When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When i was young i really wanted to be a singer/model :) i mean which child didn't i have a talent when it comes to singing but as i grew up I've seen so many violence around me that i rather be in the law enforcement agency then the victim of a crime.
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
Most of us pursued a creative education of some sort and we all remember how frustrating it was to find work, let alone know where to look.
Since all those years ago, it seems little has changed as we ask a group of recent graduates from the University of Westminster, 'Where will you begin your search for employment?'..
Most graduates paused in silence and looked at each other for a few seconds, one enthusiastic animator answered 'The Job Centre' and another 'A Recruitment Agency'. Finally, as expected from a group of young web savvy individuals, 'Online' was spoke of. Now that's more like it. But 'Where online?'
Not one single graduate could name a website.
This proved the point that creative graduates (the stimulus to the creative future) weren't aware about creative job sites. Is this due to the lack of creative job sites or the lack of support at University?
Either way, we saw this as an opportunity to create a truly 'multi-specialist' job board that would bridge the gap and fill the void of neglected talents left to the fate of other job industries.
Jobs4Creatives is for Creatives of all Levels: EntryLevel/Graduate, Junior, Middleweight, Senior.
What has been your professional career path?
I began as a production designer in a well-known Pharmaceutical ad agency, about a year out of college. It was terribly boring stuff, but a good professional environment to be in. As I grew restless there, in 1995 I relentlessly bugged someone I was introduced to, who led Young & Rubicam's new interactive division until he brought me in.
After designing online advertising and websites for large brands, I followed the Dotcom explosion and worked for a interactive marketing firm, then a VC ecommerce incubator as a Senior Art Director designing large-scale sites for well known brick-and-mortar retailers.
I've always been an entrepreneur, so in 2000 I decided to take my freelance business full-time and built out my studio, MSDS, which I run today with some really talented, fun and interesting people.
What is the business idea that you are working on right now? How did you come up with it?
I have been self-employed for about 6 months now. My small London based PR company is called L Agency Uk and offers services in Talent PR, Brand PR and High Profile Events.
My first big project within this company is to organise the very first Pride of Cameroon Awards ceremony and fill Cameroonians with a sense of celebration for their community which I truly believe, is full of talented and booming young people who make us proud and acknowledged in the entire world.
And how better to beat the drum for some of the Smoke’s Cameroonian hot stuff – from the entrepreneur to the designer to the athlete to the singer – than to host a lavish and glittering red carpet awards ceremony to laud the cream of the crop as voted by the public.
The Pride of Cameroon Awards is a creation I’ve had in mind for about a year and never dared to do. There was also the money issue but after having witnessed the huge success of CamerCouture in London last year, I went home, sat down and thought: ` I have never realized how many talented people “made in Cameroon” are out there, doing their thing and doing it well; they deserve to be given special recognitions and to know that they have the support and encouragement of their Community’.
So I’ve decided that I will work hard for a year, find sponsors who have the same beliefs as me and together - with the input of the public - we will make our awards happen.
The pharahons built pyramids, and bankers skyscrapers: will architecture always be a symbol of power?
My Urban Legacy: “Culture of Cosmopolitan Urbanism”
The art of Urbanizing
Mitigating our Urban Dilemma
Choose and Manage Urban Contexts
Natural vs. Manmade Cities and the Urban State of Mind
14,976 words on 47 pages October 30, 2007
By Barie Fez-Barringten
As I promised in my first lecture I will show “what can be done to make cities livable and worthy to be called home”.
“Culture of Cosmopolitan Urbanism” aptly describes our cosmopolitan and urban abilities to agree, disagree, peruse common goals, tolerate stress and congestion, discern between community and privacy and distribute precious resources. It is these attributes and our persistence
that will make cities livable and worthy to be called home”. Today I will present to you the opportunities and efforts to urbanize and what you can look for in monitoring your surroundings.
Amongst others, the League of Women Voters encourages Americans to make democracy work by both informed consent and participation. Urbanization is at the heart of today’s agenda affecting immigration, defense and health care. I have received an urban culture and believe that it is my responsibility to likewise share this culture.
I also believe that if we were to share our culture with others it would positively affect our urban surroundings. The culture of cosmopolitan culture is our legacy.
Because of the way, I became an architect I always considered my voice my profession, and I always professed urbanism, to me urbanism is truly significant, its settlements, built-environment, and achievements. Urbanism was my family’s way of life in the context of my birth, living and work; they were all integrated and so full of opportunity, good will and life. It was every thing I could ever imagine and I could not believe that there was any life outside of urbanity.
As I matured, I realized that there was an undefined and illusive “Culture of Cosmopolitan Urbanism”.
In a nutshell, what I s wrong with our cities?
No dissertation on the “Culture of Cosmopolitan Urbanism” would be relevant without also noting what’s wrong in our urbanized cities and what can be done to make it right.
Although, as you may have already gathered from my first lecture what’s wrong is not always solvable on a day-to-day, project, or municipal level but needs much broader policy changes at the highest levels of government, society and commerce. It is not only a design and planning problem, but a social and political problem as well. Although my former Yale professor and architect, Peter Millard, once pointed out that human nature likes to take one problem and add so many more so that they can be overwhelmed and not do anything, claiming that they are overwhelmed and overcome by multiple burdens. At home, families get stressed by bunching all the angst in one moment while society’s leaders never seem to have either time or the mindset to include urbanism on their agenda. Perhaps there are too many lobbyists distracting them from their mission. On the other hand, they deal with urbanism at another level on a daily basis. Urbanism as civilization itself is a “weighty matter”.
What are my qualifications to know what to do about urbanism?
While I may be retired from full time teaching, Lee County Government service and private architectural practice, I have not retired from the profession of communicating urbanism.
After all, as a practicing architect and urbanist even my advice to clients and my drawings all communicated urbanism’s conditions, ideals, goals and operations, even writing programs, city plans, site plans, development plans and building performance specifications. For the Gulf Oil Corporation I wrote their policies and procedures for all their construction and real estate development fast track projects. John Wiley and sons ultimately published it. Later, in Saudi Arabia I did the same thing for ARAMCO and several royal family and privately business conglomerates. My job was to see the big picture then sift it down into specific and practical elements.
Many of these works resulted in tremendous expansion of business and successful practices. Not to “toot-my-own-horn”, but I discovered in all of this that I am a great organizer and know that if I can do this so can others.
It is for this reason I have prepared these lectures and believe that “together we can do what alone we cannot”. On the other hand, I am a great believer that one person can make differences, and that one person can change urban contexts. For example, the way that Robert Moses, Rockefeller, Astor, Vanderbilt and so many others built facilities that attracted the people that urbanized cities.
From where have I gleaned this information?
Because, in part we are the product of our cities, we cannot afford to be irresponsible about its shape, ethics, and morals and well functioning. Urbanism has become such a popular subject that there are many books and commercially published articles, which have now become available on the Internet. It is from these articles I have gleaned some of the definitions, information and statistics I site in my explanations. Like many other scholars, I too look to other scholars and the results of their research; and, this field is well researched.
If more people were proud of their cities, they would encourage its betterment.
For many, cities equivocate to an identity and as we cheer for our favorite team, we do so as fans of a particular city name and location. We are rooting for our own identity, metaphor and significance.
Urbanism is manifest in our pride, how we grade our city is a measure of that pride.
The consensus we express in forming our city or what we patronize expresses our culture and identity. I believe that were this spirit d’cor prevalent it would contribute to the improvement of our cities. For example, snowbirds that have their home in another city may not call SWFL their home. You know, home is where your heart is and where your treasure lies.
Is there a city of which you are proud?
Why is the study of urbanism important?
The very idea of the city is heroic, monumental and worth supporting. We do with teams what we think we are doing with our families, government and community, communicating our rightful statues as authorized members of the strong, sovereign and civil society. Understanding urbanism is as essential a study as understanding ancient, classical, traditional and contemporary civilization, which has been the work of so many including scholars and theologians. As I said urbanism as civilization, it is a “weighty matter”.
Who determines what’s going to be built in South West Florida?
So, although SWFL has a lot of building units the stewardship of these developments is pretty much left to a few permanent residents. And these get precious little involvement from citizens but a very strong voice from real estate developers who are much more motivated.
Why each of us should care about the built-environment?
Urbanity has a life of its own when family and friends let us down the city’s commerce, institutions and facilities shore us up, educate and occupy our life with a career and vocation. The pop song “Downtown” so well describes how “we can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares and go downtown”.
How many times did I find answers in the public library, community educational outreach programs, the street, and jobs because of the proximity of one to another employer or clients, medical help in walk-in clinics and housing by going from door to door in a neighborhood I liked.
My best anecdote about the way people care for there cities is one of the many little old ladies I chatted with in a little Italian city.
She not only gave me directions, but also explained for several hours each landmark and important edifice I would pass on the way. She knew when it was built and who were the architects and the builders. This particular woman could not have had an education past the sixth grade and yet she had a passion and, like a priest imparted that passion with diligence and responsibility. I had a similar experience on an Island in the Persian Gulf with Shiite Moslems about their small urban city’s building, arts and monuments. I have many locally books and my own photos of this place. They intuitively shared their culture of cosmopolitan urbanism.
Are there urban planning tools to focus public attention on blighted areas?
Urban Clusters is a very recent planning concept but one which is ancient and already prevalent in major metropolitan areas all over the world. It was only being recognized to facilitate legislative attention and funding and to permit rezoning, zoning in blighted, and deteriorating urban and suburban cities, cities that may not even be an urban area. For example, the recent North Fort Myers “Community Development Plan” calls for three Town Centers in North Fort Myers.
What is the Florida Government doing to address urbanism?
Twelve years ago, in 1995, Richard A. Pettigrew, under the Honorable Lawton Chiles, was Chairman of the Florida Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida and delivered
“South Florida: A Sustainable Vision For 2020”.
Amongst the five broad principles was to Limit Urban Sprawl - establish urban development boundaries to protect environmental resources and encourage urban redesign and redevelopment supported by good public transportation.
Concerned to transform urban sprawl into quality development patterns, the report noted that rapid population growth and sprawling development patterns are leading South Florida down a path toward wall-to-wall suburbanization.
How does the government define urban sprawl?
The report continues, that the proliferation of urban sprawl is a development pattern characterized by scattered, decentralized, low-density development that is not functionally related to adjacent land uses-is swallowing up undeveloped areas in the region at an alarming rate. This results in the depletion of natural and other environmental resources and severely threatens the future viability of the Everglades ecosystem.
What problems does the government find that causes urban sprawl?
The growth patterns of South Florida encourage automobile reliance, which exacerbates the lack of coordination between land use decisions and sitting of transportation facilities and other infrastructure. Related consequences include competition for scarce water resources, pollution from storm water runoff, inefficient urban design, and rapid conversion of agricultural lands and other open spaces to urban uses.
The report concludes with the four pillars for improving South Florida's urban form to:
1. Establish urban development boundaries;
2. Ensure travel choices, mobility, and access through public transit,
3. Achieve infill development and redevelopment, and
4. Increase use of good urban design.
So what is the government’s report card about curbing these problems?
We are now nearly at a midpoint of the vision’s goal with about twelve years remaining and most of us, with the exception of the restoration of the Everglades, perceive little progress and a further deterioration of our home in Southwest Florida.
Do any of you have a perception of the state of the urban environment in this area, perhaps your neighborhood or nearby area?
What has been done to solve the urban crisis?
However, some of the commission’s objectives are in the works. It said it would establish urban development boundaries and recommend management and regulatory measures to achieve needed protection and restoration of the ecosystem and sustainable development within those boundaries.
Many of Florida’s Development Services panning districts have implemented their five-year comprehensive development plan and community planning boards.
These help to use urban design principles to foster individual community identity, create a sense of place, promote pedestrian oriented neighborhoods and town centers, encourage the use of public transportation, and increase urban quality of life.
What are the problems that still persist?
Many of the states planners now promote in-fill-development, redevelopment and reward developers that choose to build in the "right" place. However, many of the local and state courts still agree to settle in favor of tenacious development interests. Interests which often put profits ahead of the public good and invest their wealth in professional teams that well understand the typical town-fathers needs and necessities.
All around us there are examples of missed opportunities and run-away growth and development. One such is our traffic intersections as in the city of Cape Coral, I’m sure there is one in your neighborhood, which has three or four major streets intersecting without any architectural design features or landscape. One of the contributing cause is that such traffic planers have not considered other aspects of design and organization, Furthermore there is a blaring absence of a process and professionals in that process to bring the art of metaphors, architecture and design to make this intersection a center of civic pride. There are many cities, which add traffic circles, intersection circular light features as in Houston, and other means to punctuate the intersection.
