ordinary urbanism in the south of France: the same, only different?

Travel as inspiration for better cities and towns is a dangerous past time. Romantic interpretations of far away splendor is easy, and the camera is a willing tool.

So last night and this morning, in the environs of the Cote d’Azur, the mission was to stay ordinary, to show the everyday, the mundane, and the lights while walking at night.

In the parking lots, amid the graffiti, among the regular faces, watching the signage, at the post office, and witnessing new development (even with impact to the landscape), the mission partially failed. Some intuition, laden in the land, seemed to suggest a balance of sorts, which we often do not see at home.

As portrayed below, the cars are smaller, the streets narrower, the spaces more multifunctional, human and nature seem to blend more seamlessly. Most of all, the man-made colors blend with the sky to create a timeless sense of interaction befitting of history.

It’s not all pretty, but there’s an organic wisdom at play which escapes words. Click on each image and/or the slideshow below for more.


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