Getting our streets and sidewalks right means shifting our focus to the social life of our communities. Once community-led improvisation is a priority, we can take control of these spaces and make them active, inclusive, and just plain fun.
Highlighting a Community’s Identity by Creating Great Amenities: A bench at a corner; shade from a canopy or tree; a drinking fountain; a simple bollard...all are like life support to everyone in a community...And, the best communities place them where people need them. Comfort is the knowledge that a community cares.
"Of Porches there are two sorts: the decorative and the useful, the porch that is only a platform and the porch you can lie around on in your pajamas and read the Sunday Paper" – Garrison Keillor
What a focal point is varies greatly with each square. Sometimes it is as simple as a good spot to sit, a fountain, or a statue on which kids can play and climb. The ones we are interested in are the ones that are swarming with people.
A simple tool that can make any city more walkable and pleasurable
You can tell a great city by its corners. If the intersection is owned by the vehicles, it is a city for cars and traffic. If the community controls the intersections/corners, it is a city of neighborhoods.
Benches and seating are not objects; they are mirrors to our social behavior. We have seen it time and again, that where there is seating, there is life.