How did I like cities without ever being in one?
In trying to think why I love cities, some specific episodes came to my mind.
Same film every day
I have never been a great fan of films, but when I was a kid there was that one film I would see every day: ‘Baby’s day out’ – a film showing a baby wandering around a city. I saw it every day, and maybe grew the passion on cities.
Also, I had always thought the city of the film was New York, until I checked it out to see it was, in fact, Chicago.
Liking cities is not that easy when you actually do not visit so many of them. However, collecting maps was a solution to it. Even if I had not been to cities other than San Sebastian, Salamanca, and Paris, all friends and family from my parents would bring me maps when they traveled.
I kept collecting those maps in a folder – collecting cities from Hangzhou to Reykjavik. In sum, 148 maps I collected until I was 12.
Then Google Maps came.
Even though I had just been to an island as a baby, when I was around 10, I had the habit to draw islands, with hotels, roads and railroads, airports, and so on.
Cities are a gameboard
We had a computer pretty early at home, when I was 8, and I remember I spent a lot of time playing to this game, ‘Mobility’, where the goal was to create an economically sustainable city, with transit systems, different densities and activities.
It is indeed the first approximation to urban planning I ever had.