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12 JUNE 2012

The Florida Project: Disneyland's fore-project

"During the planning and construction of Disneyland, Walt had been introduced to the basic concepts of urban design and slowly became a self–taught expert in the field. Such seemingly dry concepts as city planning and urban decay fired his imagination. When Disney's Chief Archivist Dave Smith catalogued Walt's office in 1970, one of the books on a shelf behind Walt's desk was architect Victor Gruen's The Heart of Our Cities: The Urban Crisis, Diagnosis and Cure.

'Walt was serious about that city,' Marty [Sklar] explains. 'And he had a lot of work being done at the time' to explore its viability. Walt asked for Marty's help to coalesce his thoughts so he could produce a film to explain the project, and, over the next several months, Marty wrote a script for a 24–minute film that detailed the 'Florida Project.' In the film, an ebullient Walt explains the concept of Epcot – a full–scale city of the future where people would live, work, and play in comfort. An international shopping district would re–create scenes from around the world, and American industry would have a showcase for the latest technologies.

Walt shot the short film in October 1966. Eight weeks later, he was gone.

The brief–but–potent film, however, lived on. It was shown a handful of times in early 1967 to key constituencies: the Florida Legislature, invited guests (for a packed presentation in a Winter Park theater), and once on statewide television. The film proved vital in convincing both the Legislature and voters that Disney's Florida Project should be approved, which it was. From the moment the project was given the go–ahead, Marty says, the Company's resources were dedicated to getting Walt Disney World up and running and to regaining confidence in the absence of its founder and leader."

(John Singh and Steven Vagnini, 07 June 2012)

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TAGS

1964 • 1964 New York Worlds Fair • 1966amusement parkanniversaryarchitectural conjecture • astuter computer • city • city planning • concept artwork • Disney World ProjectDisneylandEPCOTEPCOT Center • Epcot music • Epcot on Film • Epcot tunes • evolving city • Experimental Prototype Community of TomorrowFloridafuturistfuturisticfuturistic designgeodesic • geodesic sphere • idealismimagineering • Marty Sklar • never made it off the drawing board • noveltypavilionRay Bradbury • smellitzer • technological innovationtechnological utopianism • technology showcase • theme parkurban designurban planning • Victor Gruen • Walt DisneyWalt Disney CompanyWalt Disney WorldWalt Disney World Resort

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 MARCH 2011

H2Oil: dramatic animated expository sequences

"Alberta sits over one of the largest recoverable oil patches in the world, second only to Saudi Arabia. It covers 149, 000 square kilometers, an area larger than Florida, and holds at least 175 billion barrels of recoverable crude bitumen. Canada has become the largest supplier of oil to the U.S., with over a million barrels per day coming from the oil sands. Currently 40% of all oil produced in Canada is derived from the oil sands.

The crude oil produced from the oil sands, the dirtiest oil in the world, could keep the global appetite for oil at bay for another 50 years.

But oil sands are a fundamentally different kind of oil. They take a lot of energy and a lot of water and leave a very large environmental footprint compared to all other forms of oil extraction. Because of this, the massive changes to the boreal forest and the watershed have prompted the United Nations to list this region as a global hot spot for environmental change.

In addition, oil sands projects are major emitters of greenhouse gases. They accounted for 4% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, making it impossible to meet obligations set out in Kyoto for emissions–reductions."

(H2Oil)

Fig.1 Dale Hayward & Sylvie Trouvé, James Braithwaite, Daniel Legace. 'La Moustache'.

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TAGS

20092D2D animationAfter Effects • Alberta • animated presentationanimation • bitumen • Boreal Forest • Canadaconsumptioncrude oil • Dale Hayward • Daniel Legace • documentaryenvironmentenvironmental change • environmental footprint • ethicsexpositionFloridagreenhouse gas emissionsgreenhouse gases • H2Oil • illustrationJames Braithwaite • Kyoto • La Moustache • motion designmotion graphicsnatureobsolescenceoiloil extraction • oil sands • overburden • Saudi Arabiasequence design • Shannon Walsh • sustainabilityUnited Nationsvisual essaywastewater

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 FEBRUARY 2010

Walt Disney's Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow

"Take a look at Walt Disney's vision for the city of the future, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow or Epcot. 'No city of today will serve as the guide for the city of tomorrow,' serves as a guiding principle as varied ideas from shopping mall living, to freeways, to pedestrian safety, to high speed transit are considered. Disney himself says the city of tomorrow must abandon the old cities and their problems and be built on virgin land from scratch.

