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The Life-Sized City Urbanism Podcast

Mikael Colville-Andersen

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The Life-Sized City Urbanism Podcast

The Life-Sized City Urbanism Podcast

Mikael Colville-Andersen

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About Us

The Life-Sized City Urbanism Podcast is hosted by Mikael Colville-Andersen. As an urban designer working with cities around the world, an author and the host of The Life-Sized City tv series about urbanism, Colville-Andersen hopes curates a wide variety of urban topics. Interviewing passionate urban citizens around the world about issues that affect our cities.

Latest Episodes

Vancouver, Tall Buildings and Brent Toderian

I’ve never been a fan of tall buildings. On a visit to Vancouver, I needed someone to convince me that they aren’t inherently bad. The most obvious choice is my friend Brent Toderian, urban planner and former Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver. We spoke in the Olympic Village - one of the projects Brent is most proud of - about the urban development in Vancouver. He tells me what Vancouver learned from the world and - more importantly - what the world can learn from Vancouver. I learn why European cities do tall buildings badly, about strategic densification and that at the end of the day, we should just design a good building that lands well, regardless of height.

37 MINJAN 17
Comments
Vancouver, Tall Buildings and Brent Toderian

Beirut’s Archaeology Armageddon - Designing a future that doesn’t include the past

In the race for property development and profit for the few, Beirut is losing its archaeological legacy. The oligarchy has teamed up with developers, investors and even starchitects like Jean Nouvel, Rafael Moneo and Renzo Piano, to design a future that doesn’t include the past. Without any accountability. Archaeological ruins in one of the oldest cities in the world are not protected and are bulldozed daily as new condos are erected at an alarming rate. History is disappearing off the face of the earth. Part 2 of my interview with journalist Habib Battah. Part 1 is called Beirut Inc. Music by Phil Creamer from http://hereonout.ca

51 MINJAN 7
Comments
Beirut’s Archaeology Armageddon - Designing a future that doesn’t include the past

Beirut Inc. - Designing a Non-Place Through Rampant Privatization

When Beirut emerged from a brutal civil war, it was time to rebuild. Instead of rebuilding for the people, the city was, in effect, privatized, allowing rampant capitalism and cronyism to trump urbanism and the citizens. This is an urban tale about Beirut but it’s a cautionary tale about warlords wearing suits, an oligarchy and rampant developers teaming up to exploit a fragmented system after having basically designed it themselves. I interview journalist Habib Battah - one of the strongest voices in Beirut against rampant capitalism, the oligarchy and greedy developers who are intent on designing a non-place for the rich while ignoring the citizens' immediate needs. Music by Phil Creamer from http://hereonout.ca

45 MINJAN 6
Comments
Beirut Inc. - Designing a Non-Place Through Rampant Privatization

Copenhagen's Tree Musketeers

The importance of having a rich green canopy in a city is well-documented. Trees are vital to urban living for so many reasons. Copenhagen’s brand as a “green” city is, in many ways, deserved. But you might be surprised to learn that fancy-schmancy Copenhagen lags far behind many other cities in having a modern tree policy and the municipality does little to protect what trees it has left. Don't believe the hype. I interview the passionate activist, Sandra Høj, who started Save The Urban Trees (Red Byens Træer) and she gives me the dirt on the City of Copenhagen’s disregard for trees. Then it's Natalie Gulsrud, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Landscape Architecture and Planning, who provides some academic insight into the value of trees and some cultural context about the Danes’ “meh” attitude towards them. Sandra Høj’s blog: http://classiccopenhagen.blogspot.com/ Check out Sandra’s coffee cup disposal idea: http://classiccopenhagen.blogspot.com/2012/03/test-tubes.html Article: Copenhagen - too smug to learn?: https://medium.com/@colville_andersen/copenhagen-too-smug-to-learn-6869ebf16dc1 Music by Phil Creamer - http://hereonout.ca

58 MIN2019 OCT 25
Comments
Copenhagen's Tree Musketeers

Smile! It's Climate Change!

