An eclectic Provence window below introduces a back and forth conversation between American facades (to the left) and their counterparts (to the right), contrasting often uneventful stylistic reserve and usually empty balconies with traditions of rich color and plantings, angular perspectives and private spaces speaking outward to the street.

What if American cities legislated brighter color amid windows, balconies planted green and encouraged flags and hanging laundry? What if homeowner associations and rental contracts required vegetation and decoration of the interface with the street below?

For all of today’s urbanist dialogue about density, transit and proximity of home and work, an enhanced urban look and feel can also derive from practicing simple traditions of visual diversity.

All photos composed by the author. Click on each photo for more detail. Cross-posted in original form on myurbanist.