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A Tale of Two Cities…

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A Tale of Two Cities…

| Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning | April 09, 2013

Cherry Blossom

… Washington D.C. and New Delhi

The more you travel, the more you realize the similarities between different parts of the world. Each time I visit Washington D.C. it reminds me of New Delhi. So I thought of penning down these similarities and share them on this blog.

To begin with, both are capitals of two democratic nations (U.S.A. and India), that have many buildings housing government offices. The urban scale on which they were built and the urban image that they present, have many strikingly beautiful similarities. These include low-rise structures, tree-lined avenues, round-abouts and plenty of well-maintained green open spaces. In New Delhi Rajpath connects Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate. It provides a strong axis of symmetry with green parks and water bodies on both sides. In Washington D.C. the open space between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington monument is symmetrical with a large water body in the middle and green parks beyond.

The government buildings in both the cities have a regal grandeur created with classical architecture and the choice of the building materials (beige and rust sandstone in New Delhi, white marble in Washington D.C.). Both cities house very elegant memorials in the midst of serene landscapes. New Delhi has Raj Ghat, Shantivan, Vijay Ghat and Shakti Sthal. Washington D.C. has the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial etc.

Well, I am sure there are many more similarities but the most delightful similarity is in the choice of its trees. Both have lovely trees that were thoughtfully chosen and planted. Washington D.C. has Cherry trees with an abundance of blossoms (see above) that attract many visitors. New Delhi has Jamun trees that bear jamun fruits. The suburbs have plenty of Gulmohar (Delonix Regia) and Amaltas (Golden Shower) trees. These are a visual feast with flowers in orange and yellow colors respectively.

Before I wrap up, here is a bit about the Cherry blossom festival in Washington. Its normally from March 27 to April 11. It transforms the outdoors in Washington D.C. into heaven. Cheers to Spring!

Ratna Dalal

Architect | Author | Artist | Blogger

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After working at various design practices on a full-time and freelance basis, and starting his own design firm, David McFadden saw that there was a gap to be filled in the industry. In 1984, he created an expansive hub for architects and hiring firms to sync up, complete projects, and mutually benefit. That hub was Consulting For Architects Inc., which enabled architects to find meaningful design work, while freeing hiring firms from tedious hiring-firing cycles. This departure from the traditional, more rigid style of employer-employee relations was just what the industry needed - flexibility and adaption to modern work circumstances. David has successfully advised his clients through the trials and tribulations of four recessions – the early 80’s, the early 90’s, the early 2000’s, and the Great Recession of 2007.

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