A recent visit to New Zealand gave me an opportunity to observe and reflect on the country’s capital city Wellington. A great city, a relatively young city, a dynamic and positive city, a friendly city.
I was immediately struck and fascinated by the abundance and graphic impact made by some of the city’s overhead Infrastructure; electrical cables, trolley bus networks and telecommunication wires including fibre optic. Lending both a chaotic edge yet distinctive and ingenuous visual layer to its renowned streetscapes. For a visitor this provided an interesting and unique aspect to explore but for many residents they appear ugly and unsafe with little visual attraction.
"Wellington City Council seemed to have developed a conscience about the messiness of its suburban streetscapes. It accepted that overhead cabling “can be unsightly” and it agreed that “the most popular method of reducing the visual impact of overhead cable networks is to place them underground.” It went further:
“Under-grounding cable networks provide[s] aesthetic and safety benefits.” But it warned: “The main drawbacks are the high costs and difficulty deciding how costs should be shared.”
Perhaps I shouldn’t keep looking at overhead wires and cables. Perhaps there are more serious issues to get concerned about. A film producer friend tells me I’m unreasonable to be offended by all the wires hanging in Wellington streets. He says they should be accepted as part of our third-world urban streetscapes."
By Lindsay Shelton, December 2008.
All shot on the Fuji X-E1
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Looking Up 2.