The Soul Never Thinks Without a Picture of a City
Aristotle said that a soul never thinks without a picture.
He must have meant a picture of a city, because, in humanistic response to today’s pragmatic world of policy, regulation and urbanist proclamations, I often remember an August 12, 2006 photograph taken with a Nikon D-200 traded away long ago.
The camera is gone, but the image of Spinola Bay, St. Julian’s, Malta lives on, even as filtered and set to music here last July.
The reason is simple. The photograph suggests straightforward and ideal balances as follows:
- A balance of color, of dark and light;
- A balance of people, of land, water and sky;
- A balance of automobile, boat and pedestrian commingling and observing;
- A balance of residence, employment and compactness that seems not only to work, but to extol like a poster the virtues of urban life;
- And, finally, a balance that much of today’s contemporary urban examination and discussions prescribe anew.
In a portrait of a former small fishing village, and now a literal reflection of dwellings, shops and restaurants in an island country, there is buried not only a treatise, but a novel and a fantastical place to dream.
Charles R. Wolfe, M.R.P., J.D. is an attorney in Seattle, where he focuses on land use and environmental law and permitting, including the use of innovative land use regulatory tools and sustainable development techniques on behalf of both the private and public sectors and the successful redevelopment of infill properties under federal, state and local regulatory regimes. He is an ...
Sustainable Cities Collective