When we think of a city, we are inclined to think of its buildings, streets and squares. We think of its towers and skyscrapers, its rivers and hills, its ‘spectacular’ panoramas. But a city is much more than the stones, concrete and glass of its buildings, the asphalt of its streets or the wood and corrugated metal of the shantytowns that metastasize around it.
Cities are built by those who live and work in them, and by those who pass through. Their physical configuration is the result of thousands of actions that converge toward common goals – or collide against each other – at every moment. The combination of these forces produces effects of greater or lesser permanence on the physical environment, effects that eventually coalesce into buildings and streets, squares and parks, monuments, markets and makeshift housing.