Questions on the City, Spring 2007


Questions of Fact

  1. What are the dominating religious traditions of the city?
  2. Did the builders of the city have art in mind when they constructed the buildings?
  3. Does the city have facilities to accommodate my academic needs?
  4. Does the city have enough job opportunities for me to find a job?
  5. Does the city have enough restaurants for me to find a place to eat?
  6. Does the city have a place where I can meet my social needs?
  7. Who was responsible for the plans to build Orlando and turn it into such a tourist spot known throughout the United States?
  8. What historic monuments still stand in this city and what made the monument so well known?
  9. In what year was Orlando's first school built and is it still standing today?
  10. What if any groundbreaking laws have been made or recoiled in the history of Orlando?
  11. How many languages are spoken in the city of Orlando on a regular basis?
  12. How many religious affiliated facilities are in the city of Orlando?
  13. How many museums are there in the Orlando area?
  14. How is the Population divided ethnically and where is it concentrated?
  15. How many active bands are in the Orlando area?
  16. Why did the founders choose to settle in the middle of the state, rather than on a fishing coast?
  17. Does the city have a large local University?
  18. What surrounds the city?
  19. What entertainment can the city provide?
  20. When was it founded?
  21. What kinds of languages are most prevalent?
  22. How any famous novelists come out of here?
  23. What kinds of culture can be found here?
  24. What interesting events have previously happend here?
  25. What are five features that make a city a city and not just a large town?
  26. The name Orlando must have some significance, what was it to the founding members?
  27. Over time, in what ways, if any has the architecture and style changed on the buildings downtown?
  28. Is the City safe?
  29. What was the original plan for the city, has it changed, and if so why?
  30. Does the thickness or thinness of a column used for decorative purposes have some other meaning?
  31. Do decorations around the outside of windows and door frames have another purpose than décor alone?


Social Science Questions

  1. Does the environment and culture of a city influence the development of children’s behavior?
  2. What causes a city to form in one location rather than another?
  3. What creates the boundaries in a city that separate rich from poor, culture from culture?  Can one recognize the limits of these areas by some concrete change?  Is it a feeling?  If so, how do we define these guttural instincts as resulting from such a transition of space?
  4. How does geography affect the type of culture that grows in a city?
  5. How can one part of California be so richly populated, while other parts are run down and poverty stricken?
  6. Why is a road like Fifth Ave. more frequently visited, whereas a road like martin Luther King Blvd. is commonly avoided?
  7. Can American cities adapt well enough to reduce the ever growing environmental issues? Do you think the cities can reduce their outgoing wastes? Why or why not?
  8. What makes a city grow? What elements contribute to the population increase of a city? What elements have contributed to exponential growth of Orlando? How is Orlando able to adapt to such changes in a short about it or has it?
  9. Each city has its unique flare and attraction, but underneath the building, the lights and the attractions lies a foundation that is shared among cities. What fundamental elements to these cities share?
  10. The advent of the Cuban Revolution transformed city structure, from a dynamically landscape to the homogenized and underdeveloped state that is seen today. How and why did this change the class structure in cities such as La Havana?
  11. What historical factors contribute or influence the way people behave in the city?
  12. How do people interact with each other and the structure of the city?
  13. What impact does major retailers (such as Wal-Mart) have on cities that have only known small businesses and how does it change their way of or outlook on life?
  14. Do people shape their surroundings or are they shaped by them?
  15. How has the crime rate of a city influenced how people choose where they reside, concerning where they work, where they send their children for school and how they respect their surroundings?


How & Why Questions (some humanities, some not)

