Thursday, January 28, 2010

2. People love a village!

When I was a teenager, my parents returned from a European vacation with a 16 mil. movie my dad had shot of a beautiful fishing village called Positano on the Amalfi coast of Italy ; see image below. Unbeknowns  to me at the time it turned the interest of my young mind to places and spaces of beauty, what was special about them and what made them destinations that people would travel for thousands of miles to visit! I now head a team of architects, engineers, planners, “green” consultants, landscape architects,  interior designers and artists that design new villages!
Since those early beginnings, I have visited many beautiful towns, enjoyed them, studied them, analyzed them as an architect and painted them! - see my paintings at

People love villages. How sad to drive by an ugly old apartment building in the worst part of town and see the name on the sign,’ve guest it, Positano!

The most beautiful old villages in the world have become tourist destinations. Villages such as Portofino above,
Mykonos in Greece, Ambleside in England, Brugge in Belgium or the villages of  Vermont get hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. They serve as models of environmental beauty, places to stroll around and linger to recapture the sense of “It's great to be alive!” Some countries now have lists of villages for travelers to visit, see for instance “The Most beautiful villages in France” at
Many coffee table books now feature essays and photographs of idyllic towns and villages.

Villages come in many shapes and sizes. There are urban villages, sub-urban villages, rural villages, agricultural
villages, resort villages and sports villages. Now there are “eco” villages and even vertical villages. Even large
cities contain true urban neighborhoods that were once separate villages. New York's Manhattan has Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho, Noho etc.

Images: 1)Amalfitana   2)Ben

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