About this blog

Hi everyone! I’m Tim Davis, and in this blog, I highlight very specific, very special places that are *never* mentioned (at least in any real detail) anywhere else online. I won’t waste your time covering any of the thousands of public spaces that have been covered ad nauseam.

Thus, each post is highly unique, and I hope that they’re all wonderful surprises!

This is Rue du Petit Champlain in beautiful Quebec City, where I devote an entire post to incredibly beautifully painted highway overpasses, along with a fascinating history of the neighborhood once walled off by these highways.

More broadly, this site will be about “Placemaking, Planning, Parks & People. I initially thought this might make a great title, but I instead left it as the tagline (just below the banner image).

I’ll cover many hidden gems in North America and Europe, with many images accompanying the text. I love capturing fascinating images in great urban environments, such as juxtapositions of nature and city that showcase the beauty found in surprising places.

Click the image to read about Milwaukee’s Black Cat Alley, which is a dramatic transformation of what was until recently the darkest, most unsafe corridor in an area covering over 1000 acres.

This site will have a strong urban planning component, as well as an occasional purely psychology-based post. I hope to inspire civic leaders to adopt some of the wonderful lessons I’ve learned from great planners around the world.

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be studying cities, and many great (and often highly counterintuitive) proposals on placemaking, parking, transportation, zoning and more continue to evolve. There has also been some fascinating recent psychological research on this issue that I will be sharing.

Tim Davis as Pinocchio
I cannot lie: you notice more when exploring places on foot. Location: 78 Calle Mayor, on a gorgeous block in Madrid. Note: whether this small version is sideways or right side up, the large version will be aligned correctly–no lie. 🙂

In my travels, I’ve found that the single trait that’s common to ALL great places is that they naturally attract and are full of *people* rather than cars. Far too often, our metro areas are full of places where people want to simply drive through or past.

The world’s most popular cities are places where people are valued over cars. In the few cities on Earth (such as Amsterdam) where transportation priorities are in the correct order (walking, then biking, then public transit, then movement of freight, and *then* private auto use), *everyone* benefits, including those who solely drive!  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s been proven to be true in every case.

This plaza in Amsterdam is just outside Beginhof, a gorgeous 600-year-old courtyard. I’ve taken over 3000 pictures of Amsterdam, and cars are only visible in *20* of the pictures.