australian city is joining London in considering the construction of elevated bicycle lanes. This one is dubbed ‘Veloway’ and comes with a pretty cool video too.

NORTH AMERICA: What has become of the design of our schools? This photo essay by Kaid Benfield explores why our schools have gone from being human-scaled, which signaled their importance in the community, to what these days resembles more of a Walmart of Target store. Part 1 and Part 2

CAPE TOWN: It has been in planning for a over a decade, but the next month will see the launch of a single Transport Authority that will begin to integrate transport modes, operators and nodes across Cape Town. The aim according to the Mayor of Cape Town, in a recent  piece is improve “the governance of transport services to the commuter by regulating operators through a common authority. This will mean consistent ticketing practices, better safety measures, standardised levels of quality and ease of connections, no matter what mode of transport is used.”