A delightful, short and mostly visual post from Chris Bruntlett. I couldn't agree more, especially with this item:
11. A TOUCH OF WHIMSY – To a child, often the most whimsical of touches are the most memorable ones. Urban planners need to start looking at their work through their children’s eyes, encouraging active and interactive play at every opportunity. For example, this public staircase – in S.F.’s Fisherman’s Wharf – functions as a giant piano, with every tread playing a different note. It kept my kids occupied – and physically active – for the better part of an hour!
One of my primary critiques of so much 20th century planning, and so much of contemporary architecture for that matter, is the complete absence of humanity and joy. Hey, life is supposed to be fun, too, not just an opportunity for reflection. We went through a long period of making our physical environment brutal and sterile, and it's one of the most encouraging aspects of recent years that that seems to be fading away.