BLF 03 - 24 - 2010

Smooth transitions hide wonders, we see nothing. One card shuffles to the top of the deck, surprising, even though it is clear that it is a slow and unending process, and has been in the making its way to us since we first began. When I think about cities, I always think of them us sustainable giants, as they leave nature to nature, creating a better world. No label- be it city or suburb, can define the environmental quality of the place. Cities can be carbon billowing cow slaughtering places from 19th century Chicago to 21st century Dubai. No one term creates sustainable lifestyles. Like a rolling hill or a sin wave, Cities we visit have interesting patterns. Simply said, it seems that they develop centrally in plan and in section. Cities like Munich, St. Petersburg are Craters, while cities like Dubai and Hong Kong are like great glorious mountains with central peaks ebbing slowly toward a valley. Those who love the classic city life, like the one found in Munich, specify that buildings cannot be greater than 5 stories, or taller than the town’s highest cathedral. These places seem to be intent on allowing the city to serve the citizen, enriching the environment with the definition of space, enriching the lifestyle with familiar local grocery stores, theaters, and faces. Sky scrapers, with their daunting size and ominous shadows, are relegated to the outskirts of the city where vast plots of parking and garages don't threaten the urban fabric. In Tallinn, the old city and new city were separate entities, like the fabric of time had split the two locations at the old city wall. The new city grew, while the old city residence seems to have no interaction with it. Other cities are built like fluid machines, harvesting profit. Roads efficient and strong like hydraulic pistons fuel growth, wealth, and investment. These cities strive for glory and power, as developers compete for the tallest and best buildings to obtain the proudest and highest paying clients. These cities are testaments to the power of man. The Burj Al Kalife is the tallest building in the world, between a shopping mall and a parking lot. The total resources of Dubai cannot manage a city infrastructure, and the giant sits alone, unable to fit into any 'city' "fabric". The question comes back to me like it always has, Are we going to chose to be citizens or consumers? Are we neighbors or investors? Are we worth building edifices that serve our needs, our will we sacrifice ourselves gladly to the manmade maul in the name of the growth of those places that bind us? Image 1 Tallinn City scape Image 2 Sketch of city types

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