Yoyogi Park, Tokyo
The city park
KATE KLIPPENSTEEN, AUTHOR
Yoyogi Park, Tokyo
“Frenetic, full-on, constant sound and visual assault… that’s Tokyo and that’s what drives its residents. And that’s why it has been home to me for 30 years. But that sensory overload demands – periodically – an antidote. Sanctuaries.
“In the early days I had a flat not far from the massive Yoyogi Park and adjoining Meiji Shrine. In Yoyogi you can run, scream, throw frisbees and walk the dog, but the shrine grounds are sacred, and demand a certain respectful attitude. When the work, parties and travel became too much, I’d walk briskly to the shrine grounds and then wander through the forest, watch the gardeners raking the paths and, finally, stand at the altar.
“Tokyo’s parks are not famous like Kyoto’s but they have been my sanctuary in the city, especially the formal gardens called teien – tended gardens that reveal the seasons. You also find all kinds of animals there, from herons to snakes. In Tokyo!”
LOUIZA ATCHEBA, MODEL BRAND MANAGER
“One of the interesting things we discovered in our customer research for the XC40 was that people like the feeling of elevation and control you get when you’re driving an SUV in the city. That comes from having a raised seating position and high ground clearance – it’s about stepping up into the car and feeling on top of things. So we made sure the XC40 gives you that feeling.
“The XC40 is definitely a car for people that thrive on the buzz of city life, although it has some features that can help you truly focus if things get hectic. The panoramic roof, for example, floods the interior with natural light to create an open, airy feel, and you can open it to let the air in. We understand that air pollution is an issue in some cities, of course, which is why the XC40 is also available with CleanZone. This innovation purifies cabin air using a filter that reduces the level of dust, pollen and other harmful particles. And if its sensors detect high levels of exhaust fumes, CleanZone automatically closes the car’s air intakes and switches to air recirculation.
“As much as I enjoy the vibrancy of urban life, I think it’s important to find a place where you can feel centred and in control in the city. The XC40 can be one of those places.”
Grand Union Canal, London
The urban waterway
ALFRED RINALDI, JOURNALIST AND EDITOR
Grand Union Canal, London
“As big and bustling as it is, London has always had these amazing places where you can go and take stock and put things in perspective. One of these is the Grand Union Canal, which was built to transport coal on horse-drawn barges before the railways. For many years, it was underused, and there always seemed to be a discarded shopping trolley peeking out of the murky water. Over the past few years, however, more and more Londoners have embraced this treasure – jogging along the towpath, cycling to work or just going for a stroll on a Sunday afternoon.
“My canal walk usually starts at Camden Lock, where a colourful mix of tourists and Londoners sit watching the world go by. A few yards on, the scene changes as you pass London Zoo and reach leafy Little Venice with its magnificent back gardens. Walk the other way, and the canal takes you to the east of the city, to trendy London Fields and beyond. But it’s the houseboats that give the canal its unique character. I’m sure there’s no better space to think than the deck of a barge on a balmy summer’s evening.”
Bound by sound
1966 was quite a year for music. The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan all released groundbreaking albums that completely transformed the cultural landscape. But while Lennon and McCartney and their contemporaries were busy reinventing the way music was made, a classical music enthusiast called John Bowers was focusing his attention and expertise on reinventing the way we listened to it.
In the footsteps of dinosaurs
The Volvo XC90 in Boston
Nowadays, our air isn’t as clean as it once was. More and more cities across the globe are becoming enveloped in smog and pollution is a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Up to 45 per cent of the world’s population now suffers from some form of allergy or hypersensitivity and over 10 per cent suffer from asthma. And when you consider that we now spend more time in our cars than ever before, the need for an effective and reliable air conditioning system has never been greater. This is why Volvo developed the CleanZone philosophy.