As comparison to the new apartment blocks along the river (above), representing today’s urban densification, I thought I’d also take you on a little tour around the housing estate/area where I live, which was built in the 1940’s.
Back then, just as today, there was a great need of new housing, but the planning had a slightly different focus: let the people have air, light, and wide open space in between the apartment buildings.
In the panorama view above (taken from the nearby football field), you see the edge of “my part of town” to the left; while on the horizon to the right, you can also spot the modern highrise tower down by the river.
Before the 1940’s, this all used to be farmland. For this town, which is otherwise rather hilly, it is an unusually flat area; and the ‘low’ buildings with quite a bit of space in between contribute to preserving the impression that there is still a lot of sky over our heads.
For a modern day family (with all the “stuff” we tend to add to our lives and homes) the apartments were/are a bit on the small side - but 70 years ago, they were next to luxurious for many who were used to much lower standards. (I have read about “back then” in a book about the local history...)
The street (nicknamed “Yellow Brick Road” by me, but of course in real life it has another name) goes round in a circle (or oval), with lookalike buildings on each side…
… and in the middle a large park area and playground.
For a council housing estate, plenty of open space.
At the south end, yellow brick meets red. The yellow blocks were built in the early 1940’s, the red ones in the later years of that decade.
Across another street we find more Red Brick blocks. Here, in the post-war section of the area, the buildings are still similar in style and height to the yellow ones, but built closer together. Like with a tad less optimism; or one step closer to the densification idea…
There are playgrounds and lawns here too, but not quite the same generous feeling of open space as in the Yellow Brick area.
One villa from “the olden days” (when this was still the countryside) breaks off the monotony. It has been serving as day care centre. I’m not sure about its future, though… It seems pretty worn-down.
Cross another street in a different direction, and you’ll find other styles of architechture. That variety is one of the things I like about this part of town. Even when I don’t feel up to walking very far, there are choices.
I intend to link this post to