Wednesday, 20 July 2011

there is beauty in the city : the conversation - #9

Whilst on a walk of Stoke-on-Trent's ring road, looking at the way citizens are officially guided around their city spaces, I was drawn to this urban phenomenon, known colloquially as a "lazy line".

 In the last post in our conversation, Igor's depiction of Arriaga Square, showed how a city space is appropriated by its citizens for a use other than that imagined by the planners, politicians and authorities in general.

This image shows the formation of a shortcut from the pathway up a bank towards a large shopping centre. The authorities have repeatedly tried to dissuade the city's inhabitants to take this route, but have been repeatedly ignored and, over many years, a new, democratic, popular walkway has formed.

Cities are often full of these popularly formed objections to the inadequacies of urban plans, though it is very rare for the authorities to admit their error and formalise these shortcuts or "lazy lines" into properly constructed pedestrian routes.

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