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6837Re: [carfree_cities] Photo site, again

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Jan 30, 2004
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      Somewhere in the postcard section there's a shot of it.
      I know it, as my publisheer is in Utrecht. It's cool!

      > I am guessing that some of the pictures in the photo site will be
      > making it into the next book as examples of approaches to building
      > humane urban environments. Browsing through a couple of the
      > categories, I noticed the collection of pictures of the Canal- or
      > river-side street or 'rio'. One example of this that seemed to have no
      > counterpart in the pictures is the Oude Gracht ("Old Canal") in
      > Utrecht. What is special about the Oude Gracht, or sections of the
      > canal, is that the canal-side street/walk is taken up with restaurants
      > and boutiques that occupy the old loading cellars of buildings behind
      > them: these former cellars are built below the actual urban street on
      > which the city buildings are themselves located. The distinction in
      > grade between the regular street and the canal-side walk sets the canal
      > of as an almost valley-like special environment, an effect that I found
      > particularly pleasant when I was there. There are probably not many
      > places that have this kind of feature (though I have seen grade
      > separation with regular parallel streets in some places); it is
      > something interesting that could probably be applied successfully
      > elsewhere given the right circumstances. Something like this could even
      > be done with a large public park or square, recessed below normal
      > street level, and lined on one or more sides by park-side streets with
      > shops and cafés appropriate to the park itself. Here is a link to a
      > (not very good) picture of the Oude Gracht, for those who have never
      > seen it:
      >
      > http://www.mitland.nl/hotel/utrecht/tour_utrecht_e.htm#05
      >
      > Here is a nice pair of pictures comparing the Oude Gracht in its
      > utilitarian days with its current appearance, near the Town Hall
      > (dignified large building in the background, slightly to the right*):
      >
      > http://www.rootsinholland.com/emigr/oudegracht.htm
      >
      > As the text says in part, the Oude Gracht is not only an attractive old
      > canal twisting through downtown, but it is also *the* place to go to
      > enjoy a drink on a terrasse or to take a tour of the city (which
      > confirms how attractive it is to Utrecht residents and others).
      >
      > Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate any better pictures on the
      > web, but for the benefit of the very few list members who happen to
      > live in Montreal, there is a very nice picture in the window of the
      > photo shop in the north-east corner of Berri-UQAM metro station, just
      > next to the STM public office, on the way to Place Dupuis.
      >
      > *This is to be contrasted with the new, renovated Town Hall: I don't
      > know if they are the same building or what or if my knowledge of Dutch
      > is not up to scratch, but the modern Town Hall is a building of a type
      > that receives fulsome praise in certain architectural picture
      > magazines. For those willing to take the plunge and evaluate this type
      > of architecture for themselves, here is a link (I recommend taking a
      > deep breath before looking):
      >
      > http://www.mitland.nl/hotel/utrecht/tour_utrecht_e.htm#07
      >
      > Chris Miller
      > Washington DC, USA
      >
      > On 28 Jan 2004, at 9:24 AM, J.H. Crawford wrote:
      >
      > >
      > > Hi All,
      > >
      > > The photo site has been further improved, although it's still beta.
      > > An extensive category listing has been added.
      >
      > > (...)
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      >
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      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... Carfree.com
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