#StreetArt, Literally. Homage to Water and Wastewater Sector via Book: Drainspotting by Remo Camerota

Our built environment is filled with a myriad of sites, images, and infrastructure.   Often overlooked are manhole covers .  A shout out to those serving within the water and wastewater sectors either as city or municipal workers or as consultants.  Okay true confessions - I admire greatly those who work in the water and wastewater sectors.  I have been privileged to provide consulting services to this sector and  have a sense that often times accolades go to City Police and Fire - clearly critical services with little mention of water and wastewater...that is unless there is a main break, boil water order, or sewer overflow - then the doo doo hits the fan and negative press prevails. (big grin).  Water and wastewater services are critical city services providing reliable, safe, drinking water, water for fire suppression and treatment of our wastewater.  We depend on them for the services they provide and I want to say thank you. 

I was thrilled when I found Remo Camerota's book entitled Drainspotting showcasing the highly decorative Japanese manhole cover.   What better homage to our city workers than a book highlighting part of a city's infrastructure.  Camerota emphasized that in Japan, "all objects are created with an aesthetic sensibility" (p. 7).  So it is for the >6000 decorative manhole covers in Japan.  He beautifully curated his selections and captured the spirit of the aesthetic with photographs of manholes organized regionally:  Kanto Area, Chubu Area, Chugoku Area, Shikoku, Area, Kyushi Area, Okinawa, and Disneyland.  He includes photos of historic manholes 50 years or older plus an interview with the president of the Nagashima Foundry.  A highlight of the interview is a description of the process used to design and produce the manhole covers.   

 Osaka Prefecture, Japan.  Photo by Andy Smith, Attribution-Noncommerical-noDerivs 2.0 generic, no changes were made, non-commercial use Retrieved from  https://goo.gl/i2WIyg

Osaka Prefecture, Japan.  Photo by Andy Smith, Attribution-Noncommerical-noDerivs 2.0 generic, no changes were made, non-commercial use Retrieved from https://goo.gl/i2WIyg

 Hiroshima, Japan.  Photo by Andy Smith, Attribution-Noncommerical-noDerivs 2.0 generic, no changes were made, non-commercial useRetrieved from https://goo.gl/N0dt9b

Hiroshima, Japan.  Photo by Andy Smith, Attribution-Noncommerical-noDerivs 2.0 generic, no changes were made, non-commercial useRetrieved from https://goo.gl/N0dt9b

A beautiful book featuring a part of our built environment often overlooked!  

Other Resources

International Manhole Cover Museum - Italy  http://www.manholemuseum.it/  

Japanese tourism website highlighting manhole covers  http://www.japanvisitor.com/japanese-culture/manhole-covers  

Remo Camerota provides drainspotter's with an online blog resource

S. Morita's Photography:  Manhole Covers:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/28074232@N06/sets/72157612036691185/with/15246489286/  

Strategy, J. (2014).  The beauty of Japan’s artistic manhole covers.  Colossal.  Retrieved from http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/03/the-beauty-of-japans-artistic-manhole-covers/ 

Tata and Howard offers 25 unique manhole covers in the United States.  http://www.tataandhoward.com/2015/10/25-unique-manhole-covers-in-the-u-s/

Note:  City of Phoenix photo via Greg H. - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic, no changes were made, this blog post is for non commercial purposes.  Retrieved from https://goo.gl/QwOLXl

Drainspotting
By Remo Camerota