Are there any non-government initiatives?
It could be the call of its’ chamber of commerce to harness its wealthy city-benefactors to find a business opportunity, as did the Saudi Arabia’s mayor of Jeddah who enticed businessmen to commission sculptors to design works at many intersections of his city.
He learned this lesson from visiting European cities and simply brought a very old fashioned idea into the present.
How can we use free enterprise to benefit our cities?
Most of the time, as a business, developers usually “buy-cheap and sell-dear” like any other commercial business.
To them land development is not a outcome of industry, developing the natural, human and financial wealth for the community, but only to benefit their corporate portfolio and investment interest of it s stock holders and investors.
The beneficiaries are usually not indigenous but an absentee business. Over the years, governments have developed agencies, statutes, codes and ordnances to provide guidelines and limits to protect the people’s assets. However, there are remarkable and outstanding developers of landmark exceptions as the Jeddah’s many sculptures on its city’s “traffic circles”, plazas filled with statues and fountains, Fort Myers’ old post office plaza, its city hall, library plaza, Centennial Park, and even landmark buildings such the Manhattan’s Empire State building, and Gulf Arab States Dubai and Riyadh Towers to only mention a few.
What are the basics to forming a city?
I have found that settlements form cites when the residents collectively need an authoritative corporal body, which can form armies, and municipal agencies, which can employ beurocrats and civil servants to provide services, law and order, build and maintain public facilities and manage land and property ownership.
The difference is that the population drives natural urbanization or its surrogates while synthetic by a third party, which can enable and support natural urbanization.
What is the difference between population and third party urban structures?
Natural settlements usually are site-specific emanating from a local geographical labor and material resource while an artificial development is initiated for profit as a land and real estate business, colonies as for political occupation, or when kings conquer, hold and expand their kingdom.
Natural growth occurred when in the so-called “Industrial Age”; the growth of modern industry from the late 18th century onward led to massive urbanization and the rise of new great cities, first in Europe and then in other regions, as new opportunities brought huge numbers of migrants from rural communities into urban areas. This was called the Industrial Revolution.
Later, in the United States from 1860 to 1910, the invention of railroads reduced transportation costs, and large manufacturing centers began to emerge, thus allowing migration from rural to city areas.
However, cities during those periods of time were deadly places to live in, due to health problems resulting from contaminated water and air, and communicable diseases. Still the growth was natural where the people came first and land development followed to house and supports the new populations.
American cities absorbed the populations from various global calamities such as from Ireland between 1845 and 1849 when the Great Irish Famine drove many Irish to New York City where now live more Irish than in Ireland.
Were any of you or your family members’ part of that migration?
What are the remarkable examples of urbanization?
In the Great Depression of the 1930s, cities were hard hit by unemployment, especially those with a base in heavy industry. In the U.S. urbanization rate increased forty to eighty percent during 1900-1990. The Cuban revolution of 1959 eventually filled Miami with 2 million Cubans and the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, which killed an estimated 675,000 Americans.
Today, the world's population is slightly over half urban, with millions still streaming annually into the growing cities of Asia, Africa and Latin America. There has also been a shift to suburbs, perhaps to avoid crime and traffic.
Either by election, coercion or manipulation citizens or their representatives may surrender their right to form a city to a proxy. This could be a feudal lord, conqueror, institution, or commercial interests.
Has free enterprise and city building gone out of control?
Cities formed as a business by an adversary primarily concerned about its own profit is an adversary in that it is not a surrogate and vies for its own optimum benefits.
Today sub-urbanization and urbanization has become a major industry and economic sector driving the U.S., state and local economies making land development into an industry owned and operated by major corporations who synthesize and manufacture housing, commercial and industrial properties as an industrial synthetic product.
As a product, it is subject to the same policies and procedures as the manufacture of cars, computers and “widgets”. It is planned, built and sold on an assembly line and as synthetic as a plastic cup or automobile.
As the culture was shocked by the industrial revolution rebelling against machine-made as opposed to man-made products, synthetic-built environments are also taking their toll on the ecology, energy consumption and cultural metaphors.
What are some of the other ways cities are forming and expanding?
Metropolitan Urban Areas (446 words)
An urban area is an area with an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. This term is at one end of the spectrum dividing suburban and rural areas. An urban area is more frequently called a city or town such as Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs. Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization.
Unlike an urban area, a metropolitan area includes not only the urban area, but also satellite cities plus intervening rural land that are socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties through commuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market. Long Island’s bedroom communities to offices in Manhattan are one such example.
In France, an urban area is a “zone” encompassing an area of built-up growth called an "urban unit" and a close definition to the North American “urban area” and its commuter belt, and is similar to our definition of “metropolitan area” or “metroplex”.
In the United States, there are two categories of urban areas. The term "urbanized area" denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people.
Urban areas under 50,000 people are called urban clusters.
Urbanized areas were first delineated in the United States in the 1950 census, while urban clusters (sometimes called “Town Centers”) were added in the 2000 census. However, we know that an urb is any populated area, which makes our small villages and towns urban as well. So this means that these terms are defining a much more complex and large problem. Urban clusters include those thousands of small-populated villages and towns.
There are Twin cities formed by merging into urban centers, which are born in close geographic proximity, and then grow into each other over time.
The term Twin Cities is used in the United States often to refer to the cities Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin, Dallas–Fort Worth area, Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York and Germany’s Ulm and New-Ulm.
Other examples of cities formed by merging are New York City (five boroughs, historically especially between Manhattan and Brooklyn), London which grew from its cores in the City of London and the City of Westminster to encompass many other towns and villages, Budapest which is the amalgamation of Buda and Pest and Hong Kong (Victoria City and Kowloon). In each case these city’s population increased, the quality of its built environment increased but so did urban squallier and in some cases its slums.
Can you name some other metropolitan areas?
What was one of the first modern causes of major urbanization?
If you said the first and second world wars, natural disasters and political turmoil, you would be close.
As the advent of modern art was to our western culture so was the Industrial Revolution. Modern art changed the way we perceive the world while the Industrial Revolution changed the way we think of urbanity.
The Industrial Revolution took place in the world’s great natural cites and made them greater and more populated. It spurned a revolution in the design and construction of residences in which to house labor and management in tenements, row houses and apartments.
Support facilities such as parks, schools, and hospitals were built rapidly accompanied by all sorts of entertainment and recreational facilities. As the towns were built up around factories, ports and trade railroads were built and its impact on all cities and Railroad terminals were one of the great building types of their time.
What were some of the Industrial Revolutions major milestones?
Iron and steel, and glass, long spans and plenty of light, which was first built in Paris, designed by Paxton for a world’s Fair.
Leipzig’s Hauptbanhauf, Grand Central, Pennsylvania Station, Union station Chattanooga and so many others were glorious public buildings boasting the new prosperity and potential of industrialization.
The industrial revolution, proliferation of oil related industries and the opening of international markets gave the corporate predominance in American culture, which spilled over into property development
The real estate development corporation which built inside natural cities now expanded to build outside of natural cities into the suburbs and to develop Global or World cities as prominent centers of trade, banking, finance, innovations, inventions, products, and markets such as cloths, shoes, suits, dresses, roofing, siding, and even buildings. These were marketed in national journals such as the Sears Catalog and Rotogravure. Whereas "mega city" referred to any city of enormous size, a global city is one of enormous power or influence... Examples of such cities include London, New York City, Paris and Tokyo.
What are some the ways city builders have innovated to handle the increased population?
Urbanism has its own language as when urban architects refer to spines as the dominant linear feature while a ring road is built around a city avoiding the city’s congestion.
The Central Business District, called the CBD, is the urban core while every urban area has traffic ways, sidewalks, ambulatories, open space, cross intersections, nodes, plazas, open space and vest pocket parks on urban blocks to fill the space left by the demolition of a an existing building.
When planning a building the urban architect examines the floor- to -area ratio to let light and air into dense urban areas and provides easements for utilities and common access.
Books and ordinances have been written defining the differences between community and privacy and the hierarchies of increasingly public and private spaces as Yale and Cambridge. Modern planners have invented circular, radiant, Green belt, Matrix and cuneiform (swastika) planning geometries.
Urbanism’s more modern innovations include elevated walkways connecting towers as Ralph Durden designed for Federated Department Stores in Cincinnati and the grand boulevards of many large and small cities, not to mention mass transit innovations such as the trolleys, busses, subways, elevated tracks and rapid rail trains. Developers specializing in dense city high-rise urban buildings continuously innovate, invent better systems of vertical and horizontal people movers and healthier air-conditioning as thousands of people live, and work in dense conditioned space all year long.
In this way, the urban space is a totally synthetic environment, which insists on being tolerant and resilient to a variety of national and ethnic backgrounds, especially people who must adjust out of rural and sub-urban contexts.
What are some of the modern building types?
Some of the urban building types were designed by Le Corbosier’s such as his “Marseille Block” with undeveloped land around the building, not in urban context but on outskirts of downtown Marseille, and Moshe Safte’s “Habitat” in Montreal. This is an example of a synthetic development in a natural urban area. There are resort cities in Germany such as Bad Poi Mont; Baden Baden, which includes infrastructure, surrounded by nature and underground healing baths. Such buildings included residence, schools, recreation, shopping and work places thus circumventing the need for daily use of either mass transit or the automobile.
What affect has the automobile had on urbanity?
On the other hand, today’s Rome is a nightmare for city planners trying to adopt the city to modern times without destroying or uprooting its precious landmarks.
Traffic is a disaster in cities, which build and grow naturally compounding one bad choice after another and having to work around the givens of yesterdays metaphors, which seem irrelevant and outdated but have value as a record of the culture’s past accomplishments, victories or tragic history.
In all, automobiles are used to accommodate travel from urb to country, urb to sub-urbs, urb to urb and sub-urb to sub-urb.
However, except on heavy traversed paths public transportation and overly wide highways are not feasible unless subsidized by the government or expensive tolls. Recently, while the State of Florida voted to build a mass transit system it later lost the states vote to fund the project.
The manufactures of the automobile and traffic caused by the construction of highways challenged the urban experience. In New York, Robert Moses was deterred by Jane Jacobs not to divide Manhattan into pieces as he had done to the Bronx.
However, Cities like Manila, Bangkok, Atlanta, and Manhattan still have congestion and time-travel problems. The inexpensive solution is solution is mass transit.
However, most architectural scholars agree that the advent of oil has brought the developed countries an abundant supply of energy to power their electric grids and oversupply every citizen with private vehicles thus making the world dependent on dangerous sources for the supply of oil. Given the original definition of city as being “of the citizen”, you can say that the city the world wants is different from before the invention of the combustion engine and the automobile. The modern concept of the city is the LA model of highways and urban-like destinations. This model has been extended to Texas and extrapolated successfully to cities in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Bahrain, miniature versions of these models appear in every area of America, Gulf Arab States and is spreading globally.
While today’s cities have been impacted by banks and business buildings, highway systems, air travel, airports, and mass transit have overwhelmed and swallowed the pedestrian and the freedom once enjoyed by urban dwellers to enter and leave the city while aggressive and creative corporate entrepreneurs employ architects, planners and designers to create and satisfy market expectations, such as William Levitt and Levitt Town and the city father’s of Columbus Ohio, Los Angeles and New Towns such as the Irvine Ranch in California, RESTON and Columbia Maryland by James Rouse. Of course, South West Florida is not immune from the recent investment by major national real estate, financial and banking corporations.
Modern technology brought about by the discovery of abundant oil and electricity has spurned a profusion of automobiles, highways, airplanes, electrification of cities and air-conditioning, not to mention the invention of the elevators, radio, television, and computers to cities.
Cites have been able to be planted and developed away form rail but in proximity to airports such as Reston, Dallas/ Fort Worth, Frankfort, Los Angeles, Seattle, Montreal, Vancouver, and cities in Israel and the mid east as well as many industrial cities in every country and satellite cities in major large metropolitan areas.
What are the local innovative measures to make cities more livable?
Urbanity at a smaller scale in our own area has manifest in Naples, which was originally platted in 1887 as a grid off the Gulf of Mexico and in 1994, Duany was commissioned by the Fifth Ave. chamber to stem the flow of business out of the city. To do this city council formed The Fifth Avenue South Association and The Downtown Naples Association (DNA) has joined forces with The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce to form one of the strongest, most encompassing visitor centers and local business advocacy organizations in Southwest Florida.
Some of the recent and current urban projects in Naples include the Naples Down Town Redevelopment includes “rezoning downtown”, “2001 Heart of Naples” with a three million dollar bond to build infrastructure and civic design and make parking accessible and plentiful with covered decks, the “Renaissance Village”, “Grand Central Station”, “Renaissance Center”, and the “Four Corners” which is a 100 foot wide pedestrian connector to connect parking to the Renaissance Center.
