The Cure for Ailing Parking Lots
Philip Langdon of New Urban News tours Portland's popular food "carts" - which aren't really carts at all, but small stands. Langdon reports that the carts not only activate dead spaces in the city, they also provide jobs and micro-businesses for a community that suffers from low employment.
Langdon writes, "The explosive growth of food carts runs counter to the usual trend in urban regeneration. Typically when a city center becomes a place where middle- and upper-middle-class people want to spend time, the architectural code of conduct becomes more formal, more carefully constructed. Food carts, with their budget-driven, ad hoc designs, take a city in the opposite direction."