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weblog archives
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Monday, October 12, 2009


The hidden world of MOUT and FIBUA cityscapes (MOUT = military operations on urban terrain and FIBUA = fighting in built-up areas). Although the Nato Urban Operations Working Group site is rather scant, there's plenty of information at Secret Bases (which also has a hefty amount of information on Project Lennox, the new US Embassy in London), including this map of the Mock Township in Sennybridge, once the small village of Mynydd Epynt (last link at Abandoned Communities). From SB: 'A rather more politically correct term is OBUA Operations in Built-up Areas although army wags have been known to refer to it all as FISH & CHIPS Fighting in Someone's House and Causing Havoc in People's Streets!'

See also our gallery of Imber on Salisbury Plain, home to the above FIBUA village at Copehill Down (great big image at Barnard Micro Systems' website in reference to the 2008 MoD Grand Challenge, a UK version of the DARPA events. Copehill Down - which even has a 'slum/shanty town' section - was the venue for invited suppliers to 'produce an autonomous or semi autonomous system designed to detect, identify, monitor and report the position of a wide range of threats within a complex military urban environment, including within individual buildings'.

The work of photographer Spencer Murphy captures many of these places (see image below). Murphy's 'Architects of War' series illustrates the blank, empty facades and murderous cul-de-sacs of these masochistic villages. His work is featured in 'Cities Gone Wild', Geoff Manaugh's contribution to Architectures of the Near Future, the new issue of Architectural Design.

*

Other things. The Decibel Tolls, an mp3 blog / Eye Magazine is now available on issuu (via magCulture). Well, bits of it / The Impostume, a weblog / The Can and String, a weblog / aerial photography by Alex MacLean / and it all comes full circle, as Jones returns to battlesuits and cityscapes, stressing the city's role in how we 'survive the future' aspect of the initial post, rather than any inadvertent military-industrial overtones. More later, we're sure.

The West Riding: Two-thousand and Nine, Owen Hatherley on the 'bleaker version of normality' of Wakefield, Halifax, etc. etc. 'Quite honestly, anyone who knows and/or comes from the industrial towns of the south - say, Southampton, Portsmouth, Colchester, Reading, Slough, Swindon, Luton - can't help being jealous of the sheer strangeness of their Northern equivalents, their hills, their scale, the closeness of open country, the amount of extraordinarily serious, world-class architecture, the lack of '80s-90s tat...' And yet, 'There's no sense here that city air is free air, but instead an almost all-pervasive air of latent violence that could explode at any moment'.

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