shape of our cities

 
    • keyrah sa...
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    • 19 okt 2006, 16:59

    shape of our cities

    i'd love to hear about the cities and places you live in, as well as places you've experienced around the world.

    has a place startled/awed/disturbed you?
    what makes them fantastic places to be and what ruins them?
    how does your physical surroundings shape your behaviour, the way you live?

    i'd like this thread to focus on urban areas - our cities, our towns - where we live.
    someone could start another thread about natural settings that have impacted us and how, if they like.

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 24 okt 2006, 21:27
    i live in a small city ( 110.000 citizens ) 10 km from cold Baltic Sea. I live in the suburbs, near a forest. in this forest there is a small, medieval catholic sanctuary built on ruins of a pagan grove, in the past it was a popular pilgrimage target. near that sanctuary there is an old viewing tower, you can see the whole city. next to the tower are ruins of a german bunker ( from WW2 ). behind the sanctuary there is a small convent. i like this part of my town, when i was younger i loved to walk there. it's a romantic place, a sanctuary and a convent in the forest next to a bunker. old forest which saw people worshiping gods of fire and lightning, then descendants of those people worshiping Christ in whose name their ancestors, pagans, were murdered, and then people murdering each other in a senseless war, hiding from death in a bunker. If trees could talk, they would say "silly little people"
    the town itself i hate, i hate all towns. i love peace and quiet, a house near a forest
    cheers.

    • Jamhos sa...
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    • 25 okt 2006, 10:39
    Like Soyan, I live in a pretty small town (mine's about 90,000). It's grown a lot in the past 5-10 years, and because I've lived here all my life I've really noticed it, and don't like it at all. I mean, I have no problems with people coming here, but...

    Well, I love walking. Whenever I feel a bit down, angry, sad (anything negative really), I usually just go for a walk and listen to music and it helps me totally chill out, and I feel a lot better. But recently I just haven't felt at all safe walking the streets, even in the suburbs, and my Mum feels the same way. It probably doesn't help that I got randomly followed and punched earlier this year, but I don't think that's the only reason. So now I've had to start driving when I feel crap, which I don't mind, but I like the exercise.

    But that said, I have nothing against cities. A while back, I got stuck in Melbourne (population of a few million people) on a Friday night and spent a couple of hours just walking around, and I loved it! I mean, rather often in the news I read about bashings and stuff in Melbourne, but they are usually out the fron tof nightclubs where everyone is drunk and stuff - places I stay clear of. But yeah, I felt almost completely safe walking around the city.

    So I guess that means that for me, it depends on the place (whether I like it or not). It's not all cities, all towns. Just different places seem to have a different energy about them, or something.

    Oh actually, there is one place where I live that I love and feel completely safe - the Botanical Gardens. I've been there five times in the last five days, often for over an hour, and I just love it. They are beautiful, and the smells are delightful!

    i want to believe
    Stuart Murdoch
    "People have to accept that nature has root privileges"
  • my city is a tired city, struggling to keep up with todays alberta boom.the roads are in need of repaveing sewers need to be updated ect just to keep up with the demand. a river runs east to west through the middle,creating whats called the river vally, some nice trails and places to walk your dog and maybe play some frisbee anything to the north including downtown is not a good place to wonder around.I dont like it there, south of the river is much better especialy a small community that Im liveing in thats about 100 years old.has lots of neat little shops and places to grab a bite, maybe a pint. only down side is, outside this area, most of it is mid 80s to recent burbs - yuck. I like old cities - old anything mind you.this city has a dirty feel to it mostly, its an industial drivin city and thats it, no real motivation to make it nice or at least have a home feel to it.there is a lot of ppl here,over a million at least. a lot of ppl that can live happily without the things I need in my daily life.just comes down to ones self I guess. Edmonton is wearing on me mostly because I need mountains,real nature, and all that goes with it. its a totaly different lifestyle/way of thinking. seems more fresh not so produced.: ) some day I'll go where I need to be.
    Shawn

    • keyrah sa...
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    • 30 okt 2006, 18:30
    i really appreciate these observations about your cities. i'm not at home right now (actually don't really feel like i have a home right now.. but that's another story) but when i can i want to address some of your thoughts and ideas.

    maybe even talk about what could be changed to improve the places we live and how we live.