However, some of the streets merchants recently complain of higher than bearable rents, vacant storefronts and the onslaught of banks and financial organizations to fill the vacancies thereby changing the ambience, romance and street imagery.
Recent Urban Projects in Fort Myers include a redesign of the “River District”, “Eastwood Village”, “Berwyn”, and “Hampton Park” and planned work on blighted areas.
Recent Urban Projects in Lehigh acres include “The Fountains”, a 4700-unit development on 19,000 Acres, and a Mixed Use Homestead Development.
Recent Urban Projects in Fort Myers Beach include the improvement of “Times Square” which includes large commercial and business development. I can also tell you about many administrative, code and ordinances which will eventually lead to the improvement of the health, safety and welfare of the people living in the area.
Are there any urban cluster projects I have forgotten?
Are there any questions so far?
What is a synthetic city and urban enclave?
Synthetic Cities and Urban Enclaves:
(1,504 on 5 pages)
In modern times a synthetic urb is usually formed by a corporate person who synthesis (develops) urban structure(s) by developing property (land or an existing building) which is then populated by strangers, company employees, settlers, migrants, retirees, and merchants, who do not have a hand in the authorship of the place but may be elected to govern and manage the artificial development. Artificial in that it was made without regard to the particular needs of any one-person, but rather an arbitrarily imposed, unnatural, non-specific design that fits all. Because there are no specific potential occupants the development is based on arbitrary, superficial characteristics rather than natural, organic relationships. The program for the design is inherently artificial and imagined and not based on the needs and necessities of owners who commission the design and construction.
How are synthetic cities formed?
It is artificial in that the future occupants were not attracted to migrate to the urb because of jobs, business, or trade that might have resulted from the exploitation and development of any natural resources. New towns, colonies, and company-owned towns plan, build and invited people, anticipating future buyers, markets or tenants. The land is developed to accommodate future population’s potential demand for such developed property. A synthetic development is one where the developer proposes and petitions the community to create the development in the hopes they agree with the developer’s assessment that the development meets or exceeds their future possible needs and city plans.
However, there is an exception when the community initiates and requests the proposal because of its own perceived needs arising from increased population, industrialization, or commercialization it is becomes a natural urban form petitioned by the people. Often a city’s chamber of commerce and municipality may petition private developers and utility companies for hotels, parking garages, public mass transit, power, septic and sewage plants.
These private and publicly held developers artificially synthesize the form and opportunity for the agreements needed to build and operate a city as opposed to when populations settle to exploit natural resources, ports or intersecting trade routes. Corporate developments such those made by Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO’s Dhahran, Abquiq and Ras Tanura, Brasilia in Brazil, RESTON and Columbia in Maryland are just a few that come to mind.
Cities were not only synthetically formed and natural cities spurned to further growth by the corporate developer but natural cites began to merge and combine into new super municipal corporations. The dynamics of natural cities gave birth to corporate developers when they built synthetic projects in natural cities. For example, when Rockefeller Corp took their idea of corporate building to developing new cities in Latin America and other multi-national corporations built their company towns all over the world. Corporations contribute to the growth of both natural and synthetic corporate developments.
How is a synthetic city different from a natural city?
It is synthetic because it is synthesized and not indigenously formed but manufactured using all separate and non-contextual materials, parts and assemblies except the land upon which the product and its sub products are synthesized. The product combines desperate elements into one form from hitherto unrelated and foreign parts as an automobile or any manufactured product. With this in mind in 1973, Forrest Wilson, then dean of the newly formed College of Architecture at Athens, Ohio University invited me to lecture to the entire university on “Industrial Architecture” where I presented my research on the prefabrications for the 1972 Munich Olympics, the German manufactured home industry and corporate planning systems used by newly emerging real estate developers.
What are the advantages of a Synthetic City?
However, synthetic urbanization does for a citizenry what they supposedly they cannot do for themselves, either because of the system of government, economics, and dramatic inordinate population growth Life, for instance in Florida counties, or catastrophic shrinkage (Cites after a war as Leipzig, Germany) and one other where merchants create a city in the sea as Venice and Rotterdam.
What is missing from a synthetic city?
A city so formed is said not to be so-called real or genuine but something else. It has many things but lacks history, evolution, personalization and indigenous character. Its place, operations, author, corporation, investors, and name brand such as Disney’s “Celebration” and Barron Collier Cos. and Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan’s “Ave Maria”.
In metaphoric terms while the synthetic developer may have fabricated metaphors, poems and songs about the artificial place. The place does not make the strange familiar because it does not tap into any historical, familiar or cultural fact. Being a fabrication and without intrinsic history and a real life it can only allude to a past in the mind of the future occupant or recall a distant time and place. It can be thematic and imaginative but it can only be a copy of a real place that developed naturally.
However perfect may be a man-made synthetic city it will be imperfect because it lacks the imperfections, history, and consensus of the natural city, New Towns, such as RESTON, Virginia provide a government and management organization to operate the development, and HUD requires most PUD and other publicly occupies developments to operate under statutes and ordinances, which require homeowner, tenant and condominium associations. However, and over time these synthetic developments soon develop their own history and metaphors, which are then made part of the culture.
However, with all of these regulating mechanisms it is like a robot without a cold, headache or attitude; furthermore, it is predictable and regimented. Like a book, movie or play you’ve seen a hundred times. It is possibly boring and uninteresting.
While many today find Venice wonderful there are many who find it unlike other Italian cities because Venice has become lifeless and lacking normal Italian culture (It is a museum of great architecture and engineering artistry).
Can you think of any such places?
Why are we attracted to synthetic places?
The attraction to Synthetic Places
Future inhabitants are not attracted by an economic opportunity but the life –style and recreation promised at the New York City World’s Fair; “Building the world of Tomorrow” in 1939/1940. Like a car or any other product developed by a composition its consensus comes from market and feasibility studies and ability to penetrate and operate within the market place and convince buyers of the value of the uniformity, reliability and profitability of the product. It has turned most homeowners from a mere citizen into a business man hoping to someday recover profit from the sale of a product, his home, a home whose marketability is based on international cosmopolitan and recognizable values. In some ways, it has some the appeal of a science fiction context designed to present a world without history, family and the abnormalities and trivia of real life pursuits. It is an escape and synaptic solution to arguing about zoning, building permits, budgets, limits of natural resources and limited ability for society to grow and adopt. In one swoop the synthetic urban form solves all threw problems and presents a new tomorrow.
Synthetic cities are cities initially designed and controlled by a central and organized authority with a specific social, business and philosophical goal such as “Broad more”, “Arsenate”, and Green belt circular city, where design and form are dominate determinate.
Synthetic Cities are artificially manufactured and not made by a series of natural circumstances, as Vincent Scully once pointed out American cities are often created and changed “cataclysmically”.
In 2004, Scully said about his role in “Modernism”:
“ I was a confirmed Modernist………………………..I think we were very wrong. We had very cataclysmic and simplistic ideas about city planning, for example.
We really didn't have any respect for the traditional fabric of our cities, which is a miraculous development over centuries of time, much more important architecturally than the development of anything having to do with individual houses. Just the street, the curb, the grass strip, the trees, the sidewalks -- this is a marvelous urbanistic structure. What I learned as time went on was that Modernism was very faulty, in view of what architecture was. That it was a simplistic view of architecture. It was predicated on an arbitrary aesthetic. It was totalitarian in its mode of thinking. Everybody had to do things one way”.
What have Synthetic cities Have I been involved?
I have been involved in the design and construction of a few synthetic urbs such as Housatanic Horizons in Connecticut’s Lake as well as Shopping centers at highway interchanges, subdivision designs, Planned Unit Developments, new towns for the Gulf Oil Corporation such as Reston, Virginia, and for People’s Protective, Sugar Tree and English Mountain in Tennessee and many towns and villages in Saudi Arabia for ARAMCO, Yanbu and Jubail Royal commission and Internal Security Forces. In fact, I supervised the design of eleven such housing projects in eleven different municipalities and one Sports Park in Saudi Arabia.
What are the ways institutions have tackled urbanization and how effective are such institutions and their recommendations?
Movements, Associations, and institutions concerned with urbanism
As I said before synthetic urb is a product of a corporate systematic production process best suited for controlled environment of a factory but when overlaid on a existing inhabited area becomes a matter of building in what is industrially called “simultaneous operations”, manufacturing new while the old continues production.
What are the efforts to argue for the redistribution of federal and State’s budgets in favor of urban renewal?
Rockefeller Commission Report and Metropolitan Areas
In March 27, 1972 and long before the latest corporate global urban industry, about National Population Distribution and Migration Policies the Rockefeller commission report found that the percent of the population living in large places was rising, with much of this shift is due to natural increase. Furthermore, the average densities of urbanized areas are declining, not rising.
The appropriate scale at which to grasp emerging settlement patterns includes the metropolitan area, but goes beyond it to the urban region—a constellation of urban centers dispersing outward.
Basically, the urban region is an adaptation of adjacent urban centers to underlying economic change and to most Americans’ desire for dispersed suburban living. The easy communication among urban places in urban regions permits the smaller metropolitan areas to benefit from the economic advantages of agglomeration, while avoiding some of the penalties of excessive size and density.
How can the source of budgets to be used for urban renewal be increased?
The answer was the metropolitan area I explained earlier.
The Rockefeller commission report noted that the increased complexity and scale made the continued fragmentary approaches to metropolitan planning and development progressively more costly and wasteful. This suggested that the basic responsibilities for planning settlement patterns, new public facilities, and public services should be at the metropolitan level.
To encourage this comprehensive approach and local cooperation, the major portion of federal funds to support planning activities in metropolitan areas should go to the appropriate multi-purpose area-wide planning agency. These agencies, in turn, can support planning efforts for individual jurisdictions within the metropolitan area. A great example of a comprehensive approach is the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) UDC was formulated in New York city to combine the best of government with the private sector to cut through red tape and renew the urban cores. It worked and mid-town Manhattan became a beautiful and safe place to invest and live.
In addition to better and more active planning at the state level, state development agencies may be desirable to implement development plans on a broad geographical basis. To function effectively in such a role, these agencies must have broad powers to acquire land, to override local ordinances, and actually to carry out development plans.
While the need for such organizations is gradually being recognized, only New York State has actually established one.
In its first years of operation, the Urban Development Corporation showed that it could be an effective mechanism, particularly for improving housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. It is also committed to actively promoting orderly urban development and is currently involved in the development of several new communities throughout the state.
The early success of the Urban Development Corporation, and its promise for effectively guiding orderly urban development, suggests that it would be a good model for other states.
I recently pointed this out to an American Institute of Architect’s panel discussion on urban design tackling ways breaking down the barriers of special and competing interests. It was apparent that while the panel raised many important points their empirical experience and knowledge was very limited. This problem is likewise shared by many elected and appointed surrogates of the people charged with major responsibility in either natural or synthetic urbanization. Many of who have contributed to sprawl with granting and supporting government subsidies for infrastructure, which have disguised the true cost of sprawl. Examples include subsidies for highway building, fossil fuels, and electricity.
The Rockefeller commission report came forty years after the formation of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), which was formed "to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide,” not only nationally, but world wide. ULI advocates progressive development, covering topics such as sustainability, smart growth, compact development, place making, and workforce housing. Industrialists have long been faced with the need to both house and grow labor force communities and to invest in secure real property for long term corporate value.
As the guest of a Saudi real estate development family I attended one of its’ meetings in New Orleans and in 1976,I became active in the National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives (NACORE) as I dealt with the Gulf Oil’s urban properties. It was during this time that these corporations and organizations were tooling-up to nationalize and globalize urban land development as a business and industry to the extent that when oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere such companies were already prepared to design and build community compounds to house foreign workers.
They became very experienced in building everything where nothing before existed, in other words to synthesize a community. With this latent experience, they could easily plan and develop other development products as a stand-alone profit center. And so the corporate development companies evolved and separated as real estate development corporate businesses and universities offered graduate degrees in the administration property development.
Using the example of these institutions what are some of the principles of the culture of cosmopolitan urbanism at work?
What are the basic principles of culture of cosmopolitan urbanism?
1. Civic Pride and vision
2. Vested interest and ownership
3. Long range investment and planning
4. Improved property and value of context in which to live and do business.
5. Initiative and responsibility to life changing principles
What are some of the social initiatives to facilitate urbanism?
While many would argue against government control, there are others that see government’s duty to control urbanization as a board of directors controls its corporate assets.
Principles of Intelligent Urbanism (PIU) is one of many systems of theories to guide urban planning originated by architect Louis Sert at Harvard and is composed by of a set of ten axioms for the formulation of city plans and urban designs. They are intended to reconcile and integrate diverse urban planning and management concerns.
