a new blog... a new blogger...
... Responding to the idea of energy, flow and transformation through a city...
I will start, as most of us do now-a-days, with definitions (chosen subjectively for my purposes) from Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster online dictionary...
M-W def: : A fundamental entity of nature that is transferred between parts of a system in the production of physical change within the system and usually regarded as the capacity for doing work.
Wiki def: (adds to the above def) Energy is converted from one form to another, but it is never created or destroyed.
M-W def: 1. To move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles. 2. To proceed smoothly and readily. 3. To deform under stress without cracking or rupturing.
Wiki def: Smoothness or continuity.
M-W def: The operation of changing (as by rotation or mapping) one configuration or expression into another in accordance with a mathematical rule...
(BONUS DEFINITION: apparently transformation is also defined on M-W online dictionary as: False hair worn especially by a woman to replace or supplement natural hair. Seriously! Who knew? How would you use that in a sentence?)
Wiki def: A marked change in appearance or character, especially one for the better.
I'm feeling a bit dissect-ive and compartmentalized tonight which is probably why I started this entry with definitions. That said, I think it's good. It's making me think... hopefully it's not confusing for you.
Energy, in a city specific social capacity, could be viewed as the entities that allow an urban environment to be capable of propelling it's inhabitants into motion and maintaining/perpetuating such activity (i.e. job availability, affordable housing, social, academic, artistic and recreational resources). Such activity is the lifeblood and essence of a functioning city.
When energy is distributed properly and resources are adequate, there is a flow or continuity to the existence and progression/evolution of an urban environment. Transformation of physical spaces occurs when it is necessary to adjust to growth or reduction. Motion perpetuates motion. All is well in the utopic land of "equal distribution and simplistic reduction of a complicated and volatile system".
Energy doesn't work that way. Nor does flow or transformation.
In a city or in nature.
Key word here is volatile.
Energy may always exist in some form but it doesn't exist in a continuous, repeated, cycle nor in the same form. This invariably effects the flow and transformation of both environmental and urban spaces.
In nature, variable environmental conditions and circumstances can ultimately determine the survival of species. Some genetically mutate/transform and adapt to the changes while other species are wiped out completely. Some types of stone wear down easily and allow rivers to flow freely over them while other bedrock, less capable of breaking or wearing down, causes the flow of a river to serpentine.
In more extreme and drastic energy (I'm using this word loosely here) expenditures in nature (i.e electrical storms causing forest fires, rains causing floods), the volatility of it all is even more apparent and change in flow, energy, and transformations occurs rapidly.
Now, I want to be careful here and just say out right that I'm not discussing energy in a social capacity from a "survival of the fittest", evolutionary psych perspective. That is a slippery slope I have fought very hard to build a "no trespassing sign" in front of... but I am saying this:
When the entities that make up our urban energy redirect themselves or role on out of town, transformation and the redirection of the flow comes rapidly and can have devastating and lasting effects on the existence of a good portion of individuals that help to perpetuate that energy, that flow, and invariably can bring a city to it's knees.
Think about de-industrialization.
nuf said for now...