Place Parts, Episode 17: Understanding the Blends

Chuck Wolfe
1 min readMar 24, 2021

Today’s episode in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, recalls the look and feel of urban blends discussed in Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character. First, I return to a venue discussed in the Introduction (available in the link at the end of this entry). Second, I describe several often-hidden facets of a city.

The video amplifies basic concepts that the book illustrates in the Richmond town center through a single photograph. The photograph and related sections illustrate how sustaining an urban place-at many scales-requires blended, interdisciplinary attention to many place-specific junctions.

As the Introduction notes:

These include natural systems and public works that lie beneath, building and structure for living and working, Wi-Fi kiosks for data access, interventions of nature and “soft” features, to the more abstract interplay between the built environment, clouds, and sky. The photograph leaves out-because it cannot do otherwise-the sociocultural intangibles and only implies place-inspired collective memories.

Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character, p.5

Review the special “landing page” for Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character here.

Originally published at on March 24, 2021.

Chuck Wolfe

Charles R. Wolfe founded the Seeing Better Cities Group in Seattle and London to improve the conversation around how cities grow and evolve across the world.