  • I do not have a city... not like Cary in sex in the city... no city is my boyfriend... yet.

    Maybe Some day it will be New York but more than likely it will be Traviso or Venice.

    ~*Kt
    "My Headphones.. they saved my life."
  • Denver is a great city. An awe-inspiring view of the mountains, as well as a very cool cough inducing layer of smog.

    Chicago on the other hand, sucks. It's scary and boring. Two things that should never mix.

    bigsexyshaq said:
    Frank Sinatra made a big mistake by singing various standards that included the word "gay". Not only did he lose the Korn fans, but also the extremist Christians.
    • Jamhos sa...
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    • 3 nov 2006, 09:01
    BGOATDoughnut said:
    a very cool cough inducing layer of smog.

    Forgive me if I'm making an incorrect assumption here, but... You don't mind smog? Sorry, but... Ugh! I can't stand breathing it, although I suppose I'm gonna have to get used to it next year...

    i want to believe
    Stuart Murdoch
    "People have to accept that nature has root privileges"
    • keyrah sa...
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    • 3 nov 2006, 16:38
    BGOATDoughnut said:
    Chicago on the other hand, sucks. It's scary and boring. Two things that should never mix.


    what makes chicago scary and boring?
    i've actually heard very good things about the city especially the waterfront design.

  • Jamhos said:
    BGOATDoughnut said:
    a very cool cough inducing layer of smog.

    Forgive me if I'm making an incorrect assumption here, but... You don't mind smog? Sorry, but... Ugh! I can't stand breathing it, although I suppose I'm gonna have to get used to it next year...

    It was a weak attempt at satire, attempting to emphasize the contrast between the view and the thick shit blocking it.

    @Keyrah, it is very boring compared to Denver, and urban landscaping doesn't help it much. =(

    bigsexyshaq said:
    Frank Sinatra made a big mistake by singing various standards that included the word "gay". Not only did he lose the Korn fans, but also the extremist Christians.
    • Jamhos sa...
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    • 5 nov 2006, 07:10
    BGOATDoughnut said:
    It was a weak attempt at satire, attempting to emphasize the contrast between the view and the thick shit blocking it.

    Lol I'm sorry. I've never been good with recognising that sort of thing in somebody's typing!

    i want to believe
    Stuart Murdoch
    "People have to accept that nature has root privileges"
  • Jamhos said:
    BGOATDoughnut said:
    It was a weak attempt at satire, attempting to emphasize the contrast between the view and the thick shit blocking it.

    Lol I'm sorry. I've never been good with recognising that sort of thing in somebody's typing!

    Same'd. I just use it myself to make myself feel smart. :/

    bigsexyshaq said:
    Frank Sinatra made a big mistake by singing various standards that included the word "gay". Not only did he lose the Korn fans, but also the extremist Christians.
    • radiata sa...
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    • 13 nov 2006, 05:54
    i live in a city called canberra (australia), it is ~200km inland with ~350,000 people in it (mostly people working in the public service/uni students).
    It is small with a few decent bars/clubs to go out to. The main thing i like is the fact that it is relatively spread out - so there is a bit of space. However, i can't wait to leave once i've finished my degree :)
    It isn't old relative to the age of many european cities, i believe its ~90 or 80 years old.

    • keyrah sa...
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    • 16 nov 2006, 00:30
    Jamhos said:
    Well, I love walking. Whenever I feel a bit down, angry, sad (anything negative really), I usually just go for a walk and listen to music and it helps me totally chill out, and I feel a lot better. But recently I just haven't felt at all safe walking the streets, even in the suburbs, and my Mum feels the same way. It probably doesn't help that I got randomly followed and punched earlier this year, but I don't think that's the only reason. So now I've had to start driving when I feel crap, which I don't mind, but I like the exercise.


    experiencing a place as a pedestrian is really important to me. it's how i feel out a city and it's people. i love walking around toronto :)
    and it's sad that you now have to drive to relieve stress. they're (yes the evil THEM) pushing us into cars and pouring more cash into roads and highways when we need more help/money to design safe(r) and sustainable neighbourhoods where people can live and be happy!


