- What’s the importance/value in an area having a clear name?
- Are there areas of the city that are more difficult to name? For example ‘Rathmines’, or ‘Stoneybatter’ are clear enough, however many areas of the city are not so clearly defined.
- How should we better define them? Should it be ‘hard’ items such as street lights, street-name signs, etc…or should it be ‘soft’ items such as street feasts, or celebrations of each area?
- Who/how should decide on the name (if no clear one already seems to exist)? For example, the Beta Area doesn’t seem to have a clear name in people’s heads (people refer to it as “that area just off Capel Street” or “Smithfield”). Would you agree? How should it get that clear name?
- Should they be ‘quarters’, or ‘areas’, or ‘neighbourhoods’, or some other title?
- Should they have any role other than place-making…ie should they simply give you a sense of where you are/live/work, or should they also have a political or strategic function?
Siena in Tuscany, Italy
Have you ever been to Siena? (It’s a gorgeous city, well worth a visit if you’re ever in Tuscany in Italy.) It had lots of very wealthy families, all feuding with one another. Each family had their ‘own’ area of the city, and were very wary of even walking in another family’s area.
Those family lines are still reflected in certain street items such as decorative street lights. Can you see the different decorative lights left and right of the above photo?
They also have different times of year when each family is celebrated with those lights being lit, drumming bands go about with the family crest, and there are massive onstreet feasts.
(I stumbled upon one of those street feasts, when I walked down a very narrow street with perhaps 200 people all seated either side of a very, very long table (presumably loads of separate tables end-to-end with tablecloths over), all celebrating. It was amazing to see! Unfortunately I don’t have a photo as the lane was so narrow, that I almost felt like I was intruding!)
How to Beta the Identity of an Area?
Would we like as clear boundaries as Siena? If so, why?
It would be great to try out a few different Betas which explore this concept. Any advice/thoughts/suggestions would be great. Do you know of any examples that we could look at from around the world?
Back to those street lights…
(Here’s some upclose pics of those Siena decorative street lights in case you’re interested.)