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Also what would my bliki be without the 2000s Czech music spotlight? I don't know if anyone even watches these, but here goes anyway: Jižák by PSH, an indie rap track from 1994 about living in the public housing from 1970s in Prague.
It's 1970 and the grand, decorated houses that have been so popular twenty years ago are old news. It's all about standardized apartments built around factory-assembled tiny bathrooms in precast concrete houses now. The government, still leaning a lot to the left, decided it was time each family had their own bathroom, which was the norm in the more developed countries. And so, houses and neighborhoods like that started popping up across the whole country.
The affordable housing plan succeeded. Almost 50 thousand people found home in Severní město. In the 1980s, as the population got wealthier, a new trend emerged: large suburban homes. Unlike other places in the world, in Drabantia these neighborhoods never became segregated or straight up poverty-stricken. Part of the reason why is that there's enough amenities, green spaces and infrastructure.
So, go ahead, look around, maybe stop at the cinema (because the time has definitely stopped there, when it comes to the interior design), then go up the Kolínská boulevard that's mostly dusty windows of empty retail spaces now, then you'll reach the roundabout with nothing but grass in the middle (and it has 95 m in diameter) and finally, the shopping park that's like the definition of the 1990s. After that, hop on a tram and ride it to the city center - it takes only about 15 minutes.
Adding the human element
What I've noticed is, that many places here on OGF are just too perfect to be true. Often they're mapped really well too. But sometimes they feel like they're just transcriptions of projects that just left an architect's drawing board. The places seem to have no history. Recently I've been trying to take that extra step to bring more context to my mapping. I always try to think, 'oh, I've just mapped this, how could it influence its surroundings?'
A really easy thing to do with housing projects like this one is drawing dirt paths. That's how pavements are often built, anyway: the planners wait for the people to tread paths in the grass first, then they let them be paved. Another small yet influential thing I've done in Severní město is the small patch of shrubs along Aviatická street, crossed by the bridge at Luňákové street, then joining the tram line near Šlechtitelská. That was supposed to become part of the planned tram line to the airport, but shortly after the construction started, the city council decided the airport should be instead served by train (which I'm going to draw soon.)
See what I mean? Adding features like this to the mapping is fun and almost effortless, but I think it really does a lot.
I hope to add more detail to the area later this week. Starting next Monday, I won't have access to the computer, but don't worry, I'll still be around! I have some silly ideas and what better way to showcase them, than Weekly Bliki by Eklas: The Holiday Edition.
Boravská Louka or Severní město? What are some other ways to make places feel more human? Comment below and I'll see you next week.
Comments are v appreciated
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