Allan Jacob, member of department of city and regional planning at California University and was also a part of many city planning, wrote a book on urban planning with very passion. He believed that the people who wants to change the base of cities is totally based on what you see. In his book, he talked about 24th Street, San Francisco. In it, he talks about every single details about a building or society that we usually never notice in our day to day life, like the paint of a house, curtain on windows, shingles, typology of a house, carvings on wall, material of a building, window frames, mailbox, doorbell etc which can tell alot about people staying in that house. He even gives his view on those ads which promises long lasting paints but still fails to do that. By seeing the area of a house, one can have a rough idea about the owner staying in that house whether he is ‘white collar’,’blue collar’ or ‘lower income’ families. He even talks about a street intersection where there are many people in their late sixties which can be easily make out from their hair color and dressing and waiting for bus.
In nut shell I can conclude that by just looking around and noticing little changes, we can know alot about past, present and future happenings of a city. If we have to bring a change or know our own cities in a better way, we have to start noticing and investigating about surroundings.