Time travel is here

So apparently time travel has finally arrived. Walked by the bus shelter opposite of Berlin Hauptbahnhof this morning and was greeted with a ‘Willkommen in der Zukunft’ (‘Welcome to the future’) message scrolling across the LED display. Have not entirely figured out how the future is different from the present nor how i can get back to the present but apparently in the future bus shelters have LED displays that are powered by solar panels integrated into the same bus-shelters. Now the people in…

Delhi metro now moving more people per day than the entire Dutch national railways

This was mentioned in passing in an item on carbon trading that ran in today’s NOS evening news: the delhi metro is now transporting more passengers per day than the dutch national railways. a quick check on wikipedia shows that this is a bit of an understatement: daily ridership of the delhi metro system is 1.8M passengers per day while the NS is moving a mere 1.1M passengers per day (and struggling to do so i might add). This figure pretty much blows my mind in a number of ways. while there h…

I could watch this for hours...

via kevin who discovered this marvel of a .gif animation which reminds me of a similar one i once made for the wireless bijlmer project website in 2003 (now defunct but archived here, you need wait for a few seconds before the train appears in the top right corner):…

Exploring the Paris Métro

Speaking about required reading: head over to sleepycity.net for wonderful (and long) write-up by a guy who has spend the last years exploring (at night on foot) the Paris Métro system. The article is illustrated with a bunch of terrific photos. Reading this makes me jealous. Personally i have never come any further than maybe 150 meters into the tunnel extending from the ‘Waterloo‘ station in my old hometown of Hannover. These guys claim that they have explored alomst the entire Métro system in…

I have changed my mind...

About the Noord Zuid Lijn: i really think that instead of finishing of the line and having subway trains running somewhen past 2015 they should just finish the tunnel and then turn it into a super deluxe underground bicycle express-path. The tunnel would dramatically cut down the time needed to get to the center, prevent you from rain and would probably be used by more locals on a daily basis than a subway ever will. The thing needs to have lots of smooth on- and off-ramps that connect it to the…

Tehran traffic ...

… so i am back from Iran after having spend the last two days in Tehran. it is pretty much difficult to make sense of Teheran in 4 days, which is probably due to the sheer size of the place. there are about 14 million people living in the metropolitan area of Tehran and one would guess that at most 5 of them are working as city planners. On the other hand every second inhabitant has at least one car (either a pre-historic Paykan or a grey Peugeot 206) which, during rush hour, is too much for the…

Mogadishu avenue (or where to find black people in Helsinki)

So one thing you notice when you are in Finland is how incredibly white the place is. there are almost no black (or brown) people to be seen. I think when i was in Helsinki for the last time in june 2006 i saw 3 black people in 3 days. So we brought up this observation over dinner yesterday and were informed that there are lots of black people but that one would need to go to ‘Mogadishu Avenue‘ to actually see them. Mogadishu Avenue, we were told, is the nickname of a street (Meri-Rastilan tie)…

Moebius (urban knot theory)

There is an amazing post about sewer systems under the big cities of Europe, America and Australian over at BDLGBLOG (amazing pictures as well!). It argues that the complexities of these sewer/tunnel systems is best being understood as more or less complex mathematical systems (knot theory): Manchester's storm overflow sewers, the rumor goes, are actually topological models. They are knot theory in built form. Other rumors claim that a former student of that program is now Chief Engineer for the…

(banned) in Dubai

Spend a day in Dubai yesterday and that place is positively insane. will post in more detail later, but in the meanwhile some initial observations. About the first thing i noticed – even before leaving the transit area of the airport – was that the local authorities do not have much love for this blog. in fact they have so little love for it that they censor it: No clue what i have done to piss-off the sheiks, but my guess would be that they also assume some kind of connection between me and 9/1…

Spectacular city...

Is the title of a photo exhibition at the Netherlands Institute of Architecture in Rotterdam (on show till the 7th of january 2007). the exhibition consists of about a 100 mostly large scale large-scale reproductions of – well – spectacular urban landscapes, exceptional buildings and all kinds of eerie views. Many of the pictures contain very little traces of human live (which has a strange calming effect on me). One notable exception is São Paulo, Sé by Andreas Gursky: On display this pict…