Urban Explorers

Two globe-trotting Rollins grads are setting out to document how cultures in Southeast Asia approach development in their cities.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Sometimes, inspiration strikes just by walking down the street. Other times, the inspiration is the street itself.

When Courtney Banker ’16 spent a semester in Vietnam her junior year, she became fascinated with the country’s fluid, multidimensional urban landscape.

“The use of the street in Vietnam, for instance, is different than in America,” says Banker, a Tampa native and former president of EcoRollins. “In the U.S., we have a very specific idea of how that space is supposed to be used—mostly for cars and maybe a bike lane or sidewalk with a building on the side. In Vietnam, there’s a paved area where there might be a noodle shop in the morning but in the evening it’s a play space or a different kind of cafe. It’s amazing how a street can undergo a complete metamorphosis in the course of an hour and still provide mobility through the neighborhood.”

Urban Explorers