Brakin: Brazzaville–Kinshasa

Open source city-planning though complete lack of “top down” control

I would argue that an “open source” methodology takes place in the cities of Brazzaville and Kinshasa. They are separated by a the Congo river and are national capitals of their countries, Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo.  Although the Congo river is a national border there is virtually no barrier between the countries. Individuals travel between the cities and carve out their own space as they see fit.  This is certainly not a trophy case of open source planning, but an interesting on nonetheless. A group of Jan van Eyck researchers studied the city and complied their work in a book called “Brakin” a mashup of the two cities names. The book includes several photo-essays and writings breaking down the city using unconventional methods that are often more telling what a census or other “standard” system could. But a census is out of the question because the city/cities are in constant flux many places have no official roads and hence no addresses. The majority of the population lives in “in between” spaces they appropriate on either a temporary or permanent basis.

For open sourcing to work on any scale, that of the city or that of the computer program, there must be some driving logic that solidifies the common goal.

http://www.janvaneyck.nl/0_4_3_publications_info/brakin.html

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