    So I guess that means that for me, it depends on the place (whether I like it or not). It's not all cities, all towns. Just different places seem to have a different energy about them, or something.


    totally agree. different places have different energies. those come from the earth, the people (residents, visitors etc;), the commerce, and many other things..

    i believe energy also comes from our built environment. the roads we push through, the concrete buldings we erect with little thought to how the people will use them or in your case of not being able to walk in your neighbourhood, not use them.

    are there any buildings you've encountered that make you cringe? what about parks or public sqares.. any you love or hate?

    • radiata sa...
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    • 17 nov 2006, 03:25
    places i love?

    i love my university campus - it's spread out with plenty of trees and green spaces - it has a pseudo-creek running through it down to a lake, and in the spring time there are families of ducks cruising around.

    - i'll see if i can find some pictures... here is a small one: http://info.anu.edu.au/discover_anu/About_ANU/_images/campus1_200.jpg

    • keyrah sa...
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    • 17 nov 2006, 03:52
    wow, even that little picture is beautiful!
    would love to see more, especially ones with people in them - to see how the space is used.

    • Nasef sa...
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    • 23 nov 2006, 16:45
    Well, I live in a large city it has a population about 600,000+ something I think. My place is located at the south west part of the city, its not quiet in the outskirts and its not quiet in the center, just in the middle somewhere to get you lost. The house or building should I call it is 7 stories tall, I live on the 6th, I've the whole apartment to my self, since I live alone and all, sometimes I've hard time maintaining it since I've a full time job and get so little time to spend on home. But I somehow seem to manage most of the time. The roads are somewhat wide around my place, it starts to get quiet when the night sets in. We're allowed pets but I don't have any.

    There is medium size river just 5 minutes from my place. I can see it from my window up here. The morning breeze is just 'amazing' to say the least, love it. There are couple parks and large play grounds near by with in 10 - 20 minutes of my place. On weekends when I go in morning walks I usually go to on of them decided randomly that morning.

    The city is quiet nice, once you get used to the noise of the city life. The people are great, helpful, well most of them are anyway.

    The traffic sucks at rush hours. I get stuck in that a lot, getting home late and sometimes with headache, but it pays me well, so I try to over look it mostly.

    Got lots high-rise buildings, the interesting shapes makes them interesting to look at.

    There are two old forts in the city from different periods of time, turned into tourist attractions. Also we've a wealthy museum and public libraries. Some good theaters and more then enough shopping malls, one of the mall is 11 story!! the first time I went there I almost got lost! hah!.

    Allround I'm used to it, city runs through my blood.

    Grow up and blow away
  • Heh, funny :D. You say that a city is a small one with "only" 100,000 citizens.

    I have lived almost 20 years in a city of 5000 citizens. And yes, it was a real city (not any kind of town or something. Actually third smallest city in Finland.)
    I have very neutral feelings of it. Did not hate, did not love. The city was mainly just one street with everything alongside of it. Just like an old western town (but the cityhall was not at the end of the street ).
    There was a larger lake on the east side and many smaller ones in other directions. You may now fill all the empy space with forest and now you have almost a perfect idea of the city.
    And there were lots of drunken people. I never knew were they came from. I guess every night some one summoned them from a small pond in the middle of misty park (the park was in the other end of the main road).

    Ofcourse there would be much else to tell about but I mainly just wanted to have a little contrast to this "small city"-thingy. :)

    But now I live in another city. Propably Finland's second or third largest city (120,000 citizens or something).

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge"
  • My town is SMALL. One of the "big" places though, 7.000 people. "only" 100.000 citizens, huh? Norway's entire population is 400.000.

