Urbanist : Serenity In Inside World

Urban Serenity: This City Won’t
Leave Your Head!

The urban state of being refers to the intangible vibe of a city; the moods, the mindsets and the meanings that emerge from the connections and interactions we have with each other and place.

It informs everything; how we treat each other, interact and collaborate, how we govern, what we tolerate and protect, grow, design, build, destroy, mine and manufacture, what is celebrated and what is grieved.

These elements in turn shape the tangible systems; the structures, policies and processes that influence the quality of air, water and food, the design of built environment (on earth and off-planet), public spaces, green infrastructure as well as the cultural life – which in turn impact the moods, the mindsets and the meanings – and so it goes on.

Picture By: Amit Pandey (Mr. Jungle Boy)

The value of anything only exists in its meaning; a word, a gesture, an object, a form, a place, a quest, a city – they only have value because of their meaning. The embodied values, purpose, intentions, stories and culture that is symbolised, represented and expressed.

In the absence of knowledge about the urban state of being, despite best efforts, we will continue to curate cities in a fragmented manner, as author Mary Shelly expressed so eloquently in her novel Frankenstein of over 200 years ago demonstrating the ignorance of bringing together bits and parts to function as a synergistic whole – when it is in fact cities are a dynamic ecology of complex systems, nested in complex systems. The past matters and influences the future, success and failure can cascade in the fascinating butterfly effect of small gestures having huge and unexpected ramifications, When we look, we see that relationships are non-linear, beyond simple cause and effect, and everything is connected through rich networks of interactions and feedback loops – both negative and positive.

📸Captured At St. Michael’s Church,
Vasai Mumbai

Some are confident, others not. Some cities get on with things and get things done. Others are more reflective and may have great ideas but find it harder to deliver.

If we start to understand the psychology of our cities we realise we can’t just overlay techniques or invest in certain activities or programs if they don’t fit our dominant personality traits.

It also means we need to be more sophisticated at understanding who we are and how we are perceived. We need self-knowledge, we can’t just try and be like other places. We can only be ourselves.

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