The translation of cities

A friend of mine, Marcus Westbury, has beautifully articulated a new translation of the cityscape – no longer is it a solid, something that can’t be transfigured. Now, it is malleable, programmable. And it’s not just theory, he’s done such a good job of proving you can translate cities into human spaces, a 21st century update of the détournement if you will, that it’s

being hailed by the the world’s biggest travel publishers Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2011

I’ve been following Renew Newcastle since it started, and I’ve known Marcus from the first festival he threw there – the Newcastle Young Writers Festival in 1998, now known as the National Young Writers Festival and part of the larger This Is Not Art festival, and no one has impressed me with their refiguring of the city space since I learnt about Edge Cities as espoused by Joel Garreau.

Translation can apply to more than just language – and Marcus has shown exactly how it’s done.