The importance of sidewalks
Last week, there as bit a quite impressive boom of reader here due to my post about anti-skateboard devices in San Francisco. This definitely echoed with "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (Jane Jacobs) that I was reading this week end. The description of sidewalks and their importance is very well written and thoughtful. Some excerpts I liked:
"There is not is no point in planning for play on sidewalks unless the sidewalks are used for a wide variety of other purposes and by a wide variety of other people too. (...) Roller skating, tricycle and bicycle riding are the next casualties. The narrower the sidewalks, the more sedentary incidental play becomes (...) Sidewalks thirty or thirty five feet wide can accommodate virtually any demand of incidental play put upon them - along with trees ti shade the activities, and sufficient space for pedestrian circulation and adult public sidewalk life and loitering. (...) Sidewalk width is invariably sacrificed for vehicular width, partly because city sidewalks are conventionally considered to be purely space for pedestrian travels and access to buildings, and go unrecognized and unrespected as the uniquely vital and irreplaceable organs of city safety, public life and child rearing that they are.
Why do I blog this? definitely some thoughts for urban computing projects (I'm currently in the process of writing a project about urban gaming).
The picture shows pavements from a sidewalk in Geneva, which seems to have been fixed with duct tape. It also reminds us how the different type of pavements allows or not certain kinds of activities. That one is very skateboard-friendly.