In today’s rapidly urbanizing world, the study of urbanism has become increasingly relevant. As an armchair urbanist, I find myself captivated by the intricate dynamics between inhabitants and their built environment. This term refers to individuals who take a keen interest in urban areas, their design, and the way people interact with them. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of armchair urbanism, exploring its significance and the factors driving urbanization worldwide.
Urbanism encompasses various disciplines, including urban planning and urban sociology, which aim to comprehend the complexities of urban life. Urban areas, such as cities, towns, conurbations, and suburbs, are the products of urbanization, marking a contrast to rural environments. Modern urban planning has evolved from the ancient urban revolution, shaping human civilization and leaving a lasting impact on the environment.
The Global Shift:
The growth of urban areas has been remarkable over the past century. In 1950, 764 million people lived in urban areas globally, while by 2014, this number had skyrocketed to 3.9 billion. The surge in urban population is a result of both overall population growth and an increased percentage of people residing in urban areas. In 2009, urban dwellers outnumbered their rural counterparts, marking a pivotal moment in human history. Projections indicate that the urban population will comprise 68% of the global population by 2050, with substantial growth expected in Africa and Asia.
Drivers of Urbanization:
Urbanization is fueled by various factors, including economic opportunities, improved infrastructure, and access to better services. Countries such as Argentina and Japan boast urbanization rates exceeding 90%, while Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States fall within the 80-90% range. These nations demonstrate how urbanization has reshaped societies and economies, creating interconnected metropolitan areas that extend beyond city boundaries.
The Armchair Perspective:
As an armchair urbanist, I find inspiration in observing, analyzing, and discussing the built environment from a distance. It involves exploring the evolution of urban spaces, understanding architectural styles, and contemplating the social, economic, and environmental implications of urban development. While not actively involved in urban planning or research, armchair urbanists contribute to the broader conversation and raise awareness about the importance of sustainable and inclusive cities.
Armchair urbanism provides an avenue for individuals to engage with the world of urbanism from a personal perspective. It allows us to appreciate the complexities of urban areas, their growth, and their impact on societies and the environment. By embracing this role, armchair urbanists contribute to shaping a future where cities are designed to meet the needs of their inhabitants while fostering sustainability and inclusivity. As our world continues to urbanize at an unprecedented rate, armchair urbanism becomes an increasingly valuable lens through which we can understand and appreciate the ever-changing urban landscape.
METROLINK RELAUNCHES LOW-INCOME DISCOUNT PROGRAM AS “MOBILITY-4-ALL”
LOS ANGELES – Metrolink’s low-income discount program was relaunched today as the Mobility-4-All program. Metrolink passengers with a California Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card are still eligible for a 50 percent discount on all Metrolink tickets and passes. Riders can use their EBT card at any Metrolink station ticket machine to validate and unlock the discount.
“Since we began the program in September 2022, we have sold more than 80,000 tickets with the discounted fare,” Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said. “Thanks to a generous Caltrans grant, we have made Metrolink an even more affordable option for people. Renaming the program to Mobility-4-All reaffirms our commitment to make public transportation more equitable, without reference to socioeconomic status.”
Funding for the discount is made possible by a grant from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP), administered by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
A California EBT card is required to validate the discount, while an alternative form of payment is needed to complete the ticket transaction.
Hollywood Writers Strike Ends: Guild Approves Contract with Studios
Hollywood writers strike ends as guild approves contract with studios, bringing production back after months of halt. Scriptwriting resumes.
After nearly five months of uncertainty and halted production, the Hollywood writers strike has finally come to an end. The governing boards of the Writers Guild of America, representing both the eastern and western branches, along with their joint negotiating committee, have approved a contract agreement with studios. This decision marks a significant milestone for the industry, allowing the resumption of scriptwriting and the gradual return to normalcy.
Key Highlights of the Contract Agreement:
The contract, spanning three years, encompasses several vital victories that writers had fought for since the beginning of the strike. These wins include improved compensation, longer employment terms, increased staff sizes, and control over artificial intelligence. The agreement closely aligns with the initial demands of the writers, reflecting a compromise between both parties.
Compensation and Employment:
The writers’ union sought higher pay and future residual earnings from shows, and the compromise deal resulted in a raise ranging from 3.5% to 5%. Additionally, the contract introduces new residual payments based on the popularity of streaming shows, ensuring writers receive adequate compensation for their contributions to highly watched properties.
Staffing and Artificial Intelligence:
The contract addresses the issue of staffing, with a requirement that shows intended to run at least 13 episodes must have a minimum of six writers on staff. The number of writers will be adjusted based on the episode count. While the initial desire for guaranteed staffs of six on shows yet to be ordered was not achieved, a guaranteed minimum of three writers was agreed upon.
Furthermore, the agreement grants writers control over the regulation and use of artificial intelligence. AI-generated storylines will not be considered “literary material” or “source” material, protecting writers’ creative contributions and avoiding competition with computer-generated content.
The end of the Hollywood writers strike brings relief to the entertainment industry, allowing the resumption of production and the creation of new scripts. The approved contract represents a significant achievement for the Writers Guild of America, securing important gains in compensation, employment terms, staffing, and control over emerging technologies. As late-night talk shows prepare to return, the agreement paves the way for the gradual comeback of scripted shows as negotiations continue. The Hollywood writers strike, while disruptive, ultimately led to a more equitable and sustainable future for the talented individuals who shape the narratives we love on screen.
For more on the writers and actors strikes, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/hollywood-strikes/
Source: Associated Press
Punctuate Your Day with Humor: National Punctuation Day
“Embrace the power of punctuation on National Punctuation Day and let your words dance with clarity and humor. #NationalPunctuationDay”
Attention, grammar nerds and word enthusiasts! Today, we celebrate the unsung heroes of the written word: punctuation marks! It’s National Punctuation Day, a time to pause, take a breath, and appreciate those tiny symbols that bring order to our sentences.
Imagine a world without punctuation. It would be utter chaos! Sentences would blend together, leaving us scratching our heads and desperately searching for meaning. Take a look at this sentence: “Let’s eat grandma.” Now, add a simple comma, and voila! “Let’s eat, grandma.” Crisis averted!
Punctuation marks have the power to change everything. They can turn a statement into a question, add excitement or urgency, and even make us sound sarcastic. Just one exclamation point can transform a dull sentence into an enthusiastic proclamation! “I’m going to the store” becomes “I’m going to the store!”
Let’s not forget the semicolon, the mysterious and underappreciated member of the punctuation family. It’s like the James Bond of punctuation marks—sophisticated, elegant, and capable of connecting two independent clauses with effortless grace.
So, on this National Punctuation Day, let’s raise our pens and give thanks to these unsung heroes. They may be small, but they wield a mighty influence over our words. So, use them wisely, cherish them dearly, and remember: without punctuation, we’d all be lost in a sea of confusion. Happy National Punctuation Day!
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