  1. Why do artists (writers, creators, thinkers) refer to leaving the city as an activity that clears their minds?
  2. Why does the city affect the advancement of ideas?
  3. Why are the types of architecture used in the city not used outside of the city?
  4. Will the reach of the city ever fully extend into the “country”? In other words, will the “city” mentality ever fully grasp all parts of modern culture if given enough time?
  5. How does the central location in a city (as a place of prominence) define a culture?
  6. Why are ther attitudes of residents from New York City and Venice so different?
  7. How does the concept and practice of racism differ from a rural setting to a more urbanized city? Is it more prevalent in one type of city? Is it more accepted?
  8. Why do the people choose to live in that particular city?
  9. Why are cities in North America so different from European cities?
  10. Why do some countries prefer cobble stone and rougher roads through cities over smooth pavement?
  11. A problem that is present everywhere is the lack of reliability of human reasoning. How can you set up a system while avoiding corruption that lets humans make decisions but is without corruption.
  12. So why is it that the homeless choose northern cities in the winter rather than live in Florida all year round.
  13. Why do people think some cities are "more beautiful" than others?
  14. How and why are streets and buildings different in the city versus the country?
  15. How did slavery affect the entire slave population, socially at the time in Africa?
  16. How do the buildings of a society convey importance of ideals?
  17. How can the art of a city, including public and that portrayed onlin buildings, show the intellectual and religious boundaries of a people?
  18. How does culture contribute to the way streets are laid out in a city?
  19. How did the Greeks' ideas of freedom and independence brought from their democracy lead to them defying the might of the Persian Empire?
  20. How has slavery affected the proceeding generations to come of Africa?
  21. Since slavery being abolished, how has it affected modern society in Africa?
  22. For urban dwellers, how does the city help to construct their individual subjectivities, or to put it another way, how does city life influence personal identity?
  23. Why do cities continue to evolve and exist? Will cities progress in the future?
  24. How does your experience as a human shape the way you view the city?
  25. How is the city an expression of human culture?
  26. How do your experiences in the city shape the way you view yourself as a human being?
  27. What role do you play in the daily goings-on of the city?
  28. How does the architecture define the city?
  29. How has a cities history influenced its cultural traditions?
  30. How has an increase in transportation influenced a cities prosperity and growth?
  31. How is it that cities can harbor so many differentn cultures and some how blend them all into one?
  32. Why does the architecture and all around general structure of U.S. Cities differ from those around the world?
  33. Why is American city culture so much more urban than that of cities around the world?
  34. How does the organization of the city reflect or determine the social lives of its citizens?
  35. Why is discovering the norms and tendencies of a city's citizens crucial to intelligent construction of the city?
  36. How does art and architecture in many ways impart the fastest and most recognizable identification of a city?
  37. How does the average education level of a citizen affect their milieu?
  38. How does financial status affect city environment and what sorts of priorities are more common in wealthier areas?


Definition Questions

  1. What defines a city?


Moral or Policy Questions

  1. Should people have an attachment to the city were they are born? Or should they have an attachment to the city they grew up in?
  2. Should a city be planned in advance for practicality or be allowed to spread uncontrolled?
  3. Should the descendents of slaves receive compensation for their pain and suffering?


Not Questions

  1. Racial discrimination still is a problem in Orlando. Although it doesn't often make the headlines anymore it is still present in many different forms toward numerous races and cultures.
  2. The lack of distribution of wealth is a huge problem in Orlando. There are huge gaps between the middle and pore classes.
  3. A lack of thinking in potent university programs is a problem that is seen at UCF where teachers often encourage you to right and study more but think less this in fact halts societies progression. People don't ask why much anymore they are more interested in what.
  4. The lack of job opportunities in Orlando puts stress on the middle class and prevents the city from reaching its true potential.


