Travelling and urban planning – an insight

I want to share with you one of the reasons I like travelling so much. It has a lot to do with my academic background: urbanism. We study cities, how they’re made, how they evolved and changed, their problems and challenges. We use maps, satellite images, hand drawings, statistics, studies on various topics, political and strategical documents. We make an analysis and then, based on our conclusions, goals and opportunities, we find solutions.

But all of these have no value if you don’t take into consideration the most interesting component: people.

A city is made out of streets, buildings, parks, cars etc. But the City lives through its inhabitants: it may be one individual, a family, a whole community living on the same street, people from a neighbourhood or people that don’t even actually live there. There are all sorts of ‘people’, from one to 100.000.

For me, this is the most dynamic, unpredictable, interesting and romantic element to be found in urban planning. And travelling, with all the new places and people I discover, is the best urban planning course I’ve ever attended to.

I wrote this while on an impromptu night flight from Bucharest to Oradea. Thinking about the subject I am currently studying in my master’s degree programme, I asked myself what is the key element in today’s urban planning for megacities, what is the one thing you need to have in mind every step of the study…
The breathtaking view of Oradea at night is purely poetical: the streets at night reveal so many things about the city…