This article was originally published on Common Edge.
There are few more powerful questions than “Where are you from?” People feel intensely connected to cities as places and to other people who feel that same kind of connection. In other words, we tend to understand and experience places in a very personal way.
Yet to understand place—indeed, to understand human settlements in general—it’s important to recognize that places are not created by accident. They are created on purpose to further a political or economic agenda. Better cities emerge when the people who shape them think more broadly and consciously about the places they are creating.