Industrial America has always intrigued me. Sure, it's dirty, fugly, causes all kind of environmental problems, is responsible for numerous social ills. Yet, to me it has a sort of interesting beauty.
It is complex, exciting, challenging. When we were kids we traveled from Toledo, OH to Milwaukee, WI, about four (4) times a year, to visit friends of the parents. I would really enjoy the show outside our car's window as we approached places like Gary, IN and some of the roads we went on in central Milwaukee.
My mind would be racing about all the logistical goings-on involved with these giant industrial complexes. I would wonder where the train with the coils of steel was going, why the yard outside of the building had giant lifting cranes, what was flowing out of that pipe, etc.
Industrial America......and the industrial world.....gives us all of those things we live with, play with, drive in, tamper with, work with, cool with, heat with, etc. Industrial America gives much of the world a standard of living unmatched in human history. (Yeah, yeah.......all the problems, too....I hear ya!)
Nowadays when I travel the freeways of the country I see a more modern industrial America. Many small towns with smaller, less invasive, industrial complexes. I still stare at them with curiousity......what is being made in that place? Is it a plastic product (usually can tell by pellet holding silos attached)? Is it just a warehouse facility (which will be taller, in most cases, to allow rooms for storage racks)? Do they process or make something big or heavy (railroad spurs are a good indicator)?
I figure that there are "some" folks in the planning profession that are like me, finding a certain excitement with the trappings of industrial America.