No Way San Jose

San Jose was shaped by the trade of coffee and bananas. Because of its heavy reliance on farming and agriculture, the communities in Costa Rica are based on rural ideals. Even though the region’s priorities have changed since its start, the system remains the same. Addresses are hardly used, and streets do not have names, only numbers based on your location relative to the center of the town. The main way of finding a location is from a description in terms of landmarks and meters in the appropriate direction. San Jose and Pittsburgh are both cities with a lot going on. As we saw today, San Jose also has many museums celebrating its history as Pittsburgh does. While areas in Costa Rica are grids unlike in Pittsburgh, I still find that it is harder to navigate without knowing the “name” of where you are and where you’re going.

I think that the method used in San Jose and Costa Rica as a whole promotes a sense of community and togetherness; however, it is not practical in the context of a growing city. Delivering mail is almost impossible without a unique distinction between other buildings. With online purchases being on the rise, I do not think that a city cannot last much longer without needing addresses. Personally, I find it very hard to be a tourist in a place where there is not a simple way to know where you are. I am timid about exploring because I cannot simply put the address of my house in google maps. Wherever I go, I must remember how I got there and be able to determine how to get back, and when you have no sense of direction, like myself, this can be hard to do. Even in places I frequent often, such as Pittsburgh or my home town, I use google maps to direct me to places I have not been before or often. Thus, locating tourist spots in another country without being able to get concise directions is a challenge that we must overcome.

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