Editor’s Notes: Observing the City

My relationship with both urbanism and photography started about 21 years when I was freshly moved to the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle.

It was my first time living in an urban area and I used my camera and notebook on a regular basis to record observations of the city and my experiences moving through it.

Sidewalk in Seattle, Autumn 2000

I lived in the University district and would often head to Pike Place Public Market in my free time to photograph the buildings, rhythm of the market and goods, the atmosphere of the passages and more.

From there I would walk to Pioneer Square, where I loved to spend hours steeped in the historic spaces of the city, reading the local paper and socializing with local business owners and residents. And of course, photographing the nooks and crannies of this heart of the city.

From the moment I began doing photography, I used the craft, along with my writing to observe not only what I see as the interesting layers of city life but also what I see as best practices, challenges as well as both esoteric and mundane aspects of urbanism.

Years later, photography and writing are still the mediums I most value and turn to for my own documentation of place.

Pioneer Square, Autumn 2001

Seattle was also the city where I experienced walkability and public transportation on a regular basis for the first time, as a permanent thread in my daily routines and as my primary modes of mobility.

I look back on that seminal urban living experience with a bit of a glimmer in my mind, recognizing how it not only established my connection with photography and urbanism but also really introduced me to the connection between walkability and liveability.

Photographing Pike Place Market, Autumn 2000

Annika Lundkvist

Editor, Pedestrian Space
Örebro, Sweden
May 2021