TheCityPlan - City maps | The Plan
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TheCityPlan - City maps

The CityPlan is a new column that will take a look at the world’s most important cities. Our first stop will be Dublin, followed by Milan and New York, then Sao Paolo, Doha, Lagos, Singapore, Istanbul, Berlin, Guadalajara, Lagos, Tokyo, Mumbai and many others. Each will be presented with maps and descriptive articles written by commentators with an intimate knowledge of their subject. The maps will be a combination of the sort of cartographic detail readily available on the Web and a more personal aesthetic narrative. Ours will be a different, less conventional approach. The aim is to give a creative and aesthetic experience of place evoked by an intricate cartographic document that does not simply list but narrates. In time, the articles will form a collection to be kept and compared, becoming an ensemble of imaginary journeys through tangible and intangible worlds.

Is a map more interesting than the real thing?

“Jed bought a ‘Michelin Departments’ road map of the Creuse and Haute-Vienne. It was then, unfolding the map, while standing by the cellophane-wrapped sandwiches, that he had his second great aesthetic revelation. This map was sublime. Overcome, he began to tremble in front of the food display. Never had he contemplated an object as magnificent, as rich in motion and meaning as this
1/150,000-scale Michelin map of the Creuse and Haute-Vienne.
The essence of modernity, of scientific and technical apprehension of the world, was here combined with the essence of animal life. The drawing was complex and beautiful, absolutely clear, using only a small palette of colours. But in each of the hamlets and villages, represented according to their importance, you felt the thrill, the appeal, of human lives, of dozens and hundreds of souls - some destined for damnation, others for eternal life.” (Michel Houllebecq, The Map and the Territory, William Heinemann,...

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