Urban Fold

Recreating European-Style Cafe Life in America

In Portland, patterns of urban use are emerging that are similar to the European-style neighborhood bar as a community gathering place.

A developing outdoor cafe scene is conducive to strengthening communities, but many obstacles make it diffult to replicate this in America. For example, drinking laws discourage adults and children from congregating in the same venue, and an overwhelmingly car-centric culture prioritizes roadways over livable spaces.

"In this country, there is also a strange banishment of food from street life," said Philip Myrick, vice president of the Project for Public Spaces, a New York City nonprofit. Exiling food concessions from the public realm violates a fundamental rule of urban design, he added, "Because if your aim is to attract people, food and drink are the main attractions."

Thanks to Ben Serviss

Full Story: Cafe Life, PDX Style: Recreating the Euro Bar

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