Friday, February 19, 2010

Wow, it's a big world..

Guess what city this is. Hint: Quickly becoming Europe's "urban boom" city. And by the way, this isn't even this city's "downtown" -- but even though none of its tallest scrapers are in this pic, it probably is the densest "skyline" developing in this World City.

Wouldn't it be cool to just backpack around Europe for a few months?


OKC Herbivore said...

Moscow-is this in the Moscow City (i think that's what it is called?) development? I spent some time here and in Petersburg in 2007-it's a wild place. looks like Europe, feels like nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Warsaw. I see the Palace of Culture thing in the back, and I know Warsaw is building skyscrapers like mad right now.

Walker, Downtown Ranger said...

It's Moscow. Herbivore, that's what I meant in saying Moscow's tallest highrises (Moscow City) aren't even in that pic..

This is Moscow City--

I'm really envious that you went to Moscow and Petersburg. That sounds like a really fascinating trip.

Kris Bryant said...

I see a pattern emerging in the most Hegelian form: a cycle between density and space. In 10-20 years when our rekindling of the urban romance leads us to the feeling of "living on top of each other" (just as it did 50 years ago), will we once again turn to the suburbs...or something else? Urban density is beautiful when it promotes the vitality of diverse life, but not when it turns into festering centers of polluted messiness.

OKC Herbivore said...

oh good i thought the Seven Sister tower might have thrown me off into something like Warsaw, which has one or two also (thanks Josef S.)

Nick-Moscow and Piter are well worth a trip, and be sure to take a train between em-it's real Russia, real quick.

They are very dynamic, but different cities. Moscow is unwieldy in most portions outside of its center, but the transit is so stinking good they could develop along their neighborhoods pretty well.

Peter is ridiculously lovely in its center, and is built on a more human scale. It is almost overwhelmingly cultural, but venturing just outside of the middle zone (i had to for a visa reg. and to visit some folks in the outer part of the city) it looks like Beirut: used to be beautiful but has long been in decay.

Kris-both of those cities have the standard European problem of being surrounded by the poorer suburbs and gov't towers, basically the inverse of US cities until recently. And i wonder too about the trend of urbanism going back after it has run its course, but in the long term, it still seems that urbanism or ruralism are the sustainable choices, where suburbanism and sub-ruralism are inherently flawed to some degree.

i do wonder if the suburbs in medium size cities like ours will turn into something like the Euro problem (not likely since the housing isnt useful unless you can afford a car, whereas Euro burbs are usually full of tower blocks).

And i think you hit on a great thought: the revival of urbanism depends a lot on how wealthy a society is, where density can be very detrimental if it is done without good services and healthcare. of course i am thinking about industrial London, which might be a bit far back in the past. But a great thought still, Kris.

Walker, Downtown Ranger said...

Kris...that's an absolutely brilliant observation. So the question is, how do we strike a balance between the vitality that the urbane promotes and the festering heaps of people living on top of each other? I think that's exactly where we see this drive to suburbia derive from, but it's just so misguided that it's sad. It's like giving up jelly beans for life because you had a bad tasting one.

Herbivore, after extensive Google Earth "research"--I've concluded that that skyline shot I posted of Moscow is actually the far SW side of town. There's some really cool new Euro-style development, as you can see, going on in that area.

When I get to go someday I will most certainly take the train back and forth. It would also be a dream to take the Trans-Siberian Railway all the way to Vladivostok, but that may have to wait for another life lol. And it's interesting that you refer to "Piter" (Russian colloquial for St. Petersburg) but use Moscow instead of Moskva.. the truth about the Russian language, as impossible as it is to understand, is that places sound much more "beautiful" in Russian than in translated English. Example: "Russia" v. "Rossiya"