I recently retuned from a visit to Aarhus Denmark. I gave a talk at a conference on City Regions in a Globalized World.
The city was such a contrast to Cali Colombia, site of a recent visit and inspiration for a previous blog entry. Rather than a social capital deficit, here was social capital in abundance with pedestrianized walkways and the many bicyclists simply leaving their bikes unattended with little fear of theft. The Scandinavian democracies, with their generous social welfare and abundant social capital, are reminders of what a humane urbanism can look like.
It was cold and overcast during most of visit. I arrived a day early so that I could explore the city. I visited the impressive Art Gallery. The wind was bone chilling and the grey skies depressing but I had a magical experience. I visited the Botanic Garden, had lunch and walked through the greenhouses. In the quiet and green-filled tropical greenhouse, the circular section in the photograph, I was alone with thousands of butterflies fluttering languidly in the heavy, humid and deliciously warm air displaying their indigo dark wings with extravagant splashes of yellow. On a cold, grey day it was a wonderful experience to be transported to the warmth and fecundity and magic of the rainforest.
|Art Gallery, Aarhus|
|Botanic Garden Greenhouses, Aarhus|