Photographer Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee, became famous for
his disaster photography in New York City during the ‘30s and '40s. He
built his portfolio of gritty urban scenes, particularly disasters, by
listening in on a police radio and following their vehicles to emergency
sites. He built a darkroom in his car so he could process his photos
quickly and sell them to the media. As he became known for this process,
crowds would gather at fires and wrecks to gawk at him as much as the
emergency. The following photo plainly shows a group of bystanders watching the
photographer in action.
Our hearts go out to all those that have suffered because of Hurricane Harvey, right now all the focus should be on helping everyone get to safety. In the next few months and years a lot will be discussed about how Houston grew without any safeguards in place by leaps and bounds to become one of our biggest cities. Like with New Orleans a decade ago tough choices will need to be made to correct course for future generations. I am sharing this article because the truth is that Houston didn’t have poor urban planning, it had no urban planning in a government lead effort not to curb the growth of the city and as always, the ones that suffer the most in these situations, are the ones most in need.
Living with hurricanes is not just about design and planning. It is also about public services and providing knowledge and opportunities to everyone, irrespective of their background. It is taking responsibility for disasters, not blaming the environment or the weather.
End of the World by Shigeru Komatsuzaki (1968) imagining a post-global-warming coastal city
Even 50 years ago, artists were visualizing the future effects of global warming and rising sea levels. I think of this as retrofuturism, not because it shows the future of technology, but because it depicts a future created in part by our technological choices.
Fires after the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906
April 18, 2017 … 111th anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
Wikipedia: The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.8 and a maximum Mercalli Intensity of XI (Extreme).
Severe shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, an agricultural region to the south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several
days. As a result, about 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed. The events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest natural disasters in the history of the United States. The death toll remains the greatest loss of life from a natural
disaster in California’s history and high in the lists of American urban