BLF 04 - 01 - 2010

Allah loves diversity Why do we travel, why are we curious, what is here that is not the same everywhere else? As humans, we have the desire to explore. Now that most habitable land is inhabited, cultivated, or reserved we can fulfill this need to explore with visiting unfamiliar cities, experiences, and places. What makes cities great are the opportunities to call one place your own, to explore other places away from yours, and to say hello along the way to friends doing the same thing. Many of the cities we visit have rivers, lakes, large parks, rock outcroppings that made them strategic points. Now these obstacles have become places that roads weave around, plazas look onto, and it creates diversity in the city grid. There is also a history of buildings. In Amsterdam, some are built on wooden piers, some on concrete. Some of these buildings lean into the street some have been painted black to protect the brick. These buildings and the wandering, meandering plans are what make cities fun. There is an unspoken, unattended value in making things that don't quite make sense. Wal-Mart is the best way to store merchandise, but the least likely place to convince someone from Amsterdam to go. There is meaning for us in the natural system of cities. The curving roads protect them from high vehicular traffic. It slows things down, and gives place for the pedestrians who, by measurements of density, are far more important for a cities success. 1 car = 180 sf. 1 person w/ bubble = 16 sf. That suggests to me that pedestrians can benefit a city about 9 times more than a motorist. Cities like Indianapolis cater to cars. Cities like Amsterdam cater to people. They are fun to explore, they bend, they surprise, and they create opportunity to spend a lifetime in.

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