Thursday, October 13, 2011

Europe Journal: Home Base

An interesting aspect of the European journey was the ability not to stay in hostels or hotels, but to live in some of the places that people actually inhabit in these cities.  This was done courtesy of crashing on my sisters couch in London, and utilizing the fabulous air.bnb for finding amazing flats to stay at along the way (highly recommended btw). 

This yielded an interesting experience in understanding cities not as a tourist, but in the words of Rick Steves - as a "temporary local".  More on some of these home bases and the ways in which one connects with a certain neighborhood, but for now, I found it interesting, via Google Earth, to look at the locations in comparison of urban form - each one at approximately the same scale - with a yellow dot on where we lived.

London  (Waltham Forest)

Barcelona (Gracia)

Rome (2 locations in Coliseum/Forum area)

Siena (near the Duomo)


  1. Nothing can compare to cities like these. You can tell that they developed by themselves in about 0.0056s :) I would like to add Riga, Latvia too!

  2. While looking at the photos in this post I started thinking about how any kind of large built form has a reading from above in a very palpable way these days (google maps satellite photos). Yet it is rare to see someone tap into this perspective (though not unheard of) in the design profession. At least in North America. And then thinking how curious it is that sometimes really old cities with organic star/shape/network/node formations, or really old landmark formations made way before the average person could fly suspended in the air, are so much more interesting to look at than post-war linear car-oriented cities. Is this a case of Video killed the Radio star? Or is it just that we (the human race) have been very thoughtless in the design of built form and its relation to aerial geography for a good while now?


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