In my book published by John Wiley and sons, I too defined policies and procedures for the proposals, programming, design and construction of buildings and support facilities.
Principles of Intelligent Urbanism (PIU) hopefully represents the will of the people in the hands of their elected official s as they set about to be the arbiters between the developers and the people, however, created these. Architects predate so-called “planners” by thousands of years so to deal with overpopulation and extreme demand, systems like PIU has been created.
They are not only followed by corporate developers but also used to win variances for new development order approvals in areas where land prices are below market and a profit can be made.
Replete with metaphors, these PIU axioms include:
1. Environmental sustainability,
2. Heritage conservation,
3. Appropriate technology,
4. Infrastructure efficiency,
5. Place making,
6. Social access,
7. Transit oriented development,
8. Regional integration,
9. Human scale, and,
10. Institutional integrity
American Institute of Architects Blueprint for America
is to engage architects and community leaders in a discussion about the future of their town, city and region. The different strategies for SW Florida include
1. New Town Planning
2. Community Master Planning
3. Downtown redevelopment
4. River district Plan
5. Fort Myers beach Times Square project
6. Rural Land Plan
A.I.A. eight essential elements to make livable communities are
1. A sense of place
2. Mixed-Use Development
4. Effective Planning for Regional Transportation
5. Street-Savvy Design
6. Physical Health and Community Design
7. Public Safety, Personal; Security
8. A Sustainable Approach to Neighborhood and Regional Development.
What is one of the more popular political initiatives facilitating urbanization?
Not only has smart growth been institutionalized but also it has been legislated by many state governments.
Because of its attractive weather, comparatively lower land cost and fewer commercial or governmental impediments to planning and land development, Florida is one of several “growth states” taking up the expansion of population and drive of the so-called baby boomers to utilize their affluence and mobility.
Smart Growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in the center of a city to avoid urban sprawl; and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walk able, bicycle-friendly land use, including mixed-use development with a range of housing choices.
Long before former, vice-prescient Al Gore first promulgated smart growth; transportation and community planners began to promote the idea of compact cities and communities in the early 1970s. The cost and difficulty of acquiring land (particularly in historic and/or areas designated as conservancies) to build and widen highways caused some politicians to reconsider basing transportation planning on motor vehicles.
One wonders about the political implications of urbanism between conservative and liberal, redistribution of population and wealth, socialism verses capitalism, political parties and persons vying for power and control.
Encouraging growth, smart or otherwise, builds political continuants deciding whether to facilitate urbanism in natural existing or create new cities on developed land.
Does anyone have any thoughts about the politics of urbanism?
What other countries have initiated urbanization programs?
Architect Peter Calthorpe promoted and popularized the idea of urban villages that relied on public transportation, bicycling, and walking instead of automobile use. Colin Buchanan and Stephen Plowden helped to lead the debate in the United Kingdom.
However, to offset these advantages the market has recently found that weather, fishing, boating and golf were not enough and the need for the big-city metaphoric cultural institutions and amenities were needed. Hence, a recent market has developed thematic urban clusters featuring theatres, entertainment and recreation normally associated with large urban centers. Urbanization and urban design has become a major professional industry on a global scale. On a mega scale the way Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Minneapolis, and others emulate other natural cities.
Smart Growth values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus.
Its goals are to achieve a unique sense of community and place; expand the range of transportation, employment and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; and promote public health.
In general, smart growth invests time, attention, and resources in restoring community and vitality to center cities and older suburbs. New smart growth is more town-centered, is transit and pedestrian oriented, and has a greater mix of housing, commercial and retail uses. It also preserves open space and many other environmental amenities.
What has been the design professions response?
Enter André’s Duany and his wife Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. In 1949, Duany was born in New York City (my fair city), but grew up in Cuba where he lived until 1960.
Duany received his undergraduate degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University, and after a year of study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and as I, received a master's degree in architecture from the Yale School of Architecture.
Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk has been dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture since 1995; Plater-Zyberk began teaching at the University of Miami School of Architecture in 1979 and created a graduate program in Suburb and Town Design in 1988. Duany and Plater-Zyberk (DPZ) founded Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company in 1980 and both are now headquartered in Miami, Florida
DPZ became another initiative to stem sprawl and attract density into established developed areas and a leader in the national movement called the “New Urbanism”.
New Urbanism seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestments and DPZ have been involved in the Fifth Ave project in Naples, Down Town Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Stuart, Amelia Park, Sarasota, coconut grove, and Tampa to only name a few.
What are the principles of Smart Growth and do they coincide with the
“Culture of Cosmopolitan Urbanism” ?
The Principles of Smart Growth are:
• Create Range of Housing Opportunities and Choices
• Create Walk able Neighborhoods
• Encourage Community and Stakeholder Collaboration
• Foster Distinctive, Attractive Communities with a Strong Sense of Place
• Make Development Decisions Predictable, Fair and Cost Effective
• Mix Land Uses
• Preserve Open Space, Farmland, Natural Beauty and Critical Environmental Areas
• Provide a Variety of Transportation Choices
• Strengthen and Direct Development towards Existing Communities and
• Take Advantage of Compact Building Design
As you can see, the “Culture of Cosmopolitan Urbanism” picks up where smart growth ends, Smart growth deals with the physical while the Culture of Cosmopolitan Urbanism” deals with the social.
What are the basic principles of the culture of cosmopolitan urbanism?
1 Civic Pride and vision: yes as smart growth encourages community and stakeholder collaboration
2 Vested interest and ownership
3 Long-range investments and planning
4 Improved property and value of context in which to live and do business.
5 Initiative and responsibility to life changing principles.
However, without one with out the other it is incomplete and may be why there is relatively little public support for smart growth.
Confirming the observations of the Rockefeller report there is the metaphoric issue of property rights and the right to live in low density.
This flies in the face of the non-sprawl and economic solutions of condominiums and cooperatives that share tax and maintenance costs?
In The Politics of "Smart Growth" by C. Kenneth Orski, he says, “Most observers believe that Smart Growth and the campaign for livability will remain largely symbolic gestures.
As one local elected official remarked, "the broad public does not regard scattered development as undesirable.
Vice President Gore's rhetoric notwithstanding, the average American associates quality of life and livability with low rather than high residential density,” a point of view that was long ago promulgated by Frank Lloyd Wright and confirmed by the way the absorption rate of synthetic developments in every state in the union save those in no-growth communities.
About urbanism, what else is on the mind of the consuming public and political constituents?
In his book titled Smart Growth Fraud, Michael S. Coffman of the “American Land Foundation” he says that “for decades urban planners have adhered to the mantra that urban sprawl increases pollution and housing costs, more driving time to work and shopping, stress, and the escalating consumption of scarce farmland and open space. Al Gore’s Smart growth was created to supposedly correct these problems and create more livable and inexpensive homes for all.
Irrefutable evidence, however, shows that urban planning creates the very nightmares it is supposed to eliminate.
In the process, it strips urbanites of one of their most fundamental civil liberties — property rights." Witness inner massive inner city housing projects, which became the home to pimps and drug dealers.
Are there urban contexts, which have solved some of these problems?
It should be noted that in large, medium and small cities there are multiple housing types and single and two family houses. There is also very large single family owned apartments as coops and condominiums in well-kept, convenient and safe neighborhoods. There are neighborhoods in Columbus, Kansas, Manhattan and so many others with large single-family houses. Large urban cities need not have only one or another building type.
In Lee County, we have Smart Growth and Community planning districts to update the Comprehensive Five Year Plan and the City of Fort Myers has already begun re-planning its downtown using these very principles involving local architects and planners.
What other methods have corporate developers found to persuade counties to grant variances and surrender the use of their undeveloped lands?
Rural Land System=RLS
Another such movement, associations, and institutions concerned with urbanism is Rural Land System=RLS
At a conference of university’s presidents the Ave Maria president told a gathering of guests of the Southwest Florida Chamber of Commerce that Ave Maria was a product of the RLS where a private large corporate developer invited Ave Maria, so as to meet some of the RLS objectives.
Earlier, I learned from Lee County planners that this scheme ultimately preempted some of Lee County’s wetlands and watershed. Like the Babcock Ranch developers and others who studied the current urban requirements, the developers were able to argue and win variances from local officials. The engineering firm of Wilson Miller developed RLS and the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council approved the project.
In addition, these projects also include a percentage of so-called “affordable” housing of which Lee County Commissioner John Albion was worried that what will be labeled affordable housing won't be affordable for long. Buyers might purchase a home at an affordable price, but could turn around and sell it for much more, which would make affordable housing almost impossible to find in Ave Maria.
He compared the project with Florida Gulf Coast University.
He said people working the lower-paying jobs at the university no longer could afford to live in the area because they can't afford the homes. He recommended the county and Ave Maria work to create a plan that would keep affordable housing affordable.
Here are some of the numbers: in Ave Maria the cost of a single-family home likely will range from $195,000 to $500,000; multi-family homes, such as condominiums, likely will range from $125,000 to $300,000; and rental properties likely will range from $650 to $1,400 a month and have 200 very low-income units. Ave Maria officials also have said they plan to donate a 28-acre site within 10 miles of the town of Ave Maria to Habitat for Humanity of Collier County.
Habitat will build 150 owner-occupied affordable housing units. Cost of so-called affordable housing is usually over $150,000.
Ave Maria at a glance
• Ave Maria will cover 4,995 acres.
• Ave Maria University is expected to serve 6,000 students. There are now an estimated 300 at the interim campus in the Vineyards in North Naples. The town will include:
• 11,000 residential units
• 690,000 square feet of retail space
• 510,000 square feet of office space
• 35,000 square feet of medical office space
• 148,500 square feet of civic/community and miscellaneous facilities
• 400 hotel rooms
• 1,800 acres of parks, lakes and open space
• An oratory, and
• A private school for grades K-12 and a public high school that will be located off-site.
Have any visited Ave Maria, and what do you think of the project?
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What are some the man-made organizing design elements of the urban city?
The great Boulevards of the World
Of course, Ave Maria will have a huge church and a great boulevard. Cites are composed of specific great boulevards, avenues and plazas. Many developments such as Ave Maria base their plans and designs on famous prototypes.
For example, the Champs-Élysées is the most prestigious and broadest avenue in Paris. Its full name is actually "Avenue des Champs-Élysées". With its cinemas, cafés, and luxury specialty shops, the Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world, and with rents as high as $1.25 million a year for 1,000 square feet of space, it remains the 2nd most expensive strip of real estate in the world (the first in Europe) after New York City's Fifth Avenue.] The name refers to the Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed in Greek mythology. I always call it the road to paradise. Its wide sidewalks allow one to stride amidst hoards of people while others may meander or even stop at windows or converse. It is exhilarating and uplifting.
I have often gone and walked alone on its entire length. I recall one July 14, Bastille day riding down the Champs-Élysées in a 1911 open convertible with other young boys shooting off guns and singing. Our ride went around the Arch d’Triumph and terminated into the seine where we emerged to the ramparts while the vehicle sank into the deep.
Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the center of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Lined with expensive park-view real estate and historical mansions, it is a symbol of wealthy New York. Between Thirty-fourth and Fifty-ninth streets, it is also one of the premier shopping streets in the world, on par with Oxford Street in London and the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
It is one of the most expensive streets in the world, on a par with Paris, London, and Tokyo lease prices: the "most expensive street in the world" moniker changes depending on currency fluctuations and local economic conditions from year to year.
Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in London, England in the City of Westminster. With over 300 shops, it is Europe's largest shopping street.
Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich is one of the world's most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues.
The Kurfürstendamm, known locally as the Ku'damm, is one of the most famous avenues in Berlin, Germany. The street takes its name from the former Kurfürsten (Electors) of the Holy Roman Empire. This very broad, long boulevard can be considered the Champs-Élysées of Berlin - full of shops, houses, hotels and restaurants. In particular, most important famous designers have their shops there like Gucci, Bvlgari, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Cartier, Hermès, Swarovski, as well as several car manufacturers' show rooms.
Boston’s Quincy Market.
Today, "festival markets" are a dime a dozen - every city, it seems, has a collection of old brick buildings turned into chic little stores and endless restaurants.
But the one that blazed the path was Boston's Quincy Market. Back in the mid-1960s, James Rouse, then a city planner, had a revolutionary idea: instead of abandoning downtown to decay, why not build a fun marketplace that would not only attract tourists, but also keep workers downtown after dark.
Munich’s Marienplatz, (Mary's Square in English), is a central plaza in the city center of Munich, Germany since 1158. In the Middle Ages, markets and tournaments were held in this city square. The new city hall’s Glockenspiel was inspired by these tournaments and draws millions of tourists a year.
