Inside/outside problems

click on images for full-size:

Wright sketched several pictures of Broadacre City, and with his students built a large model showing what a typical area might be like. Some views can be found on the web through Google's image search.

There is a general issue related to the size and density of nodes, which applies to our contemporary situation, though it also casts a light on Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City proposals: What is the difference between a dense node and a network?

Considering their abstract form, we can consider both a widespread network and a dense local node as examples of networks, one nested inside the other. So if we envision local places as themselves dense with something like "internal links," how do we maintain the distinction between an inside and an outside of the place? Does thinking of places as having internal connections and as linked to other places destroy the experience of place? If I deny that places are sharply bounded and I affirm that they are linked, do I blend all places into an indifferent spread?

A place is a field of social possibilities for actions* embodied in an area's different regions. As embodied a place offers directionalities and polarities even if the place is spread across discontinuous areas of space. This embodied landscape of space and of social possibilities for action "here" can be distinguished from other places that can be reached by moving along links to other places "there," where distance is measured not so much by spatial spread as by the nature of the link and the completion of local actions. A place, as opposed to a network, is created by a grammar of actions embodied in "nearby" regions, where "nearby" means grammatically linked and embodied rather than adjacent in physical space. Distant regions can be "nearby" in this sense if there are the right kind of links and embodied relations, but this will not be true of other distant regions linked to here but not so tightly tied in to this place's grammar.