In the end, we should focus more on place-receivers as the most authentic stakeholders of meaning in the urban experience. If people cannot place-receive with a sense of acceptance and inspiration, placemaking may mean very little indeed.
For many, a dramatic contrast in height, bulk and density is the recipe for "incongruity." But, in a larger sense, don't today's urban centerpieces by definition show the latent "incongruities" of city life?
The silence of Brovès provided a stark and confounding contrast. I found while photographing the townscape that without its people, the urban form along the highway had little voice. Are there practical lessons from these two models of how a place survives?
Take a harder look, and see the reasons forests and farms have been elemental to growth management legislation, emulating the naturally evolved agricultural region that has always surrounded the City of Rome.
Unfortunately, when it comes to these far-away urban places, not all of us have real-time access to the inspirational modern projects served by transit, or the historic monuments, streets and squares that illustrate the potential of creative city life.
If places are not implemented with care, and if they leave a sense of the overly artificial and concocted, we may collectively and forever chase The Great Gatsby's symbolic green light at the end of Daisy's pier.
There's nothing new in the need for places to grow their appeal and maintain it. Throughout history, attractive locations have acted as a magnet for people, economic activity and cultural life, which all boosted their power and attractiveness.