I have seen so many places in Greensboro this semester that I guess I can almost be a professional guide. Now it's time to reflect on all that I have seen thus far this semester.
I have definitely learned a lot about understanding the built environment. Before I was just looking at the environment, now I try to understand and explain the built environment. For this I use Clay's vocabulary, which helped me a lot during this semester, but I also try to apply everything I learned in this class so far. I ask myself questions, such as "Why does this building look like this and how is that related to its function?", "What would be the ultimate use/infill for this piece of land?", and "What are the values imbedded in this built environment and in what way is that expressed by the environment?"
Because of all the things I learned in class, I am definitely more interested in the world surrounding me. It is not anymore "just" the notion of a beautiful building or a nice place. Now it is an inspiring place to think about. What makes this building nice? How does it invite people to visit it? My perspective and perspective of the world has changed a lot during these few weeks. Also, I learned a lot about the American city, especially because I am a foreigner. I helps me understand the way of thinking of Americans about the environment.
I am thinking about directing my focus to the J. Douglas Galyon Depot for my final project. I have always been very interested in trains. Back in Holland we have a very broad public transportation system of which train transportation is an important part. I want to find out how the train and railroad network is managed here in the United States. And believe it or not, I have read Sonia Nazario's book "Enrique's Journey" and that also gave me inspiration to deepen further into this subject.