How does the reality of a city measure up to the perceptions? That is what planner Clement Lau sought to find out when he recently visited Oakland with his family.
Using planner Kevin Lynch’s 5 Elements, Lau found a city with a rich architectural history and other elements that point to fertile ground for tourists to explore. Additionally, the elements, and the urban assets they reveal, point to a promising future.
“While Oakland may have its share of problems such as high crime and unemployment, I believe that we should also be aware of the many positives of the city. The aesthetics of Oakland is not often discussed, but after seeing what I have seen, I must conclude that beauty, hope, and strength are ever present in a city that is often belittled and hidden in the shadow of San Francisco.”