Originally posted on urbangeography:

Benjamin’s explorations of the city, in such texts as Berlin Chronicle, One Way Street, and most famously his Arcades Project, used moments, or ‘scraps of urban life’ to unlock the intimate connection between the spiritual and material manifestations of urban life. His fragmented images of childhood in Berlin Chronicle, unpublished in his lifetime, are retelling the story of the city, and recall the fleeting moments of urban life. Benjamin had a topographical imagination and embraced “thingness: seeing, hearing, and feeling only buildings, fences, doorknobs, vistas monuments, signboards, street names.” (Merrifield, 2002: 50). Through sight, smell and reading the city, allow the student of the city to come to decipher the signs of the city. He draws from George Simmel, a thinker of the modern metropolitan experience, which treatise, the Metropolis and Mental Life investigates the psychological basis of money on the metropolis itself and it alters everyday life according to…

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