Call me crazy, but I love suburbs. Ever since watching US movies and television, I have a fascination for them. The idea of urban development specifically designed with space – both private and communal – and convenience in mind is very intriguing to me. And I love how suburbs tend to immediately trigger people; both in positive and negative ways. Some people shiver at the thought of living in cookie cutter homes, with neighbours watching your every step. Others long for the space, yards and convenience that come with a move to ‘the burbs’. And a suburb in the USA is different from a suburb in France for instance. We all know the images of violent riots emerging in the Parisian ‘Banlieu’. And in some countries, suburbs are equally crowded as downtown, and often poorer than their inner-city counterparts. My fascination is limited to the classic leafy suburbs like in the movies. What do you think of when you hear the word?
Levittown. One of the first suburbs in the USA. Returning veterans longed to settle so suburbs emerged in many parts of the country
The very typical suburb Richfield. Once a very dull and uninspiring part of Minneapolis, now a popular place due to its proximity to town.
Brøndby, on the outskirts of Copenhagen
Suburb in China. All homes are the same
Paris banlieu with riot police
The Amsterdam suburb IJburg, takes inspiration from the historic center, with houseboats, canals and back-to-back homes.
Gorgeous Tampa suburb aptly called ‘Beautiful’. And this is the kind of suburb I love……
Posted in See how others live
Tagged Banlieu, beautiful, burbs, China, city, convenience, France, history, IJburg, leafy, leafy suburbs, Levittown, paris banlieu, popular, space, suburbs, USA
An abandoned quarry in the Chinese city Shanghai was transformed to a landmark park as part of the botanical gardens. The design won the American Society of Landscape Architecture 2012 Honor Award. It was designed by THUDPI
Shanghai Quarry park
In China, an exact copy of the Unesco World Heritage listed village of Hallstatt in Austria opened to visitors last week.
The clone, situated in the province of Guangdong, cost £600 million to build and occupies about a million square metres. It is an exact replica of the original town, located on the shores of the Hallstätter See.
Hallstatt Guangdong Austria
I love abandoned sites. A few years back we took a trip to California and visited Bombay Beach on the coast of the Salton Sea. Sounds dreamy right? Well, it’s not. This is Bombay Beach.
Bombay Beach California
High salt levels and floods made Bombay Beach, once coined the Riviera of California, uninhabitable. Well, for most that is, as some die-hard residents still call it home.
California is also home to Disneyland. Anything but deserted. The Magic Kingdom draws in about 15.000.000 people each year. That’s close to the population of The Netherlands! Wonderland Theme Park in China, about a 45 minute drive from Downtown Beijing, is not so lucky. What was going to be the largest amusement park in Asia and Asia’s answer to Disney Magic Kingdom, is now probably competing with Tjernobyl as the largest abandoned site in the East. Disagreements with local government and farmers over property prices forced the project developers to stop construction in 1998. It now sits abandoned between fields of corn and houses along the highway to the Great Wall. I have tried to find aerial images of in on Google Earth but have not had any luck yet. But these pictures already show its marvel and make me want to book a flight to China to see it myself.
Photographs by David Grey (Reuters). For more from this series check this article on theatlantic.com
Posted in Famous buildings and movie locations, Unusual homes
Tagged abandoned, amusement park, China, Disneyland, Ghost town, Magic Kingdom, pictures, wall, Wonderland, wonderland theme park