Assorted Other Questions

  1. Do the residents of a city have any moral duty towards it?
  2. Is a city shaped by the citizens’ attitude and behavior, or is their behavior shaped by how the city looks?
  3. People are usually proud and attached to the country they are born; is it also true for the city in which they are born?
  4. What influence does the city have over literature?
  5. What differs so much in the culture of a European city like Paris and a North Amercian city like Miami?
  6. What components make New York City such a desirable place to visit and to live?
  7. How does a regular person with no humanities background observe and relate themselves to the City compared to a humanities literate person?
  8. Is American society willing to change their city to resemble the European City? Why or why not?
  9. Does it take a certain type of person to live in the City?
  10. Does society living in the City see humanities as an important subject matter? Do they believe it will be of service for future use?
  11. What elements of independence can be found within a city such as New York City? How does this differ from the elements in a city such as Winter Park?
  12. Is there a consensus on ideas and philosophies or do they vary?
  13. When people come to a city, why do they come, what may they be hoping to find?
  14. What does a city feel like?
  15. What does the city take from us?
  16. What does the city offer us?
  17. Would civilized life be possible without cities?
  18. What makes the culture of cities in the same country so different?
  19. What draws so many people to big cities?
  20. Do most people strongly identify themselves according to the city in which they currently live?
  21. What is the purpose of having memorial and celebratory statues placed within the city?
  22. Could materials used to construct buildings be a reflection of the culture, or is it only chosen due to the success that others have had with the material in question?
  23. What benefit did the formation of the city give the founders at conception?
  24. At what point did the members of the city chose to create small outlying towns?
  25. Is the anonymity of the individual likely to inspire or crush individuality/originality?
  26. When is change too much for the identity of the city?
  27. Does the monetary focus of city life overshadow everything else?
  28. Why are the citizens so concerned with their appearance to total strangers?
  29. In the city of Palm Beach Gardens their is a requirement for a peice of art to be placed in a plaza or building of importance. My Question is why is it significant and wouldn't that ruin the value of art morally and physically?
  30. Why do people in major cities (i.e. New York) Have a "front" about them that makes them look intimidating or are being study.
  31. When your in a major city the basic means of travel is by foot, why then in cities on North Korea have safer sidewalks or walkways that are actually orde ground away from traffic compared to a city of equal mass have the conflict of cars and pedestrians in the same vacinity.
  32. In a major city why with all the vehicals that are obviously in a city would their be a lack of parking or a system in which to create a solution for such a dilema.
  33. Do the alteration of city techniques reflect changing cultural thoughts?
  34. Does the set-up of a city equal the thought problems of a society?
  35. What human issues or problems plaguing a society can be garnered through studying their city?
  36. Can the lay out of a city help build up or destroy it as far as population is concerned?
  37. What do architects keep in mind when they design a building for a particular city?
  38. What was the lifestyle of the slaves like at the time of slavery in Africa?
  39. What was it about Italian cities and the people in them that allowed them to flourish during the Renaissance?
  40. What made Rome able to become the great empire that it once was?
  41. What basic ideological assumptions are embedded in the design (or lack thereof as Rybczynski seems to suggest) of a modern US city, such as Orlando?
  42. How was it that the modern city came about in the first place, that is what were the driving ideas and forces that led to the development of modern cities?
  43. Why is it that, in contradistinction to the majority of European cities I've visited, read about, or seen images of, many US cities seem to lack a coherent overall aesthetic vision?
  44. In what ways can the mass exodus of the middle class inhabitants of most US cities to suburban areas be interpreted?
  45. Does the environment of the city determine who we are or the we influence the city in which we live in?
  46. What characteristics do people who live in the city display?
  47. Who in the population of citizens influence culture and unification? The Leaders, nobility, or the people?
  48. What significant role does art and architecture incorporate into the city?
  49. Where in time (decades, centuries) do cities begin to experience change? Do they follow a chronological pattern according to human theories?
  50. When does religion become recognized by the city as a practice or rebellion?
  51. What does it mean to be human in the city?
  52. Does the existence of a city require a central place in which the essence of the people is expressed?
  53. Can a city properly express the majority of thought held by the people within its boundaries?
  54. Is the city only in existence due to its inhabitants?
  55. Can a city be composed of a specific people or does it take a collaboration of individuals from different backgrounds to compose a culture?
  56. Does the city obtain its culture from teh people or its geographical location?
  57. What is the human place "in the city"?
  58. How can "the city" shape one's view of another "city"?
  59. Why do we feel connect to "the city"? Do we feel connected to "the city"? Is a connection important?
  60. Where did "the city" come from?
  61. Does "the city" change as a result of our actions? Or do our actions change as a result of "the city" changing?
  62. Based on the theories of Aristotle and Christopher Alexander, why is living in a small town more appealing than in a big city?
  63. Over time, how has the increase in metropolitan areas changed the mood of a city?



Some comments on questions

On types of questions, and the difference between humanities questions and (social)scientific questions:

On better and worse questions:

What wasn't asked:

Most of the questions had a very similar format. They tried to ask about specific aspects of the city. Note what wasn't (much) asked: