Block check

check boxes to see video clips

thats us you never go from bottom to top one of the landings this is the back there's a plane frontpanorama tenant's names are numbers that's me back panorama meeting a tenant technology explained walking and talking three landings the lady that died fire riser someone's trying to break in different tiles on different floors door closer that's heroin tileing in the slab block different tiling one dealer walking no talking moving a paper no weight whistling smashed windows walking from 5th to 3rd various objects fire escape door fire escape door rubbish chute pointing footing rubbish chute

This is a video map of a concierge control tour, a so-called block check, which I have recorded together with concierges of the Red Road flats in Glasgow in 2006. During a block check, the concierge would systematically walk down and control the stairs from the top to the ground floor. The map is clickable and it was originally integrated in the Highrise Project website. In the ‘The living building‘ I write about block-checking as an urban practice and how it contributed to the viability of this tall building. And it did so, even when back then, it was officially known that the flats will be demolished in the near future and clearance had already started. The building, in which the block check was recorded, was demolished on 10th June 2012.

Glasgow 1980

‘Glasgow 1980’ was comissioned by Films for Scotland and the Glasgow City Corporation and made by documentary filmmaker Oscar Marzaroli in 1971. This film looks at Glasgow and how it will look like in 1980. Major transformations that were under way in 1971 or already finished are shown to exhibit what Glasgow will be in 1980.

Who owns the City?

This is an extract from Anna Minton’s walking-tour for the Chisenhale Gallery in 2010 when the tour stopped in Canary Wharf in the heart of the Docklands in Tower Hamlets. She talks about what privately owned urban spaces involve in terms of regulation and control. What strikes most, is that Canary Wharf was not only built by big financial corporations, over the last years it served as main model for UK city center development. Good energy in this speech! The full walking tour can be seen here. Anna Minton is the author of Ground Control.



«The actual achievement of the city happens elsewhere. Where the diversity of life produces ruptures and problems.»

«Such neighbourhoods do the main integration work for a city.»*

Whereas the media celebrates the Elbphilharmonie as a world architectural achievement, in this SZ article, Thomas Hahn visits Steilshoop in the Hamburg Wandsbek district. Parts of Steilshoop were conceived as reformist estates and built in 1969, but declined and socially disintegrated after a few years. Its negative image was tenacious, even when the city took initiative to revalorise the district and invest in social projects in the 1980s. Nevertheless, the neighbourhood has developed an ability to draw strenght from the daily struggle for the weaker members of society, or, as says Pastor Sönke Ullrich, “we in Steilshoop live in the future”.

(The SZ article is in German)