From its 'cosmopolitan convention center' to its theme–park shopping districts, Disney envisioned his 50–acre city core, completely enclosed and climate controlled like a shopping mall, hermetically sealed from the natural world. Outside of this air–conditioned environment of shops and offices, apartments, then parks and schools, then suburban houses radiate in a fantasy of controlled zoning where every use is separated from every other use.

Despite being conceived as a modern utopia based around the automobile, Epcot envisions a future of mass transit for the daily commute. 'Freeways will not be EPCOT's major way of entering and leaving the city,' declares a confident narrator. Instead, an electrified monorail and people mover will connect the city and suburb, radiating in all directions from the core. It was envisioned that the primary use of the car would be for 'weekend pleasure trips.'

Repeatedly, the dangers of automobile traffic for pedestrians are cited. The pedestrian is, in fact, declared 'king' as transportation uses, like Epcot's zoning, are completely separated. The pedestrian is 'free to walk and browse without fear of motorized vehicles.' Children and bikes have separate paths in the suburbs for walking or riding to school. Electric vehicles travel on elevated roadway's through Epcot's downtown while underground transit carries workers in and out of the city. Separate facilities for cars and trucks are provided further underground.

Disney did eventually build a prototype city, but the end result was far from what was envisioned for Epcot. The town of Celebration, Florida chose not to abandon the cities of the past but to embrace the patterns that make them so interesting to experience. New Urbanism has been brought in to create a mixed–use town center and compact living. Celebration was just as carefully planned as the Epcot of old, but the end result is quite different."

(Branden Klayko, 20 November 2009, Broken Sidewalk)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2008

Webcam viewers taunt teenager as he commits suicide

"A teenager committed suicide in front of a live webcam as 1,500 people watching online egged him on. Abraham Biggs, 19, told users on a bodybuilding forum he would be committing suicide that night and invited them to watch the live video. Forum moderators allegedly ignored the post – assuming it was a prank – while other users posted insults and even encouraged him. The teen used the 'lifecasting' website Justin.tv – designed to let users share the minutiae of their everyday lives – to stream footage from his bedroom.

Biggs, from Florida, was seen taking pills before lying on the bed with his back to the camera. Users claim they only realised it was serious a few hours later when they saw he wasn't breathing. Moderators then traced Biggs's location and informed authorities. The webcam was still streaming live footage of the teen's body as police entered the room yesterday. ...

His death echoes that of British man Kevin Whitrick, from Shropshire, who also killed himself in front of a webcam while at least 100 other people watched. ... The deaths have sparked a wave of concern following 17 internet–related suicides within the UK since 2001."

(Debra Killalea, 21st November 2008)

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TAGS

2008 • Abraham Biggs • CandyJunkie • cyberpsychologydeath • digital forensics • Florida • internet-related • Justin.tv • Kevin Whitrick • lifecasting • live • pills • schadenfreude • social softwarespectatorshipstreaming videosuicide • taunt • teenteen suicideteenager • video stream • voyeurismvulnerability of childhoodvulnerable peoplewebcam

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 JUNE 2004

Celebration, Florida: Branded City/community

"Disney has managed to go furthest, further than any other brand in actually building the cocoon, not associate themselves with the lifestyle, but build the lifestyle in three dimensions, complete enough for their customers to pack up their things and move inside the brand. And that is a place in Florida called Celebration, which is a Disney town. And Celebration is the first branded town. Now we used to have branded factory towns, right? which were built around production. Now what we have are towns that are built around consumption, lifestyle, and in Celebration, Florida, you can actually send your kids to the Disney school, and you can vote for political representatives who will represent you in the Disney Town Council. So it's truly privatised democracy."
(Naomi Klein, radio transcript)

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TAGS

brand • branded town • Celebration (city)citycommunityFloridamodel villageNaomi KleinnostalgiaPostmoderntheme parkutopiaWalt Disney
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