One of the reasons I started this blog was to hopefully inspire others (and myself) to explore the urban environment, and grow to appreciate and gain an interest in the planning and design processes behind cities. So this year, I thought I would lead by example and list the cities I hope to travel to this year. Here is my 2017 city wish list, I encourage you all to make one also, even if you only travel to the neighbouring cities in your area, just get out there and experience all the urban world has to offer!
Architecture, art, history, character: just a few words that spring to mind when I think of this beautiful city. If Lisbon is as beautiful as my friends say it is, it is definitely somewhere I cannot wait to visit!
Rio de Janeiro
It has always been a dream of mine to travel to Brazil, such an amazing country full of life and such friendly people. Rio is of course one of many great cities in Brazil, and I feel this would be a great place to start my exploration. Unfortunately I won’t be available to see the city in all its glory during the ‘carnaval’ season, but nonetheless, I hope to sample some of Rio’s lively and dynamic energy.
An urban planner’s dream. Barcelona is certainly an exquisitely planned city, amazing street patterns, historic and modern architecture and beautifully designed public spaces. I look forward to sampling the streets of Barcelona and experiencing this truly grand city.
Last but not least, my hometown, London. Seems funny to put this on my wish list, especially as I have lived in this city for the past 21 years of my life. But my favourite thing about London is that is a constantly changing and evolving city with new areas to explore every day! This year I hope to see more of this amazing mega city.
So these are my top 4 picks, I hope to travel to all 4 and more. Comment below which city you would love to travel to this year!
Planners are not always seen in the highest regard, especially here in the UK where planners are regularly at the forefront of public criticism and seen as a unnecessary barrier to development – whilst the very idea of planning permission is dreaded by many.
As a urban planning student in my final year of study, I have started to think about my plans and career goals for after I graduate. This includes applying for graduate schemes in a variety of public and private sector companies. As I go through this often gruelling and highly competitive process, I’ve been led to reflect on the implications of this.
Gone are the days when car ownership was seen as the ultimate symbol of wealth and status. Although that ideology may still be prevalent in parts of the world today, it is generally agreed that car dependency is unsustainable and damaging to our environment. Continue reading →
If you’re based in Manchester, you’ve probably noticed the absolute chaos that is Oxford Road recently. Plans are underway to completely transform one of the city’s main transport corridors. Oxford Road will soon be a public transport, cycle and pedestrian haven – free from the intrusion of private cars – and the addition of more street trees and green infrastructure (if all goes to ‘plan’).
Aerial view of the completed Bus Priority Package on Oxford Road, Manchester
As I walk down Oxford Road every day – my walking path is awkwardly diverted, I have to keep a constant look out for where the next cyclist will suddenly appear from, and crossing the road is no longer a simple task. But in the midst of the madness and chaos, as young city planner I can’t help but feel excited at the development taking place around me. It reminds me that, inconvenience is a necessary evil for change.
There are many advantages to participating in the planning and designing of cities. I have summarised my top 3 below!
1. Creates Places for People
The planning and designing of cities is mostly in the hands of planners and designers – however they represent an extremely small proportion of the urban population. It is impossible for such a small group of people to represent everyone else. When more people participate in the planning and design processes in their cities, the professionals are better able to produce plans and designs that reflect the needs of EVERYONE. Continue reading →
The biggest, most prominent buildings tend to say a lot about a societies’ values. Imagine a city where community centres, hospitals, places of worship, art galleries and museums dominated the skyline?
Comment below, what building(s) do you cherish the most in your city?
I recently stumbled upon this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy4QjmKzF1c) by The School of Life on “How to Make an Attractive City”. In it is an outline of 6 fundamental principles to be applied in order to make our cities attractive;