Bull fight arenas in Spain and particularly in Madrid where I sold bullfight tickets to tourist and in Pamplona where during the festival of San Fermin I ran with the bulls through the streets.
Arenas are great social gathering places where wine is squeezed out of leather sacks and the crowed cheer for their cities urban hero, the toreador that Bisset made famous in Carmen. We saw it performed in Paris long after it premiered at the Opéra Comique 1875. The Opéra-Comique is an opera company and opera house in Paris.
These operas, ballets, and operettas as well their buildings, costumes, orchestras and players all celebrate, exaggerate and explain urban life and the plight of city life. For America, that music is jazz country, rock, and Dixie-land.
Southern Boulevard: Not to be outdone, the neighborhood in which I grew up in the Bronx had an 800 foot double block-long super wide boulevard with three movie theatres, on having a stage show, two Chinese restaurants, one huge ballroom dance hall, two music shops with speakers facing the street playing the latest, every clothing, candy and decorating shop and three five and ten cent stores including Kresgee, Kress and Woolworth’s. I even worked in one shop for many years and at night; our family would ambulate from one side and then the other usually having a “mello-role’ before going walking around the corner to our Simpson Street ground floor tenement apartment. I can name others such Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
Can you name and describe a great boulevard in your city?
The study of urbanism must include the great urban monuments including Boulevards, Avenues, Areas, and Plazas of the World including:
• Plaza d’ Concorde in Paris
• Piazza Novanna in Rome
• Columbus circle in Manhattan
• Arch d’ Triumph in Paris
• Washington Square in Manhattan
• St Stephan in Vienna
• Los Ramblas in Barcelona
• Parco Güell by Gaudi in Barcelona
• South Beach in Miami
• Roman forum
• Venice’ San Marco Square and the Campanile
• Red Square
• China’s Tieneman Square
• Times Square in Manhattan
• Fulton fish Market in Lower Manhattan
• Staten Island Ferry
• Statue of Liberty
• Tamiami Trail and thousands of other strip roads in the United States of America
• The Las Vegas Strip
And, American Shopping Malls, including the Galleria in Houston, which was built by Gerald Hines to be an air-conditioned version of the Milan, Italy original. Mr. Hines started out selling air conditioners in Texas.
What are the natural design features around which cities may be planned?
Cites are famous for there rivers and urban architecture on the river
• San Antonio and it s River Walk
• San Francisco’ Golden Gate bridge and environs
• Seine in Paris
• Florence and Rome and the Arno
• Germany’s Ruhrgebit common to Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Duisenberg
• Venice, its canals, the famous San Marco Square, and the Campanile. (See Barie’s pen and ink)
Great Urban Buildings of the World include
• White House
• Taj Mihal
• Notre Dame
• Buckingham Palace
• St. Peter’s
• Dead Seas Scrolls in Israel
• Kabba in Mecca
• Eiffel Tower
• Empire State Building
• World Trade Center
• City forms radial: 2 Dimensional
In summary, aside from the culture of cosmopolitan urbanism what are some of all the movements, initiatives and legislations?
1. Rockefeller commission 2. Urban Development Corporation
3. Urban Land Institute 4. Principles of Intelligent Urbanism
5 Smart Growth and 6. Rural Land system
Is there one umbrella strategy to which many on both sides of the debate agree and can proceed?
Yes, and its called the New Urbanist!
As I mentioned earlier “Urbanist” are specialist in the study and planning of cities and “New Urbanism” is an urban design movement that burst onto the scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It tries to bring urban values into new construction.
New Urbanist aim to reform all aspects of real estate development and their work affects regional and local plans. They are involved in new development, urban retrofits, and suburban infill. In all cases, New Urbanist neighborhoods are walk able, and contain a diverse range of housing and jobs.
New Urbanist support regional planning for open space, appropriate architecture and planning, and the balanced development of jobs and housing. In a goal-oriented society these seem to very appropriate and compatible with the culture of cosmopolitan urbanism.
By the way, I got most of the Information about New Urbanism from Internet and the “New Urbanism” and “Duany” web sites.
They believe these strategies are the best way to reduce how long people spend in traffic, to increase the supply of affordable housing, and to rein in urban sprawl.
Many other issues, such as historic restoration, safe streets, and green building are also covered in the Charter of the New Urbanism, the movement's seminal document.
They stand for the restoration of existing urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions, the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs into communities of real neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural environments, and the preservation of our built legacy.
They recognize that physical solutions by themselves will not solve social and economic problems, but neither can economic vitality, community stability, and environmental health be sustained without a coherent and supportive physical framework.
They advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.
They represent a broad-based citizenry, composed of public and private sector leaders, community activists, and multidisciplinary professionals. They are committed to reestablishing the relationship between the art of building and the making of community, through citizen-based participatory planning and design.
And, they are dedicated to reclaiming their homes, blocks, streets, parks, neighborhoods, districts, towns, cities, regions, and environment.
Robert Steuteville Writes: “In The New Urbanism:
An alternative to modern, automobile-oriented planning and development that after World War II, a new system of development was implemented nationwide, replacing neighborhoods with a rigorous separation of uses that has become known as Conventional Suburban Development (CSD), or sprawl. The majority of US citizens now live in suburban communities built in the last 50 years.
The New Urbanism is a reaction to sprawl. A growing movement of architects, planners, and developers, the New Urbanism is based on principles of planning and architecture that work together to create human-scale, walk able communities. New Urbanist take a wide variety of approaches — some work exclusively on infill projects, others focus on transit-oriented development, still others are attempting to transform the suburbs, and many are working in all of these categories. The New Urbanism includes traditional architects and those with modernist sensibilities.
All, however, believe in the power and ability of traditional neighborhoods to restore functional, sustainable communities.
What are some of the strategies adopted by New Urbanism?
Just as Starbucks raised the quality of coffee in competing restaurants and cafes, mainstream developers are adopting new urban design elements such as garages in the rear of houses, neighborhood greens and mixed-use town centers. Projects that adopt some principles of New Urbanism but remain largely conventional in design are known as hybrids.
The New Urbanism trend goes by other names, including nontraditional design, transit-oriented development, and traditional neighborhood development.
Borrowing from urban design concepts throughout history, the New Urbanism does not merely replicate old communities. They apply the principles but practice suburbanization with developer interests to build on low priced land. It is the reason I have given you some specific urban examples and will continue to do so in lectures. It is in this way that New Urbanism is eclectic and often found guilty of fostering banal design solutions when in fact they are simply building contemporary metaphors.
The very fact that new Urbanist must meet the demands of the marketplace keeps them grounded in reality. Successful New Urbanism performs a difficult balancing act by maintaining the integrity of a walk able, human-scale neighborhood while offering modern residential and commercial “product” to compete with CSD.
New Urbanist who cannot compete with conventional development or find a niche that is poorly served by the real estate industry is doomed to failure. The new Urbanist is a pragmatist overwhelmed by the advent of land developers, super highways and utility networks.
The difficulty of that balancing act is one reason why many developers choose to build hybrids, instead of adopting all of the principles of the New Urbanism. Such a compost as a hybrid has usually enough uniqueness as to provide proponents applying for a development order with so many un-chartered elements as to warrant a variance away from the government’s original city plan.
Like my experience with Gulf Oil, it was the lawyers and the accounts that came up with most of the investment strategies and goals the board ultimately considered and approved.
Some new Urbanist thinks that hybrids pose a serious threat to the movement, because they usually borrow the label and language of the New Urbanism. Other new Urbanist believes that hybrids represent a positive step forward from CSD. Unfortunately, the architecture of space, human scale and quality of life has lost out to legalism, and the power of the law and economic benefits.
The new Urbanist has used computer technology to superimpose urban vocabulary, meaning and realities of infrastructure and hierarchies onto the highways, houses built on lots, vast connectors, and commercial centers. The result continues the lack of urban cities and affordable communities where independent and freethinking arts and intellect can grow and prosper. The New Urbanist is unwittingly promulgating the same choices made by their recent ancestors in the fifties for a controlled and managed life and the context to support that life style,
Vis-à-vis freedom of choice, democracy and quality of life what is your opinion of hybrids?
What are the elements and importance of New Urbanism?
Principles of the New Urbanism are an attempt by non-architects and creative persons to translate the spirit and intellect of the architect into formulas and recipes. They have made into clichés the hard work of the mind and spirit of urban architects and city planners.
They extrapolate and digest to legal terms what has taken place over the centuries in order to provide real estate developers with “smart growth plans politically correct vocabulary and legal stature to win the hearts and souls of the controlled and managed town counsels. Many talented people employed by corporate developers challenge county commissioners and local judges and judicial systems.
It makes being an informed citizen and selecting elected officials even more important. Practicing professionals need the support and confidence of constituents and the beneficiaries of the work of the developers and the government.
On the technical and physical side, like the Romans who created The Five Noble Orders of Architecture, Michelangelo’s treatise on scale, Ramsey Sleeper “Time Saver Standards” and John Wiley and Sons “Architectural Graphic Standards” the heart of the New Urbanism is in the design of neighborhoods, which can be defined by 13 elements, according to town planners Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, two of the founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism.
An authentic neighborhood contains most of these elements:
(Both are the planners of Fifth Ave in Naples and the new Fort Myers downtown areas)
1) the neighborhood has a discernible center. This is often a square or a green and sometimes a busy or memorable street corner. A transit stop would be located at this center.
2) Most of the dwellings are within a five-minute walk of the center, an average of roughly 2,000 feet.
3) There are a variety of dwelling types — usually houses, row houses and apartments — so that younger and older people, singles and families, the poor and the wealthy may find places to live.
4) At the edge of the neighborhood, there are shops and offices of sufficiently varied types to supply the weekly needs of a household.
5) A small ancillary building is permitted within the backyard of each house. It may be used as a rental unit or place to work (e.g., office or craft workshop).
6) An elementary school is close enough so that most children can walk from their home.
7) There are small playgrounds accessible to every dwelling -- not more than a tenth of a mile away.
8) Streets within the neighborhood form a connected network, which disperses traffic by providing a variety of pedestrian and vehicular routes to any destination.
9) The streets are relatively narrow and shaded by rows of trees. This slows traffic, creating an environment suitable for pedestrians and bicycles.
10) Buildings in the neighborhood center are placed close to the street, creating a well-defined outdoor room.
11) Parking lots and garage doors rarely front the street. Parking is relegated to the rear of buildings, usually accessed by alleys.
12) Certain prominent sites at the termination of street vistas or in the neighborhood center are reserved for civic buildings. These provide sites.
What are some projects that would agree with the New Urbanist?
To bring this all home let me give you a few examples of typical New Urbanist-type projects
• For example, in June of 1996, Disney unveiled its 5,000-acre town of Celebration, near Orlando, Florida, and it has since eclipsed Seaside as the best-known new Urbanist community. In some respects, the New Urbanism and Disney have been uncomfortable bedfellows. While using designers and principles closely associated with the New Urbanism, Disney has shunned the label, preferring to call Celebration simply a “town”.
• Seaside, Florida, by DPZ was the first new Urbanist town, began development in 1981 on 80 acres of Panhandle coastline.
Seaside appeared on the cover of the Atlantic Monthly in 1988 when only a few streets were completed, and it since became internationally famous for its architecture and the quality of its streets and public spaces. Seaside proved that developments that function like traditional towns could be built in the postmodern era. Lots began selling for $15,000 in the early 1980s and, slightly over a decade later, lots prices had escalated to about $200,000. Today, some lots sell for close to a million dollars and houses sometimes-top $3 million. The town is now a tourist Mecca.
Seaside’s influence has less to do with its economic success than a certain magic and dynamism related to its physical form. Many developers have visited Seaside and gone away determined to build something similar.
• Not officially named as a New Urbanist project is La Défense in Paris business district is one of the largest business districts in the world is the design of the Danish architect Otto van Spreckelsen looks more like a cube-shaped building than a triumphal arch. It is a 110-meter tall white building with the middle part left open. The sides of the cube contain offices. It is possible to take a lift to the top of the Grande Arch; it is as spectacular as a view from the Empire State Building, Eiffel towel or the former World Trade Center. You can see a reduced in scale vast panorama the city below; roof tops, streets and buildings. Like a view from the peaks of the Alps or the Rockies. My very first building designs were of New York City skyscrapers.
Few pre-New Urbanist synthetic cities:
• Brasilia, a capital created ex nihilo (Ex nihilo is a Latin term meaning "out of nothing") in the center of the country in 1956, was a landmark in the history of town planning. The site chosen for Brasilia is located in the Federal District and comprises 2,245 sq. miles (5,814 sq. km) of a sparsely inhabited plateau carved out of the State of Goias, 3,609 feet (1,100 meters) above sea level and 746 miles (1,200 km) from Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian architect and urban planner, Lucio Costa, won the competition for the urban master plan and the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the major government buildings.
