Constructed Environment

How does Calvino describe his cities?

What is the role that the monuments play?

How does the urban interact with the natural?

How do we distinguish between nature and man – made?




Calvino, being a man lost in his own imagination, thinks of his cities as the ups and downs of his life. In the city of Zaira, Kublai describes the place as a city of high bastions. He says that it consists of relationships between the measurements of its spaces and an event of it’s past. His assumptions are pretty twisted in a way. Most importantly he thinks that the city soaks memories like a sponge and expands.


The monuments play a pretty strong role of just hanging on and being a part of his life. These little as well as huge monuments basically give the city a face without which the city would just give it a “barren look”. For instance, the lamppost is used as a decoration for the queen’s nuptial and the zinc scaled roofs give the city some sort of a glow.


In my story, the streets rise like stairways with a degree of arcade curves. And where the Zinc scales make up the roofs. It is a city where a child hangs over street lamps and cats travel on flying windows.


If I were to distinguish between the two I’d say that natural elements are basically less durable than that of the man – made. In accordance to the story, I guess I would say that, the Natural elements in the city of Zaira pretty much seem to last much longer than that of the man – made. I could also say that, in context of the story, the natural elements seem to have life in them that bring joy to the living beings of the city.


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