blackberry urbanism

Originally posted on the urban geographer:

Field notes from Coast Salish//Cascadia/Lower Mainland, BC


Along the Pacific Northwest coasts of Canada and the US, blackberries are growing everywhere. Come late Summer, there is endless bushes of free candy, available in total abundance.

Well, they don’t technically grow everywhere. As a “weed”/wild plant, they grow at the fringes of the city – industrial zones and left over spaces under bridges and back alleyways. In this sense, a copious amount of blackberry bushes is an indicator of inner city wilderness, a space or patch untended to and left to delicious transformations.

As Tom Robbins explored the landscapes of Seattle in Still Life With Woodpecker,“blackberries spread so rapidly that dogs and small children were sometimes engulfed and never heard from again.”

With the availability of such delicious and sweet fruit, how does anybody get anything done around here in July and August? It is taking me hours to bike around Richmond and…

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Faizabad: First Capital of Awadh

Faizabad,  was called Fyzabad in the British period. The city was the first capital of is situated on the banks of river Ghaghra. River Ghaghra is also known as  Saryu River.It was also called Karnali. Faizabad was the first capital of Awadh. The earliest reference found to Faizabad is said to be in the Ramayana, in which the city is named  as Saket. Saket means Heaven in Sanskrit. It was the ancient name of the holy city of Ayodhya. More accurately, reference is also found in Medieval and Modern writings when Nawab Saadat Ali Khan, Burhan-ul-Mulk was given the charge of the Subah of Awadh around 1722 by the Mughal Emperor. Nawab Sa’adat Khanfounded the first settlements along the banks of Ghaghra with a cantonment consisting of a fortress and mud barracks. Due to these temporary dwellings, Faizabad was first known as ‘Bangla’. The implied meaning of Bangla being hutment.

Establishment of Princely state of Avadh

Avadh, a princely state of India, was established around 1722 AD with Faizabad as its capital and Saadat Ali Khan as first Nawab.He made his palace near Ayodhya, and renamed the city of Saket to Faizabad, which became the capital of the new government

The city was developed later on by Saadat Ali Khan’s second successor, Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula into a full fledged capital city, with gardens, palaces, markets, roads and other infrastructure. Under Shuja-ud-Daula’s reign Faizabad achieved its culmination as an important centre of trade and commerce in northern India and attracted travellers, writers, merchants, artists and courtesans from all over Europe and Asia. Shuja-ud-Daula also built a fortress on the banks of Saryu after he lost the battle of Buxar in 1764. however, this fort now is nothing more than a hummock, just an edict remains which is pictured here.

Faizabad was also a centre of one of many battles of the Mutiny of 1857. A detailed history of Faizabad can be read in ‘Tareekh-e-Farahbaksh’, written by Munshi Mohd. Faiz Baksh, (after whom Faizabad is named) a courtier in the Shuja-ud-Daula’s court. This book has been translated into English by Hamid Afaq Qureshi as ‘Memoirs of Faizabad’. Faizabad also finds a prominent and detailed mention in ‘Guzishta Lakhnau’ written by Maulvi Abdul Halim ‘Sharar’. The third nawab of Awadh, Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, shifted the Capital of Avadh to Lucknow in 1775 after his terms with his mother became sour.

Saadat Khan, the first Nawab of Awadh, laid the foundation of Faizabad at the outskirt of ancient city of Ayodhya. Faizabad developed as a township during the reign of Safdar Jang, the second nawab of Avadh (1739–54), who made it his military headquarters while his successor Shuja-ud-daula made it full fledged capital city. Suja-ud-daula, the third Nawab of Awadh, settled at Faizabad after 1764 and built a fort known as Chhota Calcutta, now in ruins. In 1765 he built the Chowk and Tirpaulia and subsequently laid out the Anguribagh and Motibagh to the south of it, Asafbagh and Bulandbagh to the west of the city. During the reign of Shuja-Ud-Daula, Faizabad attained such a prosperity which it never saw again. The Nawabs graced Faziabad with several beautiful buildings, notable among them being the Gulab Bari, Moti Mahal and the tomb of Bahu Begum. Gulab Bari is a striking building of fine properties, standing in a garden surrounded by a wall, approachable through two large gateways. These buildings are particularly interesting for their assimilative architectural styles. Shuja-ud-daula’s wife was the well known Bahu Begum, who married the Nawab in 1743 and continued to reside in Faizabad, her residence being the Moti-Mahal. Close by at Jawaharbagh lies her Maqbara, where she was buried after her death in 1816. It is considered to be one of the finest buildings of its kind in Avadh, which was built at the cost of three lakh rupees by her chief advisor Darab Ali Khan. A fine view of the city is obtainable from top of the begum’s tomb. Bahu Begum was a woman of great distinction and rank, bearing dignity. Most of the Muslim buildings of Faizabad are attributed to her. From the date of Bahu Begum’s death in 1815 till the annexation of Avadh, the city of Faizabad gradually fell into decay. The glory of Faizabad finally eclipsed with the shifting of capital from Faizabad to Lucknow by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula.

