Do the suburbs really matter? If you happen to live there, the answer is an obvious yes. But if you live in a more downtown neighbourhood, replete with parks and pedestrians, coffee houses and kitchen libraries, is there any reason to care what goes on “out there?” There are, of course, many reasons. Let me outline three of them. Continue reading
Maps may be the closest thing to a universal language of urban space, allowing people with diverse experiences to share a common understanding of space, but it’s almost impossible to avoid flattening out an already unappreciated dimension of urban experience: height (and depth).
We humans aren’t great at talking about the third dimension. We’ve never been very good at getting off the ground and our vocabulary for elevation is poorly developed. A novelist can paint a picture with words and a musician can evoke a feeling with sound, but the third dimension is more like smell: we all know it very personally but have difficulty sharing that understanding with others or even describing it to ourselves. We all know how being above or below, ascending or descending affects our lives personally, but except in the most extreme cases, we have to keep it to ourselves. Continue reading
Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we bring you curiously iconic city foods, a history of wearing masks in public, and a prescription for undoing decades of bad zoning.