In Rethinking Shared Spaces, Sidewalks Take Center Stage

Joe Nickol pens a paean to the often overlooked sidewalk: "our neighborhood's breadwinner, bringing vitality, safety, and economy."

As the street becomes a central subject of attention in our efforts to rethink urban and suburban development patterns, Nickol aregues that the sidewalk deserves to be reclaimed.

"No longer can sidewalks be value engineered out of the equation, disconnected or relegated to a single use. Layering design functions is critical to achieving the value they provide. They can be broad or intimate; flush to the street or raised; and shaded by galleries, awnings, arcades, or street trees. Sidewalks can be eaten upon, have chairs set up in them, performances performed in them, be an extension of a sales floor, or simply a place to stroll and window shop. They can be the safe route to school or a means to patrol the neighborhood. They can be urban or they can be in less dense areas. They are our most straight-forward and economical health care plan."

"Whatever the case, we must once again own the sidewalk."

Full Story: Reclaiming the Sidewalk in City Design

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