Third and final episode on ways to think about what is special about living in Eindhoven/brainport. The first episode reflected on what it means to be a Dutch city, the second on what that implies for the feeling of place of those, especially expats/internationals, living there, and for those trying to figure out how toContinue reading “brainport’s real highlights”
In a previous post I’ve written about the environmental and social rhythms we are immersed in. That post included the 1982 cult classic koyaanisqatsi. Experimental films go way back (as e.g. Bert Haanstra’s work form the 50s and 60s shows) but I continue to be surprised by new examples of old work that superbly illustrateContinue reading “the city as an emergent life form”
This is a follow-up to a previous post on viewing The Netherlands as one very green polycentric metropolis. To avoid repeating myself too much, reading the below assumes that you are familiar with this predecessor….Here I focus on what this implies for anyone, but especially the more recent foreign arrivals (expats, internationals, whatever your preferredContinue reading “what is my backyard?”
It may be a quirk of my twisted personality but having a purpose for going out makes it easier to ignore my inner couch potato. There are many ways to think about purpose, and one is to explore a particular theme when run-walking your living environment. This post is going to suggest different forms ofContinue reading “ways to run or walk a city – ‘street art’”
To complete this mini series of posts on features that can be used as corridors for urban exploration, I focus on one last bit of substantial infrastructure that traverses the city: the railway tracks.
The advantage of taking one particular feature as your guide through the city is that it leaves you with minimal room for choice. The feature determines what you are going to come across (and hopefully be surprised by). The downside is that it leaves you with minimal room for choice. To make the most ofContinue reading “looking at green and urban Eindhoven differently – mix’em and more”
When canals can be a feature to be one’s guide for exploring the city in a new way, why not look at all (former) waterways? I covered the largest and most important of them, the well known Dommel already. But anyone familiar with Eindhoven knows that more is available.
It is a no-brainer that if ring roads are an urban feature to guide city exploration, radials might be too. Eindhoven has traditionally had a spider-like lay-out with radials connecting the market centre to surrounding villages and important cities further away. So lets have a look at their potential.
The third episode in of a mini series on features of the Eindhoven urban landscape that can be used as corridors to explore the city. After the high voltage power line through Woensel and the city’s various canals, let’s talk about the ring roads.
High voltage power lines may be a somewhat oddball feature to guide city exploration, canals are certainly less so. They are natural corridors and used as such by city planners.
Another mini-series on ways to go about exploring Eindhoven. This time not by taking the whole of the city area as our play ground, but by taking specific features traversing the landscape as corridors to follow. Let me kick off with the least obvious candidate: high voltage power lines.
What I like most about the various ways of exploring our city described in this mini-series is their non-judgmental approach. Be it in the extreme of covering all streets, the normal people’s version of covering all areas using the VisitBrabant network of walking routes, or using the city as a canvas for gps art. TheyContinue reading “ways to run or walk a city – all neighbourhoods”
The first episode of this mini-series was about an interesting but also huge project of an American professional athlete. Guys and girls like him (partly) earn their income with projects attractive to a large enough audience of followers and running media to keep them a worthwhile investment for their corporate sponsors. Thus the ‘extremism’ ofContinue reading “ways to run or walk a city – VisitBrabant network”
There is a fun alternative for Ricky Gates’ original, but also extremely difficult to replicate ‘project’ (unless one is a full time runner or walker), and a creative one at that: GPS art. What I most like about this city thing is that it is bound to lure you into exploring your living environment withoutContinue reading “ways to run or walk a city – gps art”
The Netherlands has a great tradition of documentary film making, by Joris Ivens, Bert Haanstra, Johan van der Keuken, and many others, I share a short classic by Haanstra, his 1962 Zoo, filmed in Artis. A simple hidden camera experiment to highlight our kinship with animals.
The more one knows about a landscape, the more interesting it becomes to explore. Obviously only the subject matter specialist can really read the palimpsestic canvas that a landscape is , but it only takes some basic bits of knowledge to realize there is something to be seen in the first place.
Fuzzy concepts offer an endless source of fascination. Take the relatively new concept of running trails. Let’s not start in prehistory, but just go back half a century. when running – as a sport – could reasonably be classified into three kinds, by way of the ‘surfaces’ it is done on: track, road and cross-country.
This post is a lay person’s effort to understand what being a Dutch city means. And to understand how Eindhoven fits into that picture.
My first article for Eindhoven News sings the praise of the integrated networks of cycling and walking routes developed and managed by VisitBrabant. I’ve since learned a bit more about their history, design criteria and ambitions. That made me even more of a fan and got me thinking about what kind of tinkering might improveContinue reading “improving Visit Brabant’s interactive map of the walking route network”
Connecting interesting bits of townscape to each other into one uninterrupted walking and cycling area has a huge impact on usage. Take Shanghai’s Huangpu river quays. During my four years in this metropolis the city added dozens of kilometers to its landscaped, fully pedestrianized riverfronts and connected them by one unimpeded bicycle path.
It may lack the poetry and the artsy approach to mapping of Solnit’s triad of city atlases, but this stunning atlas in proper Dutch functional design tradition (by the publisher of the Bosatlas – every kid in The Netherlands since the late nineteenth century has grown up with it) has different but equally captivating qualities.
Reblogging: Nonstop Metropolis: An Atlas of Maps Reclaiming New York’s Untold Stories and Unseen Populations Nothing to improve on this review by the indefatigable Maria Popova (her blog brainpickings is a joy to follow!), so I reblog her post on Solnit’s New York atlas in full. It is one in a series of three city atlases (the others are of SanContinue reading “Rebecca Solnit’s city atlas of New York”
Without an exploration mindset we all have trouble connecting with and immersing ourselves in the environment we find ourselves in, be it city or nature. Consciously paying attention is not so easy for most – myself definitely included. Our evolutionary default is switching to automatic pilot as quickly as possible to free up our veryContinue reading “on looking”
The title of this post pays homage to the writer and photographer, Teju Cole. His talk at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, called The City as Palimpsest, is a treasure trove of insights and apt descriptions, and palimpsest is such a great metaphor for what fascinates me in landscapes and cities, that I am truly delighted to have hit upon thisContinue reading “cities as palimpsests”