This blue marble

– and yet it spins

Urban gardens

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kl-8When you run out of space, go vertical. IKEA knows it, too. But nothing compares to how Asian metropoles go vertical. It seems to be quite expected to discover a resort on the rooftop of one’s apartment building: a multilayered pool like a maze, disappearing under shading palm trees; sun loungers and waterfalls and garden of flowers and butterflies; a gym; and naturally also a restaurant and a shop. In one condominium complex.

Save for a few palm fronds sticking over the rooftop edge, the secrets are only revealed if one lives higher up than one’s neighbors, or if one flies over the city. I wish we had more rooftop gardens in Finland, too. Street level gardens of apartment buildings are always too noisy and shaded, and usually focused on functionality (playgrounds and bicycle storages). But a secret oasis on the roof would be such a joy for every inhabitant – and perhaps it would even bring the reticent Finns to know their neighbors a little better.

(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; September 2016)

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