Denis Wood challenges landscape students to leave streets off the maps they design to teach them environmental perception. The edges aren’t important:
When you look really hard at a neighborhood, it’s impossible to miss how uncertain its edges are. This is because neighborhoods aren’t about being distinctive, or rather, they’re not especially about being distinctive. The most important thing about neighborhoods is how similar to the rest of the city they are, how undifferentiated, how ordinary. Neighborhoods are part of the city. They’re most of it. What neighborhoods do is make the city real. They transform the common, ordinary stuff of the city — water and sewer, electricity, streets — into the real stuff of our lives. This is the part the neighborhood plays in the life of the city, the part of a Proteus capable of turning a perfectly ordinary lamp post or crab apple tree or stretch of sidewalk into that power pole whose cables hum and sing at night as you fall asleep, that crab apple beneath which you played as a child, that stretch of sidewalk in which your kids wrote their names while the concrete was still wet. It transforms the stars that shine on everyone alike into the stars that you wish on.