The city as palimpsest

In the required reading for Unit 1, David Harvey writes of the city as a palimpsest, a
“composite landscape made up of different built forms superimposed upon each other
with the passing of time” (p- 49)- In his view, “Planners, architects, urban designers.
all face one common problem: how to plan the construction of the next layers in the
urban palimpsest in ways that match future wants and needs without doing too much
violence to all that has gone before. What has gone before is important precisely
because it is the locus of collective memory, of political identity, and of powerful
symbolic meanings at the same time as it constitutes a bundle of resources
constituting possibilities as well as barriers in the built environment for creative social
change” (pp- 49-50)-

Choose one area of one Canadian city and create a visual essay, using maps,
photographs, and explanatory text to describe the city as a palimpsest in which the
area’s history is partially visible beneath the new. With reference to your visual
research, and informed by readings from the course materials and beyond, provide a
thoughtful and critical analysis of your visual essay that includes or considers the
aspects below-images, layers, social justice, and political agenda. Your visual essay
should include at least 15 and no more than 20 images, at least three of which must be
maps.

ACED ESSAYS