“The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces”

This for your weekend viewing pleasure just in from Clarence Eckerson, Streetfilms, NYC:

When I first got started making NYC bike advocacy and car-free streets videos back in the late-1990s on cable TV, I didn’t know who William “Holly” Whyte was or just how much influence his work and research had on New York City. A few years later I met Fred and Ethan Kent at Project for Public Spaces. I got a copy of Whyte’s 1980 classic, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, which in its marvelously-written, straightforward style is the one book all burgeoning urbanists should start with.

Recently, I read it again. With all the developments in video technology since his day, I wondered: How might Whyte capture information and present his research in a world which is now more attuned to the importance of public space? What would he appreciate? Are his words still valid?

So I excerpted some of my favorite passages from the book and tried to match it up with modern footage I’ve shot from all over the world while making Streetfilms. I hope he would feel honored and that it helps his research find a new audience.

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Dead End in Brazil? Interview with O Globo Brazil.

In the day before the opening of the World Cup in Brazil, where traffic chaos is expected to be the rule of the day (missed opportunities there?) this is a video transcript of a 20 November 2013 interview with Bolivar Torres, Brazil Sao Paulo Traffic congestionBrazilian journalist with O Globo, a leading Brazilian newspaper.  His topic: Notably unsustainable transportation and trends in Brazilian cities — seen from an international perspective. What to do? How to move from today’s failing and inconsistent ad hoc Old Mobility policies which are not getting at the roots of the problems? Perhaps toward a New Mobility Agenda?  And what if anything could have been introduced in time to improve traffic and life quality conditions for all during the coming World Cup and Olympics?

* See corrective note on photo below.

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World Streets 2.0 – New Look

magnifying glassSince World Streets was taken by assault last week by something like 4000 hits as a result of our article announcing and providing some strategic commentary of the Paris project in which they are committed to reduce speeds to the top limit of 30 Kph page through the entire city – click here if you have not yet seen it – we ended up taking a good critical look at our website, the good, the bad and the frankly ugly,  and decided to do some fairly radical spring cleaning. So if you click today to http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/ today, you will see our new look.

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Weekend weirdness: Where Can I Buy “Eric Britton”?

eric britton strange non book-smallNormally your editor tries very hard to keep all postings here focused on the important topics which you will find introduced in our original Mission Statement of 2009, but here exceptionally is a more personal short story which raises some puzzling problems. And I may not be the only one in our extended sustainability family who has run up against this particular weirdness. Continue reading