Downloaded 65 times

Take a half an hour walk through the city I live in and you will realise that it isn't designed for you as a pedestrian; it has undoubtedly lost its human element. You feel like an alien in your own world, trying to make your way through an entanglement of spaghetti-like highways. Your thoughts are drowned by the sounds of the fast paced spaceships soaring past you. You are in a non-place. A place of nowhere. A black hole. A place we humans once called a street. As an architect in this extraterrestrial world I put forward the following essay as an attempt to solving this problem.

In order to be successful in our endeavour I believe we need to break free from the stereotypical notion of the street, a street that is predominantly used for transport. We need to start seeing the street as something more than simply a connection between two points.

The street needs to become a destination in itself. It seems ironic that this notion of a street, one whose primary (mal) function of transport, is most fixed in the minds of so called "first world" thinkers, thought that is presumably forward thinking and innovative.

In the first three weeks of studying architecture I participated in an exercise whereby we documented a portion of the infamous Maltese town of Birgu. I remember many of my classmates questioning the purpose of such a task. They didn't think they could learn anything from these apparently uncivilized primitive settlements. They knew it all. For me it was a different experience, I left there in awe, it made me realise how uncivilised we "privileged" whites really were. I think it was here where I first appreciated the potential of what a street could really become. There were kids playing, women...