The renaming of Los Angeles's Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena may seem like an innocuous promotional gambit. But it means that cities are now in competition with a seductive virtual world.
"However weird cryptocurrency may seem, what lies ahead promises to be even weirder. The Staples Center deal comes only a few weeks after another California institution, Facebook, announced its intention to create the 'metaverse.” Just as cryptocurrency is money that takes place in cyberspace, the metaverse (Capital M? Lowercase m? Who knows …) is, basically, life that takes place in cyberspace. In Mark Zuckerberg’s imagination, every human will be able to work, socialize, and play in the offices, conference rooms, concert halls, and amusement parks of the metaverse."
"The trouble is, the more we entertain those fantasies, and the more time, energy, ingenuity, and capital (crypto and otherwise) go into creating them, the less time, energy, ingenuity, and capital we will have to invest in the real world. The spectacle of human suffering that the privileged world only barely notices today will become just another reason not to take off the VR headset. The promise of building a new world—especially of the type that thoughtful planners, architects, and engineers might envision—will give way to simulacra constrained only by screen resolutions and processing power."
The California High-Speed Rail Project Illustrates America’s Transit Issues
Slow progress and a bloated budget have plagued the High-Speed Rail project linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, exposing deeper issues with American transit projects.
New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives
The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.
‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters
As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.
Europe's New Energy Infrastructure Begins to Emerge
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped to quickly redraw national boundary lines in Eastern Europe. The region's energy infrastructure, particularly pipelines carrying natural gas, may change sooner.
Making the Case for E-Bikes
A new white paper lays the groundwork for better e-bike incentive programs.
How To Slow the Wave of Commercial Vacancies
Empty storefronts depress property values and suppress small business growth. What can cities do to fill these vacancies?
City of Redwood City
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This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.