Alderman pushes ahead on new ward boundaries

Alderman pushes ahead on new ward boundaries

A powerful Chicago alderman has decided to start recognizing the city’s new ward boundaries when it comes to making pivotal decisions on zoning and sign orders, infuriating incumbents endangered by the new map.

Nearly one year to the day after the City Council approved the new map without a vote to spare, Zoning Committee Danny Solis (25th) sent a letter to his colleagues last week informing them of his decision to implement the new boundaries.

Solis said he would continue to honor the long-standing tradition of “deferring to the aldermen of the ward in which a zoning change or sign order” is located. But, that political deference will now go to the new alderman — not the old one.

“It’s really a courtesy, a protocol. It’s not a legal thing,” the chairman said Tuesday.

Solis said he made the decision to end a year of political limbo in response to complaints from developers who “wanted to start doing business” in Chicago, but were “confused about who to talk to.”

He added, “Aldermen have two years left before the next election. They have to start serving their new constituents — not just on issues of business development. I just decided after talking to aldermen with similar experiences that it would be in the best interests of the city to start dealing with the new map.”

Ward remap passes: 2nd Ward blown up, 3rd and 4th Wards split South Loop

Ald. Fioretti mounts last-ditch effort to delay map, but overruled by Emanuel, Burke

01/19/2012 12:00 PM

By Ben Meyerson

After months of backroom wheeling and dealing, the South Loop has gained a new alderman and lost another, as Ald. Bob Fioretti’s 2nd Ward has officially been blown up and banished to the North Side in Chicago’s next ward remap.

The Chicago City Council unveiled its new ward boundaries Thursday morning at a special meeting, then promptly approved them minutes later.
The new map takes Fioretti’s 2nd Ward from the South Loop, West Loop and Near West Side, and turns it into a scribble-shaped ward that stretches from the Gold Coast to Ukrainian Village.
In the 2nd Ward’s wake, Ald. Pat Dowell’s 3rd Ward and Will Burns’ 4th Ward take over most of the South Loop, with Ald. Danny Solis taking a chunk as well.
In the West Loop and the Near West Side, Ald. Walter Burnett’s 27th Ward takes over most of the turf, with Solis taking a small chunk.











Small Technologies Make For Big Politics

“Hacktivist” Ricardo Dominguez, head of the Calit2’s b.a.n.g. (bits, atoms, neurons, genes) lab at UCSD, is exploring the ways accessible technologies can create new constituencies around otherwise intractable problem, dislodging institutional and political paralysis, and creating a great deal of controversy along the way. His Transborder Immigration Tool is a simple cell phone app that helps guide illegal immigrants to water stations placed in the desert between Mexico and Southern California, augmented reality as a tool for basic human survival and a lightning rod for political controversy:


More info on other projects by Dominguez, and a discussion on the controversies they have created here. Domiguez’ website has a number of his articles. CALIT2 supports a number of trans-disciplinary research initiatives that straddle technology, biology, nanotechnology, political agency.

Situated Technologies Reading

Week 1 Reading

Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series #3:

Suspicious Images : Latent Interfaces

by Benjamin Bratton & Natalie Jeremijenko

(Section 1 of the Pamphlet, Pages 1 – 53)

download the pdf here

We will discuss this reading on Friday, August 30


“You can’t walk through a design graduate program anywhere in the first world, whether in architecture, interaction design, or media arts, without seeing at least half a dozen beautiful “data smog” projects modeling ambient urban-environmental information in one way or another… There is something great about this, but also something troubling. The danger is that in their spectacularization of information, they in fact distance people…even further from their abilities and responsibilities to understand relationships between the multiple ecologies in which they live, and the possibilities for action that they have… They produce the effect of a “missing expert,” the implicit presumption that somewhere along the line, whether inside a mountain in Wyoming, at the EPA, or through an activist on her bicycle, somewhere someone must be using this interface to actually modulate these things. In this they further distance people from their own ability to look, hypothesize, and act. But in their own way, they are projective images of a parliament of the material public that doesn’t exist yet. The question is…do they provoke the possible emergence of this new form of political engagement, or do they provide an alibi for it never happening because they make it appear that the parliament is already there?”

natalie jeremijenko/NYU environmental health clinic:

benjamin bratton: