Overview of 2013 Activities
 
Book launch at CNUThis year we have taken several steps to make more concrete tools and resources more widely available to designers, researchers, civic leaders, NGOs and neighborhood residents.

 In May we took a big step and launched Sustasis Press, our new publishing arm.  It has a mission to publish books and other resources that, like Sustasis as a whole, are aimed at neighborhood-scale “tools for transition” to a healthier, more sustainable urban future.  The first book, Unified Architectural Theory: Form, Language, Complexity, was launched successfully at the Congress for the New Urbanism in June.  Edited by mathematician and urbanist Nikos Salingaros, it includes contributions from Salingaros, Christopher Alexander, E.O. Wilson, and Sustasis Executive Director Michael Mehaffy, among others.


We also launched the first of a new series of webinars that will provide tools and instructions, beginning with a webinar on the new generationWebinar screen shot of wiki called “Federated Wiki,” and its application for a new set of open-source, peer to peer planning tools.  Our collaborator and board member Ward Cunningham, inventor of Wiki, recorded this webinar with Executive Director Michael Mehaffy.  As the webinar discusses, the new wiki has a number of important new capabilities, including the ability to handle data, and a new “federated” format, which allows rapid sharing and modification.  The video is hosted on our new YouTube channel.

E-learnign screen shot We also launched a new series of student resources, including the first five learning modules from the “European School of Urbanism and Architecture” developed by Michael Mehaffy, with assistance from members of the Council for European Urbanism.  Modules include “What is Sustainable Urbanism?”, “Whatever Happened to Urbanism?”, and “The DNA of Place.”  

Most recently we announced the creation of the Sustasis Collaborative, a membership association hosted by Sustasis which will allow more active collaboration among members and as
sociates.  The collaborative will support topical discussions, sharing of publications, exploration of current projects, and development of potential joint projects. We plan to use Google Plus, Google Docs and Google Hangout as our technology.  Anyone is free to join by sending an email (to Michael Mehaffy, see email info on the main page) with contact details.  We will then give you instructions for joining.

We continued our peer-reviewed research and development work as well, most importantly on Federated Wiki, and associated pattern language tools (including WikiPLACE, an urban modeling system).  We also continued our collaborations with colleagues in Europe, South America, the USA and elsewhere. 

 
New Resources

• Launched Sustasis Press, and first book, Unified Architectural Theory: Form, Language, Complexity.

• Launched Webinar series, beginning with, “Federated Wiki: Potential for a new generation of open-source planning tools.”  On our new YouTube channel!

• Launched learning resources, beginning with The ESUA Modules.

• Continued research and development in Federated Wiki and specific Fed Wiki resources.

Michael Mehaffy is interviewed about the Yachay project in Ecuador
Sustasis Executive Director Michael Mehaffy is interviewed on Ecuadorian television
about the Yachay project in October, 2013.



Collaborations
on Conferences, Symposia and Meetings

• “The Future of Places,” with UN-Habitat, Project for Public Spaces, Ax:son Johnson Foundation (assisted with planning, concept outline of final document, television interviews of participants)  

• “The Meaning of Architecture for Communities in Transformation,” INTBAU conference in Nicosia, Cyprus (assisted with planning as ICC board member, participated and presented)

•  Placemaking Leadership Council, Detroit, MI (joined council, participated in meeting)

• “Reshaping Suburbia into Healthy Communities," International Making Cities Livable conference, Portland OR, June 27 (led workshop, presented)

• Open Source Planning Tools Group, research collaboration hosted by Placematters.org, with Lincoln Institute for Land Use Policy, Sonoran Institute, University of Utah et al. (Joined group, now developing a webinar on new wiki work)

• Center for Environmental Structure, meeting with Christopher Alexander et al. to discuss new projects for implementing transition, using pattern languages, wikis, et al.

• Planning Workshop, Yachay City of Knowledge, Quito, Ecuador (planning consultation), July 24-28, 2013

• “Complexity, Cognition, Urban Planning and Design,” Delft, NL (ESRG breakout meeting), October 10-12, 2013


General Publications

• Completed and published (first) book project by Sustasis Press, Unified Architectural Theory: Form, Language, Complexity, Nikos Salingaros, Michael Mehaffy, Christopher Alexander, E.O. Wilson et al.

• Published “Toward Resilient Architectures,” Five Part Series with Nikos Salingaros, Metropolis magazine online

• Published “Medellin's Improbable Renaissance,” Urban Land Institute 

• Published “Design Technologies for Self-Organizing Cities,” Cityminded (consortium of Cisco, Siemens, IBM, et al.)

• Completed and published chapter for 20th Anniversary Edition of Charter of the New Urbanism

• Completed chapter for 20th Anniversary Edition of The Geography of Nowhere, by James Howard Kunstler

• Publication of book chapter, “Art Vitiating Life,” in Landscape Urbanism and its Discontents, Michael W Mehaffy

• Draft book project, Design for a Living Planet, Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros (in progress)

• Draft book project, Place Networks: Urban space and connection in theory and practice, Michael Mehaffy (in progress)

• Draft book project, A Concise Guide to Christopher Alexander's The Nature of Order, Michael Mehaffy et al. (in progress)


Book cover mockup - Design for a Living Planet 
Cover art for a current book in development.


Public speaking

• Presentations to Congress for the New Urbanism: “Sprawl Retrofit Update,” “Open-source Scenario Modeling with Pattern Languages,” “Tactical Urbanism Using Pattern Languages Toolkits,” “Recent Work in Tactical Urbanism: Subsidiarity, Self-Organizaiton and Place Networks”

• Presentation to INTBAU Cyprus conference, “Tradition in Transition: Finding an 'Agile' Path to a Resilient World”

• Presentation to IMCL Conference, “Urban Acupuncture in Portland and Beyond”

• Lecture to Engelsberg Summer Program “Cities and Civilizations” (KTH, Lund and other Swedish PhD programs), “Cities in the Age of Complexity”

• Presentation to University of Oregon conference, “Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth,” with draft title “Changing the 'Operating System for Growth': Diversity, Resilience, Beauty”


As always, we welcome suggestions about our work and the ways that we might develop more effective collaborations. And as always, we are very grateful for any and all collaborations, and any other support, that make our further work on these urgent topics possible!