    My town is really beautiful, tall mountains and a steeep, narrow fjord. Most towns in our area look similar. It's really boring, so I don't really like it. But I don't truly hate it either, although I'd like to get outta here! We have some nice ski resorts, some lakes, and... I don't know.

    The centre is mainly one street where you can't even park your car. Some stores and.. Yeah. three grocery stores, two restaurants. Basically.

    • bodesta sa...
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    • 30 dec 2006, 00:59
    keyrah said:
    BGOATDoughnut said:
    Chicago on the other hand, sucks. It's scary and boring. Two things that should never mix.


    what makes chicago scary and boring?
    i've actually heard very good things about the city especially the waterfront design.



    im in love with chicago...i used to live in a tiny little town population 600 (i think i have you all beat) and now i call chicago my home. i feel alive and a part of something here. im never alone.

    "No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful."-Kurt Vonnegut
  • Chicago is one of the best places in the United States to live. It has all the cultural outlets without the overcrowding of New York City. The streets are laid out in a logical grid pattern even extending to the suburbs unlike that nightmare that is Los Angeles. We have some of the best museums, libraries and restaurants in the country and the Chicago music scene has produced some of the best bands on Earth. I live in Naperville which has been voted "best city to live in in the United States." Two years in a row. Boring it is not. Scary? Only if you're näive enough to wander into Englewood wearing a pasty face.

    So in conclusion: Chicago pwns your asses!

    • Flash5 sa...
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    • 4 jan 2007, 08:46
    I agree Chicago is awsome.

    Its a lot cleaner than both L.A. and N.Y.

    Plus we have Lollapalooza.

    I cant seem to see through solid marble eyes.
  • Keyrah, I love what you wrote about cities having an energy. You can definitely feel that differently in each city - and I think it comes from the built environment, the history of the town, its geographic placing, social factors, legislative issues, transport and space. Space is so important.

    I love walking around the busy parts of cities when they're empty (preferably during the day). If its somewhere that is usually packed during the week, you can still feel that buzz when they're quiet, but you don't have to dodge the crowds. Their energy persists, and its there all for you, and that can be incredibly peaceful.

    My city, Birmingham, used to be highlighted as an example of bad 1960s architectural planning. So many old buildings were pulled down to make way for a brave, optimistic future. Some of those buildings looked incredible at the time, but they look awful when they haven't been cleaned. The underpasses that were meant to free pedestrians unded up constricting us. Looking back at those 1960s architecture books, the dream is beautiful, but incredibly unrealistic. Perhaps there's an echo of the social revolution that nearly-but-didn't-quite take place there.
    The past couple of decades have seen extensive renovation. The old warehouse areas have been tidied, the concrete has been replaced by...bricks...well, its a start - but there seems to be some sensitivity to flow and space. Energies jarr less, and though there's plenty of work to be done, it feels like a different place. The only problem is - it has all been done in the name of shopping. If you haven't got money, the number of places you can go is fewer and fewer. Try hanging out in the peace gardens if you dare -make sure you've got a couple of tough friends with you though!

    Our great "land-mark", the rotunda has been re-furbished, which is desperately needed - but its been made into flats. In the 1980s, it was going to be removed, but the city's residents petitioned to have it kept. It means something to people here - it is regarded with self-deprecating affection, and has a symbolism few 1960s concrete constructions hold. I'll post a pic, but it won't make sense.

    To me, that should have been a museum - but its becoming "luxury flats". That building lives in the imagination of the city, and it should have been kept for that purpose.

    The cities I truly love have somewhere that welcomes you - poor or rich. Paris can be very exclusive in parts, but there are huge, beautiful areas where you don't have to look like anything, or be anything, just to feel part of something huge, and exciting, and peaceful at the same time. Parts of London feel the same (not the parts you'd expect). Amsterdam feels like a big hug. The quieter parts of New York possess this too.

    I'm waffling a bit. I'll stop the post there, as I've lost my flow somewhere here.

