Monday, 22 September 2014


Perhaps you know this very well, but there is a place called Celebration, a small town in Florida, built by the Walt Disney Company. An early example of New Urbanism put into practice, the people in this town seem to be living (that's right, they live there for real) on the very edge of reality as we know it. The idea of letting it snow in Florida is rather surreal by itself, but accompanied by music and voices seeming to come from nowhere in particular, it's beyond weird, seen with my European eyes.

And on the other hand: What if this works for the people who live there? Celebration is a walkable town, and people make real friendships there, just by passing each other by on porches or the sidewalks. At least it's an alternative to suburban sprawl, isn't it? And what are the alternatives? How much "real" traditional urbanism is there in the US?

I'd never live in Celebration, but perhaps we'll have to let fantasy play a bigger part in architecture when dealing with the need for reshaping society to meet the ecological crisis ahead. Is Celebration a definite answer? Absolutely not. Is it an interesting question? I would say yes.

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