economics – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Category Archives: economics

the geopolitics of subtraction

[Map of the IIRSA’s Amazonian axis, connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic across the Andes; from IIRSA document “8 Ejes de Integración de la Infraestructura de América del Sur”] Keller Easterling, speculating about “a new counterintuitive economic model” of “infrastructural subtraction” in Domus last November: “What are the points of leverage, trip distances or economies […]

dharavi: globalization and spontaneously mixed uses

[The following piece, on the surprising ways that the residents of the Mumbai settlement of Dharavi have integrated that urban agglomeration into global economic networks, and the value of the unique spatial formatting that both enables and results from that integration, is the second thoroughly-footnoted guest post we’ve run from Peter Nunns. (The first was […]

the economist on american infrastructure

[“Enroute high” aeronautical chart of the airspace around Washington, DC, via the US Division of the International Virtual Aviation Organization and  American airports rely on obsolete ground-based air traffic control,a system whose “imprecision obliges controllers to keep more distance between air traffic, reducing the number of planes that can fly in the available space” […]


[FedEx’s “Superhub” at Memphis International Airport; via Bing maps.] 1. BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh interviews Greg Lindsay, co-author (with John Kasarda) of the recently-released Aerotropolis.  (If you aren’t familiar with the thesis of the book, you might begin with Lindsay’s recent article in the Financial Times.)  The interview is quite interesting, and in places I agree […]

markets, constituencies, and infrastructure

I’ve been reading the blog Market Urbanism quite a lot recently. Writing recently about “the problem with “public” transportation” (and after noting the frequent use of ‘public transit’ where the broader ‘mass transit’ would be more appropriate), they argue: …although the [New York] Subway was heavily subsidized by the government, the truth is that it […]

obama’s national infrastructure bank

Infrastructurist has a quick summary of reactions to the Obama administration’s proposed National Infrastructure Bank.  (The reactions are mostly positive, from sources as diverse as the Wall Street Journal and The New Republic.)  Of course, enthusiasm for the proposal — which, as far as I can tell, is an excellent idea — should be grounded […]

architects without architecture

As a coda to our collaborative reading of The Infrastructural City, mammoth spoke with Kazys Varnelis, editor of that book, about how the infrastructural city and “network culture” are related, what the contents of an imaginary new chapter for The Infrastructural City might be, and the future of architecture in the wake of global economic […]


These are chapters eight and nine of The Infrastructural City; if you’re not familiar with the series, you can start here and catch up here. Thinking about the new urban landscape and public space and wondering where to start, I suddenly remember how, as a boy, I built my first crystal receiver […] You would […]

infrastructure construction as jobs stimulus

Free Exchange posted this chart emphasizing the challenge long-term unemployment poses in this recession. It seems to indicate that construction-based stimulus could be especially effective in reducing such unemployment, furthering the case for a stimulus program emphasizing the construction and repair of infrastructure. But there’s just not that much room to cut unemployment by putting […]

productivity signaling and size borrowing

Ryan Avent, who maintains the indispensable blog The Bellows, is one of my favorite writers on economics and urbanism. He recently drew attention to two interesting papers which are related to his response to an article in the the American Prospect by Alec MacGillis which was critical of Richard Florida (which mammoth previously highlighted). Avent contends […]

the best architecture of the decade

[The Large Hadron Collider] The end of a decade inspires a lot of list compiling; in that spirit, mammoth offers an alternative list of the best architecture of the decade, concocted without any claim to authority and surely missing some fascinating architecture.   But we hope that at least it’s not boring, as this was an […]

quarantine economies

I’d like to echo Rob’s delight at being able to attend the final critique of the Landscapes of Quarantine Studio in NYC hosted by BLDGBLOG and Edible Geography.  We’ll make sure and keep folks posted on the details of the studio’s exhibit at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, which is due to open in […]