Belina Raffy is on a mission to make climate change… funnier. She teaches Sustainable Stand-up, in order to enable people to be able to talk about the serious topic of climate change with humour, in order to more effectively engage our citizens and encourage behaviour change. We’ve been friends for a few year so our conversation about her amazing work is peppered with goofing around. We’ll talk about failed advocacy techniques, angry Australians, making vegans nicer, whataboutism and how to shine bright, giggly light into the dark crevasses of the global climate change narrative. This episode is, in a way, a continuation of the previous interview with my go-to guy on sustainability, Canadian author Chris Turner. So often when I record these podcasts, there is a knock on effect that leads me to another guest. This time it led me to Berlin to meet with Belina. - Sustainable Stand-up: https://www.sustainablestandup.com/ - The Book: "Using Improv to Save the World - and Me": https://www.maffick.com/#the-book - Music by Phil Creamer from www.hereonout.ca

53 MIN2019 OCT 17
Comments
Smile! It's Climate Change!

04 Fighting Climate Change with Cities - and Positivity

With the global narrative about climate change being so dark and dismal for so long, it is increasingly difficult to call our citizens to action. But what if we looked at it differently and put a positive spin on the importance of fighting it, as well as finally realizing that cities are the key? Canadian author Chris Turner is the person I know who is most well-versed in sustainability, energy transition and climate change adaptation. We had a passionate talk in Copenhagen about the disconnect between national climate change narratives and the potential of cities, density as a tool, using effective ways to influence behaviour change and finally tackling the most serious issue in human history with positivity. Music by Phil Creamer from www.hereonout.ca

76 MIN2019 OCT 12
Comments
04 Fighting Climate Change with Cities - and Positivity

03 The Urban Revival Narrative

Now called The Life-Sized City podcast. One of the narratives that fascinates us the most is urban revival. A city seemingly down for the count starts the process of rebuilding, rebooting and healing and we grab the popcorn. The underdog story is universally cherished. Mikael explores this narrative in three different cities: Detroit, Medellin, Colombia and Turin, Italy. You can construct and design an urban revival narrative like in Detroit. You can starve it, like what is happening in Medellin. And you can philosophize over it, like Mikael does about the fate of Italian cities with his friends in Turin. The stories we tell about our cities are important. When done right. Interviews with Aaron Foley - Chief Storyteller for the City of Detroit, Carlos Cadena Gaitan - professor and researcher in urban sustainability and Giacomo Biraghi and Luca Ballerini - urban strategist and communication designer, respectively. Music by Phil Creamer from www.hereonout.ca

56 MIN2019 FEB 26
Comments
03 The Urban Revival Narrative

2.1 Gender Issues in Skateboarding

Now called The Life-Sized City podcast. The massive gender challenges facing skateboarding are mirrored in many other cultures and sports. How can skateboarding - a traditionally male-dominated culture - diversify to include a strong female presence? What are the hurdles and what would the benefits be? This short, unplugged episode is an extended addendum to the previous episode about skateboard urbanism. I interview Gustav Svanborg Edén - skateboarding coordinator for the City of Malmö. Music by Phil Creamer.

16 MIN2019 JAN 2
Comments
2.1 Gender Issues in Skateboarding

02 Designing Skateboard-friendly Cities

Now called The Life-Sized City podcast. How can we design a skateboard-friendly city? Is there a template? What cities are ahead of the curve? What are the benefits? You don’t have to be a skateboarder to listen to this episode about Skateboard Urbanism. This is about skateboarding culture but it is also about design, public space, youth culture, citizen engagement, gender and the simple respect for the diversity of activities that our fellow urban citizens take part in. Interviews with Joel Martell - skateboarder - in Paris, James Thoem - urban planner - in Copenhagen and Gustav Svanborg Edén - the skateboard coordinator for the City of Malmö, Sweden. Music by Phil Creamer: http://www.hereonout.ca/

51 MIN2018 DEC 29
Comments
02 Designing Skateboard-friendly Cities

01 Terror Urbanism

Now called The Life-Sized City podcast. With the rise of a new terrorism typology - one that brutally employs vehicles to mow down pedestrians and cyclists - I am wondering if the sudden physical changes appearing in cities might be positive. As more barriers are put into place to stop this threat, are we creating better cities? Is there a design guide for this change? I interview Holly Hixson, an urban planner, writer and researcher from Portland, former head of the Copenhagen DoT, Morten Kabell and bicycle advocate Charles Maguin in Paris about this development and potential outcome.

