Related - my photos from Philly include a number of mural shots.
If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ve probably gathered that – while not inherently opposed to mega-projects – I am often skeptical of their value and actual vs. promised benefits. I tend to think that smaller, more creative investments can often yield greater returns. Having seen successful catalyst/anchor tenant projects in other cities, I think the key is for them to be built in scale with the surrounding environment, rather than overwhelming it. But I also believe, as I said, there are creative, cost-effective ways to improve the livability of an area as well. If you think of Whyte Avenue, High Street, and 4th Street Promenade – to my mind Edmonton’s three most successful examples of success in the city core, you’d be hard pressed to name an anchor tenant or single driving project for any of the three. Rather, the sum product of various small(er) businesses and amenities is what makes each area so great.
Though I only realized it recently, I’ve been looking at Philadelphia with Strauss’s eyes ever since that first I-95 exhibition. What I mean is that when I look at some of Philadelphia’s saddest or strangest scenes now, I don’t feel pity but have inherited Strauss’s sense of compassion and wonder. Sometimes, even in the toughest situations, it seems like Strauss wants you to laugh with her subjects. “This is humanity,” Strauss seems to be saying, “and isn’t amazing?”