There’s a new community being planned and marketed quite close to where we (sometimes) live which has been billed “the city of colour” by the marketing people. Without demeaning their difficult and thankless job, how it can ever match the likes of Montbéliard we wonder.
Sadly for those of us who live in the new world, colour is not just about the vibrance and patina of a town’s brightly painted buildings, which here seem to be of a palette that ensures a particular vibrance no matter what the lighting conditions or the colour of the sky. Nor is it just about the endless flower gardens which brighten streets and windows or the textures of the cobbles or the markets, nor the quality of the parklands.
Proper colour needs a proper undercoat of history. In needs thousands of years of records, buildings where prince and princesses reigned for four centuries before losing their heads, museums tracing the lives of families that made sawblades but turned their enterprises to cycle manufacture before becoming one of the largest automobile producers. It needs industry in modern times still competing against all odds, and bakers that still find time to lovingly gift wrap the smallest purchase.
But then, if we had all those things just down the road, perhaps we’d have no need to travel!