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GETTING SMART: By the first decade of this century, more than 50 percent of the world’s population was already living in cities and towns. But how do we city dwellers/urbanites live? Couldn’t we be living better? Not to mention smarter?
A new book inspired by Smart — that pint-sized two-seater that makes urban parking, among other things, less of a chore — says yes. 111 times over. “A Smart Guide to Utopia,” published by LeCool, Barcelona, outlines the said number of clever city concepts for better living, working, eating and drinking, buying and playing from cities round the world. Such as a phone app (Love Clean London) that allows citizens to photograph and report litter offenses, graffiti, etc., directly to the appropriate city agency; cooperative work spaces (and indirect daily think tanks) like Berlin’s Betahaus or Budapest’s L’Office in Berlin; Lapin Kulta’s travelling, pop-up, solar-powered, gourmet kitchen or Amsterdam’s Over Datum Eetclub; shop concepts like Unpackaged in London, where consumers don’t only bring their own bags but Tupperware, bottles or boxes to hold the loose goods, and playtime specials such as guerrilla swings (spotted in London and Austin, Texas) or urban camping in Antwerp, to name but a few.
Limited to 4,000 copies, the 160 page guide (in English) carries a 24 euro, or $31.68, price tag, and is available at selected concept stores including including Tate Modern London, Yvon Lambert Paris, McNally Jackson New York, Pro qm Berlin, and Motto Melbourne, Australia, as well as online via Amazon, Lecoolbook.com and Mottodistribution.com.