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Transform a Public Space Project: Take a look at 4 More Submissions

Softwalks as submitted by Bland Hoke This content is brought to you by GOOD, with the support of the BMW Guggenheim Lab A month ago, GOOD and...



Softwalks as submitted by Bland Hoke

This content is brought to you by GOOD, with the support of the BMW Guggenheim Lab

This summer, GOOD and the BMW Guggenheim Lab teamed up to announce the project Transform a Public Place, a call for ideas on how to make a public space in your city more comfortable. Ideas will be reviewed by Maria Nicanor, curator of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile laboratory bringing together new ideas for improving urban life. The ideas selected by Nicanor will be featured in a special post on GOOD and also on the BMW Guggenheim Lab websites and other social media.

The project closed on July 17 and we've received many submissions with fascinating, groundbreaking and quirky ideas from all over the world. While we're still going through them to highlight our favorites, we wanted to share another sneak peek at some of the innovative ideas we've received so far. See some of the other submissions here and here. Be sure to check back with us as we share more ideas and Nicanor's top picks.


Idea: 42 Cardboard Hammocks on the Market Place

Submitted by: Catalina Trujillo

The Montreuil’s marketplace is already a very versatile space. However, its generous dimensions inspires an installation that allows the public to rest in suspension, to have intimacy, while at the same time promote encounters, playing and new space spatial dynamics. These urban hammocks are made of recycled cardboard. The matter is transformed by a process, into a sort of a “paper fabric,” a soft membrane capable of taking multiple forms, the hammock is one of them.


Idea: Softwalks

Submitted by: Bland Hoke

Softwalks is inspired by sidewalk sheds, the tunnels of scaffolding associated with construction in New York City. However, if you look around many are not active construction sites, yet the scaffold structures negatively impact businesses, restrict pedestrian movement and obscure sunlight.

In response, we developed a simple Kit of Parts consisting of a chair, counter, planter, screen and light fixture. These incremental improvements can be mixed and matched to fit any neighborhood to activate these utilitarian spaces. By doing so, we transform an eyesore into an asset, contributing to the livability of dense urban environments.


Idea: City with Eyes

Submitted by: Anna Dietzsch

The canalization of rivers and streams were part of São Paulo's public policy in the 1920s and have resulted in the creation of residual spaces throughout the city. Openings in constructions adjacent to the residual areas were not allowed. The proposed intervention recalls Jane Jacobs' notion that cities need eyes and creates a series of "virtual windows" for artistic interventions that will prompt the population to reflect on its zoning and hidden waters. The intervention also proposes the use of permeable pavement and passive water retention against floods.

Idea: Border Areas

Submitted by: Anne van Strien

By transforming a harsh border in between a collective and public space in Eindhoven, the Netherlands into a soft border area by stretching it, a space arises between those two different worlds. These new in-between spaces function as social connectors between the two adjacent worlds.

This principle works on different types of collective spaces with public space, for instance cemetery St. Petrus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where the wall becomes a space for silence, allotment garden Groen gennep in Eindhoven, where the fence becomes a greenhouse where the public can come and taste the produce, and retirement home, Wilgenhof where the entrance becomes a bus shelter where the elderly are naturally connected to the people waiting for the bus.

City Forward was produced with the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile laboratory traveling around the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban life. It was open from June 15 through July 29, in Berlin, Germany. Sign up to receive the latest news and get involved. To get the latest news and updates on Twitter, follow @BMWGuggLab and join the conversation via #BGLab.

Articles

Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.





Culture
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Politics

The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.

Health