Posted by – October 11, 2013
Earlier this week, in “contrasting two models of how places survive“, I compared two ways town forms can survive—by idea and in actual physical form—and underscored the truly critical ingredient, the people.
If that post (which also appeared in The Huffington Post, here) could be put to film, the trailer would look something like the recently updated, embedded video below.
Perhaps it’s time to take the idea to fruition, and produce the real thing.
Video composed by the author in Eastern Connecticut. Click on the image for more detail. © 2009-2013 myurbanist. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy.
For more information on the role of personal experience in understanding the changing city, see Urbanism Without Effort, an e-book from Island Press.
Posted by – March 23, 2013
In Madrid, Seattle and Tel Aviv, here are three examples where the people are as constructed as the buildings they adorn.
All images composed by the author. Click on each image for more detail. © 2009-2013 myurbanist. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy.
Posted by – January 24, 2013
Here is one more of my eleven favorite night city photographs from 2011 and 2012 that will hang for the month of February at Cafe Verite’s Madrona location in Seattle. An earlier post summarizes my theme, which focuses on “meetings” of light, people and the built environment.
Three of the photographs will also appear in my upcoming book, Urbanism Without Effort, (Island Press, 2013). One is the likely cover photo.
For Seattle locals (or if you will be visiting), stay tuned for notice of a small gathering during the month. Mini-cupcakes will add to the ambience my several snapshots of the 24 hour city.
All images composed by the author in Vancouver, British Columbia. Click on image for more detail. © 2009-2013 myurbanist. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy.
Posted by – January 22, 2013
I find that often, an excess of verbiage in a blog post detracts from an urban image. In cases where a natural setting blends with the built environment, the best summation is within the reader’s review and contemplation.
So, I will offer just one observation: Even without a devastating storm, our structures are easily overshadowed by daily expressions of climate nearby.
Image composed by the author. Click on image for more detail. © 2009-2013 myurbanist. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy.
Posted by – January 29, 2012
Welcome to a new orientation towards city ruins—where Photoshop and urbanism have something in common—as shown in the accompanying image of the archaeological site of Pompeii.
First, the original photograph blends with four Photoshop “adjustment layers”, including monochrome and sepia versions of a formerly all-color background.
Second, as a result, modern visitors show a more contrasting, layered hue against an excavated Roman street scene, over 2000 years after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
Ironically, the Photoshop and urbanist layering combine to suggest a pedestrian-oriented, narrower right of way, often championed today, centuries after Pompeii’s demise.
Amid the partially restored grid of a celebrated ruin, the human scale transcends time. Ancient and modern intermingle in a way that words alone cannot describe.
Image composed and manipulated in Adobe Photoshop (Version CS5) by the author. To further explore Pompeii by Google Street View, click here.
Posted by – December 26, 2011
The last week of the year is typically reserved for retrospective, and “best of” assessments. Yet, it can also be a time of hope, resolution, and prediction—an interlude of oracles and dreams.
Picture this about 2012—an urbanist calendar with places in mind—framed by international snapshots in time.
Each month of this urbanist calendar could echo experience, and provoke optimism through depiction of people and place.
Here is my composition, and perspective, from Seattle and beyond.
January: Street Vending (Arusha, Tanzania)
February: Street Watching (Matera, Italy)
March: Street Blending (Vancouver, Canada)
April: Life Amid the Creative Class (Gates Foundation, Seattle, USA)
May: Urban Bicycles at Rest (Florence, Italy)
June: Iconic Skyline (Seattle, USA)
July: Urban Density at Work (Valetta, Malta)
August: Transportation Choices (Nice, France)
September: Nature in the City (Seattle, USA)
October: Nightlife (Moscow, Idaho, USA)
November: The Storefront at Rest (Lucera, Italy)
December: The Laneway (Melbourne, Australia)
All images composed by the author. Click on each image for more detail.
Posted by – December 1, 2011
From time to time, a single image captures the look and feel of city life, and successfully depicts an urban place where people come together.
This morning, I had the opportunity on the “Place Matters” radio show to explain the role of photography in placemaking, as a tool to better define the personal, contextual experience of a neighborhood or city venue.
The interior scenes of “the three B’s”—barbershops, bars and billiards—often mean as much as the magic of street and square when portraying the personal interactions of cities, towns and neighborhood.
To me, this proposition demands an example, and the photo above portrays such an interior space within a dense urban neighborhood after midnight.
As I wrote last summer about the closures of Borders bookstores, such imagery says more than is apparent at first glance about how local, sustainable “third places” foster the spirit of human collaboration.
Photograph composed by the author.