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 10 jan 2007, 09:09
    I live on the Gold Coast in Australia. It's a huge tourist place, with a lot of theme parks and malls and beaches (seeing as it's along the beach). It gets very hot and once you become climatized you can find anything below 25 degrees C cold. It is really quite an awesome place and I really should love it here.. but I don't. I hate it. I would much rather be in England or back in New Zealand. I used to love going to the beach until I got my self-esteem knocked back enough to make me not want to go anymore, and now that I'm over that I'm sort of over going to the beach too, so I never really go anymore.

    Theme parks - well, everyone loves theme parks, and if you don't then there's a reason for that, or you just dont go. They're too expencive though, and when my friends went last time I wasn't invited, so I haven't been for a while.

    Malls are alright. I only really go to shopping malls to go to the cinema, to get a DVD or two, get a few CD's or get food for the week, so you can imagine that I don't really like going shopping with everyone too often as I don't like going into every single store, nor am I allowed in the two or so stores I want to go to. =P Last time I went shopping with friends would have to be one or two years ago, not including going to the cinema.

    It really is a nice place here, and everyone that sems to come here loves it.. I just don't fit in with the crowd too well. Being an 'outsider' is good, just as long as you can get along with people anyway =P

    I grew up in Morrinsville in the Waikato in New Zealand. I love it there as it is my home. It's a real tiny place, you could drive around the perimeter of the place in just under twenty minutes, but god damn do i miss it there. Where I lived, the house i lived, it was four stories, huge plot and we even had our own part of a river which would flood up over the bridge when it rained too hard. I remember sitting in my brothers room with him when it rained and we would watch the river flood and bet on it. If he won I would let him play the SEGA for a week without me moaning, and if I won, he couldn't moan when I played it for a week.

    hmm..

    I've also been to Sydney and Melbourne, but I can't really remember any of that for some reason, even though I was around six years old.. you would think that I could at least remember something. All I remember is watching Ren n' Stimpy in the hotel, but I can't remember where I was.

    I went back to New Zealand on the 26th December `05 for almost a month, Stayed with my cousins in Hamilton and saw my dad's mum and sisters. Went around a few places, got a hotel in Aukland and all.. even get to go back into Morrinsville for a tiny bit of time! It looks a really depressing place now.. but home is still home and I love it ^_^

    Been to the South Island of New Zealand too, hopfully I can go again rather soon. Would like to go there when everyone else is at Schoolies here, go snowboarding and see my mum's mum and my other family over there.

    This is turning out to be a really long post though, so I shall finish it here. =P

    • Jamhos sa...
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    • 19 jan 2007, 08:22
    My city is currently in really bad shape. I don't know if all of you know about the drought going on in Australia, but it's pretty awful. The 150+ yr old trees in the Botanic Gardens are dying, the lake is dried up completely and we are on Stage 4 water restrictions (basically we can't use water for much except household use - can't wash cars, can't water gardens, etc). Our reservoir water levels are at 16% capacity. I am 18 years old, and I remember them flooding. Basically it just stopped raining! Still, we have had a little bit of much-needed rain in the last couple of weeks (although water levels haven't risen), and people are predicting that the drought will be ending in about April/May. I certainly hope so. On the Wikipedia article for Lake Wendouree (the lake in my city) there is a picture of the lake before the drought and also one taken recently.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Wendouree

    It's weird, because we are in a drought, but in Europe at the moment it's a completely different story, with wild storms and snow. I don't know about the rest of the northern hemisphere, but that's what's been on our news.

    What does everyone think about the whole global warming/climate change thing? Is there already a thread on it? I don't know, but I think that if there is anything abnormal going on, it's climate change, and definitely not global warming. But then again, who's to say it's not just the Earth coming out of an ice age? (there was a mini ice age in the dark ages (or middle ages?), and we are still technically coming out of the last major ice age. So who knows?

    i want to believe
    Stuart Murdoch
    "People have to accept that nature has root privileges"
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