As I walked past a communal artist space that had recently developed adjacent my apartment, I quickly checked my calendar to see if I had time to change my story for this week. Alas, I found out that this week is my sign off and my attention quickly flowed back to what drew me to Global Site Plans and the amazing year I had.
After completing my Bachelors in Planning at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, I set off for twelve months through Latin America and Europe on a sabbatical that would change how I perceive the world. Marcel Proust said “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscape, but in having new eyes;” and with this ringing in my head I decided to learn Spanish so I would better understand of South American culture. What I learned through my half hour friendships, late night strolls through city squares, and plentiful fiestas helped me develop a narrative that carried throughout my articles on South America.
As I now “architect” my next journey, I look back at some of my favourite cities, and articles written. These are no doubt Cuenca and Medellin; in both cities I met planners who were able to tell me about their city and their remarkable rejuvenation. It amazed me how these cities are able to decrease the urbanisation issues they face, whilst the most livable city in the world (Melbourne) struggles to implement its own integrated public transport ticketing system.
Cuenca is a city that feels like its stuck in time, a beautiful colonial city from above, with an up and coming tramway system that will rival some of Europe’s. Medellin is my favourite city in the world, a city that has gone from the most dangerous in the world to the most innovative in less than twenty years. Coupled with some of the most forthcoming and hospitable people in the world, it was easy to get information from "Paisa’s" about their wonderful city. Now that I have completed my first year of a Master’s degree, I am heading back to Latin America for my summer break to take on an urban renewal and study project in Mexico City. I no doubt will come back with similar stories from my prior trip, which I hope to put online sometime in early 2014.
Thank you all for your support over the last twelve months. I will continue to support Global Site Plans and look forward to witnessing its growth, as well as reading new articles.
Credits: Images by Steven Petsinis. Data linked to sources.