38 MIN2018 SEP 25
Comments
01 Terror Urbanism
the END

Latest Episodes

Vancouver, Tall Buildings and Brent Toderian

I’ve never been a fan of tall buildings. On a visit to Vancouver, I needed someone to convince me that they aren’t inherently bad. The most obvious choice is my friend Brent Toderian, urban planner and former Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver. We spoke in the Olympic Village - one of the projects Brent is most proud of - about the urban development in Vancouver. He tells me what Vancouver learned from the world and - more importantly - what the world can learn from Vancouver. I learn why European cities do tall buildings badly, about strategic densification and that at the end of the day, we should just design a good building that lands well, regardless of height.

37 MINJAN 17
Comments
Vancouver, Tall Buildings and Brent Toderian

Beirut’s Archaeology Armageddon - Designing a future that doesn’t include the past

In the race for property development and profit for the few, Beirut is losing its archaeological legacy. The oligarchy has teamed up with developers, investors and even starchitects like Jean Nouvel, Rafael Moneo and Renzo Piano, to design a future that doesn’t include the past. Without any accountability. Archaeological ruins in one of the oldest cities in the world are not protected and are bulldozed daily as new condos are erected at an alarming rate. History is disappearing off the face of the earth. Part 2 of my interview with journalist Habib Battah. Part 1 is called Beirut Inc. Music by Phil Creamer from http://hereonout.ca

51 MINJAN 7
Comments
Beirut’s Archaeology Armageddon - Designing a future that doesn’t include the past

Beirut Inc. - Designing a Non-Place Through Rampant Privatization

When Beirut emerged from a brutal civil war, it was time to rebuild. Instead of rebuilding for the people, the city was, in effect, privatized, allowing rampant capitalism and cronyism to trump urbanism and the citizens. This is an urban tale about Beirut but it’s a cautionary tale about warlords wearing suits, an oligarchy and rampant developers teaming up to exploit a fragmented system after having basically designed it themselves. I interview journalist Habib Battah - one of the strongest voices in Beirut against rampant capitalism, the oligarchy and greedy developers who are intent on designing a non-place for the rich while ignoring the citizens' immediate needs. Music by Phil Creamer from http://hereonout.ca

45 MINJAN 6
Comments
Beirut Inc. - Designing a Non-Place Through Rampant Privatization

Copenhagen's Tree Musketeers

The importance of having a rich green canopy in a city is well-documented. Trees are vital to urban living for so many reasons. Copenhagen’s brand as a “green” city is, in many ways, deserved. But you might be surprised to learn that fancy-schmancy Copenhagen lags far behind many other cities in having a modern tree policy and the municipality does little to protect what trees it has left. Don't believe the hype. I interview the passionate activist, Sandra Høj, who started Save The Urban Trees (Red Byens Træer) and she gives me the dirt on the City of Copenhagen’s disregard for trees. Then it's Natalie Gulsrud, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Landscape Architecture and Planning, who provides some academic insight into the value of trees and some cultural context about the Danes’ “meh” attitude towards them. Sandra Høj’s blog: http://classiccopenhagen.blogspot.com/ Check out Sandra’s coffee cup disposal idea: http://classiccopenhagen.blogspot.com/2012/03/test-tubes.html Article: Copenhagen - too smug to learn?: https://medium.com/@colville_andersen/copenhagen-too-smug-to-learn-6869ebf16dc1 Music by Phil Creamer - http://hereonout.ca

58 MIN2019 OCT 25
Comments
Copenhagen's Tree Musketeers

Smile! It's Climate Change!

