Sunday, March 23, 2014
Maybe Make Manuel's More Transparent? City-Lovers Don't Go Out to Cocoon
I had a Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO) at Kate Sweeny's giant book-signing party. Manual's turns its back on the street, gives us a cold shoulder. (See the footnotes for academic citations.)
I understand: I never wanted my mom (or my boss) to catch me in a bar or worse: catch me underage in a bar smoking cigarettes. But that's not how we design these days and city-lovers don't go out to cocoon.
So this was outside. It was really rocking.
How many times have you been at North Avenue and North Highland, the Manuels corner? That would be thousands of times for me. It is the only place on North Avenue that is interesting and comfortable for pedestrians, the only place on North for worthwhile people watching.
See what catches your eye next time you are cruising North at North Highland. The King of Pops in Buddy's parking lot contributes infinitely more life than our favorite bar.
Inside the Wasted Potential Brass Band was playing.
Wasted potential is right.
My BFO came at GreenPrints, where urbanism's lovability quantitative academic Reid Ewing claimed that "transparency" is good stuff. I believe!
Of course: Transparency. My brain translated it as "eyes on the street" plus "people-watching."
It's got coefficients, t's, and p's. See Reid Ewing, Ph.D. – Metrics of Urbanism.
As usual A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction explains it in human terms.
164. STREET WINDOWS
. . . any streets with people in them, these streets will only come to life if they are helped to do so by the people looking out on them, hanging out of windows, laughing, shouting, whistling . . . A Street Without Windows Is Blind And Frightening. And It Is Equally Uncomfortable To Be In A House Which Bounds A Public Street With No Window At All On The Street . . .
165. OPENING TO THE STREET
. . . many places in a town depend for their success on complete exposure to the people passing by - far more exposure than a STREET WINDOW . . . This pattern defines the form of the exposure. . . . The Sight Of Action Is An Incentive For Action. When People Can See Into Spaces From The Street Their World Is Enlarged And Made Richer, There Is More Understanding; And There Is The Possibility For Communication, Learning . . .
192. WINDOWS OVERLOOKING LIFE
Rooms Without A View Are Prisons For The People Who Have To Stay In Them . . .
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