I love cities, I love everything about them; the people, the spaces, the things that make them wholly unique and relatively mundane at the same time.
I love how cities are shaped over time by the prevailing ideology of changing societal norms & expectations, and by the people who inhabit them. While our cities were created out of specific needs they continue to evolve over time as people, societies and cultures change and this interests me immensely.
I can pinpoint, almost to the time-of-day, the moment when I fell in love with cities. It was 2005, and while I was in Paris, France, the moment when I fell in love with cities didn’t have so much to do with the location itself but an interaction I had with a complete stranger. I’ll share the details at another time, but to suffice it to say since that moment I’ve been unable to stop thinking about how cities are shaped and how they in turn shape individuals and our broader society.
Over the past decade, my life in one way or another has been focused on cities. Learning & teaching about their development in formal educational settings, contributing to the planning of neighbourhoods & communities, and trying to influence the prevailing dialog surrounding the places where I live, I’ve continually found ways to understand & interact with the cities I am a part of.
Yet, the learning, reflection, impact, and growth I’ve undertaken has been for the most part an individual endeavour. While I’ve had some good discussions surrounding the nature of cities and have worked with others in the development of ideas that have shaped local notions of what a city is or should be, most of my study has been of an individualized and private nature.
Consuming media, working on projects, and reflecting individually can only be so rewarding and is limiting in terms of both personal and professional growth.
Selfishly I’m looking for more.
So what am I looking for?
I’m looking to be challenged as I grow, reflect, learn, and contribute to all things city, civics, and urban. I’m looking for an intentional community of practice formed of individuals who are seeking a broader understanding & appreciation for the places we call home.
What this looks like exactly, I’m not certain, but I’m interested (initially) in an intentionally apolitical, private, intimate and focused community. I’m looking to gather a small group of ‘city-lovers’ who are interested in exploring media, dialog, projects & practice as part of an ongoing examination of cities: their people & places, architecture & design, pasts, presents & futures, economies & intricacies.
Call it whatever you like; a study group, social club, collective, group of friends etc., but I’m looking for something more than simply myself, my thoughts, and my ideas.