Which capital city's gardens are we looking down on?

Since this is a little difficult, I offer two clues (1) it is in Eurasia (2) it is not the city centre! What do you think of my modest proposal for a re-design, below? I think the whole project must have been ‘designed’ by crazed engineers with no knowledge whatsoever of the aesthetic, ecological, functional or financial roles of open space in the urbanisation process.

(left image slightly brightened)

15 thoughts on “Which capital city's gardens are we looking down on?

  1. Tom Turner Post author

    With regard to the affect of good views on property prices, I have seen figures ranging from 2.5% to 25%. Speaking for myself, I think I would pay about 10% more for an appartment with a communal garden than for one surrounded by SLOAP (Space Left Over After Planning).

  2. Robert Webber

    It is frightening isn’t it?
    You just look down and wonder how a decent society could either come out of it or do it in the first place.
    Think your suggestion is great.
    Will lose them their profit and think you have shoved some houses out into road!
    Best Wishes
    Robert Webber

  3. Carter

    I’ve never had the opportunity to visit China, but I’ll take a guess that this area is at the outskirts of Beijing. Looks like a development done under conditions of highly rapid urban growth.

  4. Christine

    Given that you have filed the topic under Asia, I will guess the city is in Asia rather than Europe. Do I see dormer windows in the red roofs?

    Are they in Southern China? Say Guangzhou? [ http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/wireStory?id=10707259&page=1 ] Apparently it is developing rapidly in preparation for the Asian games.

    Tom your modest redesign looks better from the air! (Perhaps if I am right in my guess Tian could tell us more about Guangzhou and garden design?)

  5. Tian Yuan

    Ah, Sorry about waiting. Honestly, I donot have confidence to make a guess regarding to this picture.Is it a garden? Where is the garden?

    In a professional view, I cannot distinguish whether it is China. Let’s make a hypothesis: it is in China. But I will try to say something using exclusive method.
    (1) Beijing:impossible.
    Reason: the urban plan of Beijing has a chessboard-development form.

    (2)Shanghai, Wuhan, Guangzhou,Shenzhen( south China): impossible.
    Reason: most the cities in southern China has sufficient water and vegetation source.The map will have more” green” and “blue” space if it is in southern China.Moreover, the southern Chinese city may have more landforms variation.

    Although I cannot give the answer, I will try to do some condition guess.
    (1) It may be an industrial city
    (2) It may not be a heritage city
    (3) It may be in a city which is not sufficient in water and have plain landform.
    (4) It may not be a “Garden-city”

    What do you think , Tom?

  6. Tom Turner Post author

    Robert, sorry about putting some of the blocks in the road but I still think I might have given more thought to my layout than the engineers gave to their layout!
    Yuan, sorry if I implied it was in China but your reasoning is correct: the climatic conditions are much drier than south China and most of South East Asia. But you missed an important clue: it is a section of a capital city, which rules out Shanghai, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen etc. Australia has some arid zone cities but I think Christine has, correctly, ruled out Canberra.

  7. Tian Yuan

    Oh yes, I has misunderstood the word: capital city. Now, I may need to read some books about landscape/city planning. Oh,,,,How silly of me!

  8. Carter

    I understand we’re looking for a national capital, not a provincial capital. I’m gonna guess it’s Astana, Kazakhstan. It’s population is growing rapidly and it has a dry climate. Maybe there’s a bit of a Soviet feel to the buildings in the photo too.

  9. Christine

    So most probably not Hanoi.[ http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&biw=948&bih=614&q=capital+of+vietnam&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Hanoi,+Vietnam&gl=au&ei=OJAqTfWkJYH5cYfnreoB&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ8gEwAA ]

    Could it be Istanbul? [ http://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/3714105631/in/photostream/ ]. Tom density as you can see from this photograph can vary across a city/developments so it can be a misleading clue. (Also not the current capital of Turkey).

    However Turkey shares the continents of Europe and Asia.[ http://studytourscy.com/turkey/about-us.html ]

    Yeah, its Ankara. SNAP! [http://boardgames.about.com/od/cardgames/a/snap.htm ][ http://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/3626427170/in/set-72157619438658089/ ].
    (I guess that is cheating…)

  10. Tom Turner Post author

    Well done Christine, sorry Carter. I think (1) the sheer waste of land makes it unlikely that the layout could be in east Asia, particularly because the aridity of the landscape would make it north-east Asia (2) there is something taş kafa (‘stone head’ – a popular Turkish insult) about the road layout (3) there is a certain lack of enthusiasm for enclosed gardens in Turkish culture, as though the ancient nomadism of the Ottomans was stronger than the veneer of Islam acquired from the Persians. The greatest surviving Ottoman garden, at Topkapi, is modelled on the layout of a tented encampment.


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