Image © Jordan Berta.
I see a picture of a girl sitting near New York City’s Highline, gazing out on an empty street. It’s an evocative image, a little sad actually, and I can’t help but wonder, “Why is the street so empty?” I realize it was taken at an off-hour, but that’s the wonder of the photograph. I joke to myself that The Highline has so wildly succeeded at presenting an above grade urban experience that the experiences of the surrounding streets have been sapped of their energy and urgency. I pause briefly to visualize a Blade Runner city of hierarchical levels racing upwards to new heights. I see a place where blighted streets sit empty, collecting trash and debris and housing the less fortunate. But that kind of dystopian future only happens in bad ‘60s urbanism and science fiction, right?