Posts in social space

May 11th, 2010  |  Filed under Metropol

The Street As An Urban Social Space

[Metropol contributor Steven Young received his Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, where his studies included urban social spaces. He has recently earned his LEED GA certification, and works extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area. This post is part of the Metropol Blog Series.]

Great streets of the world have a few things in common: space, people to watch, and places to stop and rest. The resting is usually the best part since it almost always involves eating and drinking. Pedestrian streets in particular have a vibrancy that emanates from the interactions taking place between the occupants. Streets are connectors, not only between places but between people. It is where we meet and it is where we act out our lives as social beings and communities.

Esplinade de Espana, Alicante, Spain

Esplinade de Espana, Alicante, Spain

The Esplanade de Espana in Alicante, Spain is akin to Black Rock City’s Esplanade. Alicante’s esplanade is an expansive street that goes on for miles, where strolling masses emerge from the city’s interior to take in the wonders of their community. It is the face of the city at the edge of the sea, with dense development on one side and the Mediterranean on the other; and it is where the occupants of the city find their connectivity. The Bund in Shanghai is also exemplary of the cultural vibrancy of esplanade walkways. Read more »