CHE | Tips on Reading a Landscape

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I had a nice conversation with a friend this weekend who commented on a typical condition of our lives – how we miss noticing things that are otherwise in our presence every day. He had stepped out on his front porch and, looking down the street, noticed a huge, “noble” tree in his neighbor’s front yard that he had, he said, never noticed before in the eleven years he lived there.

He seemed truly distressed, so I offered that there are probably lots of these things that certainly influence or affect us in some way unconsciously and yet, in the right conditions, suddenly appear as if new.

It was interesting then, to find later in the day, a reference to a program of the Center for Culture, History and Environment. Prior to one of their “Place-Based Workshops” they held something of an orientation session and developed these “Tips on Reading an Urban Landscape. They are a great primer on developing a discipline to be a bit more attentive and aware of the seen and unseen in our environments in all five senses.

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