the net and the metro

Being a mapping and graph geek, I've been thinking about the juxtaposition of cities and their websites. Is there any sort of relationship? Does the complexity of a city's website relate to the complexity or legibility of its built environment? Or do they speak more to the level of participation the city engenders through its online presence?

Here are the webgraphs of four cities, two of ours and two world capitals, you tell me what you think:


New York City

Quezon City

Makati City

(I think webgraphs definitely correlate with the online success of presidential campaigns.)

Whether or not the web and the physical city correlate, I am sure the web will have an impact on our cities. Here's what the inventor of the world wide web had to say about it:

"What's exciting is that people are building new social systems, new systems of review, new systems of governance.

"My hope is that those will produce... new ways of working together effectively and fairly which we can use globally to manage ourselves as a planet."

Sir Tim's comments inspire me and make me think of the possibilities that a networked Metro Manila population can do for the city.

What effect do you think the web will have, or is already having on metro manila?


streets as valuable public spaces

"treat streets as valuable public places,
rather than utilitarian corridors"

So says Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of New York City's Department of Transportation, as she introduced Gotham's new "Sustainable Streets" strategic plan. The plan "lays out a vision for New York City of improved mobility, safer streets and reduced impact on global climate, all resulting in a world class quality of life."

Although the plan has it's failings and critics, it does clearly exhibit how city governments, and their transportation departments in particular, have turned 360-degrees in their paradigms. from roads to streets, and understanding the impact that improving the streetscape -making sure it caters to people first, rather than just vehicles - has on the quality of life in our cities.

It only makes sense, given that road infrastructure takes up at least 30% of a city's total land area. Turning roads into complete streets will do wonders not only for mobility, but also for livability. (c.f. -how children who live in areas with tree-lined streets are less likely to get asthma.)

It's a rethink that we also dearly need for Metro Manila and all Philippine cities.


leon chua and the memristor

So, if you're geeky enough, you would have heard the HP has finally created the missing link in the "family of circuits" -the memristor.

"an entirely new kind of electronic device, which could make chips smaller and far more efficient...a computer built with memristors could allow PCs that start up instantly, laptops that retain sessions after the battery dies, or mobile phones that can last for weeks without needing a charge...

"Memristors were first proposed in 1971 by Professor Leon Chua, a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.

They are the "fourth" basic building block of circuits, after capacitors, resistors and inductors."
And, as you can tell by the name: Prof. Leon Chua is pinoy -a product of Mapua (1959) -by way of MIT and UI-Urbana-Champaign.

Makes you proud to be pinoy!

Pass this around, please.

(Ok, this has nothing directly to do with cities - but I'm a geek, so live with it.)

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