Source(s) and Inspiration(s): wikipedia, personal experience

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Urban form shapes personal experiences: A comparison of parks in Denver and Boston

Originally posted on On the rapid urbanization of Asian cities and Built Environment in the U.S.:

When I lived in Denver, visiting city parks were a big part of my life – having picnics near the Pavilion at Cheesman, jogging around Wash Park, and listening to jazz at City Park. People who visited me frequently commented that Denver has the most beautiful parks, and wished their city would have such nice parks. Growing up near Boston, my park experiences were equally exceptional but different. I recall the experience of ascending from the Boylston T stop into the Public Gardens and Boston Commons, among the oldest public spaces in the nation. When I got older I began biking around the Charles River, stopping at Harvard Square in Cambridge for lunch followed by a ride around Fenway Park. My park experiences in the two cities were so drastically different that I question why. Was it the density of buildings and people? Was it the location of the parks…

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Agriculture Started in West Asia 23,000 Years Ago?

Researchers believe agriculture was “invented” some 10-12,000 years ago in the Cradle of Civilization — Iraq, the Levant, parts of Turkey and Iran — an area that was home to some of the earliest known human civilizations. A new discovery by an international collaboration of researchers from Tel Aviv University, Harvard University, Bar-Ilan University, and the University of Haifa raises questions and suggests that trial plant cultivation began far earlier — some 23,000 years ago.The study focuses on the discovery of the first weed species at the site of a sedentary human camp on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

read here

and see here

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eBasta – Special Online Platform for School Students

Guest Post by Mohit Chabria

Many school students are frustrated because of the increasing load of their school bag. Now frustration of school students is going to reduce as eBasta has got launched. School students will be able to go through eBook version of their school books easily by making use of eBasta. If you’re a parent then you must definitely try to check out eBasta and also make your child use it for reading school books.

 School Books By Different Publishers

eBasta is going to make school students happy as eBook version of not only the important school books, but also the eBook version of books published by different publishers is going to be available at eBasta. It is expected that even many books which can provide knowledge and other related eBooks for students will get available at eBasta.

 Finding Required eBooks is going to be Easy for Students

One of the problems students may face at an online platform is that they may not be able to find required school books easily. It is eBasta which provides special option to teachers and parents to create eBasta for students. The eBasta created for students studying in a particular class will include all the books that can be useful for them. As students will be easily able to find the required books at eBasta, they may definitely love to make use of eBasta regularly.

Special Study Material for Students

Various teachers, publishers etc will be allowed to add useful study material easily at eBasta. I hope that students too will be able to share important study notes with each other by making use of the new platform eBasta.

Android App for Students

Students making use of an Android smartphone or tablet will be able to download eBasta App. This App will allow them to easily read the eBastas downloaded by them. Soon eBasta App may get available for iOS, Windows and other platforms which shall make students become more happy.

eBasta initiative by the Government is going to be liked by students, teachers and also parents. It is important that school students should get the best type of facility so that they will be able to study easily. Do share your opinion about eBasta and also let me know that whether you have yourself tried to read books at eBasta.

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Mare Magnum: Urbanization of the sea

Originally posted on MACHINES OF URBANIZATION:

First presented as part of a panel, Territory beyond Terra, with Phil Steinberg, Elaine Stratford and Kimberly Peters at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) 2015, Chicago

To speak of urbanizing the sea may conjure up images of the empty mansions dotting palm-shaped islands in Dubai, or the ongoing expansion of Monaco’s territory into the Ligurian Sea, or it may remind us of the pretensions of Nigeria’s new ‘Eko Atlantic’ project. It may also recall cartographies of resource extraction and circulation across the seabed: the ‘extended urbanization’ (Brenner/Lefebvre) using the ocean to wrap the planet with infrastructural continuity. It may also recall utopian projects of the 60’s in which floating cities were imagined as great interconnected web-like arks colonizing the ocean’s placid grey surface. While these imaginations are relevant, I would like to move beyond the immediacy such images impose, considering instead what it could mean to speak of the…

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