Receive our newsletter - data-led analysis, original reporting and insights
Community / Public space

Printed castles, accidental porn and passive aggressive saddle-planting

A round-up of the other city stories we’ve enjoyed this week.

  • While everyone else has been fiddling around with guns, limbs and canal houses, one man has finally hit upon 3D printing’s true purpose. Andrey Kudenko, a contractor from Minnesota, has created a 3D concrete printer, and has printed a castle. Yes, it’s only 3×5 metres, but still. A castle.

According to GeekExchange.com, Kudeno’s hoping to develop the printer to the point where it can print full-sized concrete houses. Or, we can only hope, full-sized castles.

  • This petition to change the name of Manchester’s busiest station has some rather bloody origins. A group of locals are pushing to change the name of Manchester Piccadilly station to Manchester Peterloo by 2019, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre: a 100,000-strong rally in favour of universal suffrage at which 15 were killed and 600 injured.

National rail, transport unions and local councils must all agree before the change can go ahead. Michael Knowles, one of the organisers, told The Guardian:

In our electronic age it will cost very little and there is more than enough time to do it between now and 2019. We need the support of the Manchester city council, and indeed the councils of the towns around Greater Manchester which sent their people to the demonstration.”

Image: Eric Corbett at Wikimedia Commons.

  • Depending on how you look at it, the cycle-seat gardens planted in Tokyo by Cogoo, a bike-sharing company, is either a step forward in city ecology or the most passive aggressive good deed ever. According to Fast Company, the group painstakingly planted them on the seats of abandoned bikes around town along with messages to raise awareness of the 2m bikes dumped on the streets every year.

Apparently, they’ve since managed to reduce the number of abandoned bikes in Tokyo by 40 per cent. Not bad going.

Images: COGOO.

  • And finally, passerby got an unexpected eyeful as they passed a giant, 26x10m LED screen in the Chinese city of Lanzhou yesterday. For 12 minutes, instead of state-approved TV channels and public messages, the screen showed, er, porn.

Shanghaiist reported that security guards cut off the electricity and found the person responsible for the takeover – which wasn’t difficult, as it turned out to be the screen’s operator. He claimed he’d been looking at an advertisement when he accidentally clicked on QQ, a chat program, which broadcast his browsing across the public square. He was given 15 days of detention and fined 3,000 yuan ($500). 
This article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present.