Sunday, November 1, 2009

Urban Planning, Parks and Their Impacts on Planned and Un-Planned Pedestrian Peregrination

I try to walk, when I can, for exercise and as a way to get out and photograph things. I live in one of the most beautiful, historic, small towns on the east coast -- Lewes -- and work in one of the more picturesque, historic, state capitols -- Dover. Both are in Delaware, for those of you in other places.

A challenge I have, though, is familiarity. In nearly five years as a photo-hobbyist, I have walked and photographed almost all of Lewes (586 photos, so far) and Dover (737 photos). Those totals, by the way, are only those I deemed worthy of uploading to flickr.

So I am happy to report that a change in Lewes' layout has helped me change the way I look at, and photograph, the town. Lewes has recently completed and opened the Canalfront Park, the redevelopment of a rusty boatyard and adjacent state boat launching ramp into a very nice park.

This has given me new things to photograph. And it has changed the way I walk through town.

It used to be the case that when I walked into town I would walk down Second Street (our main commercial street) from Savannah Road towards the Historic Society Complex to the northwest. And so I came upon, and often photographed, St. Peter's church from its northeast corner, as at left.

Now, however, I find that I walk up to the Canal, first, wind my way through the park, and circle around to walk back up Second Street from Historic Society Complex. So I now approach, and photograph, the church from the northwest, as at right.

Of course, I could have, and probably should have, made the change on my own. But we are creatures of habit. It took a change in urban planning to nudge me just slightly off course.

It has given me a whole new perspective.


Richard said...

I like all of your pictures, but need your fans say that the picture from "behind" the church with the trees and the sunlight streaming through them is fantastic.

Mike Mahaffie said...

Thanks, I liked it too. And I was surprised by how well it turned out.

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