On April 21, 1960, Brasilia was officially inaugurated to function as the new capital of Brazil.
• Washington, DC designed whom L'Enfant was born at the Gobelins, Paris; He studied at the Royal Academy in the Louvre before enrolling to fight in the American Revolution. Following the war, L'Enfant established a successful and highly profitable civil engineering firm in New York City.
He achieved some fame as an architect by redesigning Federal Hall. In 1791, L'Enfant was appointed by President George Washington to design a new federal capital city under the supervision of three commissioners that Washington had appointed to oversee the planning and development of the 10 mile square of federal territory that would later become the District of Columbia.
• Garden Cities Of Tomorrow by Ebenezer Howard which is to be built near the center of the 6,000 acres, covers an area of 1,000 acres, or a sixth part of the 6,000 acres, and might be of circular form, 1,240 yards (or nearly three-quarters of a mile) from center to circumference.
• Freetown, a city that was new in the 18th century but that was not, paradoxically, a creation ex nihilo. (Ex nihilo is a Latin term meaning "out of nothing”) The capital of the first African colony in the modern sense of the term, a municipality at the end of the 19th century, and today a "capital of pain," Freetown has since its foundation crystallized all the beauties and contradictions of the Sierra Leonian settlement project.
As long as the concept of the city (whose original models were the Greek polis and the Roman urbs) had been intrinsically linked to the concept of civilization, and the concept of civilization considered synonymous with the West, both the ideas of an "African civilization" and an "African city" were seen as inadmissible. Freetown was the exception.
• New-Every town of The Shape of Things to Come by HG Wells, and many other images and designs by futurists, visionaries, science fiction writers and movie producers.
New Urbanist have planned and developed hundreds of projects in infill locations. Most were driven by the private sector, but many, including HUD projects, used public money.
What are some of the New Urbanist urban clusters?
New Urbanist projects built in historic cities and towns includes:
• Crawford Square in Pittsburgh;
• City Place in West Palm Beach;
• Highlands Garden Village in Denver,
• Park Du Valle in Louisville, and
• Beerline in Milwaukee.
• Times Square in Fort Myers Beach
• Down Town Naples
• Munich Subway and CBD street closing of the Marc Stresses
• Vienna St. Stephen Platz
In the mid-1990s, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) adopted the principles of the New Urbanism in its multibillion-dollar program to rebuild public housing projects nationwide.
My first project for Gulf Oil Corporation was RESTON, Virginia. Its competitor was James Rouse’s Columbia Maryland followed by the Irvine Ranch in California. I later was director of Architecture for Peoples Protective, which developed Sugar Tree and English Mountain in Tennessee; Sugar Tree is now an incorporated with a city form of government. However ambitious were these they are dwarfed by these more recent projects. The Gulf Company I worked for was formed to control the multi-billion dollar portfolio of all of Gulf Oil Corporation’s worldwide real estate assets. In addition to managing the financial and operational aspects of its many properties it also offered its services to all the gulf companies, which is where I provided all sorts of consulting services.
At the time, Gulf Oil owned several large developments including Florida’s Hutchinson Island, off of Port St. Lucie. At the time, it was wilderness a gulf Oil paid three times the appraised value of the property. It was the job of our group to consolidate trade and divest itself of unprofitable assets. Profits in the oil business were measured in hundreds of percent while in real estate business about twenty percent was considered acceptable. The Gulf board looked upon the collective sum of all these assets as a drop in the bucket compared to its profit making oil assets and there fore it set policies that held the development and operation of any of there properties with least priority.
Unlike many corporations, whose major business is real estate such as Dell Web, Hines, Trammel Crow, Hometown America, Sexton, Marriott, Horne and hundreds of others would propose projects for us to consider investing.
What is the New Urbanist’ Mission Statement?
I hope we can see our own potential culture of cosmopolitan urbanism in their principles and mission statement. Perhaps they can be our own.
As I said in my opening remarks the study of urbanism and civilization is inextricably tied together. As a metaphor, we are what we build and if we are civilized, we will build a way to live and work to make our habitations more livable. As we uncover ancient cities we learn how they were able to translate their version of living civilly in an n urban form. Can we today look at ourselves and be proud of our civilization of time of life?
The New Urbanist Mission Statement says that “ The Congress for the New Urbanism views disinvestments in central cities, the spread of placeless sprawl, increasing separation by race and income, environmental deterioration, loss of agricultural lands and wilderness, and the erosion of society's built heritage as one interrelated community-building challenge.
We stand for the restoration of existing urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions, the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs into communities of real neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural environments, and the preservation of our built legacy.
We recognize that physical solutions by themselves will not solve social and economic problems, but neither can economic vitality, community stability, and environmental health be sustained without a coherent and supportive physical framework.
We advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian and transit as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice.
We represent a broad-based citizenry, composed of public and private sector leaders, community activists, and multidisciplinary professionals. We are committed to reestablishing the relationship between the art of building and the making of community, through citizen-based participatory planning and design.
We dedicate ourselves to reclaiming our homes, blocks, streets, parks, neighborhoods, districts, towns, cities, regions, and environment.
Today, I described how the “Culture of Cosmopolitan Urbanism” describes our cosmopolitan and urban abilities to agree, disagree, peruse common goals, tolerate stress and congestion, discern between community and privacy and distribute precious resources.
As I promised I showed “what can be done to make cities livable and worthy to be called home”. There are other urban topics I can present which you may select from the handout.
Are you ready to be a new urbanist and culture others as you have been cultured by urbanism?
I encourage you to get a vision for your home, block, neighborhood, community, county and city so that you may choose and manage your urban contexts.
Decide whether you choose between a corporate synthetic or natural context. Which one is right for you?
Also, visit cities, enjoy the one in which you live and know the similarities and differences between one and another city.
I hope you will appreciate cities and enjoy them for their own special and peculiar characteristics, its complexities, vulgarities and immense opportunities.
See the differences and distinctive and what they may have in common. Enjoy the big city for
Practice feeling the spaces between buildings and identifying the unique rooftops.
Get lost, reinvent yourself and become something you imagined you could be.
A big city can be very uncomfortable with inconveniences but it is usually on the cutting edge of new beginnings. Learn how to walk and perceive the faces and dress of people on the street.
Your old friends will call you crass and unconventional but once you grasp the fragrance and tempo of the big city, it will never leave you. You will be willing to sacrifice many of life’s pleasures for the stress, tempo, and sharpness that allow predators and creators to be all they are.
You will discover that no one man nor collection of men can create a big city but only a will on the part of a collective, complex, diverse and often adversarial separate teams.
It is not the architects, new Urbanist, and city planners dream come true but the diverse and contradictory reality of man’s creation.
It is mankind at its most optimum.
One and a Half Hour (one hour) has elapsed.
Now there may be time for questions and comments.
As I promised at the end of this lecture, I would leave time for any one that would like to share something about urbanism.
As I said in my first lecture since I am most at home, creating and solving problems I hope that some of you might have come here with an urban dilemma or comment you wish to discuss. I hope this lecture helped you frame some question that we can now discuss
Which advertising agencies and directors seem the best to you at this moment?
Rockfish Interactive - a talented crew from the top down. From a results standpoint, CMO Dave Knox and Executive Technology Director Tony Bernard are both unique thinkers with diverse backgrounds. And at the end of most of their thoughts...is a revenue stream.
Lokion - some of the most intelligent individuals I know work at this Memphis-based boutique. They're about the work - not the talk. An honorable quality in today's business world.
Harvest Creative - great digital idea-smiths. Every piece of work that Andrew Holliday's crew puts out is even more passionate and creative than the one preceding it.
IDEO - who in the business cosmos DOESN't want to work here? They invent things as a profession, which is the most fun and inspiring work environment that I can imagine.
Free Association - the quality of this agency's work can be found by simply going to their website. They promote themselves with the same level of class as they market their clients. And that level is high.
CP+B - Everyone wants to be the next Bogusky. But few would be willing to step into the critique of being the one to succeed him. I'm one of those few...
What has been your professional career path?
I started working when i was at Uni on a few freelance projects to earn a bit of beer money. One of the sites i built is now one of the leading urban clothing online stores in the UK, Natterjacks.com. It now sells all over the world and we are about to give it a massive face lift for 2009.
As soon as i left Uni i found myself working at The Carphone Warehouse in their in house design team as a junior web designer which was great, after two years I learned loads about e-commerce design and e-marketing not forgetting new skills in Flash and Photoshop. However I found i needed to learn code as well to help me understand how the web was built so I taught myself HTML/CSS which gained me promotion to Middleweight Designer.
After a while though I was getting bored of the internal politics at CPW and decided i needed a new challenge as i felt i was standing still so i joined WDMP, Putney in their Digital Department as a Middleweight Designer. The learning curve was immediately steepened and i got to know some truly great talented individuals.
After nearly a year Electronic Arts headhunted me and offered me a contract working as lead designer on their online digital download website which was a great opportunity. I contracted here for a few months and set up my own Design Agency with my best mate who i worked with at CPW. EA became a client of ours and a year later we are still going strong.
I am now one of the Directors at Creativitea Design Studios, Pronounce 'Creativity'. the name came about as my mate and i always dreamed about doing our own thing and the plan was hatch out of our favorite drink, TEA!
We now work for about a dozen clients all ranging in size in both online and offline mediums and are looking to expand in 2009.
Please list an Internet address where one can see something about you.
This is my company, we run a range of singing dancing and acting classes after schools for children aged between 6-11 and a Theatre Company on Saturdays for students aged 8-18.
We also run an agency for children and adult talent placing our clients across all areas of the entertainment industry
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
100 Words of Wisdom for Women: Journaling Toward Healing, Wisdom & Empowerment
by LB Lacey, MA.
Where is Wisdom?
Did anyone ever tell you that everything you need to be wise, powerful and gorgeous is already within you? Well, it is. No one here gave it to you. No one here may take it. The truth of your unique wisdom and power lies inside you. The Creator placed authentic wisdom within you before the very foundation of this world was set in place. Some of us are intuitively aware of our inherent source of wisdom. Others of us need revelation. Despite our varying levels of awareness, limitless power and wisdom are ours. Wisdom and power are inexhaustible. Life itself has called each woman to acclimate herself to wisdom, access it and use it. As you seek wisdom you will surely find it within yourself where it has always been.
Wake up. Escape memories of the past. Stop wasting today daydreaming about tomorrow. True wisdom is active in the moment. To fully integrate power and wisdom, we as women must become fully aware of who we are--right here and right now. We must emerge from the past. Yesterday is not real. Tomorrow never comes. Now is all there is. As women we have individual and collective rights and responsibilities to be all that we might be. We may need to heal some old wounds. Our bodies may need some attention. Our minds may need soothing and our spirits may require some ministering to. 100 Words of Wisdom for Women, was born out of the desire to enhance our awareness of sisterhood, healing, power and wisdom.
How Does Journaling Help?
The use of visualization, body-centered awareness, journaling, expressive arts and sensory imaging has helped many people to access traumatic experiences, release painful emotions and reverse the ill effects of stress, disease and other damaging maladies. I want to reveal enough of what I know to you about therapeutic journaling and how the Body, Mind & Spirit connection works, to empower you to change your life. The purpose of this section of 100 Words of Wisdom is to help you understand how journaling can spark the power of healing, wisdom and transformation in your life. I recently heard Oprah Winfrey remark on her show that many women say, "Diets just don't work for me." She smiled as she reminded us all that the reason a particular diet does not work is because we stop dieting. It's the same with therapeutic journaling. If you stay with the process, it will work for you.
Therapeutic journaling upsets your inner status quo and begins to shift your internal paradigms. It changes old patterns of thought. The old and false way of thinking states that you arrive in this world and the world imposes itself upon you. Old modes of thought claim that you are powerless. It says that you cannot change the external world. They state that you are no more than a slave to external forces, individuals, situations and happenstance. Your powerlessness is an illusion. Learned helplessness is responsible for the loss of a vast amount of human potential. Vow now to put off any self-limiting beliefs. You create your reality as a co-creator with and through God. "They" do not want you to know this. A woman who is ignorant of her own power and freedom to change her life is not blissful. She is pitiful. In this benighted state a woman cannot even begin to conceive of the fact that she has the power not only to change herself, but the world.
Journaling in a mindful way empowers you. The world would rather you not know who you really are because an ignorant, unaware and complacent woman is easier to control. There may be many people, forces and influences that have tried or are currently trying to undermine you. People may bombard you with attempts to "fix" you ostensibly for your own good. You may feel powerless to defend your sense of self. God, however, made YOU. No one here can “fix” you because no one here created you. The power, by God, is yours.
