History of a Place

historyWe must first understand the history of a place before we can successfully change it with new development. Once we understand how and why a place came to be in its present form, we can design in a logical way that respects its character, its meaning and its beauty. This is most obvious in older built cities but also holds true even when developing new (greenfield) communities, where the historic response would be more to the natural environment than existing buildings. Responding to the history of a place however does not mean simply imitating what has been done in the past–instead it involves understanding and re-interpreting what has come before in new designs appropriate to our age, our evolving culture and our current technology. The true importance of the history of a community is often difficult to articulate and as a result, is often undervalued. However, the richness, vitality, interest and fun of our communities depend heavily on our understanding, interpreting and respecting their history.

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