The social life of the street

from new haven and the city

key takeaways

street as a destination vs a path

you have to feel comfortable walking down the street. it is a display that you are a citizen.

street is a platform (and source) for power. parade, protest. a place to present and represent.

street is a place of contest. who gets to design, how used, who prevails.

critical mass of bicycle, create safety

short blocks, create more paths, more interactions, more safety. smaller blocks means many developers, dots in a matrix, threads in a fabric.

street as :

  • not an american urban vista (as compared to italy)
  • extension of domestic sphere
  • a place to socialize (cafe)
  • a place to present yourself
  • back yard – change oil
  • a comfortable place? for females? vs mall
  • a place of play vs a place of danger
  • community policing an education on the streets
  • creation of barriers – walking by drama, homeless, violence. over sensations, cutoff

parking lots. many renewal projects get torn down and for a long time are parking lots.

key terms and names

‘traffic calming’. making the street domesticated.

photo: joel meyerowitz


jane jacobs: community short blocks. urbanist. wrote “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”. long, but some great chapters. “Ms. Jacobs’s prescription was ever more diversity, density and dynamism — in effect, to crowd people and activities together in a jumping, joyous urban jumble”

photo: helen levitt . particularly noted for “street photography” around New York City. click here for NPR interview. book: slide show, color photographes

book: metropolis and the mental life

robert moses, master builder, “baron hasumann of NYC”. parks and hiways (hudson parkway) move away from the scocial boulevard. next, hiway into obituary

cesar chavez street redesign SF community feedback. look at questionaire. grassroot community inovlement.

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