Aesthetics may drive first impressions, but it’s all about context.
Repeatedly, we are exposed to classic, new urbanist American placemaking, set out below in a Seattle commercial setting. Walkable, compact surroundings, use of varied materials and welcoming colors present a gathering place in bloom, at a remade in-city shopping center once adjacent to an urban landfill.
Consider alternative placemaking in a barren climate which precludes the color green, depicted below. Across from the capital city of Valetta, Malta, the Tigne Point redevelopment area in Sliema shows the the monochromatic confluence of density and history, with work to be completed in 2012. Residential and resort redevelopment replaces abandoned British military barracks, where key Turkish cannons fired during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.
Yet seemingly unflattering, under-construction images of native stone in an arid climate need not preclude our sought-after sense of “compact surroundings, use of varied materials and welcoming colors”.
Indeed, below, in the inland city of Mosta, Malta, we see simply-stated, contextual placemaking, a world apart from our own.