Quick hitter, here. And it sounds ridiculous, but urbanism porn will sneak up on you when you least expect. Like on a golf web series.
I’ve written before about No Laying Up, a golf-centric digital media empire, which has only gotten better since that piece. Honestly, it might be my single favorite piece of running media going. They’re so good at what they do.
The subjects they cover and the way they cover them is too good. It’s a small crew, but the cinematography is unreal.
It’s just a short hit in a longer episode, but you have to see Stockholm’s subway system, which a couple member of the squad just spent a day exploring.
It’s funny because in the convo right before this excerpt—skip back if you want—they highlight a phenomenon rooted in urbanism: that when you’re on vacation, you’re more likely to just get out and go for a walk.
“What are we gonna do today? ‘I don’t know, let’s just go walk around and figure it out. Let’s get out of this hotel.’”
“Conceivably, we could do that anywhere, at any time.”
“Well we probably should. We should make time for that.”
Why do we only tend to do that on vacation? Well, we usually vacation to places—whether it’s Disneyworld or Barcelona—that are more pedestrian friendly. Because it’s nice.
But a kajillion people have made that point, I just wanted to say look at that damn subway system. It’s incredible.
The Stockholm metro was built in the 1940s—with the first line opening in October of 1950. Its Wikipedia page relays that in 2017 the system carried 353 million passengers.
As wonderfully functional as it surely is, it’s the beauty that sets it apart. As mentioned in the video, each station artistically represents the neighborhood it serves and its place in the history of the city.
The fascinating formations the art is painted on are simply the exposed bedrock.
I mean come on.
I don’t have too much more on it, but wanted to highlight it for one simple reason—it’s possible to do big, awesome things. It was possible to do big, awesome things 70-some years ago in the fallout of World War II.
And you can do big things, big artsy things just because you want to. Because it would be nice.
Because the point of government in the first place is so that we can pool our resources together and make where we live better for all of us.
Let’s do more of that.