Starting the reading list for generals with Jane Jacobs’ Life and Death of Great American Cities may have been a terrible idea. It’s been a month(now almost 2), and I am still only 200 pages in to this first book on my list. A few weeks ago while having drinks out, I mentioned how hard it was to focus on this book. A woman sitting several tables down from us voiced her agreement. “What the f is she talking about?” were her exact words. After 200 pages, I am invested in Jacob’s thesis, but can’t help but resent a little the way she has chosen to write it.
Last night was a phd group meeting, and everyone has progressed so much! I must keep up. Resetting the agenda for February, I am simplifying the goals to just 3:
1. Finishing my write up for the contextual area on Children and the city. This will require a little more reading of Jacobs, but the rest of the reading list are mostly papers and good things like revisiting Kevin Lynch. For the write-up I will focus specifically on assessment methods of quality of life for children in urban environments, perceptions of danger, and how these factors can be expressed visually in an atlas to aid planning, investing, everyday decision making for families.
2. I will research the concept of distributed urban planning, focusing on background information. This will include the scale of actions, case studies, and of course existing tools. From this literature review of existing practices and platforms, I will summarize features, design principles(human interaction), and an action plan for building a digital atlas and putting it out for public use.
3. LAST I will start a extensive review of the massive amounts of literature on data visualization and weed out the fun but not useful ones. That’s key, I have such a hard time letting go of stacks of papers. This will prep me for the tech area write up. I will most likely focus on mapping, its cognitive aspects, HCI.
sound good? go!