The Nature of Urban
August 27, 2012 11 Comments
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets. (so says Wikipedia)
This is a response to Weekly Photo Challenge : Urban. A great challenge, open to all sorts of exploration, thanks, but…
Too many photos possible…
Too much variety available…
So – lots and lots to choose from and create a post rather than a photo, a version of variety. I was going to write three posts, three cities, then thought how do people read, from top to bottom, which would come first? So instead this is a three-part long post! [I won't know if you read it all or not, like all my posts it is really more of a Diary for me.]
The Nature of Urban (1)
In Shanghai last year, having previously spent lots of time in Guangzhou , I wrote:
Cities belong to their country Not to any one person there. Cities belong to their country, Though they have robbed it Of space to see sky, Of dark to see starlight, Of soil to grow grass. Cities carpet their country With concrete and crowds.
These photos are from Guangzhou:
The Nature of Urban (2)
Then I felt better, as writing can be therapeutic, and wrote more about cities:
In the night city lights brighten orange hide the starlit skies. Tall houses loom up filled with people, families crowds of loneliness. Cross concrete roadways Careful! Cars own these places not made for walking. Rivers once forded Now bridged unseen by people Opening umbrellas.
and I explored Shanghai – parks and shops, museums and skylines, not to mention the bureaucracy on which any city runs (look here?). There are many kinds of place in Shanghai, the not concrete places, the spaces, the expected, the quirky, beautiful and the ugly. Here are some:
The Nature of Urban (3)
Noise never sleeping Eyes and ears watchful, smiling, City children learn fast. In long thin gardens Trees stretch to a fractional sun Unexpected, the fox runs.
When I returned to Edinburgh, I sought all the wonderful hidden places, the in-betweens of urban life:
Now I am living in Block Island, no way can anywhere here be called “urban”.
My explorations will challenge me differently. City life is actually very convenient!