Friday, September 14, 2012

Chop City: The Shape of Urban Life

 A map of Berlin from above.

What would Flint look like if it were "dismembered, dissected block by block, the blocks then categorized, sorted and stacked by shape?" NPR's Robert Krulwich looks at the work of French artist Armelle Caron, who deconstructed and rearranged some of the world's great cities.

Berlin reshuffled and rearranged.

Krulwich asks: "So which city looks craziest when it's all cut up? This won't surprise you, because it has been around so long, having been a world capital for over a thousand years. It's lived through the donkey/cart phase, the chariot period, the wagons with axles time, the bicycle, the automobile. It's been rejiggered, re-adapted, redesigned, realigned so many times, it couldn't come out normal."

What's your guess? Find out here.

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at