Seen above is a 2ft by 3ft map of Philadelphia, PA. This map took around three months to create. Beginning with a single sheet of paper I began drawing lightly in pencil. From here I erased the pencil to a faint outline, then using colored pencil to bring the map to life, coloring it twice. The colors represent different land-uses from residential to commercial, mixed-use to civic, and so on.
And the finished product showcases many parts of the city such as Center City Philadelphia below.
Philadelphia International Airport and its many runways.
Manayunk and the Wissahickon Valley Park with it’s many trails (a favorite place of mine to go for a run in the city).
Fairmout Park with the Schuylkill Expressway to the right (And yes even now it’s jammed with traffic).
A map legend describing what the different colors mean.
And a “Did you know?” section with fun facts about the city.
But why exactly did I make it? The personal message at the bottom of the map helps to explain this more.
“I hope that you enjoy this map of Philadelphia. It is a labor of love which took three months to make. We can see how styles of development have changed over time from the traditional mixed-use town plan to the suburban sprawl of today. But we need to look even beyond that and think about the people living here. Poverty, Racism, Addiction, or Violence? These are only a few of the issues in the world today. It is my prayer that God would heal the city of all the issues it faces by transforming hearts through Jesus. This is the city of brotherly love which has people full of Christ’s love working for the welfare of the city. I love it and I hope you do too!”
When looking at the map we need to see the people in the place, understanding what they go through, working to care for all their needs. Personally, this is motivated by my love for Jesus, working to create places that point people to the heavenly New Jerusalem. And ultimately Jesus who laid down his life to free us from the sin we were entrapped in, giving us the perfect life with Him in the eternal city. The evil in the world is magnified in the city, but even more so the good of those working for it’s good. So whether you are a Christian or not I hope that this map will change how you look at the city, make you question how it has developed, and work towards making changes that benefit the people in these places.
© 2017 Michael Sutherland, Sutherland Maps, aplaceforpeople.wordpress.com