Taking Back the Streets: Three Interventions

TreeHugger Emma was on Toronto's Fifth Avenue, Bloor Street, where Ashley's, a big expensive china shop, set up a monster screen in their window to show the World Cup. Hundreds of people gathered around in a scene reminiscent of when people gathered in front of TV store windows to see Neil Armstrong step onto the moon. It reminded us how important cities are as spaces for collective activities- how much better is it to gather together to watch on one screen in a social environment than to be each looking at our individual home entertainment centers. Coincidentally a number of urban events came to our attention.

In New York, Improv Everywhere stages "clever public interventions. They are ususally elaborate and involve placing numerous people (or "agents") in the crowd. They had a suicide jumper on the thin ledge of a building, but the ledge was only 3 feet off the ground." You have to watch the whole thing, it is brilliant.

In Chicago,"graffiti artist TEWZ ONE and IKIL joined forces recently to capture and modify the free plastic publication boxes you normally see on street corners and in front of train stations."

This is what makes cities great. In episode 1 of E2, Architecture critic Paul Goldberger said that "Cities are the greatest energy saving device ever created". They are also a lot of fun. ::Spacing Wire