In anticipation of the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference in Pittsburgh in September, Streetsblog is "previewing some of the great research and success stories that will be told at the conference," starting with "one type of innovative design that Pittsburgh is increasingly becoming known for: 'shared space.'"
According to Tanya Snyder, who writes the first installment of the series, "[three] recent projects in Pittsburgh have utilized the shared space concept. 'It’s a change in thinking about how that space is used that elevates the status of pedestrians and cyclists — more pedestrians than anyone — over the car,' said Michael Stern, an architect at Strada, the firm that designed the three new shared spaces. 'So that’s a big change.'"
Snyder goes on to provide design and planning details of each of the three shared space projects, as well as the details of the economic development that has followed. For instance: "Market Square, where drug deals used to be conducted in plain view, a major redesign has attracted nearly a billion dollars in new development. In addition to offices surrounding the square, there are almost 500 new residential units and 32 restaurants within a block and a half. Many of the 20 dining establishments that encircle the plaza have patio seating on brick sidewalks that blend into the cobblestone street, with no curb separating them. On the other side of the street, the plaza’s terrazzo floor is also at the same grade."