You have been divinely equipped with the ability to be everything that you were intended to become. It is within you. The impression or notion that you do not have control of your life may be a major source of feelings of helplessness, confusion and conflict in your life. You may not be able to put your finger on it, but this feeling of being powerless and out of control may be at the core of your medical, mental and emotional struggles. Powerlessness, however, is but a feeling. It's a perception. Perceptions are subject to change. Remember; as you think so shall you be.
Healing is in your hands--literally. You possess intuitive wisdom and power, but you may feel cut off from the source of your wisdom and power. This may be due to past or current physical, mental or spiritual trauma. Psychologist, James W. Pennebaker, a leading authority on the effectiveness of expressive therapies, proved that when people used therapeutic journaling to express their feelings regarding trauma, painful memories and illness, their heart rates slowed, their immune systems were strengthened and remarkably many people reported that they felt better. Individuals who journal experience marked improvements physically and emotionally. This is good news for countless women interested in using journaling as a means of healing and self-empowerment. Again, power is in your hands. Use it. You will feel better. (Pennybaker 249)
Journaling in Action
When I began seeing clients at an agency that helped women in crisis, many of my clients were suffering from a fractured sense of self. This fractured sense of self, lies at the core of many symptoms that rear their ugly heads in a woman's life. Often women enter therapy with gross feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, disempowerment and confusion. The feelings that cause a woman to decide to finally do something to help herself often range from the very subtle to the extremely intense. Whatever the case, it is always a good thing when a woman decides to take ownership of her own state of being. Is this a choice that you have made? Perhaps you find yourself at an impasse. You are not alone. Just the fact that you are reading this book reveals how powerful you really are. Some women are not yet in a place where they can even take that first step toward wisdom. It all starts with a decision. You have made your choice. You are stepping into your greatness. When you begin journaling the power of transformation will dynamically be unleashed in your life. And that's a fact!
Years ago I worked in a resource center for domestic violence survivors. Many of the women would sit and go on and on about how an ex-husband or boyfriend had abused them or cheated on them with a best friend or relative. They would cry and curse from grimaced faces. Some would meticulously go through each and every detail of who said this, who said that and who did the other. This kind of repetitious negative expression was seldom very cathartic for them. They could not really hear or see their own process while trapped behind a wall made of their own words. They did not yet realize that saying things like, "I hate myself for...I want to kill him...She's a whore...I want to just die, etc." was just making everything worse. They did not understand that simply repeating the details of their life's drama was merely the superficial layer of a much deeper process. It was my job to show them how to use the power of words and expression for healing. Journaling is a secret weapon for healing that I was very eager to share with them. It has worked in my own life and I have seen it work in the lives of others. It will work for you too.
Without mindfulness many of the women I saw were often actually speaking life and energy into all that they stated they wanted to escape. What you express and speak to you give life to. You see, while it is helpful to express yourself when you experience loss or trauma, how you do it is just as important as doing it at all. When I was able to persuade them to use therapeutic methods to connect with how they felt about situations in their lives, their personal breakthroughs began. As these women started to express their negative feelings in a positive way, positive changes began to take place. The despair faded from their eyes. They appeared to come to life. As soon as a woman begins to write about her experiences and validate her emotions by mindfully giving them expression, a light from deep within her begins to glow more brightly.
One of my most vivid memories is of one my very first clients. She was in her mid thirties. She was an attractive young woman with a very painful look in her eyes. She tried to cover it at first with forced smiles. You could still see her pain quite clearly though. Her husband had cheated on her and gotten her best friend pregnant. She had three children with him, a high school education and a very low paying job. He and his new girlfriend had begun threatening her and she had to get a restraining order on him. When she came to me she was so rattled and frazzled that she could barely express a complete thought. I began with expressive art exercises for her in order to help her get in touch with her innermost feelings. After a couple of weeks we moved into therapeutic journaling.
One day I asked her if she was willing to share some of her experiences with the journaling process. She smiled and said that she would. As she went through her writing she had a sudden epiphany. She began reading a line over and over. It had nothing to do with her husband or her friend. "I feel like I don't even love myself," she read, "I don't love myself...I don't love myself...I don't love myself...” Suddenly this woman began to cry like a baby. It was a bittersweet mixture of pain and the relief of sudden revelation. She got it. She had touched upon the core of her own truth as a woman. Everything else in her life was merely a symptom of her lack of self-love. After she cleansed her emotional palette with a good cry, we continued with our work. Over the course of the following few weeks this woman blossomed like a flower before my very eyes. She went back to school. She organized hers and her children's lives. Counseling for her children was arranged. She got legal help for the situation with her husband and decided to divorce him. This woman had tapped into her own internal wisdom. She no longer looked for me or anyone else to tell her what to do. She got it. Her process was a blessing to behold.
How Journaling Will Help You
What is key here is that you re-frame and express personal past experiences in order to process any internal pain, loss, confusion, anger etc. If unfortunate things happened to you in the past, they do not have to be allowed to hurt you now and into the future. After all, many things were likely not within your power to change in the past. They are, however, subject to your power today. You create your life. You have the power to choose to sit idly by and be an inactive participant in the unfolding of your reality. Even if you decide to do nothing, you are still creating your life. Remember, sadly, many of life's most important choices are made by people simply failing to choose at all. Take hold of your personal power! Wise women choose to choose because wisdom tells them that those who fail to choose choose to fail.
By allowing you space and time to contemplate your own experiences and express them, a dynamic process of transformation will be activated. You will be reconciled to the internal feminine power, essential beauty, boundless joy and sagacious wisdom that are every woman's birthright. To do this we, as women, must go within. We must go into the inner workings of our bodies, minds and souls. During this process you are encouraged to go deep within and dig out all your "stuff." Address it, inspect it, respect it, express it and learn from it. Then you must resolve to leave all that "stuff" in the past. You cannot move forward while fixating on what is behind you. Failure to let go of the past is one of the main causes of pain for most women who are suffering today. Again, learn from and leave your past in the past. This is the way to reconnect with your own inner storehouse of healing, power and wisdom.
Journaling is used in holistic based therapies to encourage body, mind, spirit integration or re-connection. Therapeutic journaling enables you to go inside and take feelings, thoughts and perspectives from mindlessness to mindfulness. To be mindful means that you have been awakened to a heightened state of awareness and attentiveness. This awareness brings you from the foolishness of girlhood illusions into the wisdom of a self-actualized woman. As you go through the exercises in this book, you will begin to discover who you really are from a deeper and more meaningful perspective. Holistic (simply meaning "whole") perspective reveals to us that we are a complete. We are composed of unified parts that form the whole, which is greater than the sum of all the parts. That may sound a little bit confusing at first if this is your first time considering your identity from a complete perspective. I t will become clearer and clearer to you as we move forward. Please just be mindful of this: You are Body, but you are more than that. You are Mind and more than that. You are Spirit and yet more than that as well. What is the “more” aspect of who you are? It is who you are as Body, Mind and Spirit; three separate, whole parts combined in one dynamic consciousness.
The Body/Mind /Spirit Connection
You are Body
You are Body. You likely have a basic awareness of your body as head, belly, arms, legs, etc. Let's however, move into a deeper awareness wherein true growth may be facilitated. We tend to think of “body” as the corporal self, the physical form. Our physical body is a living, cellular map of everything that has happened to us since birth. Good and bad experiences are stored in and affect the body constantly. The hypothalamus, for instance, is a major "body control center" as it regulates bodily functions. When a woman has unresolved emotions and fears trapped inside the body, this triggers the hypothalamus to respond in ways that it "thinks" will regulate the body. Surprise, love, heartbreak and fear are only a small list of emotions that have impacted who we are and how we are today. If one leads a stressful life, physical manifestations may be seen as headaches, insomnia, ulcers, general fatigue, cancer, etc. It is of paramount importance to balance all the different aspects of life so that dis-ease or ultimately disease is not created in the body.
By journaling your emotions, thoughts and experiences, you bring them out of your internal landscape where left un-expressed they can become stuck, fixed and begin show up as actual illnesses in the body. Think of your body as a canvas and yourself as the artist. You are creating a lovely work of art. This work of art is not created by what happens to you but by how you choose to perceive, process and respond to what happens to you. By choosing to use holistic and expressive techniques such as journaling, you grab the brush, so to speak. You take control as the artist and author of your own life. You create your own body from moment to moment.
You are Mind
You are Mind. The brain is usually the focal point when we mention the mind. The mind, however, is more magnificent than we imagine. It is not limited solely to the brain. The mind permeates every cell of the body. The body is symbiotically connected to every thought. Each thought builds the body. The mind has an uncanny ability to determine the actions and reactions of the body. Psychoneuroimmunology is a complex word used to explain the simple idea of mind over matter. The mind directly influences the body. Thoughts of love, prayerfulness, hope, and positivism all effect who we are mentally and physically. Conversely, thoughts of hate, fear, anger and negativity affect our resultant selves. Amazing findings by Japanese researcher, Dr. Masaru Emoto, (Emoto, Masaru. The Hidden Messages in Water) have provided dramatic proof that thoughts, words and emotional vibrations directly affect physical reality. Dr. Emoto's study of the molecular structure of water has shown that water exposed to various written words, spoken words, and types music respond directly to the nature of the words, music or intention it is exposed to. Every word you speak has an effect on you and others. Be mindful. (Emoto 160)
You are Spirit
You are Spirit. The spirit is the nucleus of our essential self. Spirit is the part of the "trilogy of self" that manifests the eternal uniqueness of an individual. Your spirit is the aspect of yourself that transforms knowledge into wisdom. Your spirit animates the body. Your spirit activates the mind on its path of thought. The mind asks, "What is the meaning of my life?" The spirit answers. Your spirit is the part of yourself that no one can touch without your consent. In one of the most poignant and life changing books I have ever read, Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, he offers poignant insight into the indelible nature of the spirit. In essence, he said that during his imprisonment in the Nazi death camps, he realized an ultimate truth. He came to know with certainty that while the Nazis could starve and torture his body, while they could humiliate him and cause him severe mental agony, they could not touch his essential self unless he allowed them to. This is powerful.
Years ago I journaled my experience around reading that book and a deep awareness of my own identity began to emerge. I began to become more aware of who I was created and sent here to be. Through Frankl's book, I came to see my own incorruptible, indestructible human nature. I experienced a level of revelation that has stayed with me ever since. Remember, the body may be victimized. The mind too may be vulnerable. Your spirit, however, belongs to you. Not even God will act upon your spirit without your consent. You define your own essential state of being. You create your life. (Frankl et al, 1959)
You Are Whole
Body. Mind. Spirit. Put them all together and you have YOU. If you find yourself in a state of imbalance or disempowerment it simply means that it is time to do what our Sister-Teacher, Iyanla VanZant calls "housecleaning". In her book, In the Meantime, Iyanla wisely instructs women to "clean out their heads." Through this cleaning-out process, a woman prepares herself for true growth and for love. (VanZant et al, 1999) At the core of any therapeutic journaling process is the intention to reconnect with self. Pain, grief and trauma cause many women to disconnect or even disassociate from themselves. Journaling can start a reversal of this disconnection. Through journaling a woman can begin to form authentic connections with the world around her, other people and ultimately with her own spirituality. This gives meaning to a woman's life. The process of this book is about finding yourself and giving her/yourself the power of expression.
As a holistic counselor, I endeavor to share and teach women effective modes of expression and communication that will allow us to live more fully in the world. Before I began my training in holistic counseling, I really had not seen or understood how truly powerful hands on, experiential modalities of healing worked. I have seen personally and with clients how expressive arts and journaling can liberate a woman once trapped in the confines of her own diminishment. When a woman really gets that she is the co-creator of her own life...watch out. She cannot be stopped. No man can beat her body down. No system of thought or external authority can oppress or subjugate her. No malevolent influence can possess her soul. When a woman connects with her own essence she becomes aware of her connection to the Creator, to others, to nature and to the universe. Yes, that's when a woman starts to live full-force!
How to Journal
Therapeutic journaling is a proven method of expression that fosters healing and catharsis for individuals who use it properly. I stress "properly" because all journaling is not necessarily therapeutic in nature. For instance, journaling, which basically serves as 'diary keeping' consists of merely recording the events of one's life. For instance, "Dear Diary: Today I got a letter from my boyfriend. In it he said that he wanted to take a break from our relationship. I tore the letter up, called him crying and cussed him out. He hung up on me. When I tried to call back my calls went straight to voice mail." That is an example of just writing out the events and recounting the details. This does not necessarily help a woman to process her experience or express her emotions in a way that validates or alleviates her pain.
