Farmlab Public Salon
Manuel Castells
On the Occasion of Farmlab's 75th Public Salon
Friday, July 11, 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

Grassrooting the Global City: From the Wealth of Nations to the Welfare of Communities


About the Salon

Join Professor Castells for a conversation with Lauren Bon.

This special program marks the 75th Farmlab Public Salon.

About Manuel Castells

Manuel Castells is a Professor Emeritus of City Planning, University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of the book, "The City and the Grassroots," from UC Press, that received the C.Wright Mills Award and is directly related to today's Salon topic.

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2 Comments:

At 6:02 AM , Blogger Lewis H said...

Will you be video-taping and putting this online for those of us stuck at work?

Thks

 
At 3:24 PM , Blogger K said...

Just got back from the talk with Dr. Castells, and I'm sold (on your "unmarketable" ideas).

Two thoughts:

1) I rode my bicycle home along the L.A. River, which seems to function both as a network connection from one place to another (I used it to ride from Farmlab to Silverlake) AND as a potential node of activity (there are already existing pocket parks, beautiful graffiti, not-so-beautiful graffiti, blue herons, and recycled water). And I think this node would blossom for activities such as bike riding, roller blading, walking, running, etc. if the pavement was resurfaced or repaired (using "green" materials?). A friend of mine is heading up an ad hoc committee for the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council focusing on the river--if anyone is interested, email me.

2) While Dr. Castells argued that we see a dichotomy between market wealth and public poverty, I want to make the case for using another existing node to foster cultures, communities, and grassroots movements: our local city colleges (and universities). As a lecturer at a couple of L.A.'s city colleges and a Cal State for the last eleven years, I have concluded that we could use these public spaces much more effectively as nodes to connect networks of people, whether as physical locations for people to meet or as virtual hubs for public-nonprofit-private relationships (e.g. my friend's students from a local middle school showed their films at Farmlab; I want to start a student arts and culture magazine at the college where I teach to promote student creativity, strengthen community ties, etc.). I am reminded of the role of campuses like UC Berkeley in the 60's Free Speech Movement, not to mention the function of universities in other countries, where they provide public platforms for student cultural and political activities. How do we maximize these spaces as nodes?

My brain is on fire! Great event! Thank you!

Kevin Menton
kmokmo0@gmail.com

P.S. And to go back to one of the comments regarding bicycle transporation--I just watched a video on Ciclovia, a program in Bogota that illustrates what can happen when city goverments get involved with the kind of ideas Dr. Castells was addressing. Check it out if you haven't already:

http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/ciclovia/

 

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