Tuesday 20 February 2018


For once in our lives we ought to concentrate our planning to remember the three basic environments in which we live – the Great Valley, the Valley Foothills and the Sierra Nevada Mountain, our watershed of life.


These three landscapes of ours brings collective experience and therefore must be examined from many angles at every season and must be inventoried with computer geographic information system data layers, for us to wonder, think and reflect on how to bring our judgments and technologies toward a bearing on our present and future urban settlement patterns, in order to dwell thereon and therein, bringing all into accord.


This landscape of ours has borne many things for our past generations, the indigenous flora and fauna, our willful use of the waters has yielded generous food and fiber. We must listen to the motion of the winds to help balance our future in concert with our fertile soil and abundant sunshine. The measuring of this formulation of layered physical information must be harbored with goodwill, sensitivity and understanding.


Approaching northward through the portal gap of the “Grapevine”, a position from which one can clearly understand the exclamation of persons who first sets their eyes on this vast landscape and exclaiming “Buena Vista” a most beautiful spatial view seen into a vast distance. The infinite scale is confounding in this our landscape for its breadth from Westside hills across the flat valley floor to snowy alpine peaks.


However this Great Valley has been used and used hard. It holds the present status of being the breadbasket for California, the Nation and some of the World with voluminous exports.  For some this land is sacred. However this landscape has histories of many cultures tracing their human lives on it over time. Observing this human history and landscape we have taken possession of it as part of our mind set. None of us now or in our imagination can live apart from this land. Land is the gravity to maintain our humanity.


How we create an urban design for this environment capturing in context and sequence the next twenty-five years for our future in our San Joaquin Valley Blueprint is most important.  Great good has been returned to us and has given meaning to our lives together in the pearls of communities formed on the riverbanks, fed by trading and transportation routes, along the foothill edges of both the west and east side of the valley floor.


The concepts to be driven by these possible urban design futures must be seen as places in which we can walk, live and breathe in, for a day, and forever thus becoming accountable and responsible to our next generations. In our mind’s eye we must build these communities as being indispensable to our well being as they define us, and we are the Great Valley Folk, because we have breathed and worked here together.


It is in this Great Valley that we must concentrate our minds not only by respecting our history, but how we can better balance our wealth of knowledge and technology applications, with the gift Nature has provided. Have we unanimity in this focus? Not that we can exhibit as yet.


It is here in these three environmental landscapes of experience that we should be most conscious of building wonderful places with our sweat and blood. It is here that we should want to live in harmony forever; and it is no matter that we must die.


Graham Kaye-Eddie


Master Urban Designer             12/27/07                      577 words

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