Never thought we’d end up blogging – I’ve always felt this to be the province of the terminally narcissistic – but here it is, the newly established method for Terra Firma news updates!
It never ceases to amaze me, how communications have changed the world so much in my lifetime and the apparent contradictions in the way the opposite trends toward both globalism and localism appear to have benefited from these changes.
On return from Alshamsi Terra Firma’s Dubai offices last week, I immediately went into London to meet up with a delightful architect with whom we work in the Middle East but who resides in southern Spain, about some initiatives in the eastern Mediterranean. We happened to talk about some work Terra Firma are doing on his doorstep in Gibraltar and how he should meet the engineering team we are working with there. If that’s not sounding globally confusing a network enough (and believe me there’s a lot more, given some mutual China and Far East initiatives) within two days, before I had the chance to forward their details he had simply bumped into these guys in Gib. It is a small world and the further you go, the closer it comes to your doorstep. The internet of course, greatly assists in this and without it, I dare say, a lot of these initiatives simply would not happen.
Looking on google earth is endlessly fascinating and when viewing past or current projects from above, none are more spectacular than some of those we have sitting out in the sands of theMiddle East. The new town of Al Falah, on which we assisted the aforementioned architect’s firm in articulating the landscape and public realm of the masterplan, is now an exact replica of the plan appearing on the ground nearAbu Dhabi airport.
Over the weekend I found myself doing the same thing, examining Google Earth over my own rural settlement in Hampshire for some community field assessment for a new Parish Plan. It struck me how different the existing context was at the beginning of these vastly different scales of project and yet at the same time how the aspirations for both could be so similar, one led from a ‘top down’ global approach, the other from a ‘bottom up’ local approach but both strong in their desire to create a cohesive community complete with green infrastructure essential to their wellbeing.
We can only hope that the internet is ultimately a force for the good, both globally and locally. As we get blogging we will try and only add to that.
The first blog – October 2011