Cities are a topic which have been studied, discussed, and written about for decades by notable figures such as Le Corbusier, Ebenezer Howard and Lewis Mumford; and is one that will likely be examined and written about for decades to come due to its complex nature and controversial significance. One may argue that this intricate significance is important now more than ever due to the extreme complexities cities are dealing with today. Even more so, it is important to approach the topic of urban planning and cities in a comprehensive way by examining the different facets of transportation, land use, economic development, sustainability, et cetera, and through the application of old values that were once written about. Tied into this is also the education aspect - of educating people on the adverse effects of certain choices and decisions, such as to own multiple cars or abandon the urban core due to whatever reason deemed necessary, can have on the longevity of cities and ultimately on others as well. What cities also need is a higher regard for the role of urban planners, landscape architects and architects - as opposed to developers - who create places and spaces for people that ultimately benefit the overall health of people and the city. This is, after all, how some of the most memorable places such as Central Park were created, with the intention of providing public green space to cure the overcrowded tenements of New York City - for anyone to enjoy.
Today our cities need a comprehensive system consisting of adequate public transportation, good schools in urban areas, adequate green space accessible to anyone, regardless of income or social class, better public health systems, and better housing conditions. Only then will we start to improve the overall quality of life and start creating sustainable and resilient cities for generations to come.
Having said this, I am extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to write about the multifaceted city of Minneapolis, Minnesota and to be a part of the Global Site Plans The Grid team for the past year. This has been a great learning experience and a wonderful way to connect and learn about cities from all around the world. A big thanks to everyone at Global Site Plans and especially to the editors for their time, patience and constructive feedback.
The opportunity to write for Global Site Plans allowed me to explore different facets of city planning and environmental design in Minneapolis, Minnesota through posts dealing with Creative CityMaking, Urban Farming, City Parks, Sustainable Transportation, and many more. As a result, I have enjoyed the process of creative writing via urban planning and have been able to network not only within my city but on an international level with other fellow bloggers and urban enthusiasts.
As a closing, I would like to end with a quote by Jane Jacobs, a great influencer in my choice to pursue urban planning and whose work has served as a tremendous writing inspiration:
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” – Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
So long and farewell from the beautiful city of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Images by Jasna Hadzic. Data linked to sources.