London, Rio, New York, Shanghai. These are some of the world’s most vibrant and beloved cities—successful, in part, because of their proximity to bodies of water. Their identities and trajectories as world-class cities are intertwined with the rippling ribbons and expansive liquid sheets that lap at our feet, continuously reminding us city dwellers of our smallness before nature. People seem to experience this gravitation toward the water’s edge acutely and we traverse concrete and asphalt just to gaze out over an open expanse or to dip our toes in the blue stuff.






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