Urban nature or natural city


A snapshot of our environment

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am spending a lot of time on FlickR to look at creative talents, find some inspiration and sometimes, yes sometimes, upload my own pictures in this giant iconographic agora.

Last night, I looked back at my pictures shot during the last semester and found two very interesting pictures which were echoing each other, well which were mirroring each other in fact. The first one was taken during a mountain hike in the National Natural Parc of Vannoise back in March. The later was shot in the immediate suburb of London, a city of which you can see the skyline in the background.

The reason why these two pictures stroke me is that, although being antagonists, they are the embodiment of an interesting trend: the urbanisation of the nature and its reciprocation.

Yin meets yang.

Of course, with the rise of environmental movements, the need for greater green patches in our cities is becoming always more obvious, and in a sense expected by everyone (even if the proper actions are still lagging behind the intentions). Look at the success of Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth, there is now a real collective consciousness about the environment. But this was not the case just a few years ago. As a testimony of this not so ancient time, an animation by the young Graphic Designer François Chaperon who produced this film as part of the HyPegallery project in Paris back in 2004:

Stop! Access to grass prohibited.

But anyway, the probability that we will come across a stag in another city than London and its Richmond Park is still very deem. Unless you are heading towards Brighton on a Saturday, but I reckon the stags will be of a very different species...

Mind the gap between the plains and the platform

On the contrary, as the winter picture reminds us above, the propensity to uncover urban elements in the nature are increasing. And I am not talking of dumped cars rusting in river banks here. The urban codes are spreading. For instance, when I started snowboarding in the 80s, we were assimilated to snow surfers, living in harmony with the nature. Nowadays most snowboarders are influenced by skateboarding and urban styles, snowblades are a direct transposition of in-line skating to the mountain slopes, in some US ski resorts patrols are controlling your speed with handheld radars...

So yes, nature and city are intimately bond one to the other. Like the Yin and the Yang, they need each other to exist, they balance each other, but for once I would like so much that one takes over the other...

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