Sunday, January 8, 2012
Interested in cities, check out this link
I've been interested in cities since I was a little boy. I used to ride my bike about the neighbourhood keeping notes as to where the streets went and, almost as importantly, where they didn't. I was amazed to learn that streets could be followed to their sometimes very quick ends. Streets ended when they ran up against other streets and railway tracks or even weed-filled fields. They often ended in Ts but sometimes they just came to a dead end, a cul-de-sac.
Streets had personalities. Some were residential. Some were industrial. The most interesting, to me as a boy, were the streets that ran through both residential and industrial areas and maybe disappeared into the countryside surrounding the city.
Cities were rich places filled with interesting stuff.
When The London Free Press started its series investigating London's identity, I was worried. What's London's identity? The very question irritated me with its shading of Richard Florida or the new urbanist team of Duany and and Plater-Zyberk. (I dislike all of them but I'm sure I didn't have to tell you that.)
I have found The Free Press series not only poor but despite being posted to the Internet, there is little of the promised interaction between the series writers and readers. Urban Sub on Tumblr had 11 posts in May, 3 in June and one, the last one, in July. The paper did not even have the smarts to shut down the Tumblr site properly. No final message. Nothing. It was just abandoned. Rude.
If Randy Richmond and The London Free Press articles on urbanism and London, Ontario are leaving you as cold as they are me, check out The Melbourne Urbanist for thoughtful, defensible musings on urban issues.
Enjoy. (Maybe Randy will stumble upon my blog, check out the link and get some ideas on how to tackle writing about London without the silly videos with poetic voice overs.)