Tall buildings create an urban canyon. This can funnel or block winds, but it also can frame a sunset.

It’s not a big urban canyon. More like an urban arroyo. But this is an example of what happens when an area grows up rather than out. At one time, everything would have been like the buildings in the middle. Trees that have grown up. Streets that have grown wide. Now, taller office and apartment buildings are replacing them. The result is a broad line of green between concrete cliffs. Or perhaps bluffs. Trees and roofs and roads cutting between concrete and brick.

Places like this part of Silver Spring provide a transition between city center and suburbia. They have the streets and neighborhoods that tend to sprawl away from downtown areas. Yet they provide the mass transit and other benefits of more densely populated areas. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t have a strong contrast between tall building and low street.

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James Smith