Belina Raffy is on a mission to make climate change… funnier. She teaches Sustainable Stand-up, in order to enable people to be able to talk about the serious topic of climate change with humour, in order to more effectively engage our citizens and encourage behaviour change. We’ve been friends for a few year so our conversation about her amazing work is peppered with goofing around. We’ll talk about failed advocacy techniques, angry Australians, making vegans nicer, whataboutism and how to shine bright, giggly light into the dark crevasses of the global climate change narrative. This episode is, in a way, a continuation of the previous interview with my go-to guy on sustainability, Canadian author Chris Turner. So often when I record these podcasts, there is a knock on effect that leads me to another guest. This time it led me to Berlin to meet with Belina. - Sustainable Stand-up: https://www.sustainablestandup.com/ - The Book: "Using Improv to Save the World - and Me": https://www.maffick.com/#the-book - Music by Phil Creamer from www.hereonout.ca

53 MIN2019 OCT 17
Comments
Smile! It's Climate Change!

04 Fighting Climate Change with Cities - and Positivity

With the global narrative about climate change being so dark and dismal for so long, it is increasingly difficult to call our citizens to action. But what if we looked at it differently and put a positive spin on the importance of fighting it, as well as finally realizing that cities are the key? Canadian author Chris Turner is the person I know who is most well-versed in sustainability, energy transition and climate change adaptation. We had a passionate talk in Copenhagen about the disconnect between national climate change narratives and the potential of cities, density as a tool, using effective ways to influence behaviour change and finally tackling the most serious issue in human history with positivity. Music by Phil Creamer from www.hereonout.ca

76 MIN2019 OCT 12
Comments
04 Fighting Climate Change with Cities - and Positivity

03 The Urban Revival Narrative

Now called The Life-Sized City podcast. One of the narratives that fascinates us the most is urban revival. A city seemingly down for the count starts the process of rebuilding, rebooting and healing and we grab the popcorn. The underdog story is universally cherished. Mikael explores this narrative in three different cities: Detroit, Medellin, Colombia and Turin, Italy. You can construct and design an urban revival narrative like in Detroit. You can starve it, like what is happening in Medellin. And you can philosophize over it, like Mikael does about the fate of Italian cities with his friends in Turin. The stories we tell about our cities are important. When done right. Interviews with Aaron Foley - Chief Storyteller for the City of Detroit, Carlos Cadena Gaitan - professor and researcher in urban sustainability and Giacomo Biraghi and Luca Ballerini - urban strategist and communication designer, respectively. Music by Phil Creamer from www.hereonout.ca

56 MIN2019 FEB 26
Comments
03 The Urban Revival Narrative

2.1 Gender Issues in Skateboarding

Now called The Life-Sized City podcast. The massive gender challenges facing skateboarding are mirrored in many other cultures and sports. How can skateboarding - a traditionally male-dominated culture - diversify to include a strong female presence? What are the hurdles and what would the benefits be? This short, unplugged episode is an extended addendum to the previous episode about skateboard urbanism. I interview Gustav Svanborg Edén - skateboarding coordinator for the City of Malmö. Music by Phil Creamer.

16 MIN2019 JAN 2
Comments
2.1 Gender Issues in Skateboarding

02 Designing Skateboard-friendly Cities

Now called The Life-Sized City podcast. How can we design a skateboard-friendly city? Is there a template? What cities are ahead of the curve? What are the benefits? You don’t have to be a skateboarder to listen to this episode about Skateboard Urbanism. This is about skateboarding culture but it is also about design, public space, youth culture, citizen engagement, gender and the simple respect for the diversity of activities that our fellow urban citizens take part in. Interviews with Joel Martell - skateboarder - in Paris, James Thoem - urban planner - in Copenhagen and Gustav Svanborg Edén - the skateboard coordinator for the City of Malmö, Sweden. Music by Phil Creamer: http://www.hereonout.ca/

51 MIN2018 DEC 29
Comments
02 Designing Skateboard-friendly Cities

01 Terror Urbanism

Now called The Life-Sized City podcast. With the rise of a new terrorism typology - one that brutally employs vehicles to mow down pedestrians and cyclists - I am wondering if the sudden physical changes appearing in cities might be positive. As more barriers are put into place to stop this threat, are we creating better cities? Is there a design guide for this change? I interview Holly Hixson, an urban planner, writer and researcher from Portland, former head of the Copenhagen DoT, Morten Kabell and bicycle advocate Charles Maguin in Paris about this development and potential outcome.

38 MIN2018 SEP 25
Comments
01 Terror Urbanism
the END
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