In Lubbock along both sides of Avenue A, just North of the 50th street intersection, is a fantastic stretch of drainage infrastructure that scars the typically flat street-scape into a sculpted terrain.
At the deeper stretches, this line of divots drops 4′ to 8′ below the street’s surface, allowing shadows of adjacent street lamps, trucks and buildings to warp and reshape in these basins. This shadow-tracking got me thinking about Valparaiso, Chile street-scape, the Valparaiso studio exercise “site of shadows” and a resulting student’s comment, “The sun moves faster here than in Lubbock”. Immediately my response was not that the sun moved faster, nor is their observation a result from the earth’s rotation at latitude relative speeds (given Valparaiso at -33.0 is nearly the same latitude distance from the equator as is Lubbock’s 33.6, with both rotating around 1400 km/hour). What the student experienced and verbalized was a registration of the narrowing street-space and shorten time in which the sun, thus shadows, fills the street volume.
A quick proportion comparison sketch of residential street-space between Lubbock and Valparaiso demonstrated how dramatically wide and open to the sky Lubbock’s streets are. This widening reduces the impact shadows have on shaping our collective city space as any marker, building edge or variation in the landscape becomes lost in the distance. Surprisingly the Avenue A infrastructure gap retains similar proportion to Valparaiso shallowest street spaces and offers a place to register and experience shadows changing our collective space. Here you can enjoy a changing shadow landscape.