Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York

Designed places need four characteristics to ensure we enjoy them: mystery, complexity, coherence and legibility. So say Rachel and Steven Kaplan, in their book, Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective,  which draws on research-based analysis to understand which types of natural environments people prefer. This concept was just part of a fascinating article by Harry Wade that I stumbled across whilst researching the natural vegetation of New York. Continue reading

The High Line, New York

I recently read a definition of ‘sense of place’ as somewhere that draws you back time and time again. And so despite staying on the other side of Manhattan during my recent trip to New York – and having an impossibly long list of things I wanted to see and do – my three excursions to the High Line in the space of one week perhaps qualify this urban space as being pretty place-sensical. (Please remind me not to use that expression in my dissertation.) Continue reading

A week in New York

It would be fair to say that Midtown, New York on a cold, wet day with a jet lag-induced headache wasn’t my favourite place in the world. Especially after an almost two hour journey in from the (supposedly) thirty-minutes-away airport. It was my first visit to the city and I noticed the litter collecting in rain-filled potholes, the peeling, grimy paintwork and the fact that my cab driver was swerving all over the shop with an exceedingly heavy right foot. Continue reading