Friday, March 26, 2010

Free Beer Friday Guess the City

As always, same rules apply: Be the first correct guess in the comments and must arrive to the Happy Hour location car-free to retrieve your prize.

The name of this week's guess the city comes not from the defensive bulwarks to protect the city but rather the river crossing. The mistake was my presumption from wrongly anglicizing the name while doing this research.

This is a fun one, perhaps only for city nerds like myself though. It is a city of new and old. The old portion is as well preserved medieval city, this side of Bruges (which I promise it is not the same City). The growth of the medieval portion of the City is defined by concentric rings of canals. The difference between this city and Bruges (hint coming: besides being in a different country) is that twenty years ago it was deemed a "growth area". The new growth has literally doubled the city land area.

While the old is charming as most medieval cities, the new is a cavalcade of hits and misses. the misses is usual due to excessive whimsy.

Now let's take the main boulevard linking the new developments:

Ahh, no cars. Only bikes are allowed to continue into the heart of the new town, which is quite literally named New Town. And what is with the kids everywhere? Have they taken over the town? Did they use the 'M' word?
Where are you parents? We already played with them. Now we want to play with youuuuuuu.

However, once entering the main square, you can see that it is rather lifeless. Is it because it is new and not yet mature? Is it because it is disconnected from its surroundings? Is it because there are no cars allowed in? Is it because of the poor urban design around the area? Let's look at it quickly:

Yikes. Hits and misses even in plan. I promise you that we did not teleport to a new Chinese masterplanned city.

How about we explore the various pieces of the new part:

Guesses? Smiley town is not the answer.