The following is an example of the same experience journaled in a therapeutic way: "I feel sad, lonely and rejected today because my boyfriend just sent me a letter saying he wanted to take a break from our relationship. Saying something like that in a letter felt impersonal and disrespectful to me. I felt anger build up in my belly and grow larger and larger until I decided to just call him. Before I knew what hit me, words of anger and contempt for him just starting flowing from my mouth. It felt like a dam of pent up hurt and pain had broken inside of me. I did not like or love myself or him. Then he just hung up on me. It felt like a slap in the face. Every time I called back and just got his voice mail it was like another slap after another. I feel so lost, alone, scared and very angry! This does not feel right. This is not my idea of what love should feel like. I do not want this feel this way anymore."
The second example of journaling is an example of connecting with one's emotions and thoughts in a therapeutic way. It shows a woman connecting to her sense of self. This is how emotions are processed instead of repressed. This sparks growth. When a woman expresses her thoughts and feelings on paper where she can see them, the process of awareness and healing begins. It jars her senses. It jolts her into getting real when the thoughts and emotions flow from her head, down her arm and out through her fingertips onto a once blank page. She sees herself. The evidence of her pain and suffering may be a bit difficult for a woman to view at first but it empowers her to recognize that she is empowered to change what she sees. All she must do is decide. This brings about clarity, revelation and understanding. Journaling therapeutically brings you into a loving and meaningful relationship with yourself.
My initial intrigue with the power of journaling began when my professor, Barbara Ganim, explained to us that in one study individuals with arthritis experienced a decrease in pain, stiffness and reduction in joint swelling after using therapeutic journaling. This was amazing. The concept of joints actually shrinking in direct response to therapeutic journaling had a very profound effect on me. I wanted to know all I could learn about therapies that offered measurable results. I have come to respect journaling as one of the most effective and easily accessible therapies that offers notable improvement in physical and emotional states of being. Journaling allows a woman to take an active role in her own process. She no longer sits as an inactive victim of her own circumstances. She no longer sits waiting for a hero. She is her own "shero". The activity of self-expression marks the beginning of self-actualization for many women. It wakes us up. It heals, empowers and enriches us on all levels of being.
As you go through this journaling journey, powerful women whom we call "Power Sources", will lovingly speak wisdom into your body--however broken, your mind--however troubled and your soul--however weary. Each day you are invited to journal your thoughts and insights as you contemplate the wisdom shared. You will also be assigned a "Power Affirmation" everyday to repeat throughout the day. This affirmation is provided to help propel you along your path of empowerment and revelation. You are asked to merely repeat the affirmation throughout each day in order to activate positive energy in your life. Remember, you create your life. Affirmations extremely powerful tools for the creative process of life.
As you journal and journey through this book, you will experience the joyous and the challenging. Some things may make you laugh. Others may bring you to tears. You may experience many emotions as all of the aspects of your life come together to increase you in wisdom, stature and power as a woman. The most painful experiences of your life oft times bring with them the gift of great wisdom. So do not be afraid. The development of yourself as a woman is your highest call. This call moves you out of your comfort zone. It stretches and challenges you. Fear not. We are sisters in the process. We go through it simultaneously. We follow the paths of those who have gone before us and we pave the way for those who follow in our footsteps. The path may get a bit rocky and winding as times, but stay with it. You are loved. You are supported. Again, just stay with the process...especially when it seems most difficult. The difficulty holds your greatest lesson and your greatest opportunity for growth and transcendence.
Read. Journal. Affirm.
We have presented you with some of the most powerful, creative, dynamic and wise women of the world. They shall speak pure greatness into your body, mind and spirit. The larger portion of the expression, however, must come from you. Each word you write, think and affirm within the context of this exercise is an injection of physical, emotional and spiritual "medicine" into the core of your being. Well being. Life. Power. Freedom. Jubilation. The loving and meaningful power of all these words and more are yours.
You are encouraged to journal your thoughts on a regular basis. Affirmations will also be provided to enhance your journaling process. When you journal express how each entry makes you feel. What memories arise and how do they affect you? Express your thoughts and feelings as you move through the process. The important thing is that you read, journal your thoughts/feelings and repeat the affirmations everyday. Read. Journal. Affirm. Your life will change!
"Turn your wounds into wisdom."
Using the Power of Affirmations to Enhance Your Journaling Process
Basically affirmations are stating what you desire to be as if it already is...and it is very powerful. What do you want? What would the perfect life look like for you? Can you imagine it? If you can imagine it, you can create it. Affirmations help you to manifest the life you desire if you know how to use them. Using affirmations is simple.
Everything in your life today was brought into being through your personal power, magnetism, thoughts, words and imaginings. You may or may not have been consciously aware of the process, but you have already created your own reality. You can re-create it too.
Years ago, Affirmations, unbeknownst to me, were destined to play a rather significant role in my life. Over a decade ago the devastation of a painful divorce, had left me feeling alone, depressed and utterly disempowered. I had three young children, however, who needed me to be stronger than I actually was. I was unaware of it at the time, but the Creator's hand was on my life. Through my pain, I still felt the need to become a whole, happy, successful human being and live up to my full potential.
Many powerful, talented and wise women find themselves caught between what others tell them they should be and what they really want to be. The challenge is for each woman is for her to grow into the awareness of what she already is. Affirmations are immeasurably beneficial in enhancing a woman's God given power to become all that she might be.
Many years ago, I allowed negative statements, thoughts and fears to damage my resolve. I allowed other people to tell me who I was and what I "should" do to be what they believed I ought to be. What an awful way to live when God, the Creator has created us perfectly. We have been given access to Divine Wisdom and the power to transform our lives free from popular culture's projections and the opinions of other people. When we allow ourselves to feed off of negative self-talk or aspersions cast by others, it always harms us. It negates our worth. Affirmations validate our worth. They affirm our GREATNESS.
Fortunately, I did not allow the screaming voice of negativity to wholly cancel out the true Voice. The true Voice is that of the Creator whispering and straining to be heard. When you utter positive affirmations, you echo the very Voice of the Creator. This Voice creates. Your voice creates. Affirmations inspire, motivate & excite you because as you speak them something within your body, your mind and your spirit tells you that they are as TRUE as you will allow them to be. As you state your affirmations, negative voices fade in the distance.
The power of therapeutic journaling, positive affirmations, and creative visualizations will sincerely help you to fulfill your greatest desires. Start today. You must want what you want enough to put your energy and intention where your mouth is, so to speak. Creative visualization is like a prayer where you not only ask the Creator for this or that, but you offer your energy to help manifest it. Your thoughts are the raw material required to manifest your dreams.
To successfully begin practicing positive affirmation and creative visualization, you are encouraged to use the following simple yet very important questions and guidelines in planning your practice:
1.) What do I want? You may want to pray, meditate and think seriously about this before moving forward. Be careful with what you speak or affirm in your life because you will get it. Clearly and firmly create the vision of what you want within your heart, mind and soul. Select affirmations
to support your vision. Visualize. Affirm. Let go of what you want. Yes, if you really want it...let it go. This may seem somewhat contradicting but you must realize that obsessing or clinging to anything repels it. When you use affirmations you are changing your energetic patterns to attract what your want. Attraction, is passive and remarkably powerful.
2.) When do I want it? Now. You must state everything you want as if you already have it right now. Set your intention. Choose an affirmation that positively states what you desire as if you already possess it. Remember, it is very important to state what you DO want and NEVER to state what you DO NOT want. For instance, say "I am beautiful." Do not say, "I want to be beautiful." "I will be beautiful" or "I am not ugly!" The key to using affirmations successfully is to state everything positively.
3.) Why do I want what I want? Write out the purpose of your affirmation practice. Know why you want whatever you desire. Why is it so important
to you? Why should God, the Creator and the Universe support your having it? It is important for the energy of your practice for you to be clear on your "why". Purpose fuels your process.
4.) How do I AFFIRM what I want? Engage all of your senses in your creative visualization practice. See, feel, hear, taste and even smell the reality of having what you want in your life. The more you engage your senses in the process the more real your affirmations become...literally.
5.) Where will I practice? Your affirmation practice will ultimately become a part of everything you do everywhere. At first you will need to find deliberately set times and places when and where you know you will state your affirmation(s). Soon after you begin to mindfully begin to state your affirmations throughout the day, they will become a natural part of your daily experience. Your words will change. The thoughts in your mind will change....and your life will change. Honestly, the world will change!
6.) When will I practice? It is good to repeat your affirmations and for 5-10 minutes at night before you go to bed, and for 5-10 minutes in the
morning just after you wake up. It is optimal if you can find a space and time in the middle of your day for your practice as well. It is very good if you can
mindfully say your affirmations at least to yourself all throughout your day. Saying them while driving, showering, putting on your make-up, walking your dog, exercising, etc. is good.
7.) Who will be effected by it? In order to be successful your affirmation practice, you must seek to harm no one. This is of vital importance for the Divine Law of Reciprocity is always in place. So, affirm goodness, Love and Light in order to receive the same. For instance, when you visualize yourself with the man of your dreams, this must not entail stealing another woman's husband or establishing any relationship based on betrayal or deceit. Deceitful, harmful intentions and selfishness negate the powerful positive energy of affirmations. Also when you visualize yourself getting a promotion or new job, it must not include someone else being fired. Compose your affirmations and create your visualization to support the optimal result and blessings for everyone. Rest assured that there is such Abundance in the Universe that you and everyone else on the planet can be blessed many time over without anyone being alone, deprived or in lack of anything. Lack is an illusion. Affirm Abundance.
R e a d . J o u r n a l . V i s u a l i z e. A f f i r m.
Powerful affirmations have been provided for you below. Read each one and see which words resonate with you. Feel free to change, adjust or add to any affirmation to suit you. Remember to journal daily, visualize and affirm. And get ready. Your life is about to change!
I draw strength from generations of grace, greatness, and courage to live my
life with wisdom, power, and boundless joy.
The positive transformation of my entire life begins with the decision I choose
to make today.
I expect my special gifts to manifest God. The Creator’s glory and greatness in all areas of my life.
The divine seed of my blessed destiny has already been planted within me and it grows larger and brighter with every sunrise and rainfall.
I now embrace all gifts of Creativity and Power from God, the Creator to me in order to share these gifts with the planet.
I have the faith, the power, and the courage to face and conquer the challenges of my life.
I recognize, realize, and actualize the fact that I define and behold my own essential beauty regardless of my complexion, weight, hair texture or bra size.
As I embrace thoughts of power, abundance, love, and wisdom, they are
profoundly manifested in my life.
Today I will listen for the Lessons of my life, I will learn them as they come, and I will grow beyond myself with each new day.
I embrace each obstacle in my life as an opportunity for increased growth and enhanced empowerment.
I am doing all things through the Love and Light of God, the Creator with an inner peace that passes all understanding.
Today, I celebrate my power to choose to change for the better physically, in my emotionally and my spiritually.
I am a woman of unlimited power, unequivocal talent, and undeniable
wisdom enabling me to accomplish great works in the world.
I dynamically shine my Light so that others will know that they are empowered to shine their Light as well.
I am leaving the pain behind to claim the joyous, triumphant, peaceful life that God, the Creator wants me to enjoy.
I make wise decisions that optimize my health--physically, mentally and spiritually.
All is full of Love and Light as I release all fears of loneliness, abandonment, and rejection with the awareness that I am truly never alone.
My attitude, mood, and gratitude attract positive people, productive projects and loving relationships into my life.
I reach out of my past, from my present and into the future of my boundless potentiality.
I fully accept my true eternal significance in a world that tries daily to
convince me of my false unimportance.
I bless and edify my Body, my Mind, and my Spirit with everything I think, speak, and do.
I arrive in this day wrapped in the finery of faith, beauty, wisdom, and
Through self-love, self-esteem and, true sisterhood, we are propelled to
higher and higher states of greatness.
I diligently guard my thoughts and what I allow to enter my life on a
I now accept the powerful, creative, joyful, wise and gorgeous ME as God, the Creator created me to be.
I fully embrace the power to be who, how, what, and where I want to be.
I am the embodiment of beauty, strength, confidence, intuition, humility, grace and wisdom today and everyday.
My Voice resonates with the transformative power of authenticity, truth
authority, and wisdom.
I am now free from all hurtful, harmful or unhealthy people, habits
I choose to radiate peace, Light and confidence from within while in the
presence of others.
© LB Lacey 2006
For how long have you done photography? How did you begin?
I have been a professional photographer for 6 years. At one time, I owned a modeling and talent agency. Our favorite photographer, Statia, wasn't always available and we couldn't find anyone else that we liked that was affordable. So I learned out of necessity. But I love it!